We celebrated Christmas Eve, just the five of us sharing our gifts to each other. This is the first year that Tori really got into Christmas. She said Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus and Merry Christmas as well. She opened most of the presents whether they were for her or not. She loved her Zhu Zhu hamsters. Nick got a monster energy sign for his room that was very cool and Ashley got a collection of Vera Bradley Travel bags. I got a large Steinbach King Ludwig nutcracker that was very cool and a pretty key necklace I just love that came with a special note inside from Mike. Mike got a Buffalo Bills history DVD, some books and a coach wallet.
Spending months shopping for the right gifts. Spending many hours wrapping the gifts. Spending family time sharing gifts with each other...Priceless!
Tori was playing playdoh with Ashley and Bryan recently and Bryan made a snake and asked Tori what it was...To his surprise...she responded...anaconda! Yes, ana-connn-da. She learned this in a great book we got at Kohls about the biggest, tallest, longest animals. We just love that she loves her books so much and we must read at least 6-10 a day at her request.
Tori went to see Santa...she was a little nervous, but she did ask him for a new dolly. She is telling just about everyone we see Merry Christmas and she tells each one of us at least 2 or 3 times a day...Merry Christmas mom...Merry Christmas dad...it's too cute.
Today Tori wore the Christmas overalls that I made her...one of two actually. Today I also made her a Christmas twirl skirt. I am really enjoying learning to sew and having fun dressing Tori in my creations.
Ashley is also having fun learning to sew and is eager to add new creations to her online boutique. Recently she added woven headbands to her store.
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time of year to appreciate all the things we are grateful for. Most importantly we are thankful for our family both near and far and our friends who have always been there no matter where we have lived. We are thankful that we have three healthy children who enrich our lives every day as they grow up and experience all that life has to offer. This year we had family come in from Buffalo and Charlotte. We enjoyed a wonderful weekend together eating, playing games and lots of laughter.
Days of shopping for Thanksgiving goods, Hours of preparation of Thanksgiving foods, Spending time with family...PRICELESS
We had a great long weekend in Cancun. The weather was great and the Royal Sands resort was just perfect with our room beside the pool and an awesome 2 ft kiddy pool for Tori. Tori loved being in the pool and she gain great confidence in the water. She learned to float on her back and kick while on her back as well as swim on her belly all with her floatie on but without us hanging on to her. She was so proud of herself, it was priceless to watch her frolic in the water solo.
We spent most of our days by the pool, however, we did make a shopping trip to the Isla Shopping Center. Mike also spent a day diving in Cozumel. It truly was a very relaxing vacation. Cancun had really developed into a wonderful, safe, clean tourist destination.
During our waiting times, Tori learned to sing Wheels on the Bus and how to do the Hokey Pokey. It has been a long time since we have sung these childhood favorites. She absolutely loves them and giggles the deep belly laugh doing the Hokey Pokey. Finally we had one tired little girl on the way home.
This weekend Nick went back to Buffalo to take his driver's test which he passed! He is a good driver and he is psyched to drive Mike's Raineer. It has been in the driveway waiting for him since July when Mike got his new Enclave. Nick was able to get his permit in NY this past summer while he visited Buffalo. Taking the NY test enabled him to drive a few months sooner than if he waited to take the test in NC. He will still have to take NC's written test to switch his license over. I am looking forward to less taxi driving...but I will worry for quite a while when he is driving!
Happy Halloween! I gave Tori the choice of a ladybug or a disney princess and she chose the ladybug over and over. She had a party at school on Friday. She really enjoyed the treats, especially the cupcake which she ate only the frosting off of with her finger. It was so cute to see the little ones parade around the preschool.
On Halloween we took her around the neighborhood with the wagon. She went to about 10 houses and then she wanted to come back home to see Ashley and Bryan (they were giving out candy). She was a little nervous at first but quickly got the hang of saying Trick or Treat. Her eyes grew really big when someone gave her more than one treat! She also enjoyed tasting the treats...she likes lollipops a lot!
We took Tori to the pumpkin patch downtown. She was very excited to see the pony ride. She rode the ponies twice! Once on the big pony and once on the little pony. She was laughing so hard at one point because the pony kept making a funny noise with his nose. She must have picked up 20 little pumpkins before she settled on one.
Tori was excited to carve the pumpkins. She chose the shapes of each part...a great 0pportunity to teach about shapes. She also told us which shapes to cut out. Mike told me I need to go back to teaching...I do miss it! Tori didn't like how the inside of the pumpkin felt, but she worked hard to get all the seeds out (which Mike kept adding more when she got to the last few).
This month is almost over and here some pictures of the kids. Mrs. B. came to visit... The kids took her down to our lake to feed the ducks.
Nick had homecoming at his high school. This year Nick and his buddies wore vests to show their favorite flavor of Monster...Nick likes the green the best. This year they went as a group without official dates and they had a great time.
Tori got a really cool helper stool to use when she helps us at the counter. I love how sturdy it is and she loves to help so its a winner. She always says "Helping mommy, Helping daddy"... when she helps us to cook!
Ashley and I are taking sewing lessons and we both finished our first outfit for Tori. This is the adorable jumper Ashley made. She also took this really cool picture of Brian fishing at the lake in our neighborhood at sunset.