Monday, December 23, 2013

Day 1 with NeNe and PaPa

Nene and PaPa made it in late at night.  The day before we told the girls we would be getting them in the morning and when they woke up we surprised them by having them go into the room Nene and PaPa were in.  They were so excited!  Since the were getting over jet lag we tried to do things around the house and make it so everyone could nap if they needed to.  We started the day getting my little ponies the girls had asked for followed by playing at the park behind the house.  Then we ventured out to the egg place/ mini zoo to get some cream puffs and eggs for  the visit.  We saw all the animals and the girls loved showing them off and sharing cream puffs.  After that we came home for naps and then decided to try the ferris wheel so we packed back up and rode it.  The ferris wheel is right next to the beach so we spent some time playing in the sand and water.  People were starving so we packed back up came home for dinner and then went for out for our big event - the ZOO with lights.  They had snow, light shows, laser shows and tons of lights and it was packed so we rode a bus from one of the shuttle stops.   Molly was excited about the snow and it was so fun to watch her play in it and laugh and have fun.  They others were not as excited about it but they loved the lights and other attractions.  After crashing we decided to let the girls skip school today since we have pedicures this afternoon followed by Christmas Eve service and a dessert party at our house all today!!
Surrounding NeNe

Showing her our favorite place to take photos at the egg place

Got a special spot with Nene and Papa

Jon and I got to ride alone

She loves spelling her name

Molly even spells her sisters name for her photo

PaPa and Daddy were so excited to have a fun filled day

I love the bus

I will not leave her side

Waiting for the snow to drop

trying to get into the light display

Cotton Candy and lights!!

A little slap happy at 8:30 after a day of fun and a huge bag of cotton candy


Got to go down in the sled

Monday, December 16, 2013

Festival of Lights

Tonight was a little dreary but we packed up the van with rain jackets and hit the Southeast Botanical Gardens for its festival of lights.  Since it isn't cold we figured we could handle the light rain and it was like Jon had rented the place just for our family (an idea one of his soldiers gave him).  We enjoyed the lights, rain and fun activities - much more than walk thru place we went to near Fayetteville in our PJ's thinking it was a drive thru.  One thing I really enjoy about this culture is that they don't make young kids pay usually and that was true here all 3 girls were FREE!!  They did give us eat a glow stick to wear so that staff would know we had paid to come in and the staff even let the girls have some.  Also the staff gave us umbrellas to borrow while we walked around - and one followed us to the nice picture taking area and took a family photo.  We got to write our wish list to santa and hang it on the tree.  Molly has gotten very good at writing and spelled out exactly what she wanted.  She remembers Santa gave her gum last year in her stocking and is super excited about what she might get this year.  Even though we try to tell her we might get her the gift she wants she is more excited that Santa might get it for her. 
After hanging our postcards on the tree we went over peace bridge to the love switch.  There you were supposed to hold down the buttons while holding the hand of your loved one and see what would happen to the tree.  It turned pink, lots of lights blinked and the girls loved it!  Then we walked to the love something else where you could pay to put a locket on to show how much you loved someone but we just took pictures.  Molly is catching on and said mom are we too cheap to pay for the locket and Jon's response was yes we don't need a locket to show our love for each other. 
Then we wandered around the gardens and had another funny moment when we found a large cricket that jumped on Molly and gave us a big laugh.  To end the night we went Christmas caroling to some friends houses.  Jon and I remember getting to go as youth to houses around our church with the youth group and sing to some of the older members.   Some girls enjoyed the singing more than others but they all enjoyed the candy that friends shared!
2 of them are loving the camera!

Family shot

During the day kids paint the cow
At night they have black lights to show off the work
Reminded us of the Wacows!

Writing to Santa

Never to be out done by others

Hanging our cards

Love switch - ACTIVATE!

yep - it was that magical

Love lock place
Kissy kissy

Me to dad

Not to be left out - Molly is a good photographer

double love
Riley didn't want to give up her seat in the stroller

Water fall of light

Standing under the water

Cricket before it jumped on Molly

Good bye fun night!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Its beginning to look a lot like.....

