Thursday, December 23, 2010

A crafty Christmas

I just love Christmas time!!! These past few days we kicked off Christmas week with some craft time. Tuesday, I hosted my annual Christmas craft playdate with two of dearest friends, Suzanne Tyler and Mandy Cauley, who are amazing school teachers in Lincoln Parish. I always try to steal some of their Christmas break time with a playdate with our kids since we don't have playdates during the school year. And another sweet friend of mine, Shanna, joined us last minute and Landon was glad to see his preschool buddy, Jonathan. These craft dates can get crazy so I try to keep the numbers down to keep the stress to a minimum.

This year, we did the Apple Snowman once again because it seems to be a big hit. Such an easy craft and good for young kids. All you need is: an apple, one large marshmellow, lots of little marshmellows (especially when they are eaten before they are placed on the apple), whole cloves, and toothpicks. I always have to remind the kids that the toothpicks are sharp which is a good learning tool. This year, Harper added a little flare on her snowman by making a crown for hers. And, of course, jake tyler had to put a hat on his. ;)

Suzanne was gracious enough to bring a craft for the kids to do as well. It was a lifesaver ornament that the kids made a circle with and then we placed in the oven to make the ring of lifesavers stick together. We had a hard time getting them to stick together so the kids just enjoyed eating them up instead! I think it was Landon's first experience with lifesavers and I think it is safe to say that he loved them! Now, we did have a scare with Mandy's youngest, Baylor Kate, when she started to choke on hers. She is not even two yet so I don't recommend this craft for the young ones! Fortunately she was ok, but it gave all the moms a big scare.

Landon with his snowman and a lifesaver in his mouth!

Sweet Harper cheesin it up for me
jake concentrating HARD!
Jonathan, Landry Grace, Harper, Baylor Kate, Kennedy, Jake, and Landon

Thank you ladies for taking time out of your short Christmas break to come over. I just enjoy seeing the both of you and hugging on your sweet kiddos!

Two years ago, Mandy Cauley, gave me the craft idea for our craft playdate to have our kids paint the Christmas wrapping paper to be use to wrap gifts. We tried painting our, then, 2 year old's feet with paint and let them walk all over the brown craft paper that we would use to wrap presents. As you can imagine, it didn't go over too well (what were we thinking??). Our kids might could do it now they are 4, but if you are anything like me, I tend to waste wrapping paper when wrapping gifts. So, then we came up with the idea to just wrap the presents and THEN have them put handprints on them. Sooo, this is the second year to do this and even though it was messy and a little crazy at times, we had a blast! Landon got good at doing his own hands and I was soooo glad that I drew a picture of a christmas on the brown craft paper that I taped to the table. This was so Kenedy could paint the tree while she waited her turn to do more prints. Now, she did end up with a lot of green on her belly and ALL IN HER HAIR!! I wish now I had a picture of that. But I had paint all over me and we needed to get cleaned up quickly. And now I wish I had taken picture of the finish products!! You can see some of them in the background. We did mostly handprints, but we also had some stamps and some sponge letters that spelled "HO" for HO HO HO.

Both kids went straight to the bath afterwards while i cleaned up before my inlaws came over for dinner and gifts. Thank goodness I had the taco soup in the crock pot and didn't have to worry about cooking! We cut it pretty close!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sweet Memaw

Early, early this morning we received a phone call. The call was to tell us the news about Lance's grandmother who had had a heart attack and wasn't expected to live. Lance showered up and headed to the Ruston hospital where she was in ICU. This was his dad's mother who was 99 and lived in a nursing home in Arcadia, just down the interstate. But, I have never seen a more active 99 year old and who made the most precious porcelain dolls!

Lance's parents were actually in New Orleans visiting with Lance's sister, Leslea. But they quickly came back home to be with her. She passed this afternoon. It was a blessing that she didn't suffer long and Dr. Hall was able to see her. She lived a full life, and according to her, she lived two lifetimes!

Please keep Lance's dad in your prayers. He knew her days were numbered, but it still never prepares you to lose your mother.

