Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas

Man, you wouldn't know that this season isn't all about getting gifts. We're just about gifted out. The gift exchanges started last Thursday when we exchanged gifts with Nana and PawPaw. Then on Saturday we packed up and headed north (the kids traveled very well). We stopped about half-way to exchange gifts with family in Springdale. We then loaded back up and finally made it to KC. Then today we determined that we were apparently on Santa's VERY good list as the living room filled up with gifts.

We all received everything we needed and more. Eli now has 3 sets of binoculars. PawPaw put a set in his stocking. A set came with the magazine subscription mom and dad got him. And the third came from Uncle Ben in his explorer kit.

It's hard to tell what Eli's favorite gift is. Oma and Opa got him a bouncy ball with a handle on it that he can hop around the basement on. Grandma Nickum got him a bicycle. Santa brought him a remote control car......

Emily's somewhat overwhelmed. Uncle Ben may win the prize with a musical octopus. Emily likes it and so do mom and dad (it's quiet). Aunt Erin gave her a bathtub zylaphone and drum set. She LOVES the drum stick, it's perfect to chew on.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the holidays. Opa and I were quite click happy with the cameras. Between the two of us we took about 160 pictures over the course of the day.

Grandma delivered the rest of Eli's birthday present when we arrived

Uncle Ben tried to tune Emily's bathtub zylaphone. It's missing a B bar and its WAY out of tune. Oh well it'll work

Eli and Oma made a gingerbread house

Emily loves chewing on the drumstick

Oma and Opa acquired an exersaucer in the form of a car. Emily enjoyed it. Notice we've started her early on the phone.

First we opened stockings, Eli found that Santa brought him blueberries again

And brought Emily a sweet-potato

Santa brought Eli a radio controlled car

And he brought Emily a pair of Mary Janes

Eli taking his new bike for a spin

Emily enjoyed the decorations as much as the gifts

Eli playing on his hop ball

A very happy Emily

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Letter

Seasons greetings to all!

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health and good spirits. Our family was blessed this year with the birth of Emily on May 16th. She’s had an exciting 7 months of life. She loves to sit up, giggles at her brother, and chews on everything. She’s not a big fan of baby food, but she loves Cheerios.

Eli started preschool two mornings a week at our church. His favorite things are painting and driving the toy police car. He’s also been going to Sunday school on his own this year since Alicia and Sam have been busy teaching elementary Sunday school and getting Emily home for a nap. (She’s made it clear that she has no intention of taking a nap in the nursery.) He turned four earlier this month and was excited to have a birthday party with his best friend from our street and his new friends from school. He wanted an art party, so the kids painted, sculpted, and decorated everything, including the cake.

We’ve had to start a banned book list in our house. It currently includes anything about Curious George. Apparently, George’s antics are irresistible to a 3 year old. Alicia went to check on Eli in the bathroom one evening and found him sitting naked in the sink slathered in toothpaste from head to toe. We had recently read about George making toothpaste pictures for the man with the yellow hat.

Eli enjoys using his tools to take things apart to discover how they work. He’s not so good at putting them back together though. Fortunately, Alicia’s around to help with that part. We had him take a tape measure to the Christmas tree farm this year. We discovered last year that they all look so small in the field. Our eyes were bigger than our living room.

Sam continues to work at Euronet Worldwide, where he was recently promoted to a senior programmer analyst. As he likes to say, same job, same desk, new title. He didn’t manage to travel to any exotic locations this year. His only trip was to scenic Rochester, Minnesota for a question and answer session with IBM.

Alicia still enjoys being a stay-at-home mom, though Sam questions her sanity on occasion. She even survived 4 days alone with the kids when Sam went on his business trip. In June, her duties as treasurer of the Little Rock MOM’S Club ended and she chose not to seek another term. She likes to work in the garden and scrapbook in her spare time, which is currently somewhat limited.

Sam, Alica, Eli, and Emily

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Finally, some pictures

Finally, I got around to putting pictures up. I love Google's new blogger picture upload thing. It handles rotating them for me. Anyway, here's the pics I promised.

First we have the preschool Christmas program. We'll play a little "where's waldo". Can you find Eli? Once you think you have look at the 2nd picture, he's circled.

She's a gift!

With Santa

Yum bananna

And now some rice cake.

Kids in front of the fire

Took 2 days of trying but we finally got the result we were looking for

Emily playing with a lamb. Eli took it from her shortly thereafter, she wasn't so pleased.

Hey, I'm 7 months old!!!

Eli helped me with the leaves (no he didn't get to use the leaf blower).

She enjoys the green fish too

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh me oh my

Yikes, realized I haven't posted anything in almost a month. Sorry, busy times. No pics tonight, I'll try to put some up soon.

So what all has happened since I last posted. We had Thanksgiving, we cut and decorated a Christmas tree, decorated the house, etc. We had Eli's birthday parties (yes that is a plural). First with his friends Rachel and Alex, then with Nana and PawPaw. We've had cake for an army. We helped decorate the church for Christmas.

So Emily has decided that she's not a big fan of baby food, she wants to jump straight to the good stuff. Couple of days ago, OK, more like a week and a half she was eying the Cheerios box while Eli was eating breakfast. Reaching for it reportedly (sorry, I was at work). Anyway, Alicia decided what the heck. She gave her a Cheerio. Emily gummed the heck out of it and yelled for more. So, who needs a spoon, we feed her via Cheerios.

She has also gnawed on a hunk of banana, a chunk of a sweet potato (cooked of course), and today a rice cake.

Speaking of rice cakes. It's funny how much is implied by the title. Eli was elated to be able to eat some rice cake during his snack. He thinks its really cake.

Anyway, that somewhat catches everyone up on our busy life. Pictures to follow soon I hope.