February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is in the air and let me tell you that I love any excuse to celebrate, including the holidays of the Hallmark variety!  For the second year we all got dressed up and had a nice dinner in our dining room.  I'm glad to be making this a new tradition.  The menu this year was pork carnitas with tex-mex rice and pinto beans wrapped in a flour tortilla and pan fried, and it was delicious!  I served it with some chips and salsa, just like you get in the Mexican restaurants!
Pork Carnitas - YUM!
We only had one school celebration (our Family Center party) since we got some major snow yesterday that caused schools to cancel for 2 days.  So unfortunately, the boys were unable to celebrate with their classmates and hand out their special Valentine's but at least we got to celebrate at home.  They loved their box of chocolates and heart shaped lollipop from the local candy store.

The Heart Shaped cake we shared with our Family Center friends!

I always have fun putting together the Valentine cards for the boys.  This year I used a pink back drop and made a Valentin'es Day set.  I always get the boys some kind of dress shirt in the red/pink family and because Evan's still little, I'm always able to get him a cute Valentine's long sleeved tee.  They don't make them in big boy sizes.  Either way they all looked handsome in their card portraits!  This is the 3rd year we have done these cards (after I got the idea from a friend!) and I just love doing them!  And for the record, they are just as easy to put together as some of the store bought ones!!
All You Need is LOVE & LOLLIPOPS!
Evan starting to work on his cards!
David signing his cards!
Shaun did a great job writing all his classmates names!

I just love our fancy dinners.  If you have young kids and you want to do something special on Valentine's Day, get the family dressed up and have dinner at home.  It's lots of fun!  This year we finished the night by watching some highlights of the Olympics with the boys.  They got a kick out of the slope-style skiing and snowboarding.
The boys dressed to the nines and ready for dinner!
Me and my Valentines!
Ready to enjoy "Fancy Dinner"
And now time to relax and share some Candy Shoppe truffles with my #1 Valentine!

January 8, 2014

Happy New Year!

This is our third annual New Years-A-Palooza, and this year we added two munchkins (Owen and Isabella!) to the mix of children.  So if you want to do the math, it's 3 couples, 10 kids ages 8 years to almost 4 months old, NINE boys and (finally!) ONE girl!

The Gang ~ 2013
We decided that it was best to get the pictures out of the way first thing to try and eliminate any whining.  It also helps to bribe them with dessert and sparklers for good behavior.  Ha!

The goal was to get a picture of all three together and have smiles all around.  Challenge Accepted!

The Momma's
We decided to make things easier this year and instead of making a big meal we put out lots of have munchies and I made dough for homemade pizzas.

For some reason the kids always get the dinning room!  Homemade cheese pizza and Shirley Temples!

We ring in the New Year early with the kids by setting off fireworks and letting them swirl sparklers.  

Ready for the show!
Waiting to light the sparklers!
A little night time sledding for the older boys!

After the fireworks show, it was time for the kiddos to go to sleep, after all the fun, they all surprising went to sleep without issues.  Evan gave us the most trouble, but we only had to go up twice before he got the message that it was lights out!  Once the kids were asleep it was time for some grown up fun - drinks and board games!  We rang in the new year with a champagne toast and then it was time for all of us to hit the hay, because even though we were up late, the children would be up early!

2013 was a great year but we are ready for what 2014 has in store for us!

December 28, 2013

Wonderful Christmastime!

Christmas week is coming to a close and the thought of taking down the tree and lights makes me sad!  I'm glad to keep it up for one more week!  We started off the weekend before Christmas with a trip to Santa's Village with our friends!  I have never been in the winter and even though it was raining, it was still magical and seeing the entire park in Christmas lights was spectacular!

Visiting with Santa to give him their last minute requests!
That brings us to Christmas Eve and the new traditions we have started with our family!  The first one is watching the video email from Santa to find out if they made it to the nice list!  They did!

Portable North Pole Video Email!
And we figured that Santa gets LOADS of cookies so we made Cookie Dough truffles!  The boys each decorated one special for Santa!

The next Christmas Eve tradition is putting out the luminaries!
The boys were a big help this year getting them all ready!
The Christmas glow!
And of course no Christmas Eve is complete without opening up new Christmas jammies!

And the annual reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas!

Santa has come and gone!
The boys all stay in Shaun's room on Christmas Eve so that GG and Auntie Kristin can use the other two bedrooms.  That means that they are up early, this year they were up at 6am and our rule is no downstairs until 7am!  Thankfully we were able to distract them with some Netflix on the Kindle.

Daddy checked to make sure it was safe to come downstairs, but not before a picture!

And now it was time to open up their gifts from Santa and check out their stalkings!
Evan is VERY excited about his Monsters University toothbrush!
David has figured out that this must be the magic kit to go with the hat he opened earlier!
The Skylander sticker book that he wanted at the book store last week....How did Santa know!?!
The treasure hunt to find the big family gift that Santa left us....A new computer!
After the hustle and bustle of Christmas part 1!
The boys with their GG!!
After Christmas part 1, we cleaned up and started prepping for Christmas part 2 with my family.  We started out with munchies and then the kids opened their gifts from the family!

Skylander legos!  Awww...yeah!
Time for another Christmas tradition, the eating of the Prime Rib!  It's my third year making this and this year was exceptional!  Dare I say, I have really outdone myself!
So pumped, he saved himself the piece that was mooing from the middle!
The cool kids table!
Taking advantage of the little snow we had left, the kids headed outside for some sledding.  Guess we didn't take into account the layer of ice as Shaun went flying into our neighbors fence.  The black eye he is sporting since is quite impressive!
Before the incident!
Checking out Cohen's new sled!
Evan stuck with the saucer!
And we finished off the night, after exchanging Secret Santa gifts, with some Karaoke on the new machine that Santa brought for the boys!
David and Cohen's rendition of "What does the Fox Say"
Lastly, to complete our Wonderful Christmastime, we headed to the Cape to celebrate with the rest of the family.  It was nice and laid back with munchie food and loads of desserts.  The boys got some more cool gifts from his great Aunts and had fun playing some of their new games!
Evan shows Aunt Vicki how to play Minion Rush!
Evan and Aunt Karen play Monsters University, while the other two play a Skylanders game with Omi and Auntie Kristin!
It's hard to believe that another Christmas has come and gone.  I cherish these memories every year and I love the new and old traditions we are sharing with our boys.  I am already looking forward to next year!  Now bring on 2014!