After getting ahold of the kids' crayon/colored pencil box, Keeley was sporting a pretty sweet fu manchu.
I love that chubby faced little grin!
Occasionally Keely likes to sit in her swing. Not often though. And if she is digging it, never make the mistake of getting her out of the swing before she is actually crying. Or you'll all be sad and mad.
I am going to miss these little gummy smiles, since Keeley's first tooth just popped through a couple days ago.
Isaac and Finley writing letters to Andrew and Emily. In fact, I believe this actually occured just moments before Keeley got ahold of the very pencils in their hands...
Besides holding a pencil, Isaac is also holding not one, but two ipods. Because you never know when one might run out of batteries.
We decorated our tree the Monday after Thanksgiving. I love having Christmas decorations out--this is just such a fun time of year. Our tree looks a little bit silly this year. The bottom of the tree is pretty bare, and then there are places like the ones in the above picture that have multiple ornaments adorning a single branch. Isaac apparently did it on purpose--he wanted all of his ornaments together. It seems like most years, I take a picture of the kids holding up their favorite ornament. I really have no idea why Isaac was making such a silly face, but when I showed him this picture today he laughed his head off and told me to put it on the blog. So here it is.
I had been planning on using this one--much more better, I think. Sareny got Belle for Christmas when she was two, Isaac's Godzilla was his ornament from last year (2011), and Finley picked out Minnie Mouse as her souvenier at Disneyland in October 2011.
Daddy lifted Sareny up to put the star on. It makes me a little sad that Daddy won't be able to lift his little girl up like this for much longer.
We were so excited to finally ride the Polar Express this year! The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we headed off on our adventure. Everyone is supposed to wear pajamas--here we are in front of the engine that looks just like the one in the book and movie. Here is Grammy and the kids in front of the cute ticket booths.
We were all so excited!
The train conductors were called chefs. Here is one of them taking our tickets as we boarded.
Half of the group on one side of the train.
The other half of the group.
Later we figured out how to turn our seats so we could face each other. Not a lot of leg room, but more fun. The cute girls--Fin and KeeKee had matching Minnie Mouse pajamas, and Sareny had Smurfette jammies. While on the train, we had cocoa and cookies and visited the North Pole. On the way back we sang Christmas carols, which was my favorited part.
Isaac, who was wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, spotted a visitor to our train.
It was Santa Claus! He gave everyone on board their own special Polar Express Bell.
The girls tested their bells out to see if they could hear them.
Keeley decided a more thorough investigation was required, and utilized more of her senses to test out the bells.
I told that side of the train to smile at the camera, and just as I went to take the picture, KeeKee lunged for Bampa's glasses. Grammy Jo obviously feared a repeat of the event that has gone down in infamy, wherein baby Sareny scratched Bampa's glasses.
I don't remember what they told us to say, but whatever it was, Finley said it really loud.
Sareny always wants to hold her sissie.
And a parting shot of us by the giant engine again. We had such a great time on the Polar Express and would love to ride it again next year. The only downside of this trip was, because we bought our tickets last minute, we had to ride the train in the afternoon while it was still light, and there was no snow when we got to the North Pole!
We had a great Thanksgiving, although I think by the end of the day, we were all exhausted and just collapsed into bed. That morning, Keith and my dad went golfing and Lexi was at the Knight's house. This meant it was just me and my mom with Thanksgiving dinner to prepare and a houseful of small children, one of them being Keeley. So basically, only one of us could be doing anything productive at any one time while the other one took care of the baby.
Even though we had done quite a bit of preparation the day before, we could have used a couple more hands--someone to come behind us and clean up, for example, would have been nice. ;) It was not easy getting dinner on the table, and in fact we ate more than an hour later than we had planned--but it turned out really nice anyway. You can see in the above picture how beautiful the rolls turned out, but they were very nearly a fiasco. They had risen too much, and then fell so they were flat as pancakes. I just could not see how we could serve them, so we rolled them out again and hoped they would be able to rise enough in a very short time--somehow they turned out perfect! My dad came home from golfing and fried not one, but two turkeys, and they were super yummy!
Later on, we checked out the shopping ads while Keeley showed everyone what a big girl she was, pulling herself up to standing.
Then the kids put on a little Thanksgiving play they had prepared. First was the musical score.
Then the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Grammy Jo had brought the pilgrim people as a little craft for the kids to do, and then they made the boats and props for the play.
Sometimes the performers were visible.
Sareny constructed the boats so they would hold the people in them.
It was a pretty cute production.
The proud performers!
After the play, me, Keith, Lexi, and my mom headed off to Walmart and Target for some Christmas shopping. Bampa was super nice and stayed home with all of the kids so we could go. It may be over-commercial of me, but I do enjoy black friday shopping. It was a crazy fun adventure. Especially if you ventured near the movie bins at Walmart.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year and Grammy Jo and Bampa came down for the festivities. Wednesday evening, they went with us to see zoolights, which are always so fun.
This year, the zoo handed out these special glasses to view the lights through. Kind of a cool idea, but really the lights looked better without the them. Isaac and Finley sure loved them, though!
You may notice in these pictures that some of us are wearing shorts. It was a really warm November! We threw on some jackets for good measure so we could feel wintery, but they weren't really necessary.
A family photo. Keeley was being a good girl in her stroller, so we weren't too anxious to disturb her by getting her out for every photo-op.
Daddy and his boy.
We spotted this unicorn, so we took the girls over for a picture. Isaac ran over to be in it too. :)
The best part of the experience--the avenue of dancing trees. They changed it this year so that instead of sitting with your backs to the lake, you are looking out over the lake and some of the far trees participated as well.
We took a picture of Finley sitting on Keith's shoulders eating cotton candy last year, so when the event duplicated itself, I thought it needed another picture.
Mommy and Sareny. Love my biggest girl!
Grammy and KeeKee. The camera puts a green light on your face right before it takes a picture, which KeeKee didn't like, so it was hard to get her looking right at the camera.
Scott was able to meet us at the zoo near the end of our visit. We repeated some of the lights with him, which I thought they were just as cool the second time around. Isaac sure loves Scott!
And Sareny sure loves her tia Lexi.
These two love each other as well! I do like how sweet they look in this picture.
My mom and dad.
Bampa and LeeLee in front of the giant blue tree at the entryway of the zoo.
A family photo out front at the zoo. Not the greatest shot, but nice that it has zoolights in the background. And probably more representative of our real life!
Grammy Jo and Bampa. So glad they could come share in this fun tradition with us! We love going to zoo lights, and it was even more fun with family.
I stay at home with 4 beautiful children--3 girls and 1 boy. Sareny is 9, Isaac is 6, Finley is 4, and baby Keeley is one! I've been married to my best friend for 15 years now, and we're still happy. Life is beautiful!