December 31, 2012

New Years Eve

Monday was New Year’s Eve. Flame had decided to have a Lock-In for the gymnasts. Kaleaha has been bugging us to go for a few weeks and I’m just really not a fan of things like that. Ron and I talked it over and decided to let her try it. He agreed to go pick her up when it was over at 7:00 am. Mom and Aunt Jean had decided to go and visit a cousin that they had not seen in many years in Bartlesville, OK. They intended to just be gone a few hours and ended up being gone all day. On my way home from work I picked up Papa Murphy’s Pizza. I got Mini-Murph kits for the kids to make their own pizzas. They enjoyed doing that and watching them bake. Kaleaha ate and hurried Ron through his dinner so that she could get to the gym early. You would think she would get tired of that place, but I guess not. Krennan found the New Years hat that Ashley had gotten him and modeled it for me. After Ron and Sis left, little guy and I cuddled up and watched some cartoons. When Ron got home (with Sonic!!!) we put in a movie for Krennan. I LOVE cuddle time with my sweet little boy! He’s so precious. I miss cuddling with my sweet little girl; she seems to have outgrown most of that. It’s so sad when they grow up! Krennan fell asleep about 8:00 pm and Ron and I watched a grown up movie. (Quantum of Solace) After the movie, he ended up fixing the washer that has had a very loud noise for the last 2 weeks. It turned out to be a gold dollar that had fallen behind the basket. YAY! A quiet washer again, finally!! We toasted the New Year with Sparkling Cider and went to bed very shortly after that. I’m really looking forward to a better year in 2013. Somehow, I don’t think it can be much worse than this year has been for our family.

December 29, 2012

My Birthday

On Friday, I got all of the Christmas decorations boxed up except the tree. Everything except the ornaments put in the attic. LOVE IT when we get to put the house back in order. On Saturday, my birthday, our plan was to sleep in (8 for me, noon for Ron). I got up and hung out with the kiddos and fixed breakfast. Then Mom came over and we all got ready and headed for GiaComo’s. It’s our favorite place to eat and well worth the drive. Kaleaha and Krennan decided to be silly and used Ron as a jungle gym.

December 28, 2012

Our First Gingerbread House

When we were in Branson we bought a Gingerbread House kit to do on Christmas Eve. We got too busy on Christmas Eve to do it so it was a great Friday night project. Kaleaha got it all out and Krennan took direction pretty well.

December 27, 2012

Ridiculous Hair

I took the day after Christmas off this year and thought that we would have some family time at home, but NO! Ron had to work on Wednesday so that he could be off on Saturday for my birthday. The kids and I spent the day at home and we got most of the Christmas stuff played with and attempted to put the house back together. Back to work for me on Thursday. Took the Krenna to Kay’s while Kaleaha had gymnastics practice. They were pretty excited to get to get to hang out with Eli for the day. For Christmas, Santa had brought Kaleaha some hair coloring sticks. As she was getting ready for gymnastics, she decided to "fix" her hair with them. While I was taking Krennan inside I asked her to take a picture of her hair to share with Ron. She made him a video and took one picture of what she calls her ridiculous hair.

December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Christmas Day started early! Kaleaha gets up at the crack of dawn and today was no exception. She had already gone through her stocking and tried out her Santa toys before she came and woke us all up. Krennan didn’t take too long to jump into the whole gift thing. He loved his Santa gifts and they wanted to rip everything open immediately. Kaleaha played Santa reading the names on the gifts and Krennan was the elf passing the gifts around. We decided to encourage each child to mention something that they are grateful for as they opened their gift. Sometimes the answers were a little silly but most of the time they came up with something genuine. Such sweet little thoughts! After gifts, we got ready and went to Kay's for Christmas lunch. It was starting to snow and by the time that we left after lunch it was coming down like CRAZY! Krennan couldn't believe it! When we were trying to leave for home Kaleaha had to stop for a snow snack and now that Krennan was out in the snow he wasn't ready to leave! Daddy finally caught him!! Mom came over and hauled most of the ingredients for Christmas Dinner along with presents for our side of the family. We started cooking the turkey and making pies for Kay’s. Mom had done the cornbread the night before so all that we needed to do was put it all together. The pies were finished and Mom took them over to Kay’s. It was already starting to sleet and snow. Krennan was fascinated. We got to Kay’s and had a good non-traditional lunch. Her and Joe had decided to do ribs, pork loin and chicken. I was really glad that Mom was already planning a traditional dinner. I was starving! Eli didn’t get to come again this year. Joe was supposed to go pick him up later. After we opened presents and cleaned up, we went back to our house to finish cooking dinner. We had only been home about an hour when the power went out inside while Ron and the kids were playing outside in the snow. The power was off for about an hour so we finally decided to load everything back into the cars and head to Mom’s. She still had electricity. After loading up and moving across town we started cooking again. Matt and Mandy came over after their movie was over and we had a nice dinner and the kids exchanged gifts and played with their new toys. We eventually headed home with all their loot and put two very tired children to bed. It's hard work throwing snowballs!

