Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Hoopla

Can you believe it's almost Christmas?? I feel like the month of December has flown by! I guess that's the upside to being busy during the holiday season...we say "bye" to Lala, Poppi, and the Aunties at Thanksgiving and then blink and they're back for Christmas! :)

Drew recently got to spend an entire (!!) day with Grandma (and part of it with Grandpa too). It was heaven for him and heaven for me since it opened up some time for me to finish up the last of my Christmas shopping. In the evening, Collin also headed over to Grandma's house for a movie night and dinner, so I was even able to steal Nathan away and finish up the last of the Christmas shopping for the boys as well. I heard all about what a good time they had, but fortunately Kathleen snapped a few pictures for me as well.

Lunch after golf with Grandpa. Kathleen said Drew needed everything about lunch to be the exact same as Grandpa.  A note about the golf thing- this was the usual mommy and me golf clinic Drew's been doing for a while now, but this week it was grandpa who showed up to take him. Drew just about jumped out of his clothes when he found out that Grandpa would be going golfing with him instead of one of us this week. 

 That day also started a new tradition for Grandma and Drew (and Collin too when he's old enough). Gingerbread houses! It's hard to see, but I love that his tongue is sticking out of his mouth in concentration in this photo!

 The finished product! Drew had plenty of fun making this, but has had even more fun sneaking the candy off of it to eat throughout the day! It will be a fun tradition for both boys to continue in years to come. Thanks Grandma!!

We also did our annual trip with the Collings family to go walk Candy Cane Lane; a neighborhood not far from our house that is filled with Christmas lights. As usual, we froze our tails off and enjoyed seeing all the lights and decorations together.

Brayden and Drew

Brayden's little brother Jackson and little sister Carli

Carolers! Jenn and I were recently talking about how you never see carolers anymore and lo and behold, twice this week I've seen them! I loved that this group just stood outside one of the houses singing to all of us as we walked by!

Look at this guy...two coffees, two kids, one jogger. No problem. It's like he's a Daddy or something....

The whole lot of us.

A few of the houses have dressed up characters out in front. Drew loved Frosty....

 ....but was terrified of the Grinch! To his credit, that Grinch was pretty scary looking!

A fun night! So much fun in fact, that we walked it again a few nights later with another group of friends! 

We met this group of friends when we joined a Bible study group with our church a few years ago. I would have never guessed how well we would all click, but they've become some of our closest friends. In fact, this is how we met Drew's best buddy Noah. Anyway, this week we did a dinner and gift exchange with everyone and then bundled up to go walk Candy Cane Lane again.

Noah and Drew exchanging gifts. I don't know if they were more excited to open their own gifts, or "help" the other open and show what they had bought each other .

Collin and Nathan (Noah's little brother) eventually joined in the fun too

We tried to get Matthew (Kyle and Michelle's new baby) in for a group picture of all the kiddos, but it seems that the more kids you add to a picture, the less likely you are to get a good photo. ;)

Love these people!

Noah and Drew got to ride in the wagon down Candy Cane Lane. You should have seen Laura drive this thing! First of all, she doesn't pull it, she pushes it....with a coffee in one hand, and Nathan in the Ergo pack on her front. She's a super Momma. I think it's her secret power....and I think she is the only one out of all of us that could push the wagon and make it go straight!

On a totally different note, Christmas marks a year of blogging for me. I haven't been nearly as consistent as I said that I would, but I do feel like this blog has served it's purpose as a scrapbook of sorts for the boys. ...Now if only I could figure out how to print it in book format. Julie (yep, you dear cousin of mine!), I think you had mentioned you've done this before, so if that's true, send some of that blog world wisdom my way please! I'll owe you! For that matter, anyone else out there that knows how to do this, I could use your pearls of wisdom as well!

And finally, since the reality of me posting again before Christmas is slim....


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thanksgiving Part 2 and The Great Christmas Tree Hunt

I finally remembered, or rather Kathleen remembered and brought me, the memory card reader I needed to pull the pictures off her camera. So, as promised, here are a few of the pictures from Thanksgiving with the Hagens.

The dining room...pre food and people. 

What else are hallways full of smooth floor meant for??

Oh Collin....

Let's eat!!

I realized when I sat down to go through photos tonight that I didn't get any of us once we all sat down with our food. I guess we (and by we, I mean I) were so focused on the delicious food in front of us, that the camera and pictures that should have been taken fell by the wayside. I'm kicking myself for not at least getting a group picture. Suffice it to say though, I love love loved Thanksgiving this year! I loved the time we got with Nathan's family and I loved the time we got with mine the next day. It was perfect and so, so fun!

Even though I was definitely lacking in the Thanksgiving pictures department, I did happen to find these little gems on Kathleen's card while holding it captive (it sort of made up for the lack of pictures I had hoped to have). These were taken a few months before Collin was born (and Kathleen, I hope you don't mind me snagging them). Where did that little kid go??

Ahhh, memory lane. I'm starting to understand how people want more and more babies as their babies grow up. *Starting* to understand....I'm not promising Duggar amounts of children here, Mom.

