Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa Pictures

After our first attempt at Christmas pictures, I wasn't sure how Santa pictures would go.  Of course, I had to try....well no grumpy children, but still no smile from Alex.  We made progress because this time Alex was not screaming or crying on Santa's lap.  In fact, she was trying extra hard to frown.  You can almost see the hint of the smile coming on.   She is such a little stinker.  As soon as I agreed with the photographer that we were done, she smiled.  But I couldn't get my camera ready fast enough.
 She even agreed to give Santa a big hug, but no smiles!  She is such a mess.  I know she was doing it more on purpose than on fear factor!  I still think this picture looks so sweet.
 After Santa pictures, I had the brainless idea to walk down to Picture People & see how long was the wait.  After waiting 10 minutes for someone to help me, they told me that they could not get the kids in for another 45 minutes.   I knew I would lose the happy moods in 45 minutes, so I told them, No thank you.  Then I decided to do the next best thing and just take my own pictures right there in the middle of the mall.  Both kids were being silly and chasing each other around and around the circular bench, but I did get this really cute one.  Can you believe it all 4 dimples are showing in this picture?  I think this is the first time ever I have gotten both kids to smile big enough to show all their dimples.  This is my eternal mission for pictures.  I call it the perfect picture and am just sure that one of these days, it will happen.  This was pretty darn close to the perfect picture, just need them looking directly at the camera....I know picky, picky!
 Then I got a close up of my sweet boy with his chapped lips and all!
 I think Alex was trying out her modeling poses!  But at least it shows off her entire Christmas outfit, which is vitally important for a little girl!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Pictures Attempt #1

Two weeks ago, I asked my teaching partner, friend, and photographer friend, Melissa Chase to take some Christmas pictures for me of the kids.  We both had our student teachers teaching, so we planned to leave right at 3:30.  Everything was going as planned until we picked Alex & Lauren up at Tracey's.  That was when Tracey shockingly told me that Alex did not take a nap today.  I don't know if Alex has EVER not taken a nap at Tracey's.  Sure she does that sometimes at home, especially when we are running errands, but not for Tracey.  That should have been my first clue, but oh no I was determined.  Well of course my kids did not want to cooperate.  But she still got some cute shots.  Here they are unedited and not her professional quality work.  I knew she didn't have time to do anything with them, I had already watched her stressing over editing for 2 weeks straight. 
                                     No smile, but it does show how much she loves her bubba.
Such a good Aggie pose, I didn't even ask him to do this!
Alex's usual pose, when she is determined to not give me her big smile!

What fun would pictures in the park be without a few in the leaves?

This was about all we could get before her daughter & my children decided they were done!  As soon as we left, I promised Riley that we would stop at QT for a slushie since his throat was hurting.  Each child got their own slurpy.  Alex finished hers in about 5 minutes & then was out, sound asleep for the rest of the night.  She didn't even wake up when I put her pj's on and tucked her into bed.  I guess in hindsight we got some GREAT pictures, considering how tired she was. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Christmas from Sea World!

Last weekend, my parents & I took the kids to San Antonio & Sea World.  I took a half day off work on Friday so that we could leave early and see the Christmas lights on the riverwalk.  Except along the way, we got distracted and found this great little Santa's wonderland full of lights.  It was 12 acres of land decorated completely in lights.  It was $20 a car, but I think it was well worth it.  Here were some of my faves...
This truck looked like something Randy would do!

 My favorite scene was the ski hill, complete with skiers & chair lift!

Saturday morning we got up & everyone was ready for some Shamu fun. It was a beautiful 78 degree day. 
Crossing through the front gates, we were greeted by Santa Shamu.  Alex loves to see the characters from a distance, but not up close.  She kept making me laugh.  She would reach out to touch him and then freak out and pull back.  Silly girl!
 After Shamu, we decided to try our luck with real animals.   Riley loves to feed the dolphins and they were pretty hungry.  After all six fish were quickly devoured, Riley just wanted to touch one so bad.  Except every time they would get close, he would jerk and then the dolphins would swim away. 
 Our day was going pretty well, so we decided to go see Santa while everyone still looked good.  But Alex was going to have no part in seeing Santa!  Here was our first attempt of the year!
The Shamu show was still the best show of the day.  We were amazed at how small the crowds were.  But that made it easier to get the best seats and see everything we wanted to see. 
 Snowman Village
Around midafternoon we were all dragging, so we headed back to the hotel to take a quick nap before heading back out for the 2 Christmas shows.

The best show of the day was the Christmas Shamu show, Miracles.  I was impressed because:
1. Sea World celebrates Christmas, and not Happy Holidays or Season's Greetings.
2. They mentioned Christ, although it was only in reference but never actually in name, but really close in a public arena. 
Then the show was so sweet because while the 3 killer whales did all their tricks, they had the baby (that was born last January) following his momma around and trying to do all the tricks too.  It was so cute!  Just one of those moments where you feel proud of watching your children and all their accomplishments.
    We ended the weekend by stopping in Round Rock to visist with my cousin Jamie, Chad, Aunt Jeanne, and Caleb (who is exactly 6 weeks older than Alex).  It was fun to visit with everyone.  I love to watch the kids play together.  I just wish we could have spent more time.  They all had so much fun!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween 2010

