Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gurnee Mills and a Movie:-)

We also visited the Gurnee Mills Mall and movie theatre. Below is a picture of my handsome boys. WOW...do I wish I could talk them into some serious haircuts:) LOL! We ate at the Rainforest Cafe, always a treat.


Then we were off to a movie. Lance took the boys to see Sherlock Holmes and I took the girls to The Princess and The Frog. It was cute and the boys really liked their movie too. Here are some pictures of Lorelle posing with the Chipmunks.

Lilyan lounging on the theatre chase...

I wish Lorelle would have had her glasses on for this one. TOO cute!

Keylime Cove!


Lance and I took the gang to Gurnee, IL the last couple days for some fun and relaxation at Keylime Cove. Here are a few of my favorite pictures:-) All the kids, except Lilyan, loved the slides. Lilyan liked the wave pool and LOVED the lazy river. I like the lazy river too so we spent a lot of time being lazy together. FUN time had by all!!!






An afternoon of racing...


Lance took the boys to watch some racing at the Coliseum on Sunday. This was Liam's first race with the BIG boys. He enjoyed it and also all the junk he consumed during it:-) He is thinking..."I am SO cool!" in this picture. The girls and I opted to spend our afternoon at the mall instead. But first...we all enjoyed a lunch together at Red Robin. YUM!


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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Morning 2009...

Leytan and I were the early risers this year...up at 6AM. Unfortunately we share allergy issues which makes it hard for us to sleep in. We hung out and Leytan peaked through his stocking until Lance and Landan joined us. Lauren also stumbled out of bed and dozed on the love seat so that she would not miss all the action:-)



Lorelle was the first of the triplets up. She was all smiles as usual. Doesn't she look younger with her new haircut?! I think I like that:-)


Liam and Lilyan made their way out to join us just a few minutes apart of each other. Everyone enjoyed opening their gifts. Grandpa and Grandma Perry and also Grandma Linda came over for breakfast. We had the usual breakfast casserole, monkey bread and fruit. YUM!


We spent the day just hanging out and watching the Christmas Day Parade. We love Jammie Days at our house:-) Thank you God for sending us your son! Happy Birthday Jesus! We love you!!!

Lilyan got a new Junie B. Jones book...her FAVORITE!

Christmas Eve 2009...


Christmas Eve at our house was really nice. The little kids made their own homemade pizzas. And we big kids had crab legs. You can see below that Lance and Lauren were ESPECIALLY excited:-) LOL!


After dinner it was movie and popcorn time. We watched the movie Four Christmases. I love having all my gang snuggled up together on our sofa pit. We were all wearing our new Christmas pajamas. It is a yearly tradition at our house and all the kids look forward to receiving there festive new jammies each year. My PJs matched Lauren's:-) Don't they all look CUTE?!



Leytan and Chip snuggling...


After the movie we sprinkled some magical reindeer food (aka oatmeal with glitter mixed in) on the front lawn and then we sent the youngest five to bed. Lance, Lauren and I then played Santa. I love getting the gifts and stockings all ready for the kids to see in the morning. I think because I remember that being such a magical moment when I was a kid. Just like magic...those presents just appeared while I slept. Thanks Mom and Dad:)


How cute are these two...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Making, Baking and Decorating!


We have done a lot of this the last few days. The kids love making the stuff and I like eating it:-) This was our first year making the Buckeyes and they were SO good! We always make the Frosted Sugar Cookies and White Chocolate Pretzels and they don't last long at our house either. Oh my...I am gonna need to go on a serious NO JUNK diet to bring in the New Year.


Liam and Lilyan rolling and cutting out cookie dough...


Lorelle and Leytan decorating Gingerbread Houses...


Angela, Lilyan, Lauren and Aunt Mindy rolling Buckeyes...


Ashley and Landan dipping pretzels in chocolate...

Lorelle mixing up some cookie dough... and notice she is sporting her new Pampered Chef apron. Thanks Grandma Deb! She loves it!!!

Christmas Dinner with Family...


On Sunday, December 20th, we had a dinner with family. We cooked a prime rib and lots of goodies to go with it. It was great to be together again and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Landan read a special prayer before dinner this year, which was nice.

After dinner we had the kids sing Happy Birthday to Jesus before they could open up presents. We also made them take turns this years, starting with the youngest to oldest. Lorelle got a candy jewelry making machine...three of her favorite things: baking, jewelry and CANDY!


