Monday, December 23, 2013

Silly Photos

James has certainly been enjoying the holidays this year --- lots of "tookies" (cookies), fun toys and games, and of course time with good friends. 

We had dinner with Jacqui and Chris last week and James backed right into Chris' lap with his current favorite book - Row Row Row Your Boat.
Chris did great - even adding in the extra noises between pages!

This past weekend I was collecting clean laundry to take upstairs and James discovered I left the dryer open.  He promptly climbed in and entertained himself with the dryer balls while I folded!
Patrick sent a picture to Uncle Jo-Jo - sounds like he might also have spent some time in the dryer as a child - though I don't think his was by choice!

And finally - this is a typical scene in our house - actually whenever it gets quiet, it is safe to assume that James is standing on something trying to reach something else.
In this instance, it is his rocking chair and he is reaching for the huge snow globe that plays Christmas Carols. He can push the button and then proceeds to "rock/ dance" on the chair.
Such a dare devil!

Let the Christmas festivities begin!

Sunday we had Dad's side of the family over for the Packer game and to celebrate Christmas together.
Growing up we always did Dad's family on Christmas Eve and Mom's on Christmas Day - well once Patrick was in the picture we switched to spending time with the Ellestad's on Christmas Eve and therefore rarely get to see the Regenfuss family. 

Thankfully the snow cooperated and everyone was able to get to our house for the Packer game!

Thomas and Buppa built a replica of Uncle Fred's hot rod and gave it to him for Christmas.
They are still on the hunt for other familiar models for the future.

Lots of Packer gear and snacks in the basement -
holiday pot lucks on a snowy sunday in WI... what could be better?!?

 The boys were really enjoying going up and down the stairs - at one point I suggested they use the bottom landing as a stage or dance floor... Here is Jojo showing us his moves!

Diane and the kids playing - you can just see Gwen putting her face through the Bert puzzle block --- one of James favorite activities!

And this is a great example of entertaining children with no toys! Patrick was giving Josiah a ride and Jojo was telling him where to go by pulling on his thumbs - suddenly the other two boys are in the air and well and a chick fight broke out!  Too bad there wasn't this much cheering and excitement with the actual Packers!

Thanks again for making the trip to see us - we had a great time with everyone and hope it can become an annual tradition! 

Candy Cane Houses and Kid Swap

Saturday evening I spent some time with some of my favorite big kids - Hannah, Owen and Molly Stelse.
We invited them over to make candy houses and since we have their kids - Tim and Jen took James for a couple of hours!

 I found kits to make actual gingerbread houses and lined up the table with bowls of candy and frosting.

The kids were super creative and it was fun to see how each house was so different. 
They are such great kids - so polite and funny :)  
We also of course sampled quite a bit of the candy and got a little silly!

Did you knowe that licorice makes great mustaches?!?

And the finished products!
(the little shed on the right is mine - they were having so much fun, I needed to get in on the action too!)

Group shot

Jen and James - he had a great time playing at their house - two new kitties and undivided attention... awesome! Maybe next year he can help with the houses, but this year - it was terrific to have him otherwise occupied!

Hannah and James 

and another shot of Jen and James

It was a fun night - hopefully no one got sick from all of the candy!
Thanks everyone :) 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Cookies

James and I traveled to Mequon on Saturday to spend the day with Mom and Dad.
The ladies had plans to bake cookies all day and the guys planned to play and watch Christmas movies until they passed out!

James ran Dad through his paces and vice versa ---
 here they are enjoying a bottle and the end of the movie "Elf".

We went out for dinner to celebrate Dad's and my birthday - yummy Mexican food!
I took a few photos of Mom and Dad with James in his cool new Batman shirt.

This one cracked me up so much --- James decided that was enough with these silly adults!

He did love his kid size straw and cup!

Overall we made 8 kinds of cookies - here is a shot of the melt aways. Back story... some years the frosting comes out pastel and there are always comments - this year, I suggested we buy the gel colors I used for James' birthday cake.  With such a small amount of frosting... I MAY have over squirted the coloring!
But they are DEFINITELY NOT pastel!

And a table full of cookies!
It was a productive but tiring process.

Next year we are hoping for a few more abled helpers - though we also decided that we might run out of room to work. I commented that there is always room for someone to sit with their feet up and drink wine and chat with the workers... I vote I get to start in that role in 2014!

Here is a quick shot of the different cookies - we stuck with a few favorites and mixed in a few new ones.
All delicious!

James and I packed up our share of the cookies and headed back to Madison in plenty of time for the Packer game ---
Just a cute shot of him watching :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hunting for our tree!

We went and picked out our tree last week after work.
 James and Patrick searched out the perfect tree together!

Doesn't he look like a little sasquatch stomping through the maze of trees?!?
Happy to report the tree is up and decorated - James is loving the decorations and so far he hasn't broken any ornaments!

Hope you are enjoying all of your Christmas preparations!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

We made it to Mequon in time for most of the Packer game and were ready to cheer on the Pack to a Thursday holiday win --- too bad our guys looked more prepared than the actual team!

James got his own Rodgers jersey this week and fit right in with the other boys!

After the game was over and the jerseys came off - Patrick was running routes with Thomas in the family room! He zigged and zagged and jumped over the pillows and onto the couch to score.


James in his fancy clothes - such a big boy!

The Dads carving up the turkeys!

The Moms taking care of all of the sides and the coveted Madeira gravy!

This was James' seat at the table - his cute turkey bib from Aunt Lisa (also worn last year) and his homemade place card - made by Thomas :) I believe all 3 place cards had all 3 boys names on them, you could tell which was for each boy based on how BIG each name was.  Good to know!

And here is one of the less than stellar shots of the boys - the good ones might be making an appearance in Buppa and Grammy's Christmas card - this is what you get when you ask the bigger boys to put their heads by James :)

And what Thanksgiving is complete without a little angel balance!?!

James got a turn too - but Jojo requested I put the camera down and give him another go!

It was a great day filled with fun, family and food - hands down still my favorite holiday - a vacation day to eat dinner --- what could be better?!?

Hope yours was happy too! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Beer Buffet with the Ellestads

Each year we kick off Thanksgiving weekend with the Beer Buffet at the Ellestads.
Everyone brings a 6-pack and an appeetizer to share and we hang out/ play games / eat and drink!

After the kids were asleep we ended up in the basement and the boys starting digging out their lettermen's jackets.

Here are a picture of the spouses in  their honey's sports jackets!

John and Eric enjoyed wearing Amy's Tennis jackets as well!
Tara was wearing Jo-jo's coat since Eric's coat is in Mt. Horeb.

The boys were playing beer pong - us ladies chose a more sophisticated game of drinking PERFECTION!
Still pretty hard as an adult - but also proof that anything can be a drinking game :)

We had plans to head to Mequon for Thanksgiving but were still around for the meal preparations at Ted and Carol's.  Jack was pretty interested in watching/ tasting and helping!

First bite of turkey!

Helping Grandma with the stuffing.

Better taste this celery too Grandma!
So cute :)