Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Top 12 of 2014

 1. Eva Kate legally became our daughter in January.
 2. Samuel turned two in February, and he got to visit an authentic caboose before his birthday party.
3. After 17 months of following Weight Watchers, I hit my goal weight in March. 
 4. In April, we had two great events. Eva Kate was dedicated at church. . .
 5.  and she turned one year old a few weeks later. She got to see all four of her grandparents for both events - and a bunch more of our family and friends for her birthday.
 6. In May, James and I went to Hawaii. Here's two of my favorite shots - and I don't know if they could be more different. They capture the two things that I loved most about our trip though - the ocean and the volcano.

 7. We spent the 4th of July with James' parents. They got a wading pool for the kids, and despite the looks on their faces, they loved it.  They also got to play with their cousin.

 8. In August, we went to Mississippi to celebrate our nephew's first birthday.  It was a super cute party, and my sister-in-law planned a visit to the Mississippi Children's Museum while we were there. That place was awesome, and our kids had more fun there than they did at the Magic House in St. Louis.

 9. In September, I participated in Pedal the Cause.  This was a fun event, and I plan on doing it again next year.
 10. In October, there's usually not anything more fun than Halloween.
 11. Earlier in December, we got to spend an evening with our dear friends who are serving our Father in Ethiopia. It was so nice to see them. Our kids had fun playing together, and the adults did our best to catch up with each other between keeping the kids for playing in the toilet (Eva) and getting trains stuck in the girl's hair. (In retrospect, she may have done this to herself.)
12. This is one of my favorite photos from Christmas. We got see our immediate families, and James' grandparents.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Polar Express

 The main gift we gave the kids this year for Christmas, was a ride on the Polar Express at Union Station.  I was so excited to hear about this event!  It had probably been 5 years since I had been inside of Union Station, and while it was a beautiful building, it had really become run down. It was in much better shape this time - and I hope this event helps in the revitalization efforts.
 Our tickets were for Christmas Eve. There was a "depot" where we waited to board the train. There were snowmen, Christmas trees, and a bell that we could ring.  The kids wore their new Christmas pajamas. Some of the adults wore their pajamas as well, but James and I opted to wear regular clothes. We were able to view part of the movie in the "depot" while we waited.

 There were characters from the movie on the train. Samuel and Eva Kate like most of them, but they were scared of the elves.
 She ate that entire cookie. Samuel barely touched his - he was too busy taking everything in to eat.

In the middle of the train ride, Santa boarded the train. He gave every child a silver bell, sang and danced, and took a photo with each family.
 Samuel said that getting his bell from Santa was the best part of the ride. We hung them on our Christmas tree the next day.

 Santa danced to "Let it Go."  This was the most entertaining part of the ride to me. Hahaha.

 After the ride, we ate dinner at Union Station. They had salad, chicken, pasta, and green beans for the adults. They had a kid's buffet with mini corn dogs, mac-n-cheese, chicken fingers and fresh fruit.
 Union station was beautifully decorated. These photos are from the room where we ate dinner.

 Since the ride, Samuel has asked to go back. He also pretends to be the train conductor.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Recap

We had a fun visit with our family last week in Louisiana.
 There was time for fun. Samuel and Eva Kate both love this tricycle. Eva was too little to ride it the last time we visited.

 Sometimes, there is nothing more fun than a laundry basket and a pair of glasses that you stole from your grandmother!

James' parents watched the kids for us one night so we could go out. We went to a batting cage at a new place called D-Bat, and then we went out to eat at a nice place called Restaurant Sage. We'll definitely go back to both places. The batting cages had only been open for a few weeks, and we both had fun.  I did better that I thought I would. I hadn't tried to hit a softball or baseball since high school PE. For dinner, I had Sea Bass and James had New Orleans style BBQ shrimp. Yummy!

 James' parents suggested we all go to the Visitor's Center in their town for a free viewing of The Polar Express. This was fun for all of us. They had cookies, popcorn, and hot chocolate for everyone. The kids were invited to wear their pajama's, but we'd just been to the nursing home to see James' grandmother. I didn't want to bother with changing the kid's clothes at the visitor's center.
We don't make a big deal about Santa at our house, but the kids have seen James dress up as Santa for my photography business.  When Samuel first saw Santa in the movie, he said "Santa my Daddy."  So cute.
Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance after the movie. Samuel didn't want to have his photo taken, but Eva Kate was willing.
We took some family photos, and this is one of my favorites of the kids.
My parents were able to spend the day with us.
Both kids missed their nap, and Eva crashed late in the afternoon.

Here's the kid's completed Thankful Charts for the month. I think one little boy is missing baseball season.