Our chapel had our children's Christmas program last week.  Friday night all the kids got to come for a pizza party where we practiced our songs and prepared for Sunday.  Sunday came and the kids did amazing!  Jon got to preach and his title was Going All In For Christmas.  He preached about how the wise men went all in and traveled long and far to meet Jesus and what are we doing to sacrifice as we live for Jesus during this season. 
We have taken some time just to do fun stuff as a family a few nights.  One night was making paintings and they girls got so excited when we allowed them to paint each others tummies to end the time.  While the season is a busy one we have tried to carve out a few special things with the girls.
This weekend Jon got to run a Strong Bond event for his unit and we had 22 couples come for a fun filled weekend of laughing and learning.  Jon taught the Flag Page by Mark Gungor and if you have never heard of it I highly recommend it.  It was the first I had been in a class with it and it was very helpful in understanding why your spouse (and others) do certain things and why I react certain ways.  Mark is famous for his Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage curriculum that Jon has used a few times - since I get to go to all his retreats it is nice for him to use new material!!  Since we were already on the north end of the island and we have year long memberships to a place called neo park we went on up.  When you walk in the park they have birds galore that you can feed and they get very close - a little too close for comfort sometimes.  We walked threw the park and saw the lamas, kangaroos, dogs (yep dogs), donkeys, monkey and ostrich.  The best was when Jon told the girls of a story from when he was a boy and went to Arbuckle Wilderness with his grandparents.  This was a drive thru zoo and an ostrich stuck his head in the car and wouldn't get out.  Well when Jon got to close to the ostrich the girls all started to cry and scream get back.  They were so funny but after a story like that can you blame them?

Going all in to preach!

Family paint time

Look at my tummy

Can I paint my own tummy?

Playing outside while all our friends tell us of snow
I miss snow!

The hotel brought in a clown to entertain kids during the strong bond training

Highly recommend this!!

Already holding Riley who was screaming
Kelly wanted the birds to eat out of her hand

Molly help me convince daddy this is too close

It my size!!  Must touch must touch.  AHH run away
That is how it played out during this picture

Rode the train around the park

This is awesome!!

But Thomas was a close  second (and only 1/10 of the price)

Riley's hair after it was twisted all day

Had a visitor share the story of Christmas with the chapel kids
Jon dressed up for the kids to tell the story

Friday, December 6, 2013

Santa, Tinsel and a Ball

This weekend has been busy for our family.
On Thursday we had our first Ball in his new unit.  I got to practice hairstyles on Molly during the week which she thought was fun and it saved me on the night of.  The ball was really fun - every unit does things just a little different but there are some things that stay the same.  We had a lady sing the Japanese anthem before our National Anthem, they sang the green beret song and even the toasts had a few twists.  It was fun to see ladies that I do bible study, workouts and play dates with all dressed up.
Today was our units Breakfast with Santa followed by Tinsel Town (the kickettes, dancers and singers) followed by Christmas Tree light up.  So we dressed up this morning to go chow down on some pancakes and do all the fun activities for the day.  Molly was super excited to see Santa, Riley did not want to be near him at all and Kelly was fine with him until he got close and she just cried. 
At Tinsel Town they asked for volunteers to be on stage and Molly really wanted to be one.  The lady walked by her and Molly got bummed so I told her make yourself noticed if you really want to go.  Molly got up stood in the aisle and raised both hands and guess what - the dancer couldn't pass her by and brought her up on stage!!!  I love that she is fearless in things she wants and goes for it.  Riley who is not our attention grabber frowned much of the show and would have hated being on stage but enjoyed watching her sister.  Kelly loved the music and clapped and smiled during the entire performance.
As we walked out they had things set up for the Christmas Tree lighting so the girls got to play in bounce houses, do some more crafts, and eat some more candy.  Now they are resting up so that we have the energy to watch the tree lighting tonight.

Getting read to see Santa

Pancakes at their level- they felt so special!!

Some didn't get the games as well as others

Not so sure about that man!

He gave them books and won them over!
Too bad Molly noticed we had 2 of the books since we had to bring our own wrapped books and I forgot to get some new ones so I just wrapped some off our bookshelf.

Guess who loves all things with singers and dancers!

She made it on stage

Love watching sister but wouldn't want to be up there

Got a photo with the crew

1-1 Ball

Bible study ladies

Amy had to kneel since she is so much taller than me

Play date friends!