30 December 2010

White Elephant gone wrong

We've had a "tradition" for the last three years with some friends to do the dumbest white elephant possible. If you click on my friend Julianne's blog, you'll see what part of our contribution to the gift exchange was... (ours is beautifully modeled by Stephen) we also threw in some Freakin' Magical Unicorn Gum as well as some Bacon Lip Balm and Onion breath mints. Yum-O, right? BUT.... I do believe that I have not laughed at any gift as much as I laughed at the one I picked. My friend Ben was kind enough to do this for someone and lucky for me-- I won BIG time.

Yes, that's him giving my the classic thumbs up. I laughed until I cried. I also scored some meatball gum as well as an old Prince CD.

Here's to many more years of some GREAT memories at the White Elephant night.

14 December 2010

Building bears and visiting the man in the red suit

Before I could get to the mall, Laura took the kids so that Abigail could get a promised birthday present: Build-a-bear. Abigail had money left over from her grandparents to buy other birthday gifts for herself. Instead of buying other things, she went ahead and bought everyone of her siblings their own stuffed animal to build! All day, Abigail was very cognizant of her family, caring, and just a stand out day for Abigail's general attitude. What a great thing she did for her siblings.

We had a fabulous visit with Santa. Nearly every year, we've gone to the same mall (Valley Fair) to visit Santa. He was great this year. Collette beamed when she gave Santa her hand made heart card. Benjamin loved Santa and was excited to share his lap with Gabriel.

After a super time at Build-A-Bear and an exciting time with Santa, we headed over for some grub-- at the food court. The more children we have the more I actually enjoy a place where I don't mind if my kids get out of their seats and walk around and the people around us, generally, seem happy to smile at the 18 month old staring at their table of food. Sitting in restaurants with 4 kids is getting nearly impossible to do, much less enjoy. So, with 6 empty tummies we sat around eating pizza and just enjoying our families company. The whole night, which was mostly done as our FHE activity, was such a joy and fun had by all. All the kids were great and they were all so appreciative of the evening, well, maybe Gabe didn't vocalize it, but we know he had fun, too!

If not Hawaii, then Chuck E. Cheese

Night out with Benjamin, Laura asked him what he wanted to do. What else? He wanted to go to Hawaii. Why should Mom & Dad have all the fun. Laura explained that wasn't going to work for a night out. Benjamin, without missing a beat, said he wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese if Hawaii wasn't on the list.

We had a great time. Ben was excited to get his own personal pan pizza. I had a sandwich, and I don't recommend ever getting fries from there.

We had our picture hand drawn by Chuck himself: