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A Look Back

Posted by casey on December 31, 2013 in Family

With only hours left to a year that was oh so good to us, a casual snapshot look back at the months we spent loving each other and growing day by day…
or in this case, month by month.
January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

2013. Lots of Love. New Starts. Travels. Recoveries. Laughs. Time for Snuggles.
Chasing. Outside Play. Family. Parades. Celebrations. Home.

 
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A Glimpse

Posted by casey on December 31, 2013 in Holiday Fun, Snapshots

While I am busy de-Christmasing the house (in record time), finishing up a newborn session, and building a fort for the boys while searching a “Where’s Waldo-Esque” book with them in said fort, how about a glimpse at what our Christmas morning really looks like while I get all the photos and stories of our holiday in order?

Sun, snuggles, messes, PJs, constant moving, grab it and go, giggles and grins.

 
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In The Excitement

Posted by casey on December 29, 2013 in Everett, Everett's Edition, Holiday Fun

We certainly kept ourselves busy this December finding Jingle, seeing Santa, crafting, reading and decorating. After our projects were complete our dry we always found a special place for them, especially the ornaments.

Caden and Everett both loved having Daddy help them put their ornament “UP HIGH!”, I think that Everett’s excitement is obvious and can really do the rest of the storytelling.

Don’t worry Mommy I’m holding on tight!

Amazed? I think so.
Great spot son. You did it!

 
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Doing Their Part

Posted by casey on December 28, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Snapshots

This year, the boys did their part in helping to decorate for Christmas and Bring in their own tree.  Isn’t it a given that the boys sent Christmas Cards to their grandparents and aunties/uncles of their tree hunt?  I think so.

 

They had such fun out in the trees with me this morning in November and couldn’t wait to tell Daddy all about putting a tree on their bicycle and car! Sweet boys.

 
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Jingle the Elf 2013 {Week 3 & 4}

Posted by casey on December 27, 2013 in Holiday Fun, Jingle the Elf

Jingle Week One 2013

Jingle Week Two 2013

and on to Jingle’s Final Days With Us This Year…

Highlight: Sugar high first thing in the morning. Kidding.  They were so careful with their cups and loved using little spoons to dig out their three marshmallows!

Highlight: “Oh NO Mommy! JIngle is STUCK! How do we rescue him??!!”

Highlight:”J is for Jingle Mommy. I think Jingle wants to go to school with us again.”

Highlight: Playing basketball with Jingle hanging on. “Don’t worry Mommy, he isn’t falling off, he wants to play with us.”

Highlight: Finding him. They had to look for awhile because he was so camouflaged!

Highlight: Seeing Jingle’s cape just like the boys asked Santa for.  Naturally we had to watch The Incredibles that day so we could be up on our superhero powers.

Highlight: Isn’t it obvious?  The cooking attire. Jingle sure made our baking much more festive and fun!

Highlight: Jingle’s lawn equipment. My boys’ obsession with lawn mowers and lawn crews made this ensemble a total hit. They also liked that Jingle was working to spruce up the place for Santa’s arrival.

Highlight: “Oh THANK YOU Jingle,” was heard over and over as they walked back and forth from their kid tree to the chair to get another ornament to hang.  This may have been their favorite appearance from their elf.  Each boy just couldn’t believe Jingle had brought all of these fun ornaments just for them. Clearly Jingle forgot to get them out earlier and thought the tree needed more decoration in order for Santa to come!

Highlight: Seeing the #1 on the “How many more sleeps until Santa?” arrives board.

Caden and Everett are sad to see Jingle go, but understand that he will come back next year.  We all had a lot of fun having him in our home again this holiday season as he brought a lot of giggles, child excitement and wonder to the season.  Jingle really helped to break up the time frame of the holidays and waiting for Christmas Day to come as we had something to look forward to each morning this December.

Thanks for all of the fun Jingle, see you next year!

 
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A Merry Mailing

Posted by casey on December 27, 2013 in Holiday Fun

Presenting the 2013 Kazmann Christmas Card
A Merry Mailing Indeed

 
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These Two

Posted by casey on December 24, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Snapshots

These Two…

I hope Santa doesn’t mind just a little bit of mischeviousness…

because these two always have a bit of something up their sleeve.
Like striptease.

Oh.My. Life With Boys.
Sat

 
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If You Just Believe

Posted by casey on December 23, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Holiday Fun, Uncategorized

Once our letters were written and we knew Santa was busy reading and checking it was time for the boys to make a visit to the jolly guy as well.  What has become what I would say is our only kind of crazy tradition we got all geared up to see the big guy.  Those of you who also visit this particular Santa know the details of actually getting to him.  We now have our routine down to do this and it might be the only holiday “chaos” we giggle about before, during and after.  Oh Santa, the things we do to see you because we Believe!

The boys were SO excited.  Once we got dressed Caden said, and I quote, “I think I look pretty handsome, I might have to show Santa this (while motioning his hand up and down his outfit).”  They were very patient fighting traffic and then fighting parking.  Thanks to our system, we don’t actually ever have to wait long with them for their Santa visit. That is part of what makes it still magical to them I think because we aren’t dragging them through line forever.  As we got up to his house, the giddiness began.  Everett was trying to peek through all of the fogged windows while knocking on them (yes, that was us) to see if Santa was really there.  Caden was getting ansy and grinning and then…he saw him.

Seeing his eyes see Santa when we are at the front of the line was PRICELESS.  His eyes truly lit up, his face went into an “O” and then came the grin.  That moment when they see something amazing and then look back at you to make sure you see it too.  It was perfect.

