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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

White Christmas . . . well almost!

So Christmas night it started snowing in Raleigh - not our part of town, though. It took a little longer to start snowing at our house. It was about 1am - so not technically on Christmas. We were still up playing cards with my family.

By Sunday morning, it was ALL white - and still coming down pretty good! When it was all done, we wound up with about 9 inches! That's the most we've had in years!

Here's a picture Grant took of a pretty red cardinal at our feeder in the snow:

And of course we had to take advantage of our great sledding hill in our back yard again. Olivia LOVES to sled - she is such a daredevil! We even let her go down by herself - with one of us helping her at the top and one catching at the bottom. Every time she reaches the bottom, the first thing she says is "I wanna do it again!"

Here are some pictures and a couple videos of our snow fun:

We also made a little snow man - Olivia named him Frosty! The snow wasn't the best for making snowmen, it wouldn't stick together very well - so we did our best.

Then afterwards we had to come in and get some nice hot chocolate (well, Olivia's was more like "warm" chocolate). Here she is cuddling with her daddy drinking hers:

We had a great time playing in the snow, but it is already melting away. It has been close 50 degrees yesterday and today. It was fun while it lasted. Maybe we'll get some more snow before winter is over.

Merry Christmas To All!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, I know we did! Santa was very good to all of us. We had some big surprises this year and really had a great time. Here's Olivia opening her stocking with Daddy:

I know that everyone knows that Olivia asked Santa for a Princess for Christmas. Well . . .

She got plenty of them!

Grandma and Papa also got her this really cool Tinkerbell sleeping bag that came in a pretty nice tinker bell backpack. She loves it! She has already been stuffing anything she can find in the bag and she has the sleeping bag on her bed!

Santa also brought her a big Tinkerbell tent. She has always loved making tents and would ask us to draw them or make them all the time. We thought that it would be a great present for Santa to get her - so we let him know - and he did!

Here she is hanging out in her new tent playing with her new "puter" - the iXL computer system for kids. She LOVES this thing - she draws on it, has pictures on it, learns letters on it and plays games on it. She even got a princess game for it.

Even Chuck likes the tent!

Here's the biggest surprise from Santa we got. I had no idea at all:

Yep, Santa gave us a trip to Disney World for a whole week at the end of February. I had really been wanting to take Olivia before she turned 3 (i.e. while she's still free) and apparently Santa was listening. He even planned a ton of character meals so Olivia can meet a whole bunch of the characters and princesses. We are even eating at the castle! How exciting! Olivia doesn't really understand, but we are trying to explain it all to her and get her excited. She is pretty thrilled about going to the castle and meeting all the characters and princesses. I cannot wait to go! How awesome! Thanks, Santa!!

She even got a pretty little tiara and earrings in her stocking so not only did she get princess and will get to meet princesses - she can "BE" a princess. I think Santa covered all of his bases! lol

Here is Olivia's room now that she has her new tent and sleeping bag in it. We also took out the glider to give it some room. Now she has a big girl room!

Thank you to everyone that thought of us this Christmas and helped to spoil our little one. It was a wonderful Christmas! The only not so great part was that we didn't get to see all of our family because Christmas night we got a snow storm so we weren't able to make it to the family get-together. But we did get to enjoy a nice quiet day at home playing with all of our new toys and out in the snow. I'll post about that next time.

Christmas Cookies

On Christmas Eve my parents came to our house (my brother came up later that night). An old tradition that my mom and I used to do at Christmas every year was to bake sugar cookies and decorate them. We decided it was time to share this tradition with Olivia and bake some cookies for Santa.

She was a good little helper (when she wasn't sneaking tastes of the batter and frosting!). Here she is helping me make the cookie dough:

Then she was a good helper cutting out the cookie shapes.

And, of course, when it came time to make the frosting - she had to get a beater:

The cookies came out pretty good. The kitchen was a mess (so was Olivia!), but it was a lot of fun. Mom and I are going to make some aprons for Olivia and I so that next time, we won't get so messy! ha ha!

We let her pick out one of each cut out and put them out for Santa with some milk. We also put some carrots out for the reindeer - one for each. They must have really enjoyed them because there were only a couple crumbs left in the morning!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Went to see Santa

I also wanted to show you all the picture of Olivia with Santa. We went to see him earlier this month and just got the chance to scan the picture. As you probably guessed from her voicemail and video - she asked him for a princess for Christmas.

It was very cute - when we walked up (there was no line) she froze - half in awe and half scared. She looked at him like he was a celebrity and was so excited. We were really expecting her to be terrified of him and refuse to sit with him (especially since she is always so scared of mascots), but she only hesitated for a moment, then did really well. She even answered him right away when he asked what she wanted for Christmas . . . a princess.

