Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas became truly magical this year through the kids' eyes. They couldn't believe it when Santa had snagged his suit in the fireplace, lost his button in the presents, and had forgotten his spectacles. Even his reindeer's sleighbells fell onto the deck. He must have had a rough visit!
Some of my favorite memories this Christmas are:
-Pulling over to watch fireworks and see Christmas lights at Longview Lake
-Neighborhood horse-drawn sleigh ride and caroling
-Painting nativity scenes for advent and leaving a few pieces each Sunday on friends' doorsteps (Lorelei loved ringing the door and sneaking away; Gryffy just look impish, to join in the fun)
-A near record year of snow, and pulling the kids in the sled in our front yard
-Family parties and visiting family in Canada
-Preschool girls' tea party with Santa at our house
-Snuggling by the fire with hot chocolate and tea
-Unwrapping a Christmas book each evening before bed
-Christmas Eve Eve service at Heartland Church & teaching the kids about the true meaning of Christmas
-Preschool pageant and dance recital
-Christmas morning strata (Mark forgot to make crepes, but we were busy packing)
-Watching the kids' glorious excitement as they anticipated Santa's visit and opened presents

Lorelei opens her Hello Kitty camera.
Gryffin and his glo-worm, his favorite present.
Lorelei and her baby doll; her favorite present.
No, I WON'T put it down.
Oh, the excitement of Christmas morning!
Opening presents.
Kids and Mommy.
Christmas morning in the snow.
The snow patrol.
Poor Gryffy--he had to borrow Lorelei's glasses... her pink glasses.
Just chillin'.
Snow in love.

Christmas recital & pageant

Christmas angel ballerinas.
Hmmm... my halo doesn't seem to fit...
Preschool Christmas recital--Lorelei sang and did all the motions.
At our family Christmas party at Aunt Jennie's house.
Lorelei and Grammy.
Someone's filching a chocolate.

Shorthill Cousin Party

Each year, one female cousin hosts the annual Shorthill Cousin Christmas Party. This year, it was Lorelei's and Mommy's turn. Games, the gift exchange, and cooking competitions were the order of the day. We had fun hosting the family! Thanks, everyone, for coming.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa Photos 2009

Poor Santa... I think two kids are getting coal this Christmas!
The kids would not sit still for photos. We actually took these pics on a hot day in the fall--we like to get our cards done early every year--saves precious time come busy December!
Lorelei's smiling, but Santa's not! Bpop's such a sport!
Tied up in ribbon, Santa's ho-ho-hostage.
Our friends are forced to send us Christmas cards to save Santa.
They may be naughty, but they're darn cute too!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We spent Thanksgiving Day at Aunt Tenley's house, and brought along our friend, Mr. Inflatable Turkey. Our family enjoyed time together with great food, old family videos, and a slideshow we made for Great Grammy's birthday. I'm thankful for my family.

Star Skater

Lorelei's first time on the ice made the KC Star Newspaper.
Our ice princess.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Christmas Tea Party & Cookie Exchange

The girls in Lorelei's preschool class came over today for a Christmas cookie exchange and tea party. It was such a surprise when Santa peeked into the window, burst through the door with a ho-ho-ho, and bestowed a bundle of gifts. The girls went wild!

Santa's reading the Jolly Christmas Postman.
Lorelei, hosting her friends with cheers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

O Christmas Tree

We had our tree-raising tonight!
Our made-over fireplace is roaring!
The family room.
Our favorite ornaments are the ones the kids make--look close, and you'll spot a candy cane and glittery star from preschool.
Gryffin grabs at the branches, raffia, and balls--maybe putting up the tree early wasn't such a good idea!
Lorelei sparkles more than the tree.
Is that a twinkle in her eye?
Sorting through family ornaments.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Playing in the mud

Today was beautiful. While Daddy cut down branches in the yard, the kids had fun playing in the leaf pile Mommy had raked together, and then went straight for the mud. They were covered head to toe, and loving it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Star Student (and Star Brother, too)

