Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Halls!

Christmas is finally here and it has been such a great season. We are so blessed to have a wonderful family and great friends. I love this time of year and what a glorious way to celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ!!!!

This Christmas celebration kick started with seeing my cousins and family in Shreveport on the 22nd to celebrate my cousin, Matt's, birthday. This would be the only time to see this group during Christmas which will be the first time ever to not see them on Christmas Eve. We decided it was just too much to drive back and forth this year and wanted to stay home.

On Christmas Eve, we were to go over to Lance's parents to have lunch and open gifts. Well, Kennedy got sick the night before and I decided to take her into a walk-in clinic to get checked out in case it was the flu or strep. She had an upper respiratory infection and ended up getting a shot that worked wonders. She perked up the next day. I was sooo disappointed to miss out on some yummy food that I look forward to all year. At least I got a to go plate!! That afternoon we spent time with Lance's family and cousins and had the annual bingo game. This took place in Ruston, so we were able to have an early night to get ready for Christmas day.

This would be the first Christmas that I would cook Christmas lunch for everyone (my parents, brother, in laws, sister in law and her husband and my family)...not sure what i was thinking!! I botched up the dressing (don't ask) and didn't have the turducken ready for lunch (don't ask). Soooo, we basically had nothing to eat. After my meltdown, we scraped up some things to make some taco soup to hold us off until dinner time when the meat would be finished. Everything ended up great and I have since then, remade the dressing so I wouldn't let it get the best of me. And let me tell you, it was YUMMMY!!!

Anyway, everyone got spoiled, we survived with very few meltdowns (including mine), over stuffed our bellys, and we are still riding this Christmas 'high'. The best part of it all, it was laid back and we didn't have to travel (wonderful when you have two young babies!!). I hope everyone had a fun, safe, and fabulous Christmas!!!

beware!!! Picture overload!!! ;)

Playing swords with cousin Brooklyn
Getting goodies out for the 'big guy'
Checking out the chimney making sure Santa can come down
Sir Landon

Landon's loot
Kennedy's loot
Kennedy getting excited about the paper!! Yay!
Landon giving Kennedy the gift he picked out all by himself...and she loves it!!

Landon 'shooting' Pirate Papa!

My sweet cowgirl
My sweet cowboy

repeat pic that i can't delete!!! :*(

2nd Annual Christmas Craft playdate

I hosted a Christmas Craft playdate last year and went over so well that I thought I would do it again this year. The key was keeping the numbers low with this age group when dealing with crafts. I really don't know how the preschool teachers do it!!

I had two of my good buddies, Mandy and Suzanne, come over and have a playdate at our house. The weather was absolutely perfect. Last year was really cold, but it couldn't have been better this time around. We attempted to do some beaded candy canes, but it didn't go over as well as the Apple Snowman. This group really wanted to play so we spent most of the time doing that!

Mandy showing off her talent!
Suzanne and Jake putting some final touches on their snowman
Kennedy wanting to get in on the action
the motorcycle was a big hit and also caused a few tears!! No one wanted to share!

I thought this one was hilarious. Landon and Landry putting their 'antlers' on and getting Jake

Monday, December 21, 2009

Parties, parties, and more parties

This weekend was filled with some birthday parties and cookie exchanges. I know that once the holidays are over, Landon is going to think life is boring!! He is having a blast attending all of these parties and eating plenty of junk food.

Friday night, our buddy, Henry, had his birthday party out at Papa Simpson's farm and I just love it out there, especially during Christmas. It made me miss the Russell family who we went with last Christmas!! Landon enjoyed seeing Santa and obsessed with watching him leave. He followed him all the way out and was determined to 'see' his reindeer. Thank goodness I was able to tell him that he was riding the horse next otherwise I would have never gotten him away from chasing him any further.

The next morning, we enjoyed attending Cullen Clark's birthday party at Temple Baptist. I just absolutely love those laid back "gym" birthday simple! It won't be much longer when they will need much more entertainment!

Preston enjoying the birthday festivities

Sunday, we went to church and then I was able to break away to Monroe for some last minute Christmas shopping. This is also the day that Kennedy really started to take a lot of steps. She still prefers to crawl but the light came on this day.

