Sunday, November 30, 2014

to grandmother's house we go

We always kick off the holidays with the Huegel Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving.  This is all 9 of the Huegel cousins!
This year the kids did a gift exchange, and we were so glad we did that!  It beat having to buy 9 gifts and this way the kids got something they really wanted and they all enjoyed seeing who had each other's names!  Jack had Andrew's name.
And Andrew had Jayden, which thrilled him to death.  
Evi had Kerigan's name.  Kerigan was so pumped about this Cinderella wrapping paper!
Kerigan and her special big cousin!
Uncle Jay is Kerigan's Godfather so he got her a little something special, which she loved!
I got this print for Craig's parents- at the bottom it says "where cousins become best friends."  I thought it was perfect and so fitting.  Andrew would be the first to tell you his best friends are his cousins.  And Kerigan just loves them too.  They are all so blessed to have each other and get to grow up together!
These two cracked me up in their elf jammies!
The only three boy cousins!  Playing the iPad together.
I loved this picture of Kerigan surrounded by a million treats and goodies and she begged for oranges!  Ha!
One of Andrew's favorite things to do is have a sleepover with his cousins.  They all get popcorn or treats and watch a Christmas movie in their sleeping bags.  It has become a tradition and the kids all love it!
Games are always a favorite part of the weekend too.  Kerigan played Connect Four with Grandma!

Then Saturday morning we always have Christmas with Craig's grandma and all his aunts, uncles and cousins.
Kerigan wanted to take selfies and make faces before we left- Ha!
Love my girl!
Everyone always brings fun things for all the kids to do and this year one of Craig's cousins brought tents!  Such a great idea!
The kids always have fun playing with their second cousins too!  Craig has over 30 cousins and most of them all come and everyone gathers in this big hall and we play games and eat and visit.  It is always a fun time!
Jayden and Andrew being silly!

This is Craig's sweet grandma.  She is an amazing lady.  I am always amazed that she has so many kids, grandkids and great-grandkids and she remembers every single birthday.  She always sends a card and $5 every year. 
Andrew's second cousin Ellie- they have been little buddies for a while and love seeing each other at weddings and gatherings.  They are always dance partners!
Craig's sister had a baby girl Kenzie and she is the youngest Huegel cousin.  Kerigan just adores babies and she loved spending the weekend with Kenzie.
When we got home she wanted to get out her Olaf slushie maker from Evi and of course had to put on her Elsa dress to match!  Ha!

One Christmas under our belts... it's going so fast!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

little turkeys

My Thanksgiving blessings on Turkey Day!  Love them so much!
This cracked me up, we had a 2 day week at school before Thanksgiving break and the first night of break Andrew wanted to take a bubble bath in mommy's tub!  Ha!
The kid knows how to relax! 
These two wanted to have a sleepover.  Andrew loves to sleep in Kerigan's bed with her and they do so good going to sleep!  I sometimes let them on a weekend when they don't have school the next day and they love it.
Wednesday night Ga Ga and Papa always come over and help prep the turkey and then spend the night.
Kerigan had fun with it this year!  Ha!
We have loved this tradition!  Plus Papa does all the yucky work of cleaning it and then I don't have to!  Ha!
We made popcorn and watched a Christmas movie.
And that's my idea of a perfect night!
Minus the Black Friday shopping!  Ha!  Can I just tell you how much I despise shopping in crowds?  I hate crowds in general.  But I do love to shop. So I struggle with Black Friday!  I needed ONE thing at Walmart for Thanksgiving, so mom, Jim and I hopped in the car and headed there, not realizing what we were getting into.  Oh my word.  Let's just say I went through the line 3 times and came home with WAY more than I planned to and one of these...
Yeah, that's a trampoline.  Totally not planned.  Craig was thrilled.  Ha!  But it WAS a great deal!  We had been talking about getting one for a long time and never had the yard space until now.  I know the kids will love it this summer!  It's going to be their last day of school for summer surprise!
This girl.  She brought this home from preschool and I loved it SO much!  She adores mac and cheese more than anything in the world!  This definitely made me laugh!
Andrew has almost the same picture from his 4-year old preschool so I just love that these match!
Family turkey day pic!
Kids with Ga Ga
My beautiful daughter
This cracked me up.  No we didn't let Belle on the table!
Waiting excitedly for our meal!
Oh, and this happened.  Front tooth lost!  He was so funny, he was in bed one night during break and came flying down the ladder (he sleeps in a loft bed) and came running and it scared me to death!  Ha!  He was giggling and shows me his tooth had come out.  Nothing like giving the tooth fairy not even 12 hours notice!  Ha!
Buddy the Elf showed up with his North Pole breakfast the day after Thanksgiving!
The kids were so excited they wanted to say prayers!  Ha!  I'm not sure what prompted this, but it was so sweet!
Bring on the holiday season!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

holiday happenings

We've been having lots of fun this season with friends and family!
It finally snowed and we had a blast playing in it!
Who says you can't ride scooters in the snow?