This week at preschool, Lorelei was the star student. She got to create a poster about her favorite things, which I should be keeping track of every so often. So, here it is... Lorelei and Gryffin's favorite things Fall 2009:

Hobbies: homework Mommy gives her, reading, playing in puddles, being a big sister, dancing
Toys: baby dolls, Mrs. Potato Head, Legos, art supplies, mud and shovels
Games: Candy Land, Hide and Seek
Books: Berenstain Bears, The Grublin, The Three Little Pigs
Movies: Harry Potter, Ice Age, Leap Frog, Bolt, Incredibles, Horton Hears a Who
Foods: Peanut Butter & Jelly, carrots, lots of fruits and veggies, chicken nuggets
Animals: Zebras and lions
Something Special: I love how you sneak into our bed and want to snuggle at night, even if Daddy doesn't get a great night's rest. I love snuggling with my girl! And I love the sweet things you say to me and the way you say them--you make me laugh all through the day, Lorelei! Oh yeah, and I love how you're a spitting image of me--I'm so proud of my girl!
What I can do: Right now Lorelei is beginning to read with Hooked on Phonics. She's already finished the first two stickers on her chart, mastering -at words and -an words. She likes cutting with scissors and is beginning work in handwriting and connect the dots. In dance lessons, she is learning to follow along with the teacher in a sequence of moves. She loves jungle gyms, parks with big slides, inflatable bouncers, "scary" movies, and anything to do with art projects. She is still a fashion queen, always sporting her signature feathers in her hair. She attends preschool three half-days per week!

Hobbies: Music class with Miss Beth, dancing, reading, throwing food, manipulating objects, playing in dirt or sand
Toys: toothbrush, blocks, balls, magnetic balls and rods, sidewalk chalk
Games: Peek-a-Boo with Lorelei, tickle
Books: I Love You Stinky Face, Goodnight Moon, The Lost Treasure of Skull Island
Movies: Barney Sing-Along, Leap Frog
Foods: Mommy, spinach lasagna, oatmeal, bananas
Animals: Dogs (always points at them on walks and says "Dog!")
Something Special: I love the way you squint your eyes and flash your goofy gummy grin at me with a squeak--it always makes me giggle. I love the way you pronounce all your "s" letters "sh" and how you speak with such sincerity and determination. And I love the faces you make when you poop (too stinking cute)!
What I can do: Gryffin can run like a devil, do somersaults on his own, trot, knows how to work the TV and DVD players, and puts his Barney Sing-Along DVD on for himself in the playroom each morning. He has a varied list of words, including "Lorelei" and "ridiculous," and often speaks simple sentences (i.e. "Look at that!" and "I did that!"). He loves to show off dancing, and has his own signature moves in his high chair (dubbed baseball and churn the butter). His fine and gross motor skills are advanced for his age, especially manipulating objects and fitting things together. He is still nursing at least 3-4 times a day.


We hosted our 4th annual Halloween Trick-or-Treat. It was a beautiful night, except for the horrific double-car wreck in the yard next-door. We went door-to-door past bonfires and bats, to the end of the street and back.
The Halloween parade across the stage before the orchestra/ballet.
Poking the pumpkin heads.

The pirate and the pumpkin.

The princess and the pumpkin.

Lorelei Bo-Peep. Mommy actually sewed something (without cursing). Amazing.

Our neighborhood parade was rained out, but the kids were happy
having ice cream with the neighbor kids at McDonalds.

At the Totley Crew Halloween Party

Mr. Froggy came out one day, said "Hi, Lorelei & Gryffin, would you like to play?"
The kids said, "Hi, Froggy, how do you do? Yes, we'd like to play with you!"

Put your sticks in the air and tap with me... 1, 2, 3.

Music With Mar (by Miss Beth) Halloween class