We play it by ear to see if we are doing them together or separate based on how they are reacting still at this age. Since Caden was so excited and just waltzed right up to him we decided to let him have some alone time with Santa even though Everett was ready to go too.  This was perfect for Caden.  In fact, the above shot was the very first picture they took and there couldn’t have been a better one.  Pure child joy. In hindsight I think letting Caden go alone first made Everett who was excited a little more hesitant and shy the longer he watched.

They had a great chat, he informed Santa of his scooter and cape desires and happily took a book that Santa had for the boys.

Once we pried him from Santa Everett gazed up and Santa quizzically, gave his shy “Yeah, yeah, okay” whispered answer that he repeats when he is a little nervous and was sure to get close…but not too close for his picture.  You know, just in case. I call it a loving lean.

No tears were shed, Caden walked up one last time while waving and saying “Bye Santa!” as we made our way out of his cozy nook.  As soon as we were down there Everett turned, eyes glistening, “I saw SANTA! Santa sat with meeeeeeeeeee!”

Victory.

They have both been enjoying looking at their pictures and Jingle’s pictures with Santa each day as they walk by our entry table to reminisce on their visit. They very much BELIEVE and are ready in every way for two more sleeps from now.

Compare to
Santa 2012

Santa 2011

Santa 2010

 
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Dear Santa,

Posted by casey on December 22, 2013 in Caden, Everett, Family, Holiday Fun

This year, at three and three quarters, Caden wrote his very first Santa letter.  Technically, Everett did as well though without any actual letters.  Since Caden has been learning so much and thrououghly enjoying writing, practicing and reading as many letters as he can I thought this would be the perfect year to start.  We had been talking about writing Santa a letter and Caden figured out what he wanted this year.

A scooter.
Naturally…Everett then decided he wanted a scooter too.
(They had been envious of their cousin’s in recent visits.)

One evening during the first week of December we got our paper and colors ready and I helped out when Caden asked for lines to write the letters on.  Then, the drafting began.  The result?  I think the most perfect three year old Santa letter you could ask for.

Dear Santa,
Scooter Please.
Love, Caden

Straight and to the point, with just enough politeness.

Everett did some serious work on his too after he asked me to do letters. He added his one finesse and signature to prove it was from him and that I wouldn’t claim his scooter come Christmas day.

We traced the boys hands on the back so Santa would know just who’s letter it was and then adorned them with stickers. Caden decided each finger on his traced hand should be topped with one sticker, very organized that one is.  When we ran out of stickers had enough décor, into the addressed enveloped they went and out to mailbox we headed to send our very important and official mail off to the North Pole.

Everett’s Decorating Masterpiece

Caden’s Crisp & Clean Arrangement

They were giggling and excited and ready to move on the bath-time.  You know, check it off and move on!

The next morning, on our way to school we had to stop at our mailbox to peek inside to see if they had gone to the North Pole overnight. Guess what? They were gone and on their way!  Caden asked “How would we really know If they got there and Jingle made sure Santa read them?”

Guess what again?

Jingle…our very own Jingle…and Santa reading Caden’s LETTER!!!!  I even see Everett’s sitting on the nightstand to be read next.  I sure am glad Jingle had a chat with Santa so they didn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Only 3 more sleeps until they get to see if Santa thinks they are on the nice list and delivers their letter wishes after all.

“Up on the rooftop reindeer paws…”

 
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Jingle the Elf 2013 { Week 2 }

Posted by casey on December 15, 2013 in Holiday Fun, Jingle the Elf

Jingle has been busy yet again this past week and the boys have been on the hunt every single morning.   Caden particularly likes to come down and turn the Christmas tree lights on to get a head start while we are still waking.  “Where’s Jingle?  I just don’t know. I think he might be lost.  Jingle, where are you?”

Everett is in LOVE with Jingle and talks about him (and to him) throughout each day.  He likes to make sure he is still safe in his spot, or see if he misses his hideouts from the day prior.  Whenever we leave and come home, Jingle is the first family member that gets checked on just in case something changed.  Lets check out what he was up to last week!

Highlight: Watching them search and search and then try all day to see how that balloon was holding Jingle right there! Elf Magic!

Highlight: After Icemageddon and several days stuck inside, they boys liked seeing that Jingle was longing for the outdoors just as much as them.

Highlight: This was back to school in what seemed like awhile after being cooped up from the weather.  The boys were ready to go and just giggly over Jingle wanting to go with them and being ready with his backpack and lunchbox just like them.  They had to keep checking to make sure he hadn’t actually hitched a ride on his bus.

Highlight: (seen below) They both just loved that Jingle had gathered his friends (Jake, Thomas, LEGO fireman and Daisy Duck) for a photo op.  To think that they all were playing about while they were sleeping was just too much.  So, naturally, they each needed cameras so they could take pictures of Jingle taking pictures.  “Say Cheese Jingle” was heard throughout the morning.

Highlight: Once a year, Jingle needs a bath! This took a little longer for them to find, but their laughs and points that Jingle was taking a bubble bath in THEIR bath just like them was pure greatness. “Oh no Mommy! We can’t take a bath in there too, we will get Jingle all wet. Maybe lets use his towel.”

HIghlight: A future post will explain more but this elf magic really hit home.  Jingle surprised the boys with pictures of SANTA reading THEIR letters they wrote and sent this year.  From the proof it seems like Jingle sat with Santa and had a little chat with him while he read their letters just like Mommy and Daddy told them!

  Highlight: With two Aggie parents, Jingle fit right in getting in the spirit of Johnny Manziel’s Heisman nomination this year and got all decked out for the occasion. Everett, who is particularly brainwashed checked on Jingle regularly declaring “Gig ‘Em Aggies, Whoop!”

Another week of fun is surely on the way, and with the first and second week now behind us they are anxiously awaiting his surprises!

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