Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas

This Christmas season was a busy one but one that brought so much joy. We endeavored to focus on our Savior's birth as the reason for the season through an awesome e-book called Truth in the Tinsel (thanks DeeDee). We played lots of Christmas music and the kids became more familiar with Christmas songs they didn't know. Oliver's favorite is "Do You Hear What I Hear" and he would play it on repeat very loudly in the afternoons! We saw an awesome Christmas lights display in Frisco. We wrote letters to, and made cookies for Santa. We loved finding the hiding elf each morning. And we got to have SO much time with our family and especially enjoyed seeing the Schroeders and Dan and Stephanie who all came in town over the holidays.

We got a live Christmas tree which made our house smell like a house at Christmastime should. The kids loved going and picking it out and were so excited to decorate it! Melia enjoyed taking the ornaments on and off the tree so we put ones that were kid-friendly down low so she could enjoy the tree to her hearts content.

Christmas Eve

We had a great day at home on Christmas Eve... baking cookies, playing games, and repeating many times "1 more day until Christmas!" The kids had counted down the days with an advent calendar and were so excited that the day we had been waiting for was almost here! We got to spend some fun time with Uncle Dan and Aunt Stephanie playing tackle basketball in Oliver's room (yes, basketball), taking a walk in the crisp air to a sandwich shop for lunch, and introducing Dan and Steph to a new game (Matt's idea of heaven).

That evening, we headed over to Matt's aunt & uncle's house for our traditional BBQ dinner! The kids were excited that they got to open one present. It was a great time and really made it feel like Christmas was upon us!

Silly kids...

Papa trying to convince Melia that he was stealing her "baba" (pacifier)

Melia showing us her "button" - which she will also push for you since it is an out-y!

I gave the kids the option of all sleeping in the same room that night like I used to do with my sisters on Christmas Eve. They were very excited about it and woke up bright and early at 5:30am and (I'm told) sat together on the end of the bed and waited for the allowed 6 o'clock wake-up-mom-and-dad deadline.

Christmas Morning

Christmas with children is just magical. We were so happy to be able to celebrate with just our immediate family at home this year. It was such a special time and a great bonding experience full of many happy memories. The kids were so excited and sweet all morning and it was such a joy to be around them and focus on just our family.

Gabriella and Melia got a new kitchen!

Gabby in her new Jesse shirt

Oliver got a fun batman cave, the game Mouse Trap which he loves assembling and Lego Harry Potter for the Wii!

Melia got a barking/walking little Dachshund puppy, and a talking/moving baby doll. Two of her favorite things - dogs and babies. She loved them!

Later in the morning we headed to Granna and Papa's house for more presents and a delicious Christmas lunch. We got to spend great time with Randy and Amy and Grandmama as well. We enjoyed Matt's new Telestrations game, watched movies and had some yummy Toll house Pie!

Matt's sister and her family got in town from Colorado on Christmas night and we enjoyed many days of fun with our COUSINS! The kids adore Olivia, Calvin and Atticus and had a blast every day they were here. We are so thankful for our wonderful family!

Gabby and Olivia

Friday, December 30, 2011

End of Year Wrap-Up

We've had a very busy last month in our house... hence the lack of blogging. So I am going to try and make up for it here!

For Thanksgiving this year, we headed down to Fulshear, TX to celebrate with the whole Beck clan. It was a great weekend full of Turkey Trotting, midnight Black Friday shopping ("Back of the line! Back of the line!"), outdoor movies in the hot tub, lots of games, and plenty of laughter.

Meme and Gabriella enjoyed the "art cart" together and created many Thanksgiving masterpieces much to Gabby's delight. Thanks Meme for being such a good grandmother for this creative girl!

Oliver cuddled right up to his sweet cousin McKinley - he loves babies. And she definitely loved him back!

We ran a Turkey Trot through my parent's neighborhood on Thanksgiving morning to burn a few calories before the afternoon feast. The kids joined in on the new power wheel that lives at the grandparent's house!

My sisters worked to have shirts made up that said Beck Family Turkey Trot 2011 and were very cute!

Even the non-participants got a shirt :)

My mom set a beautiful table and we all worked together to prepare a delicious feast!

The babies had to endure many photo shoots that weekend - of course including a bathtime shoot!

At the beginning of December, we got to celebrate a big birthday for Oliver - 6 years old! We definitely have a big boy on our hands and it is so fun to get to live life alongside of him watching him discover the world and helping him to understand more and more every day. We are so proud of who he is and see him growing and maturing everyday. What a joy it is to parent him!

I got to bring cupcakes up to Mrs. Robershaw's Kindergarten class on his actual birthday and we all enjoyed celebrating him there. He loves having us in the classroom and we love being there as much as we can. We are very thankful to have a school that is so welcoming to family visiting and appreciates parent involvement!

Oliver with Mrs. Robershaw... happily posing for pictures as usual :)

We hosted a wild and crazy Batman-themed party at our house to celebrate his birthday. We had many friends and family there and had a great extravaganza!

Oliver with both of his grandfathers.

All of the kids got to dress up as superheroes complete with capes and masks. We played games to ward off the "bad guys" (aka the daddies) with silly string and enjoyed ice cream sundaes - the birthday boy's favorite dessert.

Even the girls got dressed up. Little sisters love to follow in their big brother's footsteps.

Oliver also started his first ever sports team and had his first game the day after his birthday. He is on the Knicks basketball team and enjoys running around with other Kindergarten-aged boys trying to learn the rules to the game but mostly just enjoying the mass chaos that is sports with young kids. It is darling to watch and has been a great experience so far for our family.

Gabriella FINALLY got to perform in her first-ever Preschool Christmas Program. She has been waiting on this for two years and has dutifully acted out her big brother's program every year in anticipation of the day when she too would get to be up on the big stage. She performed every song and the actions required and made a darling addition to the Graham Cracker Express Christmas Program! She is so proud to be in the Oreos class and get to go to Spanish class, Library and do center time!

She loves playing with her friend Alyssa at school. Here is our little Christmas Tree and her friend Alyssa performing!

And I must mention our now eighteen month-old darling Melia (aka Scoot Row, Rosie, Mels Bells, Leet Squeet, or Squeeters). She is saying more and more words every day and even putting two words together into sentences of late. She is fiercely independent, enjoys emptying dresser drawers and begs for "bite, bites" all day long. We love her spunkyness and she is an adored member of our family. Here she is a bloomer hat and an underwear necklace!