Hanging out before heading to church

Monday, we had a last minute morning playdate at our house with the Beck's. It was a great change of pace and not having to load up and pack diaper bags to go somewhere. Then I was able to take Landon to a cookie exchange party that afternoon at Hayden McCluskey's house. Between the jumpy, playing football, decorating gingerbread houses and eating smore's, Landon was exhausted!! We got home, played a little more outside, and then decided to settle in to get dinner ready. As I was doing that, Landon crashed on the couch at 5:45. I had no idea how long he was asleep before I realized how quiet it was in the playroom. I decided to go ahead and take him upstairs to bed and let some cookies he ate earlier be his dinner. Since his usual bedtime is between 8-10 pm (depending on naps), I am curious on how tonight goes. So far he has woken up twice but back to sleep rather quickly.

I hope he gets some sleep because we have our 2nd annual Christmas craft playdate at our house in the morning! He gets to invite two friends over to play and make some crafts together. Looking forward to that!!

Playing football with the older boys (landon on the right trying to big a big boy)!
Landon decorating the HUGE gingerbread house with his buddy, Cooper, at the cookie exchange.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

fa la la la la....

I really should blog more because my kiddos are hilarious! It's just trying to find the time!! Lately, Landon has been difficult at night time and it's new to us because he has always been pretty easy. He has decided that he dislikes being in his room by himself, saying "it's too hard to go to sleep!" I knew it was only time before he gets this way. He is starting to drop his nap and on the days that he goes to school (they still take naps there), his bedtime has been really late because he isn't tired. And that makes long nights for us with no "me" time. But even when he doesn't take a nap and I KNOW he is exhausted, he STILL fights it. Ugh! So, if any of you moms have any suggestions, I am always open to hear them!!

Anyway, I am LOVING the holiday season thus far!!! LOVE getting Christmas cards, having the house decorated, going to parties, and yep, even wrapping presents. I have actually started a 'present' game that I do with Landon trying to get him to practice giving gifts and saying thank you after each one he opens. We both get a gift bag, search the house to put anything in it, meet back in the playroom and say, "Here mommy, I got this special present for you." and vice versa. It can be anything from a toy to a remote control. The only thing is he wants to show it to me so bad that he opens it up himself! It's been fun and even Kennedy gets a present to open for fun too!! It's sweet to watch landon give it to her and hug her and say, "Merry Christmas, 'Tenneny'!"

Well, we have been able to enjoy meeting Santa a couple of times. Here are some pictures from Lance's work when they had Christmas Open house. Kennedy is absolutely terrified of Santa which doesn't surprise me.

STill not too sure, even in my lap and 30 minutes later
Just give her a present and she's happy!
Here are the kids at Breakfast with Santa at Squire creek. I can't wait to see how the pictures with Santa turn out!

And here is a shot of Kennedy at the Christmas parade. She REALLY loved it! She kept waving at everyone and i really think she enjoyed having her daddy hold her the entire time!!

Landon and his buddy Jake loving the motorcycles

We were able to take Lance's parents to a Cowboy's game as their Christmas present and we got to see my brother and Aunt Jennifer there as well. Great day, but too bad the cowboys lost! :(

This weekend was a birthday party weekend and i have pictures that i need to download. I am sure i will find sometime to get that done.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

She walks...finally! ;)

Well, Kennedy decided to take her first steps this evening. She will be 15 months old next week and I knew she was getting close. She just needed some confidence! Landon started walking right at his 1 yr old birthday so I guess I thought Kennedy would too. I need to learn that she is on her own schedule!!! Here is a quick video from earlier tonight:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Reintroducing 'Stowie'

Our Elf on the Shelf has made it back around to us again this year. In honor of our street name (Stow Creek), he is named "Stowie". I am not sure how much Landon remembers him from last year, but Stowie is working like a charm this year!! He has made Landon share with his sister, eat vegetables, put on pjs, and many other things!!! Yesterday, Landon tried to tell Stowie that his daddy wasn't playing with him and that he needs to 'be nice'!!! ;) Kennedy likes to point to him and grunt and giggle!! I just wish we could have Stowie stay a little longer!!

Introducing Stowie the night after Thanksgiving
Kids playing on the rocking chair

Thanksgiving was fast and eventful. We spent most the time in Shreveport because we had our cousins from Arizona come to town. Landon sure missed all of them once they left!! Below are some pictures from that weekend!

Trevor and Caitlin playing one of the 5 'Turkey" games

Kennedy enjoying her Thanksgiving lunch