Friday, December 31, 2010

Look what SANTA brought us!

After a lot of pleading to the big man in red, our biggest Christmas wish came true! We were blessed with FAMILY for the holidays!

Grandma and Grandpa Hanks showed up on Wednesday, the 22nd of December, and then the fun began!

Lily was SUPER happy to have her best buddy back. I hardly remember a time when she was not attached to her Grandpa's side.

Grandpa and Grandma both were responsible for teaching Lily how to stick out her tongue, clap her hands, climb up and down the stairs, stand up, and walk...with some assistance during their visit. Lily had Grandpa walking her back and forth for ever, and she would cry every time he tried to end their little game. Let's just say, she had him wrapped VERY tightly around her little finger!

Brooklyn wasn't exactly wanting for attention either. She WORSHIPS her grandma and followed her everywhere she went. She enjoyed art projects, dress up, morning snuggles, games, outings, and cookie making with grandma and loved every minute!

One of the fun things Brooklyn did with grandma Hanks took place after our FABULOUS Christmas Eve dinner with out friends, the Cottons. Grandma and Brooklyn decorated some of the cookies they had made earlier and laid them out for Santa. They also colored a picture for him so he would know how thankful we were for his visit.

Well, Santa DID come and boy did he deliver! The stockings were full, there were fun little toys and books in place of the cookies we had left out, and the presents were out and wrapped with care!

Because we had two extra people in our house for Santa to visit, we experienced the biggest pile of presents we had ever seen before! It was pretty crazy!

Lily actually loved the whole Christmas scene. She sat happily next to grandpa, opening presents, bouncing on the couch, and eating extra wrapping paper. She loved her new toothbrush that Santa brought for her one, giant, front tooth. She also loved her Lady Bug Pillow Pet from Grandma Uda and her adorable penguin hat that Aunt Janna made. (Which she has had SEVERAL complements on so far.) She also enjoyed many other fun presents from her aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, and some of our good friends.

Brooklyn, of course, thought she had died and gone to heaven! Santa brought her almost EVERYTHING she ever wanted, and mom and dad and her extended family took care of the rest. Her favorites included ALL dress-up items: cat and rabbit outfits, a tutu, and a mermaid outfit; as well as her new barbie mermaid, unicorn pillow pet, Tinkerbell bath kit from her cousin Teya and Ponyo DVD.

And to top things off, Grandma and Grandpa Hanks brought this princess castle/tent that the girls LOVE! They have been watching movies, playing tag and hide and seek, and taking naps in it ever since Christmas day!

Grandma and Grandpa even got brave enough to go inside and play for awhile!

Kevin and I also got spoiled, but for some reason, we forgot to take pictures. We did get a shot of Kevin putting on his bike helmet ear warmers that Janna made though. Kevin also got some Martial Arts lessons, a new family blog book, some tools, a remote controlled helicopter, and many fun books and games.

I scored big time with a Cuttlebug (a toy for card makers and scrapbookers), some GREAT books, girly lotions, and a shopping spree to KOHLS!

After all was said and done, we had a VERY big mess to clean up, but it was totally fun because we knew when there was space on our floor again, we would be able to play with our new toys! WOOHOO!

Anyway, we had an INCREDIBLE Christmas and were SO thankful that Grandma and Grandpa made it out to visit! We are also VERY grateful to all our family that remembered us with fun gifts, cards, and phone calls. We love and miss all of you and look forward to the time when we can come out and spend a great big Christmas with everyone! Until then, we wish you all an exciting and prosperous new year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fun with Christmas Giving!

As wonderfully fun as it is to get new things for Christmas, I still think I have a little more fun when I get to give a great gift. This year Kevin and I took that a step further and decided to give more home-made gifts! Here are a few of the fun things we were able to make and share with our friends and family:

This snowman was crafted out of 2X4 scraps, an old shirt and some wrapping paper! My friend Liberty Cameron taught me how to make him. We gave it to our good friends the Cotton's to thank them for the FANTASTIC Christmas Eve dinner that they shared with us!

We made this Grandchild Nativity for Kevin's mom for Christmas. Janna's daughter Audrey is the first sheep, Brian's kids Wes and Sydney star as Joseph and Mary, Lily is sheep number two, and Brooklyn tops the piece as the Angel. There is also room to grow on the sides in case Natalie, Sara, or Janna want to help make some wise men and shepherds. :)

Kevin and I crafted this medal hanging plaque (with some more help from Liberty Cameron) for my Marathon running sister and her speedy husband too! It was my first attempt using vinyl and I think it turned out pretty good!

Brooklyn got a mermaid outfit made out of a pajama leg, some extra hula costume material, and an old tank top. This isn't the best picture but she still looks cute in her mermaid clothes!

