Christmas Personalities

From Dec 17 – 20…..

These two cracking themselves up while seeing if they can have apple slice mouths.  And mostly Olli is just hoping something lands on the floor for him to eat.


It’s sad how Abbi just has zero personality.


I think if this was cheaper we would have bought it!


Brent and I had some extra time off left we needed to take, so we took a day off and headed out to wrap up the rest of our holiday shopping.  We got the rest of what we needed for the kids, had lunch at a Mexican restaurant, relaxed a little at home, and then both went to Abbi’s Christmas party.  She thought it was the coolest thing ever that we both came, since typically only one of us (or neither) come.  The preschool parties are…..basically just a snack.  They don’t play games or really do anything, so most of the time we don’t attend.  Her teachers did a great job with their Grinch theme and everything looked cute.


There’s 19 kids in her class and they all enjoyed their fun Grinch themed snacks while the movie played in the background.  Abbi has 3 teachers and she really likes all of them.


Abbi loved the punch – I tried a little and it was great! One of her teachers is very artsy and creative and does a great job with the decor and their crafts.


After we got home we headed out to do a little shopping for their teachers.  Paper Source was a big hit with them, it’s such a cute store.


We also went to the library for their Finals week festivities.  They were having pizza and all kinds of things for the older kids to help celebrate finals week and help them relax.  They had a “puppy” event where they brought in dogs for the teens to play with and help as a study break.  I think Lilli had envisioned a room with hundreds of puppies just running free, so she was a little disappointed to see 3 dogs on leashes you could pet.


I had told her she could invite a friend home from their half day of school to play with while I worked.  She invited her friend Emerson and that week they worked on a to-do list to make sure they squeezed as much fun as possible in before the end of the day.


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May the Force Be With You

From Dec 11 – 16…..

Not a lot of exciting pictures from this part of December.   Abbi got over her stomach bug and was able to go back to school.  Lilli had a ton of projects, tests, and assignments due during her last few days.  They had to do a book presentation, time line, and costume of a biography chapter book.  She picked Abigail Adams and we all learned a lot about one of the former first ladies and one of the first feminists.  She ended up wearing my same old Easter dress – it’s come in quite handy for all her “old time” dress up days at school.  Sadly I’m not entirely sure I grew up in the “old times”.


Abbi helped make some cookies for her teachers at school.


Just a regular library visit with Miss Fancy pants.  The stroller actually comes in handy at the library for helping us cart books.  When it isn’t full of multiple babies.  She wants to have one baby and one boy when she grows up.  The concept that babies don’t always stay babies is still lost on her.


The new Star Wars came out so we had to go out and see it opening weekend.  We dropped the little sisters off at Parents Night Out at LIS so we could triple date again.


Of course the three of us had to dress us! I got a new Carrie Fisher shirt for myself since this would sadly be her last time to be Leia.


Of course Lilli had to do lots of cute and fancy posing afterwards.  She really liked the movie.  Brent and I thought it started slow but then picked up the last half.  The theater was so crowded and they now do assigned seats.  That part was nice because we were running late getting through concessions after the girls got dropped off, but on the flip side I was stuck next to a really strange guy who brought in a burger and chomped ice the entire time.  Last year I went to a total of two movies, and that’s pretty much why.


Lilli and Serif.  I think he was less than impressed with her fancy moves.


The move crew! I’m sure we’ll do it all again when the new one comes out in May! It took about 10 shots to get this since Lilli kept doing peace signs and all kinds of other random gestures.


Did the little sisters miss us a bit or feel bad they didn’t get to go to the movies? Um, no.  I think they had plenty of fun on their own.


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Unexpected Date

From December 6-10…..

For a few days Abbi had been complaining of her stomach hurting.  We really thought maybe she was just constipated, and it seemed to come and go – mostly coming when she didn’t want to do something and going when she did want to do something.

On this particular day, I got a call near the end of the day that she was complaining of her stomach really hurting.  Brent was already on his way and I had just left work, too.  When he got to her she kept saying she was going to throw up and we were trying to figure out what was going on.   All of this was about 15 minutes before our babysitter was coming for our Date Night to go see a holiday show at the Symphony.


She was standing over the toilet when Miss Chelsey got to our house, so she went upstairs to visit with Lilli while we decided what to do.  Abbi promptly fell asleep in the floor, then threw up, then went back to sleep.  We were all sad – as Chelsey left Abbi asked why she was leaving.  Lilli was upset because she loves to spend time with Chelsey, and then of course Brent and I weren’t too thrilled to have our night out rearranged.

So, Lilli became my date for Jennifer Nettles holiday show at the Symphony.  Instead of a nice dinner out, we ate fish sticks at home before heading downtown.


I didn’t expect I’d be taller than my date that night.


I had gotten Brent and I really nice seats at the front of the middle section for the show.  We’re not huge Jennifer Nettles fans, but we have always enjoyed trying different holiday shows around town and had hoped she might bring some special guests.


