Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Group Photo

We try to do a big group picture every year at the Christmas gathering at my grandparents' house.

Back row, from left: Uncle Darrin, Cameron, Uncle Ken, Josie, Bradley, Uncle Kerry & Aunt Cheryl, Jess, Hayes (behind her), Brad (hiding), James holding Laynie, JC
Front row, from left: Marlee, Aunt Lana, Grandpa Leroy, Grandma Doris, Aunt Tara, Layla
On the couch: Aunt Helen, Nana Jana, Sam, Aunt Holly, Amelie
On the floor: Kendra, Me, James

This was supposed to be the "serious" photo. Hayes broke loose and I don't think we told JC what was up.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


I bought a harmonica at Michael's to put in Amelie's stocking, and it turns out she's a natural. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Bernie

We took the truck down to the Bootheel for Christmas to pick up the dollhouse I had when I was a kid and two twin beds from my great-aunt Helen (more on those later).

James got a kid camera! "Cheese!" he says.

It should come as no surprise that Amelie talked JC into reading her a book. 

Aunt Lana made chocolate-covered pretzels & James enjoyed his.

Bradley playing the touch-screen game. What do you mean you don't play arcade games at your house at Christmas?

Holly & JC

Kendra & Miss Laynie

More cousins eating candy pretzels. Do you see how we just let them run all over the house with food? That didn't fly when I was little! I remember sitting right there on the step on the linoleum if I wanted to eat something (when I was older than they are, even). 

Hahahaha. Marlee is cracking me up.

Amelie has her game face on.

Grandma Doris and James have a chat (pretzel still in hand, if you notice).

James and Sam are all set to play Bingo!

Aunt Jess & Hayes

Aunt Helen & Mom are serious about their Bingo cards.

Aunt Cheryl is, too.

More Kifers!

Uncle Darrin listened to Amelie retell the entire plot of Frosty the Snowman and made friends with James, too.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas in Kennett

We visited with our family in Kennett on Sunday. Cousin Treston was a big hit with James and Amelie (in part because he kept slipping them candy & then he turned on the cartoons). Hey, he has younger siblings :)

Kamron & Amelie watching My Little Pony with Sadie the dog.

Holly and JC.

And then the mayhem began. 

Amelie got a fuzzby.

The boys look happy with their paintball guns. They went out to shoot them later and Amelie said, "I'm interested to see how this goes."

James, on the other hand, does not look so thrilled.

Someone didn't much want his picture made, either.

Someone else got an iPhone!

Patti & Jeff 

Grandpa Bob got the kids scooters (and Holly and JC put them together).

Sam takes a scooter for a spin.

James is a little copy-cat. 


Friday, December 26, 2014

Preschool Program

The kids had their preschool Christmas program before they went on break. Aunt Holly, JC, and Grandma Mary got to come (and Mama and Dada, of course).

James shook the jingle bell and started doing some hand motions toward the end, but didn't actually sing any of the words. I wasn't surprised that he was bashful, but I thought Amelie would love being up in front of the crowd. Amelie knew all the words to the songs, but she didn't sing either! She did all of the motions, though. 

Family photo.

Grandma Mary.

 JC got this one on his phone because of the dapper way James has one hand in his pocket.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Eve

Wowza, I have a lot of holiday posts (and probably some others) to get caught up on.

We went to the family Christmas Eve service at church again (I imagine it's somewhat rowdier than the later service). We got there early so Sam could set up the vibraphone & practice with the choir.

 Don't worry - I didn't let them hold the lit candles. Afterward, we got a family photo.

And, since we did it last year and now it's tradition, we drove out to the magic tree afterward. James fell asleep on the way (apparently also tradition), but I woke him up this time.

This is the best I managed to do of pictures of the kids. They liked it! James yelled, "I FOUND IT!" when he saw the tree. Sure you did, bud. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Little Elves

James's teacher emailed me this picture today. They were elves making toys in Santa's workshop. You can tell which one is James by the purpleness of his pants.  It looks like he's the shortest one in his class (he's the youngest in the room, too).