On a lighter note, Landon sang at our church tonight for the 3-4 yr old choir. They were too cute! The crazy thing was, Landon had his thumb in his mouth the entire time, yet still singing. He has never sucked his thumb a day in his life so i asked him what was that all about when it was over. He said, "I wanted to be baby Landon just like baby Jesus." Geez, of all times to pretend to be a baby! Although, lately, he has been pretending he is baby Clark Kent from a book we got from the library. Who knows! ;)

Landon and his buddy, Canon, before getting on stage

And this is a picture of a family that I have enjoyed getting to know. Jonathon is in Landon's class so they are big buds. And I have gotten to know his mom, Shanna, from MDO and church. Her husband is our new Music director for the Gathering and he is so talented. They are such sweet people and I am glad they have moved to Ruston! She needed help with a family picture for a christmas card and I was glad to help.

This week has been busy with bunko, date night with lance and the weekend will be just as filled. Tomorrow night we have a couple's game night we are going to, which I can't wait!! Then Friday we have the annual McClusky cookie exchange party put on by one of my friends, Sharla. And this girl can throw a party!! Friday night is our Sunday school party. I love the Holiday season!!!!

Fun filled weekend

I am a few days late on this post, but it's better than what I have been doing! On Friday, we visited Lance's work for their Open House and to see Santa. I was worried on how Kennedy would do with seeing him up close and personal. But she did great! Jumped on his lap with no hesitation and kept giving him hugs. I think it helped when Landon kept talking about how nice he was and that he isn't scary.

What??? a family shot with both kids looking?? yay!
Kennedy giving Santa another hug
Kennedy playing ring around the rosie with Preston and Emory

Later that evening we attended the christmas parade and it was great!! I was so glad that it wasn't too cold like it had been the past two years. The kids had a ball and it was fun enjoying it with other close friends of ours and their kids. I have to say that we have some kids that are candy snobs!! If you could have seen the candy that was left on the ground and seen the kids just pass over the candy they don't like. In fact, I witnessed Landon taking candy from a guy handing it to him through his car window, Landon looked at it and dropped it on the ground right in front of the guy. I was quite embarrassed, but laughed so hard at the same time!! Thankfully so did the guy!
The boys checking out the cool motorcycles

The next morning, we attended the annual breakfast with Santa at Squire Creek. We are so lucky to have this at our country club to help build our family traditions. This year was sooo much easier than last year. It helped that we beat the crowd waiting to take pictures and the kids actually sat still at the table and behaved!! I see the light at the end of the table!!!!

Oh how i wish I had gotten more pics of K in this adorable dress!! We borrowed it from my dear friend, Suzanne, and it was precious!
Looks like such a big boy in this picture (sniff)

After breakfast, we went home to change clothes to go to a birthday party at Papa Simpson's farm. It was for Cullen clark and Alex hunt's 3rd birthday party. My kids loved it!! I was glad that Kennedy got to go finally. It was a little windy/chilly, but we didn't get rained on thank goodness. We are so lucky to have such great friends to celebrate these special memories!

K's first pony ride

Monday, December 6, 2010

Polar Express Weekend

This past Saturday, my parents and I took the kids to Dallas to spend some time with some relatives and my cousin's birthday party. It was a long weekend, packed full with fun, but well worth it. The kids did pretty good considering all the time we spent in the car going from place to place.

We got to see both Aunt Lisa and Aunt Jennifer's new houses. We also got to see my niece, Kenzie, perform in her gymnastics meet. Then we celebrated Emma's 8th birthday at Aunt Jen's house. We all didn't get into bed until midnight and my kids were exhausted!

I had no idea what a wonderful guitar player Rob (my cousin's, Mary, husband) is and Kennedy loved dancing to the music and really enjoyed playing his guitar!
Kennedy and Caitlin. K had been in the car all day and she couldn't have been more excited to see her!