December 24, 2012

Christmas weekend in Branson with the Family

December 21st – On Friday, I took a half day of vacation today and Mom and I and the kids left for Branson. Ron has to work today and tomorrow, so he’s coming up after that. We are meeting Matt, Mandy, Kadence and Kourtland at the Welk Resort. I’m not sure who’s more excited the kids or me. I really wish Ron was able to go with us early, but work calls! We got to Branson around 6:00ish and the kids were dying to hit the pool. We hadn’t eaten, so we grabbed some pizza really quickly and Matt and I took the four K’s to the Splash-A-Torium. It was a little chilly but we swam and hit the water slide. Kadence and Kourtland took Krennan down the slide while I waited at the bottom for Krennan. He wasn’t sure he liked it at first because he ended up coming down on his back, but after he got the hang of it he had a good time playing with the big kids. His favorite thing to do at the Welk is what I call the water table. It’s a series of tubs and platforms that will hold water or let it run through to the floor. He loves to put something in the top tub and watch it go through the other tubs and fall on the floor. Cracks him up! This time of year though it’s pretty cold because its right by the door that goes in and out. After the kids got tired of the water slide they hit the outside hot tub. They were gone for about 20 minutes or so, then they came back in for a little while where it was warmer than 20 degrees. We stayed until almost closing and then took the long freezing walk back across the parking lot to the hotel. BRRR! Saturday morning we got up and Matt and Mandy introduced us to the Uptown CafĂ©. We have passed that place a dozen times and never eaten there. I’m sure it will be a family favorite the next time we go. I was telling Ron about it and he was bummed that he missed it. Their breakfast buffet was awesome and they also do a Dinner Show featuring a George Strait tribute. We would love to see that. Maybe a grown up dinner on the next trip! Then we all headed to the outlet mall. Kaleaha pretty much abandoned us to go with Matt and Mandy and the boys. She loves thinking that she’s a big kid. So Mom and Krennan and I went to a couple of stores and then ended up running into the rest of the crew at the Coach Outlet Store. I’ve got a couple of supposedly real Coach purses, but I hadn’t ever been in the Coach store to buy a real one. Mandy said they were having a big sale and I had gotten a coupon by email for additional percentage off. I looked around and narrowed it down to a couple I liked and then finally settled on one while Mom stood in the super long line for Mandy and me. I ended up getting a silver on silver bag that I LOVE! Can’t wait to change purses and start carrying it! Krennan's reward for being good in a store is a ride... When Matt had originally talked to us about the trip he had mentioned that they were planning on going to Silver Dollar City. I knew that Kaleaha would want to go with them and we were not going to spend the money on tickets when we wouldn’t be able to go again any time soon. I decided that we would plan something for the same day that they were doing SDC so that she would have something to look forward to. I chose the magic show. Kaleaha and Ron and I had seen Kirby Van Burch a few years ago but Krennan had never been. We had tickets for 3:00 on Saturday. Krennan was mesmerized. We all had fun watching the show and the kids ended up with souvenir tigers and landing lights (think Star Wars type swords). Kaleaha named her tiger KieKie and Krennan named his Magic Show. The two new additions had to go everywhere with us for the rest of the day. Krennan even wanted to take Magic Show swimming. Luckily, I was able to persuade him to leave him in the room. We were expecting Ron to come up Saturday night, but he ended up being too tired to drive on those roads. He plans on coming up early on Sunday morning. Sunday morning, Ron got to the resort at about 10 am. Matt and Mandy wanted to go to Fuddruckers. We have passed it many times on our way in and out of Branson, but never stopped to eat. It was awesome! It’s a neat place. We ordered our food and then walked over to the tables where we passed the burger bars. Rows of lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, etc. On the other side was an array of mustard, ketchup, BBQ. Any type of sauce you could imagine. They also had an ice cream and cookie bar. They also had a mini arcade in the back. Our kind of place FOR SURE! I’m glad that Matt and Mandy were there since they introduced us to all these new places to eat! After lunch we headed to the Landing. That’s one of my favorite places to go in Branson. I love the shops and the atmosphere. It’s just a cool place to hang out. We used to eat at Macaroni Grill every time we were at the Landing but when we were there earlier this year they had closed down. Boo! The weather was beautiful and Kaleaha and Krennan had fun making wishes in the fountain. At Bass Pro Shop: At the Fountain:
