Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How We're Keeping Busy

I haven't cleaned the house or put away Christmas stuff yet, because we've been too busy having fun! Today though, as soon as I finish this post, I'm getting to work...the mess is starting to stress me out :-).
Chloe and Papa were here for a couple days, which meant Ella got to be one of the big girls with Chloe and Hope. She loved every minute of it. (and Chloe and Hope were too cute in their matching brightly colored skinny jeans and Converse shoes)
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She also got to go see The Tale of Despereaux with Grammy. She had been anxiously awaiting this day since the last movie they went to when they saw the preview. When I asked what the movie was about she said, "A big, mean mouse trapped a princess and a little mouse saved the princess!"
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Ella has been working on her singing, at full volume, constantly the past few days.

Ella's Singing from Marci Freeman on Vimeo.
I have been working on our 2008 Blurb book, which is going to be quite the project. I'm only half way through February...and we had 2 weddings this year too! My goal is to get it done before Preston arrives! Today our whole family went to the library where Mike got to meet our favorite friend Venitha and see how the girls get the VIP treatment (going behind the desk to pick out newly arrived books and to the backroom to say hi to all the librarians). Addie loves to hang out with the big bear there :-).
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It's time to get some things done while the girls sleep/rest and then we are going to attempt our walk again today so Ella can ride her bike. No big plans for New Year's Eve for us, and with the amount I've been sleeping lately I'm guessing I won't be awake at midnight anyway :-)! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Latest Favorite Christmas Song

Finally, thanks to Hope, today I found someone who had posted the rest of the songs from our joint-church Christmas concert (I added them to the end of that previous post). So, although this post is a little late in coming, it is still December, so we'll call it good.
One of the songs we sang was The Carol of the Drum, aka The Little Drummer Boy. It was one the choir seemed to be struggling with a little and during one practice my friend Heather told us something she had been told when singing it in another choir. She told us to put ourselves in the shoes of a young, poor child who has come to see the newborn King and the only gift he has is to play his drum for the baby. That he must be feeling nervous and scared as he timidly begins to play at first. Then Mary begins to nod to the music, the animals begin to move as well, and he begins to play with more emotion and feeling and then the Baby Jesus smiles at him! I have always liked the song (I posted two of my favorite versions at the bottom), but after having the song put into that perspective it suddenly meant so much more. The next time I was listening to my practice CD in the car before the concert it made me cry (thanks a lot Heather!)...I like to blame it on my pregnancy hormones :-), but it really is a beautiful song.
Here we are:

Josh Groban's version:

Jars of Clay's version:

Monday, December 29, 2008

It's Something

Addie may not be able to identify as many letters and colors as Ella did at this age (since I haven't taken as much time to teach her), but she is definitely a baby genius when it comes to her princesses :-)! She also loves Snow White, Cinderella and Jasmine, but they weren't featured on the wand...

Addie knows the Princesses from Marci Freeman on Vimeo

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, Silly Sleepers, and a Second viewing of Twilight

Yesterday morning we decided to take a walk to our neighborhood park and let Ella ride her bike there. She was THRILLED! I packed a little picnic lunch and we were finally ready to head out...and it started raining :-(. We walked to the mailbox in the sprinkling instead and were home before the real rain started. We ate our picnic while watching Tinkerbell, but it wasn't quite the same. I promised Ella there will be plenty of other days to ride her bike to the park and I'm sure she'll remind me!

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Rainy days mean entertaining yourselves inside...something the girls never have a problem doing...
Ella and Addie jumping on bed from Marci Freeman on Vimeo.
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Ella playing Barbies from Marci Freeman on Vimeo.
And last night we had a girls night and went to see Twilight again. I liked it MUCH better this time around (although the scene with Edward saving Bella in the ballet studio still drove me CRAZY) and sitting further back definitely helped as well. So, if you saw it once and hated it, try it again!

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We always go check on the girls before we go to bed (once when Ella was little we went to check on her in her crib and she had thrown up and was just sleeping it, so now we have to double check every night!) and sometimes find them in crazy positions, etc. This was last night... Addie with her shoes on...

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and Ella had set up these two Cinderellas together and it made me laugh :-)...

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(Oh, and something funny Ella said the other day I forgot to write down. On Christmas Day while my Grandma was watching them she was singing into one of the girls' new microphones. Ella said, "I think the batteries are dying!" My Grandma looked at it and then told her it didn't take batteries, to which Ella replied, "Well, it's giving me a headache.")

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our Christmas Day

Here's the rest of our Christmas morning. Ella's reactions were GREAT and she declared that she had the best Christmas ever, so we'll take it :-)! Addie was much more calm and collected about it all, but seems to be enjoying all the new toys...especially her princess shoes.
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Addie took a little tumble while Ella was practicing her new bike outside...notice her little tear.

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Preston's presents from Ella and Addie (I have always loved boy shoes and was excited to finally pick some out!).

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We spent the morning relaxing at home and trying to play with everything. Then we headed over to my parents' house for a yummy Christmas brunch...it is my favorite food part of the holiday (different quiches, fruit, hot chocolate, puffed pancakes, fresh juice, etc.)!

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We hung out a little bit and then we all went to see Valkyrie, except my grandma who was kind enough to play with the girls at our house so Mike and I could both go (THANKS!!!). I really enjoyed the movie, although it obviously was a little depressing. It is based on actual events, so you pretty much know how it is going to end, but I still found myself thinking that just maybe something would change and it would all work out :-). According to my grandfather (who knows everything) it was very historically accurate too, which is always nice. It was Mack's last night in town (memo to Mack...try to come for more than 2 days next year!!!) so we stayed up late playing, what else, Scum :-).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Priceless

I'll post later...we're about to play Scum, but wanted to show you Ella's reaction this morning. She never really asked for a bike so I wasn't sure how she would feel about it...you can judge for yourself :-)!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve!

Everything is all set up for tomorrow (and here's a tip...it's worth the $10 for someone at Toys R Us to put your bike together!), so I figured I should blog today so I can avoid the blogging overload I encountered when we returned home from San Antonio :-).
We spent the morning recuperating from our trip...Addie slept in until nearly 9am...and then headed to Target for some last minute gift buying. It was actually a nice, warm day here in Houston, but hot chocolate seemed like a Christmasy thing to get anyway and really, any time is a good time for some, right?!
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Mike won the annual Risk game (thanks to taking advantage of our alliance I must add :-)!
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My dad was the first one out, but it was lucky for Ella because she got him to play rounds of Dora Candyland with her while the Risk game continued.

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Later on we ate our traditional Christmas Eve dinner at my grandparents' house (Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, 24 Hour Salad, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Corn and Rolls...yum!). My grandma always has these big poppers on the place settings that have little prizes inside and this year I got a dud, but that also meant I didn't have to wear a paper crown this year, so I'm not complaining :-).
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And then we exchanged gifts with my family. The girls are already a little present overloaded and it's not even Christmas yet...they don't seem to mind one bit :-).
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Addie was very interested in what other people were opening too...she was probably hoping for more princesses.

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We left the party early so we could come home and do our own little family traditions...looking at Christmas lights, opening 1 present (which happens to be pajamas - so weird!), reading the Christmas story (very condensed because Addie wasn't having it), and putting out our treat for Santa.
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Any guesses who might be a little excited that Santa is coming tonight?!
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We tried to involve Addie in the putting out of the Santa treat, but she just kept trying to eat the cookies, so Mike started taking her upstairs and Ella did it alone...maybe next year. They fell quickly asleep hoping he would come soon :-)!
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