Here is the picture of her with Santa:

Santa Video for Olivia

One of the people at Grant's work showed him this website where you can create your own video for your child from Santa. It is really neat and you can really personalize it. Here's the one I made for Olivia. I just did it today, so she hasn't even seen it yet.

You can make one yourself at:

Early Christmas with the Nelsons

This past weekend we celebrated Christmas a little early with Grant's family. We went down there on Saturday morning and got back late Sunday night. Chad and Drew were there when we got there, but poor Emma had a high fever so her and Becca didn't come up until Sunday morning.
We had a family get-together with Grant's dad's side of the family on Saturday night, but before we went, we wanted to go ahead and hand out one gift to Alan and Susan (before the surprise was ruined at the get-together). Since Olivia and Drew were born, we've gotten Christmas pictures of them together to give to them. This is the first year that Emma got to join them. Here they are opening up their gift:

Here is the picture of them together that we got and gave them and a couple others that we also got of Olivia:

Here the kids are hugging before we left for our get together:

We had a nice time seeing the family - we were just sorry that not everyone could be there. Here are some pictures from our gathering:

Then it was time to get the kids to bed - we were going to have a busy morning doing our Christmas with Grandmom and Granddad!

The kids were definitely spoiled (as were we!). Grandmom and Granddad always go WAY above and beyond with all of us and it is very much appreciated. I know that we all had a great time hanging out and came home with some great goodies! Here are some pictures and videos of our Christmas with them:

Emma's First Christmas:

What a mess we made:

We had a great time with everyone. This coming weekend we have my family coming to our house on Christmas eve so that Olivia can enjoy waking up in her own house to find that Santa has visited her. Then on Sunday we have another family get together with Grant's mom's side of the family - so we'll be making a day trip to see everyone.

Santa Voice Mail

We have Vonage phone service and this year they had a phone number you could call to talk to Santa. Ok, it's just his voice mail message talking about how he is busy working in his toy shop, but wants to know what you want for Christmas and to make sure to be a good boy/girl. Olivia left her message (with a little prompting from me) and they emailed it to me.

Here it is, isn't it cute!?!

Please also, keep voting for Olivia in the Gerber Generation contest. The voting closes at the end of the month - so we are running out of time. You can vote once a day (per email, per computer) and she is doing really well so far. (You can find the link in the previous posting from earlier this month.)

Snow and Trains

A couple weeks ago we got our first snow (flakes) of the year. Not much - but at one point it was coming down pretty hard. I was home with Olivia that day so we got our boots on and headed out - it had just about stopped coming down when we were out there, but we had a good time running around anyway. Here we are all bundled up:

Then on Saturday (the 11th), we got together with some great friends of our from college - Ralph and Sheetal. We met them and their little ones a little south of here to ride a real train and see Santa. The train ride is down and back - about 45 minutes round trip and was a lot of fun - but it was very cold that day and a bit rainy - so we were all bundled up for the trip. Olivia and the other kids had a great time and loved it when Santa and his elves came and brought them candy canes! It was great to see our friends again, too!

Here's Olivia's reaction when she spotted Santa on the train coming her way:

Happy Thanksgiving

Ok, I'm a little behind on my blogging so I'm going to try to catch you all up. First let me give you an update on how I am doing. I have been having several more "episodes" with colitis and the docs are still stumped. I had another "procedure" the Thursday before last - still no answers - everything came back negative. I have been approved for a capsule endoscopy - a camera that you swallow in a capsule to get a good look at your entire digestive tract. I am doing that tomorrow. Not sure how long it takes to get the pictures analyzed, but hopefully this time, they'll find something.

Ok, enough about me - onto Olivia:

For Thanksgiving, we visited with my parents and brother on Thursday (which was also my mom's birthday) and Friday then headed to Grant's parent's house for the weekend. We had a nice Thanksgiving day with my parents and had lots of good (Gluteny!) food! Then on Friday, we went to the new Discovery Place Kids that opened up right down the street from my parents. It was VERY crowded, but Olivia had a great time!

Here are some pictures and videos from our trip there:

A big hit at Grandmom and Granddad's house is always the 4-wheeler. Our little dare devil LOVES it! Here she is having a blast with daddy:

Here is a picture of the 3 cousins hanging out together:

She always has a good time hanging out with cousin Drew - it is so great that they are so close in age!

Then we had a somersault marathon:

It was a fun weekend and we really enjoyed seeing all of the family.