Unfortunately the snow didn't last and it's been unseasonably warm so far.  Bummer!  We love the snow!
We had to come in for some hot chocolate!
I finally got the tree up and decorated.  This thing was a monster!  That's an 8ft ladder, and 12ft tree.  I wanted one that showed up better from the road and it had to be tall for this room.  The windows in our house are my favorite thing and this tree shows them so nicely.
This picture doesn't really do it justice on how it looks from the road.  Clearly I can't hold the camera still.  But the snowflakes in the air are a nice effect, aren't they?  Ha!
We I attempted putting lights in the front this year.  Let's put it this way... Craig is no Clark Griswold.  He refuses to get up on the roof to do the peaks.  Or get much higher than where they are now.  Let's be clear... I put the majority of those up too!  And all the ones in back!  Ha!  I have a huge wreath I want up so bad above our garage but it will probably never get done.  Let's be real here- no marriage is perfect.  And I'd say our fair share of arguing happens when it comes time to hang Christmas lights again!  So there you have it... That's our sore spot!  Ha!
Inside view- finished!  I couldn't tell you how many times I climbed up and down our 8ft ladder to decorate and rearrange the top.  And I'll be honest- sometimes I ask myself what I was thinking!!  Taking this down is something I can't even tell you how much I'm dreading.  
But I'm trying hard to relax and enjoy it!  Which is the main reason I like to put my decorations up so early (early, as in the day after Halloween!  Ha!)  Most of our nights are spent like this, by the fire, cat on my lap.
Belle has her new favorite spot.
She was kind of upset when I moved the ladder, ha!
But now she just crawls up the tree!  Yes, she's gone all the way to the top!  Crazy cat!
We had a date with Andrew to see Big Hero 6.  We all loved it!  We love spending special time with each kid one on one.  It means so much to them, too!
And Kerigan had the best babysitter, Olivia!  She's our neighbor and her mom teaches with me.  Kerigan is officially not afraid of dogs anymore!  Although she did keep calling their dog a cat!  Ha!
Both the kids used to be super scared of cats and dogs, which is a huge reason why we got a cat!  Kerigan loves her Belle.  We say all the time how lucky we are that she's such a nice kitty and doesn't get mad at being drug around all over the house by her neck, or spun around by her tail.  Ha!  She's a pretty even tempered cat!
We went to another UNI football game with our friends.  Craig's alma mater.  He got UNI colored ice cream- Ha!  We thought that was pretty unique!
Angie and I were DYING over this lady behind us.  She was super loud and was wearing these buffalo ears (we played against them).
We were trying to get her in our selfies and then she photobombed us!  Ha!
Blurry picture but the best company! 
We went to a "milk and bookies" event at church.  You donate books for kids and have milk and cookies!  Andrew was so sweet writing on his little tags for inside the books.  He loved doing this and really enjoyed sharing with others!
Kerigan did too.  I was really proud of both of them!
We listened to a story while the cookies were in the oven!
The kids loved the church mouse who read the story!
Kerigan and Payton- sweet friends
My sweet boy with his books and cookies
Kerigan and her friend Lily
We had such a great time with friends and giving to others!
Our town had a holiday stroll and a big group of us went and had a great time!  This is our attempt at a picture in the dark!
We all ate at Zeno's downtown, our favorite pizza!
Then we all saw Santa! (Could baby Piper be any cuter sitting on Mrs. Claus' lap??)
And this girl had her first year she hasn't cried!  I was so proud of her!
I have to admit I'm a little sad there aren't going to be anymore screaming-on-Santa's-lap pictures.  Because they are just funny.

They had this big paper where you could write notes to Santa so Andrew was pointing to his list (it's the orange box above his finger).
But just in case, he is keeping a list at home, too!  I told him Santa had to save some toys for the other kids (and this is 2 sided, looks the same on the other side too!  Ha!)
Then we had our first ever family carriage ride!
It was so fun and we all had a blast!  I want to make this a family tradition every year.
Angie and I had to do a friend selfie when we decided that we'd send the kids home with the guys and continue the night at the pub downtown!  Ha!
My neighbor, Heidi, joined us and we had hot chocolate spiked with something... and it was super good!  
A couple of weekends ago Andrew had a play date with our neighbor, Jackson.  They had fun playing Skylanders and Pokemon!
I showed up at school one Monday morning and it's always hard to get back in the swing of things.  These two sweet girls in my class Abby and Hannah, had made this for me and brought it in.  They made my day!  I love how they said "she gives us a good laugh" and wrote "LOL."  Ha!
Andrew's cardiologist came to talk to our heart support group meeting and the next week we had an appointment with him and we are putting off his next cath until spring!  That was great news as we thought it would be sooner.  We love Dr. M!
Ga Ga and Papa watched the kids for me one evening so I could do some shopping so we ate at our favorite place, Hickory Park!  This Cy is out front and the kids love finding these around Cyclone country!
Just a few random happenings... Kerigan likes to drag everything out of her bedroom and into the landing upstairs.  She was so funny.  She puts all her babies to bed and covers them all up.  She sets up tea parties and reads books to them.  I love watching and listening to her.  She usually wants me to join in, too!
Posing in her Fancy Nancy pajamas!  She is starting to get into Fancy Nancy now.  I love it!
One morning before preschool- she looked so cute in her Christmas outfit!
Andrew got to ring the bell at school in the morning with one of my students and he was so thrilled!  This is such a neat thing to do!  And another reason I love teaching at the same school!  It's a special place.

I think that catches me up... a little!  Whew!

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