Anyway, the Monday after Thanksgiving, the Fall decorations were out and the Christmas decorations in. I loooooove Christmas and try to keep it in my house as long as possible! This year, I managed to convince Nathan to go and get a tree the Monday after Thanksgiving instead of waiting for the following weekend like we had originally planned. Since Nathan and I have gone to visit my family in Oregon every year around Christmas, we haven't had a Christmas tree since we were living in Atascadero. This year though, my family is spending Christmas at our house, so I was uber excited to take the boys and go hunt down our tree. Take that word "hunt" with a grain of salt. I would love to find a place in or around Fresno that makes the tree "hunt" more of a go and chop down your own tree sort of "hunt", but the tree lot will suffice for now. I'll take what I can get. I had fun, the boys had fun. I'd say it was a win-win.

The boys both took the tree lot as their own personal *very large* hide and seek grounds. They'd disappear the second we let them down. We spent a lot of time chasing. Almost as much time as hunting

Once we "caught" them, we decided to start playing peek-a-boo through the trees to occupy them nearby...

It worked for both kids...

For oh...about point two seconds!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Turkey Day 2011

So here we are, another week, and of course late. As usual. I blame the projects. The piles upon furniture sized piles of projects going on in my house. It's that crazy do-it-yourself hair brain idea that was hardwired into me. I do believe my multi tasking is getting the better of me these days though. I never thought I would say this, but I will be thankful when my garage full of furniture has all been refinished and piles of inside projects completed. I do however, think my house will be looking fabulous *if* I ever muster all that energizer bunny energy I seem to be lacking to actually finish things up. Throw in some Christmas decorating and gifts that need to be finished up and ta da! There you have it. The reason I am constantly behind on blogging. It's life right now. Full speed ahead. However, just because I've been majorly slacking on posting, doesn't mean that there haven't been anything going on in this little house of ours.

Thanksgiving this year was so fun! I love big family anything, so using a holiday as an excuse to get everyone together and eat some of my favorite once a year foods sounds like a pretty great idea to me! We spent Thanksgiving day this year with Nathan's family at his parents' house. It's been a while since we've been in town for Thanksgiving, so it was nice to enjoy things here in town. Collin wasn't feeling one hundred percent the week of Thanksgiving and still wasn't feeling great the night we were at Nathan's parents', but for the most part, he stayed happy and did great. We had a ton of fun and ate a ton of food. Unfortunately, I took all of my pictures on Kathleen's camera (I had forgotten mine!) and need a card reader to get the pictures onto my computer. I managed to snag the card from the camera, but not the reader and believe it or not, I've seen Nathan's mom at least three or four times since Thanksgiving and still haven't managed to remember to grab the card reader. I'll have the Hagen family Thanksgiving pictures up ASAP...don't let me forget Christi (cause I know you won't!).

My parents also ended up coming down this year (thanks to some major persuasion by Auntie Jenn Jenn), so we did Thanksgiving with my parents at our house on Friday. Nathan's mom joined us (his dad was hunting or would have been there too), and we had another day of fun and feasting. Hands down this year was my favorite way we have done Thanksgiving. Both days legitimately felt like a holiday to me, and I loved not having to cram through two meals or skip one family's entirely.

Drew was long overdue for some Lala time and spent most of the weekend glued to either her or Poppi (the upside to this? He crawled into their bed bright and early in the morning. Aaaaah, sleep. Fabulous sleep. How I've missed you! Seriously, sleeping in until 8:00 felt like heaven!).

Really it was both boys that were long overdue on some Lala and Poppi loving. Collin ate up having my Dad here, it was adorable!

Collin not only wanted to hang out with Poppi, he also thought it was necessary to feed him at any given opportunity!

Aaaaand, this pretty much summarized the boys' Thanksgiving weekend. Little boys that played Nintendo apparently turn into big boys that play iPhones/Ipods/Ipads. No exaggeration, this is how the entire weekend looked for them.

Say cheese!

Some lovin' from Auntie Kell

Turkey time! (My dad makes a pretty mean turkey!)

Aw, four of the favorite boys in my life!

Lala and Drewski

Coll and Auntie Christi

Someday I'll be at the big kid table, but this year I was at the "medium kid" table. Haha.

Nathan and his Mom

And of course, if the Aunties are in town, goodies are being shared with Drew in abundance. Next time girls, just pump that sugar right into his veins. ;)

Auntie Kell made Drew a pretty amazing race track down our hallway and throughout the house for Drew to play cars on. Drew has insisted that we not take it away, so it has stayed. It's a favorite, and will probably stay through Christmas.

We also figured that since Auntie Christi was in town, we may as well take advantage of her mad hair cutting skills. Drew has hated getting his haircut lately so I thought maybe since it would be Christi cutting his hair this time that he may be more willing to sit for a haircut. If only it were that easy. When we ran the plan by Drew he still balked at the idea. By chance, Christi ran by the hair supply store and took Drew. While they were there, Drew saw this cape. Christi hyped up the cape and the haircut that would go along with it, bought the cape, and voila! This three year old sat still (for the most part) for his haircut.

This not-so-three-year-old? Let's just say the cape didn't hold quite the same charm for Nathan as it did for Drew. :)

And finally, we got lucky enough to celebrate a birthday with this little sister of mine! Happy Birthday Christi!! We miss you and wished you lived closer to us!!