Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas morning

We enjoyed a relaxing morning at home to exchange Christmas presents - just the 4 of us. Lots of jammie time and plenty of space to try out the new toys! 

The first few are from St. Nick's day - just forgot to post! 

So fun to see the excitement in their faces when they (especially James) realized there were presents in the stockings! 

Lightning slippers! 

Isaac looks like he has on moon boots - but they are really his puppy slippers. 
Love how Jimmy is digging down in his stocking! (Love our stockings Aunt Lisa!!!) 

Showing off his santa that says, "ho ho ho..." 
Sometimes Ikey does too! 

Christmas morning! 
Santa came through with the "Paw Patrol lookout tower that Eli has!" 

And for the button king --- Isaac got a computer --- here's hoping he leaves the TV, remotes and light switches alone now! 

These little boys are in heaven --- love watching them pretend with the pups! 

New Thomas shirt! 

I love it when kids are so excited about new clothes that they go on right over the jammies! 

Not sure if this was a gift for the boys or mommy and daddy - hoping they will jump some energy out inside this winter and go to bed at night when they should! 

Double bouncing! 

It is fun to watch them jump! 

Not wanting to miss out on anything - Isaac brings his toys on top of the trampoline so he can do it all. 

Pushing Thomas across the floor. 

Loved seeing their joy :) 
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Santa comes to McFarland

Last weekend we were invited to the old neighborhood for a Christmas party and were thrilled to see that Santa had arranged his schedule to join us! 

We had already seen Santa at our preschool Breakfast with Santa and as you can see - Isaac was not a fan :) 

So I wasn't sure how it was going to go at the party... :) 

Patiently waiting for your name to be called is tough! 

Jimmy was thrilled when he heard his name and ran up to Santa and gave him a big hug! 

Thinking hard about his answers... 
(Though his very practiced answer to "what do you want for Christmas?" is ALWAYS "Hot wheels and the Paw Patrol Look Out Tower that Eli has!" 

Isaac did much better than expected. I think seeing Santa there for a bit and having the other kids go up to him first helped. 
I love the wonderment in his face - not 100% sure, but adoable nonetheless! 

Group photo! 

Santa presents = controlled chaos! 

Waiting for Daddy to get his new Thomas out of the box! 

Don't I look fabulous?!? 

Hanging with the big kids in the basement --- 

This was one of those moments where I waited to remove him until after taking the picture... 

So intrigued with this crazy game... amazed he didn't come home with a black eye! 

Ugly Sweater photo! 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Advent Calendar

So this is the first year that Jimmy really gets Christmas --- it has been so fun doing little things with him to get him excited about Santa, Baby Jesus, etc. 
I created an advent calendar before he was born that has little boxes you can fill with stuff. 
Then I took a suggestion from Lisa and alternate between chocolate kisses and paper slips with activities on it for each day. 
Below are some of the fun things we did this season to get in the holiday spirit! 

James was fascinated by the Nutcracker --- so we bought some pistachios and cracked them open. I have lots of fond memories of my Grandpa cracking all kinds of nuts at Christmas --- though I am pretty sure the one we have is for decoration only! 

We made holiday sugar cookies and took them to the neighbors! 

We went to the Capitol to see the BIG Christmas tree! 
(the highlight of this trip was the elevator --- and the train under the tree... in that order) 

Isaac was not pleased that he was stuck in the stroller! 

We made Chex mix --- another fond Grandpa Jim memory! 
(notice the hot wheels and toothbrushes on the counter... you know you live with little boys when there are match box cars everywhere and when you have toothbrushes that need to go through the dishwasher on occasion for being stuck or tossed in places they DON'T belong!) 

And we went to the holiday train display at Olbrich Gardens. 
We waited to take Grammy and Buppa this past weekend since there were no strollers allowed! 

Again, Isaac was not please to be confined to the back carrier! 

Jimmy and Buppa watching choo choos!  

Momma and the boys watching trains!

It has been a fun month counting down until Christmas --- I hope January isn't too much of a let down! 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Friends with cameras

So as much as I LOVE taking pictures - I still like to be in them once and a while too! When Callie mentioned she was learning about lighting and needed some families to use as guinea pigs - I jumped at the chance to go and "help"!  

They NEVER smile AND sit nicely like  this for me! 

Family photo with everyone smiling... check! 

