Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas Break

I really love the long Christmas break when we have so much extra time to spend with family and friends, away from the normal busy activities of the year.

We went to Houston to visit Tia Nana and family while Lito was there for the day delivering gifts. I say "we" but actually Sebastian and I had to stay home because he started running fever Christmas afternoon! Austin was super Daddy! He took them first to meet a lady near Houston who had some ice skates we wanted to buy for Mariana. Then he took everyone to the mall with the AG store so the girls could spend their gift cards they received from Lito and Lita and ride the big carousel there. Finally, the went to Tia Nana's house for lunch with them and Lito and headed home. What a day!

We also spent a day with the P family attending the new Star Wars movie together (minus our little ones who stayed with Pawpaw and Manah), then we all went to daily mass and family night at Carino's afterward. We had theW family over the next night for dinner! (Both families have one of our Godchildren, so it was extra nice to spend a little Christmas with them!)

Today I took Mariana and a good friend of hers ice skating so she could try out her new skates and have a playdate at the same time. They had a lot of fun.

We made a pilgrimage to St. Mary's, a Jubilee sight for the Year of Mercy, and made confession and mass, then had dinner with Manah and Pawpaw after mass.

Here are some other little moments...
trying a new hair style
 Daddy got the pony down from the attic for the little ones. Such fun!

And of course some board games

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Jesus is Born, Alleluia!
We began our Christmas celebration with Mass on Christmas Eve. We usually prefer to go to mass first thing Christmas morning, but our parish moved the morning mass to a later time, so we changed the plan. We even let each of the children choose one gift to open after Mass Christmas Eve. They were SO well behaved!

Anastasia wanted this Ty Cheetah so badly. She has been asking for it for months "for her birthday" and was thrilled to get it a week earlier instead!

It was nice to enjoy a relaxed morning of Christmas music (the GOOD stuff from the Cathedral Choir), finishing our Jesse tree, and opening a few family gifts.

She did such a beautiful job focusing on Jesus this advent. She was so excited to see baby Jesus in our Nativities. It was sweet to see her pondering (you can't see it, but her Cheetah is pondering with her!).
 The kids all did such a great job buying gifts for each other. There was much excitement and thanks!
 A family gift...the stomp rocket. It proved to be great family fun. In honor of Uncle Matt, we even took some slow-mo videos just for fun!

Then later in the morning, we headed to Pawpaw and Manah's house.
 Gymnastics mat that apparently doubles as a trampoline!
 He has been wanting his own Ripstick because he really wants to learn, but his sisters are not always willing to share!
We relaxed and enjoyed a bit at home before opening the gifts Lito and Lita brought at Thanksgiving. The oldest 3 girls received AG gift cards and were thrilled.

 He loved this little car!
 We certainly have much to be thankful for, most importantly our Faith but also such generous, loving family and friends to surround us! We were sad to learn that Lita is sick and cannot join us for Christmas as planned. We were able to face time her, though, and will be keeping her in our prayers! May God bless everyone this Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reading together

Austin is officially off for the long Christmas break. Yay!!!
We had some family reading time last night after dinner. Sebastian was so cute. He decided that he was too grown up to read with the younger crowd, so he grabbed one of Allia's library books and insisted on climbing into her chair to "read" with her!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy 6th Birthday, Stephen!

We started the day with cinnamon rolls and bacon for breakfast and opening family gifts.

I had a lot of cleaning and prep to get ready for his party in the evening so he played with his sisters and his new toys very happily in the morning. We made a quick trip to the park just to get everyone some fresh air and exercise. Then we took him to Panda Express (in efforts to keep the house clean!) for lunch. He was really happy about that since he always wants to eat there, and we rarely do!
He got to skip rest time of course and played all afternoon right up until party time. He chose a Mario Galaxy themed party. Thankfully I made and decorated the cake Sunday afternoon because it ended up being harder than I estimated!

The Cake

He was very happy with it and helped me place the figures.

We played pin the mustache on Mario ( You can see the hanging question block in the background. We put coins and candy on top so they could bop it like Mario does and get a reward).

And Hot Planet

Happy Birthday!
And finally the gifts

We are so thankful that our sweet friends could join us to celebrate Stephen's life at such a busy time! I think everyone had a lot of fun, especially Stephen.
We are so thankful for this boy. He is such a sweet, thoughtful guy. When I asked him what dessert he wanted us to have after dinner Sunday evening (a little pre-celebration), he said, "Hmmm....what do you think Daddy would like?" So sweet!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Aggie in the family!

My nephew, Jared, graduated from Texas A&M on Friday (a semester early!). We were so proud of him. The three oldest, Pawpaw and I were all able to attend along with his parents, his fiancee and her parents.

These girls were troopers! It was a looong ceremony. It helped that the older brother of a friend of theirs was graduating too, so we went and chatted with them for a bit after we saw he and Jared walk the stage!


 We had a family dinner afterwards at Manah and Pawpaw's house. The kids were SO happy to see Jake. He is so much fun (and so strong)!

 We opened Christmas gifts with them. These two received a much desired plasma car. They were thrilled and even did a pretty good job sharing.