Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years and Christmas in Amarillo

What a blessing it is to have in laws you actually like! Jerrod's family is fun to hang out with so New Year's and Christmas with them was no different. The kids must have asked over a million (no, trillion) times to open presents after we landed in Amarillo so we made a b line to the house, ate dinner and got right to the good stuff. Again, no one was let down... Blessings abound!! Here are a few pictures of the mess that we made: After we opened presents, we all tried to make it to midnight as a family. We lost Teague first and then, it was Bailey. Emma followed behind shortly and that left all the adults and Jackson. He thought it was super cool to sip sparkling apple juice with all of us out of plastic champagne glasses (thanks Jerrod for picking up the sparkling juice, champagne and cool glasses!) and even cooler when everyone started going around saying, "cheers!" and tipping their glass. You could tell from his face- he felt so priveledged!! haha It was the first thing he told the girls when he woke up the next morning. What a memory!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Jerrod's fun tonight....or whatever!!

When Jerrod checked into his hotel today in Miami, they asked if he wanted to upgrade to a room with a jacuzzi (no charge) so he agreed thinking, "sweet"!! He had no idea he would step into it when he got out of bed. He was rolling laughing when he called me to tell me about it so I told him to snap a picture so I could get a good visual. Seriously? What were they thinking??? Sorry for the poor picture quality- but you get the drift...

One gone (well, two)...means some fun to be had!

Jerrod ventured to Miami today for business and so it goes that Emma and Jackson end up in my room to sleep. With Bailey sleeping at a friends house, they had a bright idea to make a tent using umbrellas. What I would give to be 4 and 7 again!! Makes you want to crawl in and join them, HUH??

This will make you feel really old...

Hot Wheels. You know you remember!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our NEW family Christmas tradition

We had a ball hanging out together as a family at the Houstonian. We took lots of naps, went to the movies to see "Bedtime Stories" with Adam Sandler, watched lots of TV in the room and even went swimming in the hotels three (heated) pools.

When we got to the hotel on Christmas
day, the hotel was beautifully decorated with a humongous Christmas tree and the hotel even had a train that went around the top of the doubled sided fireplace found in the center of the lobby sitting area. It was fun to watch it go by and everyone visiting the hotel was busy taking pictures in front of the Christmas tree- we got a family picture too and then headed to the brunch.
The food was amazing...and it should be. The Christmas brunch runs $62.50 adult and $25.50 for children ages 5-12 (4 and under eat free). The hotel shuffles people through the brunch for 4 hours (11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) and they have it perfectly orchestrated since reservations are required. We had fun taking turns to go back to get more and if the kids didn't like what they had chosen- there were no hurt feelings or frustrations from Mommy. I would just say, "Go get something else- you can get whatever you like"!! For the record, the turkey, squash casserole, cornbread dressing, and mashed potatoes were the BOMB! There was so much to choose from that I am certain anyone could have found their favorites! Delish...and so filling! And Teague concentrated very intently on getting his blueberries onto a fork and into his mouth which allowed us plenty of time to enjoy the fixins'!!
We went straight back to the room and had to all take a nap. Later that evening, we went to see "Bedtime Stories" at the movie theater. We were so excited that the movie was good since some of the best previews for funny movies end up being just that...the best previews. This one, I can recommend. It was cute!
The next day we woke up and went to eat breakfast and took some time to walk the property of the hotel. You would never know you were in Houston surrounded by skyscrapers and tall business buildings when you are there. It is serene and a great hotel with superb service. I told Jerrod that we didn't have to get on a plane to get "away" ever again. I would be just as happy at the Houstonian spending my days relaxing in a quiet room (or quiet hot tub) surrounded by lush landscaping!
We took TONS of pictures laughing hysterically at one another over the last two days since Bailey got a camera for Christmas. She has really taken to photography and will be a big help when I need a camera around- and I noticed another thing...I just may make it in some pictures now since I won't be taking them all!! We took them outside the hotel with the statues, eating breakfast together, at dinner last night and of course, goofing off in the hotel room and swimming at the pool. It was also fun to ride through River Oaks and look at their amazing Christmas decorations last night. WOW!
I really hope this is something that we can do again in the future. It was a lot of fun spending undivided time with each other and just relaxing doing NOTHING but spending time together. Jerrod and I even looked at each other a couple of times and asked, "is it only 11:oo a.m.? and what do you want to do now?". We just don't say those kinds of things to each other at home. There is always something to do here- there is always laundry to be done, dishes to do, meals to make, and distractions to keep us from spending time together. With this many kids, we have to make a commitment to spend time together and this experience allowed us the opportunity to do it. I will never forget these last two days and the fun we had as a family together. I am glad we left our gifts at home (well, most of them), chores at home and stopped to enjoy one another. It was a real treat for our family-it was pricey, I know, but really just PRICELESS...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Christmas 2008 was as memorable as we expected it to be! Jerrod and I were still dead asleep when we were awoken by Bailey screaming that she had gotten her bike and camera. I thought the house was on fire or something- the way she was screaming!! We had told them to stay upstairs until we could get ready and grab the camcorder to take pictures of them coming down the stairs to see their gifts. It didn't happen the way we wanted but we all survived. I had to go and wake up Teague and he was quite confused. (It is usually the other way around- him waking us up- so it was nice to give him a taste of his own medicine. Hehe) But we really did make them all go back upstairs so we would have the perfect picture and video. They started singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus which made us super happy. We did talk a LOT about the reason for the season this year and they GOT IT!! Of course, they all came back down stairs running and we were very excited to find their "wishes" had come true.

