Happy Thanksgiving! We spent the day with both sides of the family at my parents' house. It was so nice having only one place to celebrate today and not having to drive to multiple locations. This was the first year we tried this and it went swimmingly. The kids had a blast spending the day with both sets of grandparents and Mema. Katie came up from Charlotte for the weekend as well.
So thankful for my sweet family
Turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green beans, and other yummy things to eat
We met some friends at Chuck E. Cheese today. It's not my favorite place to go, but the kids love it, so we decided to endure it. Since it is the day before Thanksgiving, we figured it would be completely crowded, but it was just the opposite. The kids had plenty of time to spend all of their tokens and redeem their tickets and we could see where they were at at any given time since it wasn't packed. It actually turned out to be a fun time for everyone, especially since I got to visit with Becky and Erin while our kids played. A big thanks goes out to hubby for coming with us and keeping track of the kiddos so I had to time chat with my friends!
Do you think Emmy likes the giant mouse?!
Ellie and Chuck E.
Is it just me, or is my baby looking a little too grown up?!
Today we packed boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I took the kids with me to Dollar Tree this year to pick out the items they wanted to put in each box. Let me just say that their eyes were much bigger than the boxes we were filling. Oh well, it was fun watching them pick out the things they thought the boy and girl would like to get in their boxes. They chose: notepads, markers, toothbrushes, flashlights, tissues, tic-tac-toe, puzzles, and so many other fun things. I loved seeing their generosity (even though Nathan and I are footing the bill). We're trying really hard to teach them that it is more important to give than to get at Christmas, and I think they are finally at the age where they get it.
For Jacob's actual birthday, we went to the mall to spend some of the gift cards he got and then we ate lunch at Red Robin. He loves to eat there, but his one stipulation was that they NOT sing to him for his birthday. He did, however, want the sundae.
Em playing Aunt Katie's ipod touch
Me, Katie, and Mom
Andy and Alora
Ellie trying to escape from Uncle Andy's hug
Yay! A sundae and no singing!
Andy didn't mind the singing though!
I was really impressed with Red Robin today. Once they found out that Andy was deploying tonight and would miss out on their Veteran's Day special on Friday, they gave him his meal for free. It was a nice gesture to show they appreciated his service to our country!
My brother, Andy, turns 26 on Saturday, but since he deploys to Qatar tomorrow and won't be here for his actual birthday, we celebrated tonight at my parents' house. Mom made the family favorite, chicken pot pie, and then Andy's favorite cheesecake for dessert. Present time was fun, as well. We finished the evening off by watching episodes of Psych, one of our favorite t.v. shows.
Katie decorated for the party with monkey stuff, which has to do with Andy's nickname
The Kids Table: Emmaline, Jacob, Colton, and Ellie
The partying continued in the evening with our family party. We ate pizza, veggies, taco dip, and other yummy stuff. Then Jacob opened lots of presents. He is totally obsessed with camouflage and all things war-related, so many of the gifts revolved around that theme. After that, we ate cake and ice cream and then played with the toys Jacob got. It was a fun time celebrating Jacob Clarence. I still can't believe he is 9 years old!
At the beginning of the year, Nathan and some friends opened an Indonesian martial arts school. He teaches there two nights a week and Jacob and Ellie get to train there for free. It is definitely a win/win situation for our family because Nathan gets to do something he loves while the kids can get rid of some of their extra energy.
When we asked Jacob what he wanted to do for his birthday party, his immediate response was to have a party at Aegis. The school had never done anything like this before, but they were willing to give it a go. Nathan and Kim did an excellent job instructing the kids during the party. We could tell that everyone had a great time and they probably will sleep really well tonight.
During the party, the kids did an obstacle course, learned some martial arts moves, and played "roller ball tag".
I love this picture...you can almost hear his laughter!
It's not a party without food. We had veggies, cheeseballs, Gatorade, and of course, cupcakes and ice cream.
Andy is getting deployed again, so I'll be updating his blog as he sends us information. He leaves for Qatar on Monday, November 7th and will return to the states sometime in May 2012. Please keep him in your prayers while he is gone.