Wednesday, November 30, 2011


We kind of assumed that our sweet little Sammy might just be walking before he turned one...but when he walked multiple steps tonight on the eve of his 10 month birthday we were pretty surprised.... and maybe just a little excited....  (you may want to pause the music at the bottom of the blog to hear that teensy bit of excitement we all had during the video:)

I absolutely LOVE how Sophia was the first to hug and congratulate him for his HUGE accomplishment!  He simply ADORES her!

I tried to take some pictures (have to admit... I switched to auto on my camera just to make sure I didn't miss the moment)...okay... I took LOTS of pictures....  But he was such a little cutie!

Getting ready for the "take-off"...

A little wobbly...

Hmmm... I may have to stop and think about which foot goes first.....

This is fun stuff!

Look at me... I'm almost a pro!

Love how he comes for us with this "arms up" pose:)

Oh and of course Joseph will only pose for me these days when I'm trying to get pics of Sam:) Don't worry little J... I didn't forget about you.  I remember the night you walked for the first time like it was just yesterday!!!!!

So when our Sammy turns 10 months tomorrow... he will be well on his way to being a new walker!  He still is not saying "mama" :(, but he sure is saying more sounds and giggling lots (especially with crazy J).  I think he is really trying to say hi (by reaching his arm up)...and of course he is still delighting us with those bright eyed smiles even though he has been battling a nasty little cold for a few weeks now!

We love you Sammy....our hearts just keep getting bigger as you get older:)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We couldn't have asked for better weather this Thanksgiving!  It was a beautiful day!  Here are the kids before we headed off to Yiayia's!

We had a fun day with lots of WONDERFUL food...yum yum to Chef Yiayia! Oh my...trying to get a picture of everyone looking one direction and not closing their eyes (J!!!!) was pretty difficult.  I'm hoping I got a few that were Christmas card worthy:)

 I wish I would have taken a picture of her table...beautiful as always!  Here are the collection of Thanksgiving cookies I brought.

Yiayia had some fun crafts for the kids (and Brett) and S and J did their annual Christmas Chain making.

Sammy had fun pushing chairs and crawling under tables... Poor guy still has a nasty cold, but was all smiles in these pics:)

This under the table thing is pretty fun!

And J made his own fun doing some swiffer cleaning for Yiayia...wish he would do that at my house!

S played a little dress up and had fun making some home-made ornaments.

Then we headed down to the Plaza (and Nouna's house) for the Plaza Lighting!  We made it just in time!  Here is Sophia giving Sammy some love... while we were waiting.

But she quickly turned grumpy just in time for the family pic....poor girl...she was still on meds for strep and I think the meds made her feel crummy the entire time!

Sammy watching the lights and the fireworks...

Joseph had the best seat in the house!

Uh-oh...Ms. Grumpy wouldn't even pose for her traditional "Thea and Me" pic at the Plaza Lights.  Just keeping it's not always roses over here:)

Yiayia and Thea and J!

Yiayia, Thea, and Anna and J after the lights turned on.

Such a perfect night!  Our little family minus Ms. Grump :(

We definitely have a LOT to be thankful for this year!  I couldn't ask for much more than the gifts I have right here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Making the most of it...and Gratitude Rolls

Well... Miss Sophia's new meds have kicked in and she is feeling better...but my boys still have those yuckies.  J kept asking me all day..." Do you feel sorry for me Mommee??"  And yes, yes I do....hate it when the little ones don't feel good...and just look so miserable.  We tried to make the most of this cold and gray day while we sipped Gatorade and kept kleenex nearby:)

J and I played a turkey game that I found here while Sammy napped. 

The object was to see who could finish their turkey would acquire pieces by rolling a pair of dice.  J sorted all of the m and m's (eating just a few, of course) and we used thin mint GS cookies for the bodies, royal icing eyes, and Twizzlers from our Halloween stash for the feet.

I love how my J has such a bright smile.. even when he doesn't feel good!

Next on the agenda...Gratitude Rolls.  I used to be really good about making home-made rolls...we would eat them for dinner almost every night.  My mother has a fabulous recipe that she gave me....I have tried desperately to make them as well as she does....but some things are just better when your mother makes them:)

Anyway... I saw this idea for Gratitude Rolls here.  The recipe looked similar to my mother's...but had a neat twist...

The idea was to sneak in a little surprise in each crescent....and how fun to sneak in a little "I am thankful..." note in each roll the week of Thanksgiving.  Just like a little fortune cookie...but in a buttery crescent roll.

I followed the recipe to a T...but had some trouble determining the bake time (as these rolls grew much larger than the ones I usually make).  It was hard to determine when to take the rolls out without over or undertaking them.

The best part was watching the kids open their rolls for dinner!!

And here is a peek at what I found inside of mine....(excuse the EXTREMELY dry hands are constantly covered in royal icing or being washed under the sink!!)

The verdict...the rolls were a hit with the kids, but Brett and I  did not think the taste was nearly as good as my mother's.. Next time I will make her recipe, but put the little surprise inside like I did for these..

And as for Mr. Sammy...well... he missed out on the rolls... poor little guy took quite the cat nap mid way through dinner!!

My oven is calling....night night...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Under the weather...again...

Poor Sophia....Two days after finishing her meds...and she came down with strep can that be?? We took her to the doctor Saturday morning and the doctor is suspecting that the InstaMeds (the machine where we got her medicine at the doctor's office) may have been the culprit.  Needless to say... we went directly to the pharmacy for the next round of antibiotics.  I won't trust those machines again ( I was always a bit leary of them anyway)!  So we had a lazy weekend around here.  While Miss S tried to recuperate, the boys decided to come down with their own fun illnesses....I'm hoping they are just colds.  J is always such a trooper...still acts pretty crazy even though he is under the weather...and Sammy was, for the most part, still smiles today...but not feeling good at all.  Poor little ones.

Nonetheless.... we started our annual Christmas lists...and this year...I'm so glad that we had THREE to make!!! I told Brett maybe next year we should hope to have it is more symmetrical....:)  I let the kids find one picture out of toy catalogs today that showed something they really, really wanted to ask of Santa.... I'm hoping we can help them choose things they REALLY want if we do it over time instead of just having them cut like crazy out of catalogs all at once.  

And even though we are thinking about Christmas... we still haven't forgotten about the special holiday that is just around the corner...

We were trying to show off Sam's Santa list...but he just wanted to chew on it....and really all I can get out of this picture is that I DESPERATELY need a hair cut... oh my.... I think it is way too long..definitely ready for a change....

Still loving her hair...what do you think??

Here are S and J with the start to their lists...

And poor Sammy with his little pink chapped cheeks...but so happy he is smiling.. at least for now....

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week....can't help but think about all the gifts I have in my life.... can't ask for too much more!