On Sunday we woke up and laid around Aunt Jen's house until we headed out. We then drove to Palestine to the Polar Express train depot, where Lance met us there to have a family train ride on the Polar Express. It was cute and it was worth seeing the kids expressions when they saw the north pole, the train conductor, and then Santa Claus. I really thought Kennedy was going to flip out when she saw him, but she did good and even got the bell out of his hand. All the adults really enjoyed Kennedy's love of dancing. She danced the entire train ride!

I know several friends that have taken their kids to the is ride soI knew it was going to be a long day. I would probably suggest you go at least once. Don't expect it to be spectacular, but I can tell you that young kids will enjoy it. Older kids might think it's cheesy (and adults too), but if you ask me, just get into the spirit and have fun with it, it will be really fun for all ages!

Kennedy dancing with the girls

Kennedy hearing the bells

Looking for the north pole

My favorite picture....Landon hearing the bell saying I believe!!

After the train ride, we drove through Santa Land in Lindale, TX. This is the drive through lights that is located right off the interstate. Really cute and worth making a stop if you are ever driving through!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Although, it's hard work decorating your house for Christmas, it's definitely worth it once it's goes up. I love this time of year and I love it when our house is decorated at Christmas time. Too bad it only lasts a month!

Here are some pictures of the kids decorating "their" tree in the playroom.

And then we reintroduced them to our Elf on the Shelf, Stowie, and they have LOVED him! Landon is so serious about no one touching him and wakes up every morning looking for him to see where he moved when he comes back from the 'north pole'. The first morning he arrived, he brought presents for the kids (christmas pjs). It's something I did last year and I think i will make it a tradition each year.

The other day, I hear Landon telling on Kennedy to Stowie about something she did and Stowie should tell Santa that she needs to be on the naughty list, but should still get ONE present, but only one! lol....It's going to be a fun Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Both kids get a new set of ears!

My 100th blogpost! Wow! And this one is all about the surgeries both my kids had today. They did fantastic! Kennedy got just tubes put into her ears, along with a long of draining of fluid/infection. Everything else looked good so no additional procedure done while she was under. Hopefully this will solve the many issues we have been having since last March. We all got some good laughs at her while she was 'drunk' on the happy sedative too.

After she came to, she cried/whined for about 5 minutes, but nothing too bad. Then she took a little nap and woke up surprisingly giddy! Then, she had every nurse and doctor just laughing and carrying on...I think she will be my little social butterfly. She probably broke the record of the amount of popsicles given to. I know how they feel, she can be hard to say no to!

Landon went in right after Kennedy and his took a little longer since he had to do a sinus irrigation along with his second set of tubes. He had a lot of 'goopy', thick fluid behind his ear drums which was causing the hearing loss. With the irrigation, they were able to clean out his sinuses that had a lot of infection in them. When we woke up, he didn't even cry at all. He just asked, "Am I back in my room?" He didn't like the idea of being 'taken' away when they wheeled him out of his room. We will know next week when we go in for the post-op to see how the cultures of the fluid turn out. Let's pray that it responds to the antibiotics so we won't be dealing with an allergy issue.

A lesson that I learned in this process is that I should have taken Landon in back in September to treat a sinus infection. I thought it was just a cold that lingered a little longer than usual and didn't know it was in his sinuses. There was also no snot, just cough and sniffles. We will never know if it would have mattered, but it's always better to double check and not be afraid to take them in to get checked out when their colds last a little longer than normal!

Here are some pictures and funny videos of the kids 'drunk' on the happy medicine and then another one of landon goofing off afterwards. Thanks for all your well wishes!

Kids looking at books that Big Papa and Jana brought them

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy November! Oh wait, it's December...oh well!

What a fun November we had!! I wasn't in the mood to blog much this month, but it doesn't mean we didn't dance right through the month! ;)

Both Kennedy and Landon have been into Toy Story 3 this month and they have been fun to watch with all the leaps from couch to chair shouting "To infinity and beyond!" I just love their creativity and listening in on their playtimes. It's also making it fun and easy to pick out christmas gifts this year, not that it was ever hard!! ;) Now, shopping for lance, that's a different story!

