Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Away in a Manger

This is the cutest thing I've ever seen. And I never exaggerate. I stole this from my friend Jessie's site. After all, Christmas is for sharing. I just wanted to share it with all of you. If you have kids, show it to them!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Parties for Hosting, Marshmallows for Toasting and Caroling out in the Snow

Saturday Jay and our friend Beau Powers raked the entire yard, bagging close to 30(?) Bags O'Leaves for our friendly trash guy to collect. We celebrated with a backyard bonfire, of the sticks and twigs and some leftover firewood from last year. Beau was obviously a highly successful and celebrated Boy Scout- he had a nice blaze going in just a few minutes. We roasted some marshmallows, sipped hot cocoa, and enjoyed the cold evening with a friend. Beau's family is out of town and we missed them!

Dear little Harry Boy clutched a (unroasted) marshmallow in his hand for about an hour and a half. He nibbled one little nibble out of it, but obviously liked holding the fellow more than eating it, so he kept it until bath time when we released it back into the wild.

As for the the party hosting and caroling out in the snow...we are hosting my whole family for Christmas(!!) and we have seen some flurries and a light dusting, but we're still waiting for the big one, and dreaming of a White Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Deck the Halls

We got our beautiful tree up last week. The kids were so excited and I love seeing how they can be more involved as they grow older. Mac was the champion "ordament" hanger. He was so intent on it and when we were done he kept asking for more. I've noticed since we finished the tree, each day the arrangement of ornaments changes. One reason for this is that Harry likes to bring me choice ornaments and talk about them. So I have to re-hang these. Plus I suspect that Ruth and Mac have done some rearranging on their own. For this reason, alot of the ornaments have slowly migrated upward, out of reach.

Sissy and Harry- Harry who fell in love with the step-ladder and tried to dance on it and ignore our voices calling him down.

The Yearly Wrangling of Ye Olde Light Strands.

Harry and the Step-ladder.

Mac's preferred hanging method- on the furtherest needle on the very edge of the branch.

Tree skirt= twirly skirt for ballet-inclined daughter. So sweet.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

War Eagle!

Family Flying Fun

Well, we survived the TSA screenings and scannings and baggage fees and had uneventful travel to Alabama and back. The kids loved it, especially take-off and the complimentary beverage service including bags of peanuts.

Like father, like son. Sleepyheads.

Momma Don't Take my Kodachrome

Got a new camera! Loving it, but there's a lot to learn. Here are some of my firsts...

blurry, darn it
i like this mossy tree

secret garden in Montgomery

sweet little Alli

One of my first shots- I love the lack of delay compared to my old camera, and the crispness of the pictures. Katie bar the door- we're gonna need a new computer to hold all these pictures!

Thanksgiving in Dixie

Our original plans for Thanksgiving fell all apart, but it turned out that we were able to fly to Montgomery to celebrate with Jay's family. We even got to travel to Mobile to see Uncle Greg and Aunt Kelli, who couldn't travel because of pre-term labor. This means fun with the cousins!

Alli, Ruth, Mac, Jackson, and Harry

Brother time

Fun at a park in Old Alabama Town in Montgomery, with JuJu and PawPaw (not pictured)

More brother time

We got to visit Maggie

JuJu and Mac

We had so much fun with JuJu and PawPaw- it rained alot, but we had a few beautiful days to get outside and run around. PawPaw indulged my craving for some soul-food, including catfish and fried green tomatoes. They took us shoe shopping for the kids and hosted a fun tea party and a movie night. We're so thankful for a great trip down to the Southland!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mac is 4!

As he happily tells everyone he has seen since his birthday, Mac is now 4! He said yesterday that "I smell like a 4 year old." He is such a boy, such a sweetie. He has wanted a "Rocket Party" since we went to the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center this summer. And he was counting on his Aunt Kelli sending him a rocket, which she did! Here he is with his Rocket Cake.

Pinata time!

Of course little brother had to get in on the action. He loves beating things (furniture, people) with bats and sticks, so this was by far his favorite birthday activity.

Mac's buddies! They made the party so much fun!
I took Mac for a four year check-up this week and he checked out fine. I've had concerns about his weight and appetite, but he is still fine on the chart, and growing on track over the years. He was so good for the Doctor too, which tells me how grown up he is. He used to completely throw a fit and scream, but this time he chatted with the Doctor, and laughed and was just the perfect patient. He proudly showed off the warts on his fingers and his rockin' arm muscles.
We love our Mackiedoo so much! He is really a bundle of energy and fun- loves to read and jump and play ball and run races and be chased and tickled. He loves grapes and hugs and snuggling and his sleeping buddy, Dino. One of my favorite things he does lately: he'll come and say to me, "Come here Mommy, I have to show you something AMAZING!" Then he'll show me a new jump he has devised or a dead bug in a corner, and I am AMAZED, and I love it!


Here are our trick-or-treaters, the Pilgrim girl and the Commando (with upside-down rank insignia..thanks China.) This was our first year to celebrate Halloween due to Jay's change of heart. This happened a few days before Halloween, hence the fact that the kids look a little disheveled and ill-fitting- maybe next year we'll be cute and creative.

Raking time! (I am having some camera issues- I am frustrated in the quality of my latest pictures. Stay tuned for something fresher...clearer, etc...)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fall in DC

Here we are at the FDR memorial with his dog, Fala. We went to DC to try to go up in the Washington Monument but it was sold out. But there's always more to see and do. The FDR memorial is really beautiful with multiple waterfalls and beautiful granite. Mac had just checked out "Clifford Goes to Washington" from the library and Clifford stops here to say hi to Fala, just like we did.

This is the path around the Tidal Basin, which in the spring is packed with people looking at the cherry blossoms. I found them to be just as beautiful in the fall, with the colored leaves dipping down into the water.

Since it was starting to drizzle we went into the Museum of Natural History to see an exhibit I had read about. It is a coral reef made by knitters/crocheters from all around the country. It was really amazing and unique, I thought. Above is the main part, and then some close ups....

What a work of art! Sort of kitschy but definitely worth seeing. And to think, some of these ladies were the same ones that make those Kleenex box covers and toilet roll covers that I adore! If only I knew how to knit...

Mountain Trip/October

In October we took our annual family trip to North Carolina. My parents and my bro and his family met us down there. It ends up being about halfway between us. We hiked and played and went to an Arts and Crafts Festival and just enjoyed the fresh mountain air and each other's company. Here we are on top of Water Rock Knob.

At a Blue Ridge Parkway info center.

Here are all the McAlarney progeny. My brother and his wife have children all within a year of our children which is so fun for getting together. It also made it so sad to move far away from them. From L to R: Ruthie (5), Annabelle (5), Alan Jr or Alee (3), Mac (3), Victoria (2), Harry (1).

Harry doing some bouldering on top of the Devil's Courthouse.

Waterbottle row.

Belle and Ruthie, sweet cousins. I have a picture of them in this very spot from last year, but unfortunately I couldn't access it to post here for a comparison.

The photo of the whole group is in my brother's possession and so I blame him that it is not posted here.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Boy Joy!

Here he is! Baby boy, Hodges #4. Isn't he precious! He weighs 20 oz and is just right for 20 weeks gestation. We are excited! Ruthie shed some tears- she so wanted a baby sister, but she is glad for a baby of any variety to join our family. Mac said, with his little smile, "I'm glad it's a boy, Mommy." Harris is glad too, he just doesn't know it yet!