The Hurricane Simulator:
Ron’s step-mom, Grandma Vicki, had sent Kaleaha and Krennan money for Christmas. We looked at some things that they could purchase that would be gifts from her and decided on Build-A-Bears. That wasn’t my first choice because Kaleaha already has a couple of them and she’s all about them for a little while then they just sit around. Krennan doesn’t really play with stuffed animals much. But today, Krennan finally settled on a monkey that makes a monkey sound and Kaleaha picked a confetti printed bear that giggles. They got to help stuff them and pick out a heart to make them “real”. They purchased brushes to keep them pretty and clean. Kaleaha’s came with a little purse type thing that smells like a sugar cookie. Krennan picked up a guitar for his monkey to play. The last step of the process is to create Birth Certificates for each animal. When we asked Krennan what he wanted to name his monkey he picked “Amusing Monkey”. Kaleaha picked “Cupcake” for her new friend because of the way she smells.
After we left Build-A-Bear, we ran into a guy that had the biggest dog I've ever seen. Krennan was fascinated.
Then Krennan introduced Ron to the dog.
As we were leaving Krennan thought he might be able to ride him home.
Now we have KieKie, Cupcake, Magic Show and Amusing Monkey added to our hotel room. It’s starting to get a little crowded in here. It seems like I'm forever trying to get a decent picture of Ron and me. It's almost impossible to do. I decided that since it was a beautiful day I would try to get one of us by the fountain. We had a couple of photo-jackers that made the process a little bit harder than it should have been.
One last stop in Bass Pro gave us more Christmas ideas... Krennan found an Elf friend and stopped to ask him if he knew our Elves, Kody and Kandie. We tried to get a family pic by the BPS fireplace, but a little bitty someone was not very cooperative. Santa, however, was gracious enough to take a break so that we could have a picture with all of us. After a little more shopping we left the landing and still had some time to kill before going to Dixie Stampede. Since Ron had not gone to the outlet mall with us yesterday he wanted to stop by there quickly before the show started. We stopped inside a couple of stores while Mom waited with the kids in the car then left to head to Dixie Stampede. We met up with Matt and Mandy and the boys and had pictures made and then got seated for the show. Krennan wanted to kill some time taking silly pictures while we were waiting on the show to start. Then when Ron wondered what we were doing, we were able to snap a quick picture. While we’ve been to Dixie Stampede several times before it’s still one of our all time places to go in Branson. It was extra fun to get to go with the whole family. Krennan was fascinated with the horses and the Nativity Show. Kaleaha was just excited to be hanging out with the big kids. After the show we headed back to the resort. Ron finally got to go swimming with the kids. They were ecstatic. I think the water might have been slightly warmer tonight too! I got a FaceBook message from a friend that gave us all our Elf Names. It was fun figuring everyone’s name out. We were cracking up. Monday morning we got up and got all of us dressed (which is a huge accomplishment), got both cars loaded back up and had breakfast at McDonalds. Matt and Mandy had already headed back home. Ron wanted to go back through the outlet mall for a couple of things so Mom followed us over there. Usually I would go with him and let Krennan just run outside but it was 22 degrees. So he and I sat in the car and watched movies. Mom sat with us for a little bit but finally decided to head back home too. She had some last minute shopping to do. Kaleaha had gone with Ron shopping, so after another 45 minutes I finally called to see how much longer they were going to be. They were already headed back to the car. We left “B” town shortly after that headed back for Christmas Eve at home.