Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Cookies and Celebration in the Oaks

The boys and I, as well as Aunt E and Kate, went over to Nola and Nopsi’s house after school on Tuesday. Nola had requested the kids’ help in decorating the Christmas sugar cookies she made for them. Riley and Kate had multiple colors of sprinkles and sugars to choose from, and they only made a little bit of a mess. They both did a great job!

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Nola also organized a family trip to see the lights in City Park that night. After all of the cookies were out of the oven, we piled into Nopsi’s van and went to get dinner at Lakeview Harbor before heading to the park. It’s amazing how easily Mickey can entertain these boys.

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Kel-Kel, Skeets, Uncle Jeff, and Kenny met us at the restaurant, and then we all caravanned to the park. I wish I had taken pictures as we were walking up to the entrance; all of the trees lining the street were lined with colorful lights and it looked so cool. (Please pardon the pictures I did manage to take: lighting was a challenge.)

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We walked through Carousel Gardens first (Riley of course had to duck into Storyland to go down the dragon slide once) and then made our way to where the lights were.

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Since we had come in from the back, one of the first things we saw was the train display. There are huge raised areas, waist-high, surrounded by little curved fences all festooned with lights, upon which exist little villages and countrysides through which run lots and lots of train tracks.

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Percy and Thomas and an array of other big locomotives hitched to all sorts of interesting train cars, in addition to little New Orleans streetcars, run all over those tracks. Riley and Rory were MESMERIZED, so much so that Riley did not want to leave to look at the rest of the lights.

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We eventually got Riley to agree to leave the trains, but only by promising him we would go back before we left (which he made sure we did). We walked by a really cool sea life display and through a little bug display as well. Then we made our way to the big poinsettia tree.

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Riley pilfered two leaves (one red and one green) that he carried around the rest of the night. And I got some cute pictures of Riley and Kate in front of the huge tree made entirely out of poinsettia plants.

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Next we went to see Aunt E’s favorite tree. The boys loved walking underneath it and looking up at the lights above them.

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Finally, Kenny and I had to recreate some moments from the night of our proposal eight years ago. The top was taken on the same bench where I posed just before the big event, and the bottom picture was taken in the very spot he proposed. So many good memories. Love you, Baby!

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We all enjoyed looking at the lights very much, but I think all of the adults enjoyed watching the three kids more.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! I’ll leave y’all with this image and these last lines of A Cajun Night Before Christmas.

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“So he run out de do' an, he clim' to de roof,
He ain' no fool, him for to make one more goof.
He jump in his skiff an' crack his big whip,
De' gator move down, An don' make one slip.

An' I hear him shout loud as a splashin' he go,
’Merry Christmas to all 'til I saw you some mo'!’"

Friday, December 19, 2014

Video Friday: Tub Waves and Belly Laughs

I heard Rory’s laughs all the way out in the living room on this night. His brother was being silly, and he thought it was hysterical.

Of course they also almost flooded the bathroom in the midst of all this fun, but such is life with boys, right?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kids’ Christmas Parties

Karen was gracious enough to host another Christmas party for the kids at her house this year. Everyone gathered on Sunday afternoon in PJs and had a great time. I left Rory home with Kenny since the main project this year was a bit more involved: decorating gingerbread houses!

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I hoped Riley would be willing to decorate a house, especially since there was candy involved. He probably ate close to his weight in gumdrops, but he did most of the decorating on his own, with a little help from me.

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All of the kids did a great job on their houses. I loved seeing all of the differences in each of the kids’ creations. So many different personalities at one table.

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After we cleaned up from the house project, we moved on to the next activity: beaded pipe cleaner ornaments. These were a hit last year, so Bridget brought them back again. We made candy canes, and Riley actually made two!

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Kelli brought the final activity: painting plaster ornaments. Riley had firmly parked himself in Nathan’s room in front of a bucket of Legos, so I didn’t make him paint. All of the other kids did, though.

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The kids ate a hot dog dinner and then ran off some of the energy from all the candy they ate. Just before we left, I had the seven of them pile onto a couch so I could get a group picture. Love the series of shots I got. These kids are so kooky, and I love that.

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Thanks so very much for hosting us, Karen!

The next day we finally had Claire and Alcee over to our house for Riley’s second kids’ party of the season. I picked up some fun peppermint patterned plates, put together little Christmas favors for the kids, and made a fun and festive snack for them to have after school.

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Dana and Diana also brought little gifts for the kids. Riley was most excited about the bubble bath ornaments, but I thought the reindeer and snowman hats were adorable.

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The five kids ran around, played, watched Frozen, ate some dinner, and generally had a grand time together for almost three hours, while Diana, Dana, and I stood in the kitchen, eating and drinking and chatting. It was a great night.

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I’m so glad we have gotten to know these two families. I’m hopeful that we will all remain friends for many years to come and that the Three Musketeers will have many more adventures together. 

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I’m thankful we have had so many fun things to do lately. It’s exhausting sometimes but it’s worth it to see the wonder in my two boys’ eyes. I hope they have enjoyed everything we’ve done.

And we’re not finished yet: Riley’s last day of school in 2014 is tomorrow, and I know he’s excited about that. Then there’s a special Christmas lunch on Friday, celebrating with Nopsi’s family on Saturday, caroling in Jackson Square on Sunday night, and of course Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Let the good {holiday} times keep on rolling!

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