As a Christmas day project, Kevin's mom helped me to insulate our window seat by adding a padded window seat cover. She, of course, did all the hard stuff, but I actually did sew every stitch by myself. Its been a great addition to our home. We are much warmer in our living room now and we have more comfortable seating for our guests.

Last, but not least, the bunk beds! This was a project we wanted to finish for the girls for Christmas, but without a garage or yard, and with freezing temperatures, it took a little longer than we had hoped. Thanks to our friends the Cotton's, who let us borrow their garage the last few weeks, the beds are finally 100% built and back in my living room waiting to be painted and reassembled. I will post more pictures when it is done. Until then, happy crafting and happy giving!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The December SCOOP... so far!

So far December has been busy, but fun. We've had a lot of time to play indoors since its been FREEZING all month, but that's OK. The girls have enjoyed playing chicken fight with mommy and daddy, following each other around, jumping on our bed, snuggling under blankets and watching movies in the living room, and doing simple little things like helping daddy brush his teeth!

We've also enjoyed short trips out to the mailbox to see if there are any Christmas cards in there. Brooklyn's favorite card so far was a Princess Christmas card sent from Grandma Uda. As you can see from this picture, she was pretty excited to get it!

Earlier in the month Brooklyn and I went on a mommy daughter date to see the movie "Tangled". It was one of the funnest dates I've ever been on and Brooklyn REALLY appreciated the one-on-one time with mommy.

Kevin and I have also spent A LOT of time making Christmas presents and projects this month. Our living room officially looks like a lumber yard, but hopefully it will clear out by Christmas morning!

We got our first snow day earlier in the month as well. Brooklyn sat by the window all day squealing with excitement. She kept saying, "Mommy, its SNOWING! Now CHRISTMAS can come!"

On the Saturday after it snowed, Kevin got Brooklyn all bundled up and they went out to play in the snow together.

Brooklyn had so much fun with her dad that the cold didn't even phase her! She was running around and getting all excited about her footprints, and even managed to white wash her daddy a little!

The highlight of the snow day was the cute little snowman that we all made together. Unfortunately, I didn't make it into any of the pictures since I was working the camera!

We worked really hard on our little snowman, and as you can see, he turned out pretty cute! But not as cute as his little admirer. About a week after we made him, some mean little boy kicked him down. When Brooklyn discovered the crime, she was VERY upset. She started to cry and said, "Mommy! That mean boy melted my snowman!" Poor girl. But don't worry, daddy promised to make her another one when it snows again.

Now for the sad news...followed by some good news. We are all sick, AGAIN! We spent last night moping around the living room with fevers and body aches. The good news? I FINALLY quit my job. There were many things that motivated me to do so, but one of them was that we are ALWAYS getting sick! Hopefully now we won't be bringing home as many bugs. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Simple Math and Random Phenomena

People are always asking me how I had two children that look nothing like me. At first I wondered the same thing, but as time has gone by, I've been able to slowly pick out similarities. I now see that my children actually DO look like me. In fact, they not only look like me, but they are JUST LIKE ME! You just have to take a minute to do the math and then you will see it too!

The other day I was feeding Lily when she suddenly pulled this pose with the accompanying face. I couldn't help but laugh!

Lately Brooklyn has been really in to butterflies, angels, fairies, mermaids, princesses, and unicorns! But she isn't all girl. She also LOVES dinosaurs, robots, and aliens! Here is a picture of an alien that she drew for her daddy.

Remember that time I told you about Kevin changing Lily's diaper and getting poo all over the place? Well...the other day, Lily had another explosive poo diaper and I thought I would show Kevin how a REAL pro changes a diaper WITHOUT getting poop all over the house.

I could already tell by the coloring of Lily's shirt that the poo had escaped via bum crack onto her back, so I began by quickly and expertly whipping her pants off to avoid smearing. I then proceeded to wipe her back, belly, bum, and thighs clean from poo smears whilst simultaneously holding her legs and keeping her from crocodile rolling through her diaper.

I finished in no time and she was squeaky clean, as was my carpet and all surrounding areas. I was feeling pretty proud of myself until Brooklyn said, "Hey mom! What is that yucky thing over there?" I looked across the room at the fireplace to discover a stray poo that must have been hiding in Lily's pants when I flung them off of her. Incidentally, I managed to fling the poo as well. MODED! This picture shows where it all began...and where it ended! (If you look closely, you will actually see the poo! I took a picture before bleaching it away!)

Last but not least, Kevin received this email the other day, and I thought it was random enough to make the blog:


I was surfing the Internet at work today and found your blog and found we have something in common. My name is Kevin Hanks and I am a mechanical project engineer and I also have a daughter named Brooklyn. My wife and I have 4 children and live in Piedmont, SD.

I just thought it was a little weird to find someone else with my name who is also an engineer and our daughters have the same name.

Have a good day.


Anyway, that about sums up our random happenings as of late. Hope at least one of them made you smile!