Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ice Days

We don't get much snow here in SC, but we got enough ice to miss one day of school and enough to make the hills slick enough to sled down...and snow board on!  Molly decided she wasn't really interested in messing with so little snow and ice and stayed inside most of the day.

ILES Science Fair 2016

This was the first year I got to do TWO science projects with the kiddos.  I LOVE doing projects with the kids, and was very excited about working with them both.  Andrew chose his project months ago and was excited to start.  Ryan wanted to find the "perfect" project and we actually did 3 science experiments in the same day before he decided what he wanted to do his project on for school.  They both worked hard and did a great job.  Andrew won first place for fifth grade and will now compete at the county level.  Ryan did not place for his grade level, but I am very proud of his hard work and accomplishment.

The school had a fun science night with experiments set up for the families to do together after looking at all of the projects on display.

M-A-C-A-W for the Win!

Andrew won his classroom spelling bee and competed in the school spelling bee in January.   Even though he told his teacher he wasn't nervous at all,  he was pretty sure he wasn't going to win and had asked if I would please take him home right after the spelling bee. He couldn't sleep at all the night before.  Well, much to his surprise, and ours, he won!  His winning word was MACAW.  Anyone who knows our Andrew, knows that since kindergarten, he has loved birds. So as soon as I heard the word for the win, I knew he had it.  We are very proud of him and now he is studying very hard for the county bee. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Winter Break Vacation

For months I had been planning an extended family trip to Washington DC over the winter break.  Then my poor hubby hurt his back, which meant an 8 hour car trip one way and 4 days of walking around our nation's Capitol would be pure torture for him.    We decided that Myrtle Beach would be more his speed.  We took three stops on the three hour drive down and he was able to spend most of the time in the hot tub, pools, or relaxing on the couch.   He was still in a lot of pain, but was able to be with us and enjoy him self.

We started our vacation here in Charlotte ice skating, since that had been on our DC activity list.  The kids loved it!

The next morning we headed to the beach. In December. It was in the 70s and the scene from our balcony was beautiful.  Gotta love weather in the South.

While those of us without hurt backs unpacked the car, Chad took the kids straight to the indoor water slides.  They were in heaven!

After a quick swim, we got ready to go to the Medieval Times dinner and show.  It was so much fun that Ryan and Molly have decided they want a Medieval themed joint birthday party this year.  The food was good, there were horses and princesses for Molly, sword fighting, falconry, and knights for the boys, and enough bad acting to keep all of us entertained.  So glad we went.

When we got back to the hotel, we took a walk on the beach under the stars and headed back to the pool for a late night swim.  (Except Molly who wanted to go to bed and Daddy who needed to ice his back).  The next morning when we woke up, we couldn't even see the ocean from our ocean front room.  The fog was so thick.

That didn't stop us, though. We got dressed and headed straight down to the ocean.  The boys swam in the water on December 31st.   We volleyed back and forth between the ocean and the pool all day long.

We spent New Year's Eve playing games and watching a movie.  At midnight we enjoyed watching fireworks on the beach and off the front balcony.

Molly and Ryan fell asleep before midnight, and we obnoxiously tried to wake them up with hugs, blow horns, and by beating pots and pans, but they weren't budging until 15 minutes after the fact. Then they were upset we had rung in the new year without them.

We spent New Year's Day walking on the beach and playing in the pools again.  The temperature dropped quite a bit, so there wasn't as much ocean swimming, but it was still lovely to be together away from the busyness of everyday life.

Happy New Year!  May you face it with hope and joy for all the good that awaits us and with gratitude for all the blessings in our past.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas Eve at the Kruegers is our annual family tradition.  We eat yummy finger foods, act out the Nativity story, sing Christmas carols, and open presents from each other.  This was the first time in many years, that we were all there together, since my sisters' missions overlapped.

Mary is carefully inspecting the gifts brought by the Wisemen.

Antonio's first Christmas with us he got to play the donkey AND the camel! Lucky guy!

Andrew and Ryan played the piano for us while we sang carols.

Antonio played the guitar.

In our family, we pass out all of the gifts, and then take turns opening one present one at a time in order by age.  Molly could read this year, so she helped pass out the gifts.

After opening way too many wonderful presents from very generous grandparents and aunts, we drove home so that Santa could visit us.  The children sprinkled their reindeer food on the lawn and went straight to sleep.

They woke up around 6 in the morning, eager to head downstairs.

This year, we decided to video tape Christmas morning with our nice camera on a tripod.  So all of our pictures are with our phones, and are not great.  Santa brought Molly an American girl Molly doll and tent for her dolls.  He brought both boys lego sets and video games.

We missed seeing Grandpa Bud this holiday.  He sent lots of nice gifts to all of us and spoiled us rotten. Thank you Grandpa Bud!

Not a great pic, but here is the moment that all three of them realized that they had each received their own 3DS from us.  They were more than a little surprised!

After breakfast, we headed back up to Winston-Salem for lunch with Too-Too at my mom's house.  Chad's parents were in Texas, so we weren't able to see them on Christmas day.

After eating a wonderful lunch, we gathered together to play games.  The children played the Saran Wrap candy ball game. Daniel won the $5 inside the center of the ball. All of the pictures I got were very blurry, since there was so much action.

After the kids played their game, the adults played a present unwrapping game, similar to musical chairs.  We passed the presents around while the music played.  When it stopped, whoever was holding the gift got to peel off a layer of wrapping paper.  Each present was wrapped multiple times.  If you opened the last layer, you got to keep the gift.  It was a fun game, and it even turned into a sing along at one point, as we sang as we passed the gifts.  I love having fun with my family!

I had brought supplies for several more games, but everyone needed to head back their homes or other family's celebrations.  So once everyone left, the Kruegers and the Scribners played the building a snowman game.  Ryan and Molly were so excited to do it again, that they volunteered to be the snowmen!

After our games, we headed over to see Ben, Jen, Alex, and Evin for a little while, then headed back home.

The rest of the weekend was spent playing with our new toys.

On Monday, we headed back up to Greensboro area to see Grandmother Stone.  Although we miss seeing everyone on Christmas Eve, it was wonderful to get to spend time one on one with her.  We ate lunch and spent a few hours together before we headed back home.  Grandmother gifted me with beautiful Christmas glasses and dishes that I remember her using each year at Christmas.  It is a gift I will always treasure. She also bought each of the children  lap desk to use in the car.  It was so thoughtful of her to remember each of my children.  I am blessed that my children have both of their great grandmothers still.

Although it means many hours and many miles on the road, I am grateful to have so much family close enough that we can spend time together on the holidays.  There is no other way I would rather spend my time than with our family creating happy memories and strengthening traditions.