On Friday our school had Storybook Character Dress Up day for Halloween.  My awesome 4th grade team chose to be nerds!  Definitely the best dressed team at BES!
 I only worked a half day because Randy & I took off  to College Station for our first Aggie football game in 4 years.  Sadly I have zero pictures of hanging out at the Trykoski ranch, going to Midnight Yell, an awesome Aggie football game where we beat Tech, or watching the World Series at some horrible Mexican food restaurant in Huntsville because Randy wanted to bring his little camera instead.  Then just as we took the first picture, the battery died.  Yes, that is why I am never in the pictures, because if you want a job done right, you do it yourself!  But we did have a great time!  Then we woke up Sunday morning, had some pancakes & bacon cooked by Greg, Yummy, and then headed home for Trick or Treating!
 Having Halloween on Sunday made me antsy to get started.  Usually I am rushing home from work and trying to hurry through dinner.  This night we grabbed quarter corn dogs from Sonic and we dressed & were ready to go by 6:30.  Except that Randy wouldn't let us go until it got dark.  I thought that since the Ranger game started at 7:00, that gave us an excuse to start early, but Randy still was not buying it. 
 It took alot of convincing to get Alex to understand that she did not need to bring a purse & a backpack trick or treating.  Her bucket was all she would need!
Riley was the transfomer, Bumble Bee and didn't need any coaching on what to bring!
 First stop of many.  Sadly I think they were more excited about riding in the gator than actually trick or treating, but then again they had trick or treated at Trunk or Treat and Boo at the Zoo already!

One last photo as the night wore on.  Trick or treating was a success, but I wish we had more than 4 kids trick or treat at our own house.  I have a ridiculous amount of candy left over!!!

Trunk or Treat

On Sunday, Oct. 24, which also happens to be my birthday, our church had Trunk or Treat.  So for the first time this year, we had a Bumblebee Transformer & a ladybug.  Our Sunday School class' theme was Western Nashville Star.  Sadly I have no pictures of me all dressed up, because of course I was the one taking the pictures, like always. But I do have pictures of the kids posing on the saddle!
Here is Riley trying to rope our hay steer!  For trunk or treat, each class picks a theme to all dress up like and then some have theme related games to go along with it.
Where's Waldo?
 Our photo spot
 Alex riding the "horse" at the Western Trunk!
As I was getting all dressed up in my boots & hat, Randy came in & asked if he just had to be a Nashville Star.  I stupidly just answered "yes."  Little did I know that that meant he was coming as Larry the Cable Guy.   Although I think he looks pretty normal to me!
Oh & the best part of Trunk or Treat is all the candy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BES in the Homecoming Parade

Last week was a super busy week for Bluebonnet Elementary.  We started the week off by participating in the Fossil Ridge Homecoming Parade.  As a teacher, I have never done this, but Riley thought it would be fun.  This year the theme was "Once Upon a Time".  So we told all our students (all 10 of them) to dress as a princess or prince charming.  I really wasn't sure what I was going to have Riley wear.  Alex has lots of princess dresses, but boys don't really have Prince Charming outfits. 
Then while borrowing a sit-n-stand stroller from my friend Jenn, the perfect costume appeared.  Jenn & I were standing there just talking and the subject of Halloween costumes came up.  I mentioned that I didn't know what Riley was going to wear to school, because he wants to be a transformer and you can't wear a mask to school.  She suggested I borrow this knight costume.  I LOVED the idea!  Plus every prince charming is actually a knight in shining armor, right?
 My knight in shining armor!
Then my little knight with his princess!

 Our BES "Prince Charming" and "Princess"
The group standing around and waiting.  They told us to be there at 4:30.  So we rushed over while snacking on Sonic Cheese Sticks & a coke.  I knew it would be a while till dinner, so I wanted to get the kids a snack.  I should have brought the snack to our waiting place.  Because we waited for an hour and a half for the parade to begin.  Poor Alex was so done, before we got started.
 One of my awesome teammates painted these signs!  I loved it.  The car was Carol's corvette that she & her husband drove in the parade.  With the exception of listening to the princess music (they are parents of 3 boys!), I think they loved it and the car was a beauty!
Once the parade started, Alex was all smiles.  She had so much fun & so did Riley.  The only bad thing was I had to carry Alex most of the way.  The procession just moved too fast for her to keep up with it. She tried a couple of times, but her legs are just not that long.  I was exhausted by the time we finished, but the kids were so excited.  Luckily Nana & Gampa had come to watch, so I called them and had them meet us at Fossil Ridge HS, so that we did not have to walk back to Chisolm Trail. 

Pumpkin Patch

A couple of weekends ago, we braved the Flower Mound Pumpkin Patch on a Saturday.  Every year around this time, I am reminded of how much I enjoyed being off on maternity leave part of September & all of October.  Alex got taken to many places early on, because Riley & I could enjoy them without the crowds on a weekday.  Oh well, that is the life of a working mom!  The pumpkin patch was crowded as usual and Alex was determined not to smile for any pictures.  At least I can always count on a few good smiles from Riley.  As we pulled into the patch parking lot, Riley immediately requested that we get their faces painted first.  I agreed since this usually makes for some really cute pictures.  Besides that they don't charge for these, just tips.  I can afford that!  I let each child pick out their picture.  Riley wanted the mummy.

 Alex wanted the pumpkin.  She really was happy about it.  Although this picture reminds me of those pictures of the poor kids in Africa who are asking you to send money. Just look at those eyes.
 Then this is another must each year at the pumpkin patch.

I tried hard to get lots of poses with some smiles, but never for the camera.  In general, Alex just wanted a nap!

 Finally I gave up on pictures and we headed over to the many bounce houses.  Look I found a SMILE!  Too bad, it was behind the bounce house screen!
 Riley loved the bounce house slide, although he insisted on going down sideways or end over end.
Too bad the smiles didn't last once I made everyone get out of the bounce houses, but they still had lots of fun!  Oh and slept well on the way home!