I had thought it would be all holiday songs, but she mixed her hits with Sugarland’s hits and also some holiday songs.  I felt bad for Lilli because she had no idea who this lady was and this will go down as her first real concert.


Overall it was a good show, but I don’t think I’d see it again.  She’s a good singer but it was so few holiday songs that it didn’t seem like a Christmas show.


One last shot with my date.


Brent stayed home with Abbi the next day.  She woke up saying she felt good and it was Nacho day at school so they surprised Lilli to have lunch with her.


Lilli picked Katelyn to eat with her.


And then while they were eating she started feeling bad again.  Brent took her to the doctor and she tested negative for flu and strep, and they said it would just be a virus for a few days.


I stayed home with her on Friday.  She woke up early and then went right back to sleep.


And I spent most of the day working like this.


The next day I went and got my hair cut and color updated.  It felt great to get out of the sick house and get spruced up!


That night was luminary night in Brentwood.  It was so cold and windy they kept blowing out and over, including one of our neighbors across the street having one catch on fire!  We went out to look at lights later that night but Abbi was in a bad mood and kept telling us she wanted to throw up so we would go home.  A nice, fun night of holiday lights just wasn’t in our cards that night!


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Brentwood Traditions

From Dec 3 – 5….

Abbi has discovered tights through her ballet class that she started taking last fall – and surprisingly she LOVES tights.  I am constantly having to tell her that tights are not pants.  It’s a battle we fight multiple times per week.


A pretty Sunday afternoon in December is the PERFECT time for practicing our archery.  I miss weather like this!! It’s been a long winter since we’ve gotten to practice.


Abbi loves to wear ballet things all the time.  Bike riding in a tutu and tights? Why not?


The State tree all decorated for Christmas.  It was so nice having a view of the tree the entire holiday season.


We went to the annual Brentwood tree lighting and made sure to get tickets for the Polar Express reading again.  Several of Lilli’s friends were able to get tickets for the same reading so she sat with them.  It’s become a fun tradition to watch the tree being lit, eat some cookies, and then listen to the Conductor read the Polar Express.


Thankfully she can still hear the bell, at least for this year.


Afterwards we went back out to look at the tree – it’s a lot easier to do when the crowd has thinned out!


Family tree photo for 2017!


It was Awards night at gymnastics when the girls get their medals for the semester to reward their hard work.  Lilli got her Intermediate Cheer and Tumble medal.


I have no idea how many medals she has! She’s been going there since Abbi was a newborn!  She’s done Pre-Rec, Advanced Pre-Rec, Shining Stars, Beginning Cheer and now Intermediate Cheer.  She also did the Ninja class for a while, too.


And Abbi – she wanted to wear her ballet outfit, of course.


And you also get trophies for the number of years you’ve been there, so Lilli added some trophies for years of service to her collection, too.


Lilli with ALL her gymnastics medals.  The girl has cleaned house over the years between her participation medals each semester and also the ones from competitions.  I told her I’d get her a shelf for the trophies to add in the gym, too.  And Abbi does have several medals of her own now so we need to add a rod for her and frame one of her gymnastics pictures, too.  Both girls really enjoy gymnastics and the programs offered at LIS, so as long as they like it and we can get their classes at roughly the same time we’ll keep it up.


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The Busiest Day of the Year, Part 2

From Dec 2-

After a quick lunch at home we got back in the car and headed downtown for our afternoon Symphony tickets.  It was such a pretty day in Nashville.  We parked over in the Titans lot and walked across the pedestrian bridge.


We were a bit early in case we ran into parking issues so we had plenty of time to stop on the bridge and enjoy the sights.  It was such a nice December day that there were musicians on the bridge and plenty of people out sightseeing.


And just the two of us.


The Hintons weren’t too far behind us and met up in the lobby where a high school chorus was singing Christmas carols.  We weren’t able to get seats in the same row, but we had gotten seats right in front of each other.  The kids ended up sitting in front of us 4 adults, and Evie sat in Wendy’s lap.

The show was Cirque at the Symphony.  It combined the symphony with a variety of performances.  Some were ariel ropes, some were magic, others were feats of strength – a wide variety of somewhat traditional circus type acts.  Our favorites were always the ariel ropes.


The guy in the spinning circle was also really cool.


At intermission we went outside to stretch out legs.  Abbi had already gotten impatient and was sitting in my lap.  It’s questionable how much she really enjoyed it.


After intermission we made some seating swaps.  Brent and Abbi swapped, and Zach and Wendy swapped so he could see better.  These two girls were just there to have  a good time and catch up!


My seating buddy.  I use the word “seated” loosely.  I spent most of the second half pulling her back into that seat.


All of the lights and Christmas decor was so pretty.


More ariel tricks….


