Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning at our house

Ben & Maggie's artificial tree doesn't look half bad!
Stockings are hung along the stairway railing instead of above the fireplace since we put the Christmas tree upstairs this year.
Ben shows how excited he is about "Team GeoTrax," and Maggie tries out her new stroller.
I love this picture of Brian and the kids. Notice how closely they are paying attention to him as he shows them how to put together the train tracks. Does it get any cuter than this? Of course, Ben had already lined up ALL the trains on the portion of track that he had assembled.
Even though this picture is a little blurry, I just love it!
Ben told me that he must have been a really good boy!

Christmas Eve at Mike & Karen's

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Office Christmas Party

This is it. This is almost EVERYONE I work with! I love my job!
(left to right) Brett (IT), Ryan (IT), Jenn (Pharmacist), Ryan (President),
Michelle (Pharmacist), Me (Pharmacist), Sally (Australian HQ), Rob (IT)
Missing from the photo: Mark, the Supstar Tech and All-around Yes-man! (see below)

Yes, Mark is actually wearing a dog bed on his head in this picture. That's the kind of place I work in. If you're feeling a little silly, why not put a dog bed on your head and pretend it's a 'fro? (Personally, I think it really suits him!)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Advent Candles

The kids loved these Advent candles. We made an attempt to light them daily and say the daily prayers that went along with the ritual, but, many days ended in a fight over who got to blow out the candles or who got to hold the prayer book.
We tried, right?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Grinch-y Mommy

In true "Grinch-like" spirit this year, I had decided that we wouldn't put up a Christmas tree. I just didn't want to deal with the anxiety of the possibility of broken ornaments and/or a poisoned child who was drinking from the water bowl at the base of the tree. I thought I even had Brian on board... until this past weekend when we heard Ben say, "When do we get OUR Christmas tree?" Brian looked at me and said that we both knew we couldn't skip out on a tree this year just because Maggie tends to be more than a little mischievous. So, today I resigned to digging out the ol' artificial that we only used one time (when Ben was a baby).

Ben and Maggie had a total ball decorating the artificial. I brought it up from the basement and put it in the hallway next to the bonus room, and you would have thought it was Christmas morning. They were so excited! Immediately, Ben got out his trains and told me he was going to make a "half-circle" around the base of the tree. (I think I was supposed to be impressed at his use of the term "half-circle.") Ben kept putting bells on it (yes, the bells left over from our wedding), and Maggie just kept pulling them off. Then, Mags and I went to the basement to find some more unbreakable ornaments, and when we came upstairs again, Ben said, "Look, Mom! I hung all the ornaments where Maggie couldn't reach them!" I just cracked up. Every ornament was hung on the same few branches in the front of the tree at his eye level. So cute! I'm sure they'll spend the remainder of this holiday season rearranging their ornaments. Thank goodness for artificial trees!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Didn't get many pics at Thanksgiving this year, but these are just a few shots of the post-dinner football game at Uncle Dan's house.

Nice form, nice form...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Look, Mom. I'm eating broccoli!

We have FINALLY convinced Ben to eat broccoli again. As a baby, he couldn't get enough of the stuff. (As a baby, he couldn't get enough of all things edible!) Somewhere around age two, he became incredibly picky. So, now that he's three, we have had to come up with some creative ways to get him to eat his veggies. We have discovered that three-year-old boys are fascinated by bodily functions (much like 37-year-old boys), so we told him that eating broccoli would cause gas. Now, he happily clears his plate of his broccoli every time I serve it stating that he loves broccoli because, "it makes me go tootums!"

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We had one of the best Halloween evenings ever in Carmel this year. It was 67 degrees and crystal clear all day long. Perfect weather by the evening for trick-or treating. Mike and Shellie Kneese kindly offered to come to our house (along with Patrick, the little green dragon) to hand out candy so Brian and I could go door-to-door with the kids and Java. It was so much fun! The kids had cracked into the M&Ms before we even left our front lawn.
By the time we had hit about five houses, Ben and Maggie had their fill. We came back to our house to enjoy the fire pit on the front porch and to greet the rest of the goblins. Below is my best carving effort to date. Thank you, Pumpkin-Masters!

Our nieces, Lexi-Red-Riding-Hood and Courney, live just one mile away, but we never get to see them on Halloween because their father (Brian's brother, Scott) is always up to some spooky antics in their own neighborhood. Scott, is that you in the body bag?

Jester Cole (I think) and Retro Lauren in Terre Haute.
Lauren reminds me of that line in Fletch... "Fletch stands 5'9", 6'4" with the afro..."
(... it goes something like that...)
Ethan, Evan, Steve, & Amy (West Des Moines, IA) have clearly developed a love of AC/DC that can't be explained!
Mermaid Mary, Sarah, and Shower-Poof Rachel in Batesville
These costumes are my personal favorite!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ben's first sleep-over

Ben had his first sleep-over last night.
We were a little concerned that the boys might not get any sleep, but they actually did great!
Ben Hammond arrived at our house in time for br-inner (breakfast for dinner), which he exclaimed was, "Yummy yummy for his Tummy-tummy!" All three kids ate about two bites because they were so excited to play. They played basketball outside and climbed on our play set, and generally, had a ball!

Then, everyone got into pj's, and we played with the Lincoln Logs for a while. I was amazed at how nice Ben Hammond was to Maggie. Because he isn't her brother, he's willing to include her in almost every game. Maggie thinks this is the bee's-knees!
After Lincoln Logs, it was racecars in the tent! The boys finally konked out around 9:30 pm, both on the top bunk of Ben's beds with Brian sleeping on the bed below them. They looked so adorable. I wish I could have gotten a picture of them sleeping, but it was too dark, and I didn't want to wake them.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Patch ~ Saturday, October 11th

We went to Stony Creek Farm in Noblesville today. Total racket, but it WAS a lot of fun. We got away having only spent $20! Ben is the perfect age for places like this. He was excited about every little thing we did, and he couldn't get enough of the giant inflated caterpillar that they could climb through. By the time we got on the wagon to go out to the field to pick our pumpkins, the kids were red-faced and exhausted. (You can see in the picture.) They actually just truck in the pumpkins to the fields, and you're dropped off there to choose. This year, the pumpkins were scattered among the Christmas trees. How strange! In the last two pictures, you can see the results of 90 minutes of "fun" on the kids! Ben gulped down a bottle of water, got home, and ran outside to play with our neighbor, Carson. Maggie crashed!