Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Quick set of pictures for family and friends who were not able to join us yesterday. We had a wonderful wedding celebration.

The table in the room - we had a small celebration, the 3 of us and 24 family and friends.
In our finest.

Becky and her mom - doesn't Debbie look fabulous?
The ceremony itself.
Ally - with Michelle's daughters.
Of course its not a wedding without dancing!
We had a photographer who took over 1500 pictures, but it will be a while until we get those. These are some Beth and Debbie took with their cameras and we're grateful to be able to share these right away.
It was a wonderful evening.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tree Decorating

We've had our tree up for a few weeks. It was fun as usual to decorate. We have a lot of ornaments and small tree. So one thing we've done is only hang up unbreakable ornaments. It means no shiny balls, but with 3 cats who like to bat at things its much safer this way. Ally was excited about putting up the tree and hanging ornaments. She likes to look at all of the different ones and talk about them. And this year she did a great job spreading the ornaments out all over the tree.

It took Becky a few weeks of hard work at night after Ally went to sleep but she did it:

Ally's ornament for 2011.

Its Buddy the T-Rex! It seemed quite appropriate as the ornament for the year.

To recap the last few years:

2010 - a chick (because Ally's preschool class hatched chicks that year)

2009 - Ernie (he was Ally's main lovey and is still a cherished possession)

2008 - a Gorilla (Goodnight Gorilla was Ally's favorite book, and she loves to see them at the zoo)

Here she is hanging Buddy up - in a good safe spot where the cats won't get him.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Breakfast with Santa

Sunday morning we went to Breakfast with Santa with Alice and her parents. The girls were both very excited about it in advance I must admit it was a great time.

Ally was a bit unsure about going to see Santa right away.

But mommy and mama went right up and followed Santa's orders to sit on his lap.

Mrs Claus went and got Ally, took her by the hand and brought her over to us and Santa.

Once there, Ally was all smiles. She sat calmly and told Santa she wanted a dollhouse for Christmas. She has told us she'd also like a jump rope and rocking chair for kitty and baby to share. I have it on good authority that she will get all that she asked for.

The 2 friends with Santa.

The whole gang!

Ally and Alice were adorable holding hands as they walked around the restaurant. They went to get cereal on the buffet together, and over to Santa several times.

It was a great event - Santa sat in his chair in the center of the room, so kids could go talk to him when they wanted and ask questions or whatever.

And this is all of the kids who were there, so it wasn't very crowded at all.

Eventually Santa turned on his boom box (yes a tape deck) and played a few Christmas Songs and danced and led a sing a long to:

Dominick the Donkey

Christmas in Killarney

Winter Wonderland

Jingle Bells

Ally especially wanted to dance, but only if I went with her so here I am dancing with the girls and Santa. I must say it was a little surreal.

Then it was like the kids started to stalk Santa - they followed him around and were stuck to him like glue. I love the look on Ally's face. We think she was fascinated watching him pour and then drink a glass of water.

Seriously this Santa was fabulous.

After Santa left Ally took a break.

Right before we left the girls sat in Santa's chair for a picture.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Daisy Girl Scouts

For the past 8 weeks Ally has attended a Daisy Girl Scout program on Monday nights with her old friend Stella and her new school friend Adalis. It is right in our neighborhood, literally across the street from my office and across from a local watering hole. Stella's mom and I, and sometimes Becky drop the girls off and have a drink while the girls attend the hour long program. It was a blast - for the girls and for the moms!
On the last night of the program parents were invited to a brief presentation the girls did of what they had learned and the girls were awarded their badge. Above we are all squished in on the couch for a picture with their certificates of completion.

Ally and Stella told us about their poster.

Each week they did a craft or project that pertained to the badge curriculum "5 flowers, 4 stories and 3 cheers for animals"
They colored pictures of animals and talked about where they lived and how they ate.
This was a flip book they made one week
A nest with eggs and a chicky
flowers in a flower pot
The session ended but the volunteers have agreed to run another session starting the end of January. Becky and I were both girl scouts and have fond memories of it growing up and its really neat to pass that along. One of the things I really appreciate about this was Ally looked forward to it each Monday, and she did it without us with a couple of her existing friends and some new friends she made. She is already excited about the next session.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Light Show 2011

Saturday we went on a local light tour. We rode a trolley bus around a neighboring town and looked at some amazing Christmas light displays. We went with some other families in our neighborhood group and it was a blast. We also went two years ago, but Ally and the other kids were at a perfect age for it this year.
Ally sat with Becky on the tour and if you can't tell they had a fun time together.
This is a group shot of all of us.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread House

Last weekend Ally and attended a gingerbread house decorating event with Erik and Stella and their moms. It was a lot of fun.

When we arrived the house was assembled for us and there was a bag of frosting and a tray of candy waiting at each station.

Our work in progress.

Stella and her mom Shannon.

Erik and his mom Deb.

In addition to the tray of candy at each shelf there were 2 tables full of additional candy for the kids to choose from.

Ally loved it.

A memorable blip was when she asked if she could eat a jelly bean and I said yes, and then she wanted some more and I said yes she could eat whatever she wanted it was fine. All of sudden she has this awful look on her face and is starting to salivate and I look at her and hold up my hand to her mouth and she spit out a small red candy. She grabbed a red hot thinking it was a jelly bean! Yuck - she looked so funny and confused. I explained what happened and encouraged her to take another jelly bean. She was very careful after that.

I wanted proof that Ally actually did some of the decorating.

Please note our one car driveway behind the house. (like at our house).

Ally with the finished creation.

Just had to point out the blue hose that leads to the flower garden. All Ally's idea. She saw the licorice strings and immediately wanted it to be a house so we attached it to the house, and she created a flower garden for the hose to water.

The 3 kids with their gingerbread houses.

After the decorating we ate lunch outside - it was pretty cold, but no room to eat indoors. The kids ran around the grass the whole time.

Silly girl, Ally who I love spending time with.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spontaneous Santa

It was 2 days after Thanksgiving and we were driving past our local supermarket and Ally says "I see Santa selling things" from her car seat. Becky and I give each other puzzled looks, ask a few more questions and agree to drive around the block so we can circle back and check it out. The girl has keen eye site and she was right: Santa was selling Christmas trees and giving out candy canes (Ally's favorite Christmas candy) to all the kids who walked by.

As excited as she was to get a candy cane and see Santa Ally did get pretty nervous when we asked her to pose with him. She refused and asked me to pick her up. So I did and it turned into the 2 of us with Santa picture!

And in typical Ally fashion she feels this was sufficient for a visit to Santa - she has said there is no need to go to the mall or anything else. "Remember mommy, I saw him at _____" Sigh - I want our traditional Santa Portrait. Maybe a candy cane bribe will work?