Bailey got her pink Schwinn bike, a red camera, and a DS game. Emma got a ihome, an ipod, a bike and a magic set and Jackson got a screaming HULK, new nintendo DS (remember how he lost his?), a light saber and a DS game. Teague got a Little People race track and some tub toys. Santa also pulled through and left a few toys for the family to enjoy together. He left us an electric KEYBOARD! Do I see piano lessons in our future??! What fun!!
I made a photo book for each of the kids of pictures of them throughout the year. They had fun looking through them and noticing how much they have changed!!
After we opened gifts, we enjoyed the Hill's Christmas bread. Teague took a nap while we got our bags packed for our newest Christmas tradition...a visit to a local hotel for a Christmas brunch. Jerrod's friend Jeff gave us the idea when he told Jerrod how he and his family spend Thanksgiving at the Doubletree on Post Oak (they live in the Woodlands) and have lunch and spend time at the hotel as a family. Because they are in the heart of the shopping in Houston, they can go to the Galleria and they even get to see the Christmas tree lighting on Post Oak from their hotel room. We thought, "We should do something like this for Christmas!!". We made reservations at the Houstonian and enjoyed the Christmas brunch as a family and planned to relax as a family in the hotel room for two days doing whatever it was that we wanted!! More on that to come in another blog...

Olivia Claire Moore

She is here!! We were blessed with another neice/cousin to add to our family fun. Carey delivered Olivia Claire Moore at 7:14 p.m. in Amarillo, TX on December 23, 2008. Olivia came out beautiful at 7 lbs. 14 oz. and a healthy eater! Word is that she doesn't make a peep and sleeps a lot. Since this is Carey and Todd's first, they are learning the joys of caring for her and trying to find some sleep.

I must say, I am so impressed with Carey and Todd already. Carey took the advice from Jerrod about taking the nurses up on keeping her at night so that her and Todd could get some sleep- I really didn't think she would do it since it's her first, but she did! She said it was nice to get sleep and rest and when Olivia was hungry they brought her promptly to Carey! I think that's the way it should be- it really is the last time you get to have some help during the middle of the night. I actually interviewed the two hospitals where my doctor delivered when I had Teague. I didn't deliver at the hospital everyone recommended and probably my doctors preference because the nurse manager thought I was NUTS to ask them to help me in the middle of the night especially since I would be nursing. She even made me cry...meanie! I am so glad that Carey's time at the hospital with Olivia Claire was as great as we wanted it to be!

Anyway, Carey and Todd came home today...yes, on Christmas!! What a gift! She had a super cute pink and white little sweater outfit to bring that cutie home in, but when she came a few weeks early- Todd rushed out to pick up the Christmas outfit perfect for the ride home to meet her new world on Christmas day! We can't wait to get to Amarillo on the 31st to see the cutie pie. Here are a few pictures of her from the hospital.
She has already found her girl!!
Proud Mommy- doesn't Carey look great?!!
This is what a proud Daddy looks like. Todd, did you ever think you'd be called, "DADDY"??! Awesome, huh?

Guys, you did good!

Also, as I would expect from Carey, she has already had professional pictures taken of Olivia Claire. These are the first of many- Carey even has it already planned out. She pointed out the walls in the front room where her wedding pictures will come down and will be replaced with pictures of Olivia. It's amazing how that happens...huh??! Babies do it to us, everytime!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve in Texas City

Jerrod surprised me with a french door refrigerator today. Yes, he did...and it is awesome. I have been admiring them for months and he was sneaky and ordered it a while back and had it delivered this morning for my Christmas gift. Thank YOU Jerrod- thanks for being YOU!

Later on, we traveled to Texas City for church and to see family. The kids were super excited because it also meant that they got to open presents- the first presents of the season and they got to see their cousins, Keeton and Cassie.

We went to church but Teague had other plans. He made the family behind us CRAZY by climbing on top the chairs and getting up and down so Jerrod spent the rest of the time running the halls in the foyer of the church and I stayed back making sure the others at least sang the was really hard to focus on the true meaning of the season. Some day, some day.

Afterwards, we went to my Mom and Dads and had a ham dinner that was awesome and spent time with family- some we see only once a year. The Meyer family lives in Illinois but always makes the trip to Texas for the holidays so it is always good to see them and their kids and how they have changed over the year. They thought we were nuts to be discussing the small snow we received just recently since they have been inundated with snow over the last few days!! We reminisced and eventually opened presents. It is so fun to see the kids go crazy opening presents. I think Teague even figured it out...a little. He thought it was fun to stand on top of the presents and I had to get him started before he started to rip into his gifts. Of course, everyone was blessed with all that they wanted and MORE!We headed back to Sugar Land to make final preparations for Santa by putting out the milk and cookies (thank you Cindy for giving us the cookies to put out for Santa- we didn't get to make cookies this year because we just ran out of time) and sprinkling oatmeal on the lawn for the reindeers and lastly, checking on google earth to see where Santa was- he was in Florida around 10:00 p.m. so the kids panicked and just knew they had to get to sleep or he wouldn't leave them any presents. Bailey was in charge of course, and ordering everyone to bed immediately. Seriously, I thought she was going to have a heart attack- she was so worried they wouldn't be asleep by the time he got here! She is so INTENSE...I had to reassure her that it would all work out just fine. Of course, all 3 of them slept in the same room so that they could all wake up at the same time! They finally dozed off sometime around 10:30 p.m. What a day!