Landan and Lauren seemed SO grown up this year. It is sad to see them getting so big and mature but it is also very rewarding to see the young adults they have become. They both have such kind heart and totally get and appreciate the "reason for the season" now.

My beautiful Lilyan and my "baby" for about 6 more months...she was SO excited and thankful for all the crafty gifts she received from everyone. She was TOO cute!


Later in the evening, the kids decided they would put on a talent show for the adults. Lorelle and Ashley are the only two that actually performed and didn't chicken out. My 11 year old niece Ashley did a dance to the song Party in the USA by Miley Cirus. She was GREAT and can move her hips a little too well for her dad's liking I think:-) Lorelle sang a Demi Lavato song. She is a confident, fun , little girl and her singing makes me smile.

Thanks to all of you that I am blessed to call "Family"! I love you all!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

SNOW!!!

On Saturday morning the kids woke to our first real snow fall. They were dressed and out the door in record speed. They had a GREAT time! You can see Liam and Lilyan making snow angels below:-)


Lorelle was up and out the door next, followed by Leytan and Landan. They made snowmen, snow forts and had snow ball fights.




They spent about 5 hours total outside in the snow on Saturday, coming in periodically for hot chocolates. The snow continued to fall off and on, then on Sunday afternoon their cousins arrived and they found a hill in the neighborhood that worked for sledding. They have REALLY enjoyed the last few days slipping and sliding in the snow. Thanking God for the fluffy white stuff:-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Three little reindeer and an announcer...





Lorelle's class did "The Gingerbread Man" and also "How Santa Lost His Boots". Lorelle was the announcer at the beginning of the the play and had all her lines memorized perfectly. She was not feeling her best that day but she was a real trooper and made it through. She ended up being home with a fever the next day, which was her last day of school before Christmas break. She was a little disappointed to be missing her class Christmas party:-(



Lilyan's class also did "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and she was also a reindeer. She too did a great job memorizing her lines. Isn't she a beautiful little reindeer?!

Leytan actually made the Harrison School play this year. He was reindeer #3. He practiced long and hard for several Saturdays in a row along with the rest of the cast and choir. It turned out to be a wonderful performance. And most of all...he had FUN doing it! The play was called "The Incredible Reindeer". It was really cute and very entertaining. Here is a video clip of Leytan introducing himself before the play began.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Miscellaneous stuff...

Lauren is on break from school and it has been so nice to have her around more often. The kids love when she pops in to hang out with them and play games. Notice in the picture below Liam's big yawn:-) I think their card game is boring him. LOL! Lauren and I also got to enjoy a nice quiet lunch together this week at our favorite restaurant.

On Monday we took the kids to the Veggie Tales/ Matthew West event at our church. They showed the new Veggie Tales Christmas movie and the Christian singer Matthew West put on a concert after the movie. He played some of his favorite hits along with some classic Christmas music. It was a fun night. My Dad, Deb and Maddy joined us which made the night even more special. Here is a picture of the girls with Bob the tomato from Veggie Tales:-)

Lance and I have gone to Christmas parties the last two Saturday nights. Thanks to the Miller and Hall families for such great nights. It is kind of a tradition for us to get our picture taken together before we go out. See the pictures below and notice I have also made a change in my hair color. I have decided to go red for the winter:-) It has been a fun change!




We have made a little progress towards Levi's adoption. We now have our fingerprint appointment scheduled with the USCIS. It is scheduled for Christmas Eve morning. Merry Christmas to me! A couple weeks after our appointment we should get an approval letter. This will be the last piece of paperwork we need so that our Dossier will be complete and can be sent to China. The picture below is of the stuff I included in Levi's Christmas package that I sent him this week. I included a ornament that I could record a message on and also a key chain that I added 45 digital photos of our family. I hope he enjoys all his gifts.


Tomorrow starts a busy week of school plays, parties and other pre-Christmas activities. The kids have 5 more days of school and will be off until after the New Year. I want to get all the gifts wrapped this week and get the grocery shopping all done. We are having our extended family Christmas dinner a week from today. Oh boy...let the busy week begin!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

MY pretty tree...

Here are some pictures of my first EVER pretty tree! Don't get me wrong...I LOVE the kids trees and all their fun character and homemade ornaments but I have also wanted a pretty tree for about 11 years now and this year I decided it was time:-) It is also a REAL tree, which we have not had in years. I am enjoying it!



Lorelle's an ORANGE Belt!


On Monday, Lorelle tested at karate. She did well and on Thursday she was awarded her orange belt. She started karate lessons a couple months ago and is REALLY enjoying it.






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