Overall it was a pretty good show but I’m not sure it’s one I’d see again.  I think next year we’d pick something different for our Christmas kids outing that might keep their attention more.  I think they had just as much fun walking back over the bridge as they did in the show.


Selfie for 9! We all made it – barely! I think Evie and Abbi were happy just to be included in an outing.  But they’ll be sitting Wicked out in April when we all go see that show at TPAC!


Picking their next classy outing.


We headed straight from there to pick up Lilli’s sleeping bag for a slumber party at one of her best friend’s house.  I figured she wouldn’t be a problem getting to sleep that night as busy as we’d been!


So Abbi had an evening with us all to herself.


Of course after some burritos we went to her favorite spot – Krispy Kreme!


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The Busiest Day of the Year, Part 1

From Dec 1 – 2…..

Abbi made this cute reindeer in class.  I thought it turned out so cute and very abstract artsy.  Her artistic skills have come a long way in Pre-K this year.


Flower was sneaky and took Lilli’s phone one night and snapped some selfies with Olli.  Lilli is so smart she looked and saw that Flower’s hands were in her lap so she thinks another elf was with her that night to take the picture.  She also saw that the pictures were taken at 10:29 pm  so she figured out that’s when she must come every night, right after Brent and I usually go to bed.


My coach was napping on the job Saturday morning.


We always have one Saturday of the year that is just insane beyond all control.  That happened to us Dec 2nd this year.  It seems everyone plans all the special holiday activities on that first Saturday of the month.  We’re getting better about saying No when things just don’t make sense or mean we’ll end the weekend ragged, but this one particular Saturday every year ends up being a sprint no matter what.  This year we did skip the Breakfast at Bethlehem at our church because it conflicted with our Library tickets and also a birthday party of one of Abbi’s good friends because it was right in the middle of it all, too.

We’ve been to our Morning with Santa at our wonderful library every year since we moved out here.  Because we had afternoon Symphony tickets we got early Magic show tickets and went to see Santa soon after it opened.  The line was pretty long and the closer we got the more upset Abbi got.  By the time it was our turn she was a mess and said she didn’t want to see Santa.  Lilli said she didn’t want to sit in his lap but they told her to anyway.  It’s not a great looking Santa or a good looking set up, but it’s free and who would pay for this:


That’s as close as Abbi would get to him.  She was already crying, and as we were trying to calm her down and as I was trying to talk her into getting closer and trying NOT to be in yet another Santa pic with them we noticed Lilli was pulling her hair.  Yup.  Obviously that made the situation better.


We called her out on it because OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE PULLING HER HAIR IN FRONT OF SANTA and she thought it was hilarious.  Abbi did not.  And this is the best picture we got.  Definitely not a Christmas card shot this year.


We moved on and they wrote their letters to Santa, Lilli asking for her American Girl things and Abbi drew a picture of the double stroller she wanted from American Girl.


Lilli wanted her face painted by the high school girls and Abbi chose to watch.


And of course one of the best parts – cookies! Afterwards they had a little time to play in the library before the magic show and starting to run into several friends who had tickets at the same time.


We’ve been to the magic show every year as well and even though some of the tricks are the same it’s so fun to watch.  He’s a great magician and he works in lots of other good “kindness” type messages for the season.  And every year there’s plenty of new tricks, too.


Our favorite is always the “don’t lick the candy cane – you don’t know where it’s been”  bit where the candy cane ends up being a toilet plunger.  That’s a sentence that ends up being repeated in this house year round when someone has a hard time listening and doing what they’re asked.


Afterwards we bought one of his new magic wands he was selling and posed for one last painful looking picture before heading home for a very quick bite of lunch and heading downtown for an afternoon at the Symphony!


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November Wrap Up

From November 25 – 30….

Squirrels have become Olli’s greatest obsession.  He can literally sit at the foot of the tree all day and wait for the squirrels to come and go.  As soon as the sun is up he’s waiting by the back door to run out and chase any who are on the ground looking for food.  He gets really, really close but so far hasn’t caught one (that we know of.)


We started decorating for Christmas! It takes a solid day to get it all out and down.  It’s quite the project.


We put our big tree up in the bonus room this year.  It’s just so big for the living room and we enjoy it more upstairs anyway.  I really liked having it up there and getting to enjoy it more as we play in the evening.


Their posing game is pretty strong…..


Even better when we all have our dog sweaters on and find a new matching inflatable! Thanks Walmart!


Eating by the fire at Wendy’s is their favorite thing to do.


Our elf, Flower, returned for the Christmas season! She brought some candy and Home Alone 2.


When I work from home Olli is always nearby.


Lilli writes the sweetest notes to Flower.  She was just dying for her to move this year.  Some of her friends claim they’ve seen their elf move.


Breakfast for dinner night – Lilli wanted to cook the pancakes.  Obviously she took her job very seriously and did a great job with it!


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