Isaac and Jimmy's new favorite game --- you say "na-night" and everyone puts their heads down. 
Then you say "GOOD MORNING!" and everyone pops up! 
Callie caught the timing pretty perfectly! 

Always love this pose --- happy we have one now! 

Jimmy - being Jimmy 

Deep thoughts - by James... 

Great job Callie - thanks again for letting us help! 
Friends with cameras are the best!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Joy to the World

The video quality is not great on this - but funny things to look and listen for: 
Tessa (white dress) and her interest in her headband --- Jimmy gets whipped with her hair a few times!
(black and white sweater in front of James) - loves cowboy boots and
wears them most days. He keeps a pretty good beat for the singers
through most of the show! 
Isabelle (front row black and red dress) flipping her dress up through most of the song --- luckily there were multiple layers!

Finally, the little piggy squeals at the end are of course Isaac :)

These kids were so cute and funny and James had a great time! 

Singing 2

Notice the sweet little boy next to James - in all of his excitement, Jimmy repeatedly crashes into him :( 

Jimmy's Christmas program

Last weekend we had Jimmy's first ever Christmas program --- it was freakin' adorable and hilarious! 
I have a few video clips to share. James is in a red and
black plaid shirt next to the little girl in the white dress. These two
were the life of the show (at least in my opinion!) 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Stelse's Annual Ugly Sweater Party

We kicked off the holiday season with an ugly sweater party at the Stelse house. It is a fun night of food, drinks and fun - and lots of built in babysitters! 

Love Christmas/ birthday celebrations with this lady! 

Isaac helping himself to puppy chow --- that cooler was in the perfect place for him. Adults saw it as an "out of the way place to put it"... Isaac quickly saw it as an access point to the food! 
Key Learning from the party ---- a dinner of puppy chow, multiple cupcakes (mini ones, don't judge me!) and trail mix (mostly just the m&m's) WILL cause your child to throw up a few hours later in his crib! 

He is climbing on EVERYTHING!!!! 

These two goofballs were some of the youngest guests at the party but thoroughly enjoyed running with the big kids. Isaac wrapped his arms around everyone's legs as he passed through the crowd - kind of swinging like Tarzan from leg to leg. Initially people were startled, then it just became the norm...  :) 
When Jimmy attempted to kill another family fish in this group of friends (over feeding swimming pets seems to be his specialty!) we knew it was time to leave! 

Thanks for a great party Jen and Tim! 

Monday, December 14, 2015

myTeamTriumph - IronMan 2016

We attended a really cool event last weekend supporting my Team Triumph. If you are not familiar....

myTeam Triumph really focuses on “Wellness with a Purpose” and our goal is to rally our staff, patients, friends and families around this team throughout the training and racing process. Ideas are already in the works for running clubs for our staff, lunch and learn opportunities, educational presentations at local schools, community connections with other groups (Tri 4 Schools, Black Men Run, Girls on the Run, etc.) and so much more! And of course a large presence on the IRONMAN course will be the culmination of many months of training for both the Captain and the Angels. 

A little more about myTEAM TRIUMPH:
·         myTEAM TRIUMPH promotes health, teamwork, and community, and requires the involvement of many people with diverse abilities and disabilities.
·         Captains are challenged athletes who are the inspiration of our team with their spirit of courage and joy
·         Three able-bodied Angels utilize specialized racing equipment to guide their Captain in a Road Race or Triathlon.
·         Crossing the finish line together, teams build deep bonds based on respect, and an experience they will never forget
·         With myTEAM TRIUMPH, disabled participants get to do it all! They will “Captain” a team of “Angels” through an entire race guaranteeing them their moment of glory as they cross that finish line that so many of us take for granted

To get a better idea about mTT on race day --- take a look at this video!

To hear from a Captain and get a better idea of the joy this group provides – take a look at this video!

The reason I am sharing all of this with you is because we are very excited to announce that Patrick will be one of 3 Angels for Krissy's Madtown Team for the 2016 Ironman! 

The gala was "black tie and tri shorts"  so we geared up! 

Andy and Heidi were kind enough to let me borrow and Ironworks top - so we matched! 

Lisa (my friend and co-worker) and her husband John --- the other two angels for team Krissy. 

Krissy and her family (Adam and Lilly) watching last year's Ironman video. 

The big announcement!  

Krissy's Madtown Team! 

Other Ironworks folks --- Patrick is pumped to be joining the team this year! 

The full "team" --- including supporters! 

Watch for more information as we get started in 2016 --- lots to share :)