I have had to take both kids to our fantastic ENT doctor here in town, Dr. Neal, several times this month and we are scheduled to have tubes put in both Kennedy and Landon's ears this Thursday. I am so glad since BOTH (but more with Landon) of their hearing has had elevated hearing loss and it makes it extremely hard to communicate. Both have a lot of fluid behind the ear drums and Landon will also have a sinus cleaning out after the xrays came back with congestion in his sinus cavities. Landon's hearing has been bad since early September and Kennedy has had ear infections and PLENTY of snot since last March. So this is a long time coming and I am glad, yet worried at the same time. It always makes me nervous when little ones go under, but I know they are in great hands.

On some brighter notes (sort of! ha!) 35th birthday came and went. Lance took me on a fun weekend in Dallas while my parents kept the kids. Lance and I got to go to a Mavs game, did some shopping, got some pampering, and went to the Cowboys game. Glad to witness the struggling Cowboys win their first home game this season. And we were with great company!

Holly, Nancy, and Shelley were some of the sweet girls to join us at the Cowboy stadium
Birthday dinner with my brother, sister in law, cousin and aunts!
Lance and I at the Mavericks game, just 6 rows behind the visitors bench! It was fun sitting with some of the Chicago Bulls assistant coaches who were not allowed on the bench.

Then came Thanksgiving. I got to go to Landon's school and have a Thanksgiving feast with his class. And it was cute seeing all the kids dressed up. Landon's class made their own 'indian' outfit and his indian name was the "bear hunter".

The kids and I had a blast during their school break and it flew by. On Thanksgiving day we started out with lunch at Squire Creek with Lance's parents and then we drove to Bossier to be with my parents along with my brothers and other relatives. We watched the Saints/Cowboys game and headed back to Ruston. The kids were pooped and so were we! But it was a great day with family and it makes me so thankful for the people I have in my life. I am so blessed!!!

And here are just a couple of shots that i took earlier in the month.... have a great week everyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Happenings

This Monday morning, I have a Halloween hangover!! ha! It's been an eventful halloween week and it is so nice to be home this morning to recover and regroup. I think the kids need it too! It started off on Thursday when the kids had their pumpkin parties at school. It was an easy morning to get the kids dressed since they got to wear their costumes. Getting them into the car was a different story because I couldn't find Landon's cape to his Robin costume. Oh well!

kids walking into their class pumpkin parties

Friday afternoon, I dressed the kids up to head downtown for the trick or treating there. The weather was perfect and thankfully we got a great parking spot and it was an easy adventure. Kennedy got scared at several 'scary' costumes, but other than that, she caught onto the trick or treating pretty quick.
getting ready trick or treat downtown

My mom came over on Saturday morning to play in a tennis tournament with me and we did great! We won our division and saw some good tennis. Lance kept the kids all morning and I am not sure who had more fun! As soon as we got home, we got dressed as quickly as we could to head over to a halloween party that we were invited to at the Hunt's house. It was such a great layout and an awesome group. They had a large alligator jumpy that was the biggest thing I have ever seen! The kids were having a ball! Then there were shifts on the hay ride to go trick or treating throughout the neighborhood. Kennedy didn't participate so we made another loop on foot with the entire family so me, lance and my mom could join in together to watch the kids trick or treat. By far my favorite thing this halloween since the kids LOVED it! Also, having the Matt Tyler family join us made it special and fun!

Saturday night, halloween party:

Trick or treating

After trick or treating, it was time to head home to put the kids to bed so Lance and I can attend an adult costume party at Tiffany Baldwin's house. We went last year and had a blast and looked forward to it again this year. I, personally, was exhausted so it was a quick stay for us, but it was still fun seeing everyone all dressed up!

Green lantern and batgirl

On Sunday, I continued to play in the tennis tourney while Lance left for Dallas to attend the Cowboys football game and the Texas Rangers game. My mom watched the kids while we both got to 'play'! It was a fun Halloween and I definitely look forward to what next year will bring!