Sunday, December 12, 2010

Catching UP - Part 1

It is a busy time of year, and the last couple of weeks have held true to that, so I have been neglecting the blog :-( I just haven't been able to keep up with blogging everything we have been doing. I figured I would just do a 2-part catch up.... starting now.
We started off the month TRYING to get a Christmas picture of the boys. I can share them since we didn't end up using any of them :-) The pictures you don't plan always turn out better - for us at least. Jake trying to keep Cole still....
The chair worked better - and this turned out pretty cute ....
Love them :-)
Trying again later.... Jake still trying to keep Cole still (it's pretty impossible).
Much better....
Cole going, "get off me brother."

Jake has been building a lot lately on his tool bench - and of course wearing his Lowe's apron. I have to say that his imagination is RUNNING WILD these days. It's so fun to see. The other day, he wanted to have a snowball fight with Chris, so they were in the living room just throwing and dodging "pretend" snowballs. I am loving the imagination these days.... it's so fun to see what he will come up with next. I'm pretty sure he was using his drill (in this picture) to make ice cream - one of his favorite treats :-)
Silly boy....

Chris graduated a new set of recruits (MARINES now) a little over a week ago, so his schedule is going to be very flexible for the next 4 weeks. It is amazing the difference it makes with him even just being home on the weekends! I feel so fortunate that outpost falls over Christmas for us. It was really weird with him working on Christmas last year - and as we head back to the fleet this upcoming year, I'm cherishing all the "Christmas things" we get to do as a family this year. Jake and Cole are loving it - and I am, too! We already have been to several Christmas festivities ... and still have a few left, too. Of course, I have lots of shopping still to do. I'm not sure why I do this to myself.... I've had lists going for weeks, but I just need to really dig deep and get started buying - and wrapping - and baking :-) I need to have a baby every year around Christmas, b/c this time last year I was 9 months pregnant - and so organized about getting everything done WAY early!
Anyway, back to graduation pics. I know for those of you who regularly follow my blog, you may wonder why so many graduation pictures every time, but it's just such a big deal each cycle - as it should be. So many have worked so hard. I've been to my fair share of graduations since we got to Parris Island - and each one is still just so amazing and impressive. This is Chris' second cycle as the Company Commander of Hotel Company. It was a very, very cold graduation day!
You should be able to pick out Chris.... he is in front of the staff.
The new Marines....

Chris is front and center....
Cannon going off in honor of the guest of honor at graduation. This doesn't happen every cycle.... it's pretty neat. The boys weren't with me at this graduation - it was way too cold, but Jake would've especially loved this part!


New female Marines representing....
Chris with the sword on the left.....


Chris with sword - still on left

There he is. I'm so proud of all his hard work!!!
Chris on left still, but back to us....


Chris and his 1st Sgt. AFTER graduation. They are doing back flips on the inside ;-)

FIRST Santa visit :-) Yes, the first. Our total is 3 as of when I write this (and I think the 3rd was the final.... no more plans, at least). This was at Chick-fil-A last Saturday. Both boys were fairly excited, actually. I think they were maybe a little nervous (it didn't help that the 2 boys in front of us were screaming their heads off about Santa... but it's all good - Jake made huge improvements from last year), but they had no problem sitting on his lap.... and Jake had no problem telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas (BALLS... footballs, baseballs, etc).
Cole wanting a piece of that beard!
Not sure what was up with the fingers in the mouths, though!

Getting ready for the lighted boat parade downtown (it ended up being a bust for us, since we/I were late - or mostly confused - but that's a long story and a funny laugh for us).

Outside Christmas lights ...
Jake doing more building - with his hard hat this time.... tough work.


So, for those of you who haven't heard me complain about it, I am constantly ANNOYED that we have carpet in our eating area. Who would plan it like that?! It's so frustrating - even putting a mat down - cleaning up the carpet from food, spills, etc. My awesome friend Ashleigh let me borrow her steam cleaner last week - and it was amazing getting a GOOD CLEAN out of the carpets. This is Jake helping us move all the furniture back into the room.... he was SUCH a big helper! He has also been helping bring the groceries in from the car these days, too. How long does the helping stage last?!?! The WILLING helping stage...?!

Here is Cole listening to the Christmas book that Gram recorded for the boys. I know I took 3 pictures, but I couldn't decide which smile I liked the best, so I had to post them all :-)


We had our 2d Bn Christmas party at "Daddy's work" - complete with a bouncy house (not pictured). Aunt Katy was here visiting last week, so it was nice having her there with us - especially since Chris could only stay for a few minutes before he had to go to a class (booo)! Here are the boys with Aunt Katy at the party.....
Aunt Katy and Jake at the coloring station .....


Cole on the go....
I loved the stage .... all of the Christmas lights and trees with the American flag in the background!
Santa visit #2 (he was at the party). This is Jake getting a candy cane from Mrs. Claus :-)
Telling Mrs. Claus he wants balls for Christmas (at least he's consistent)!
Cole wanted MORE than 1 candy cane .... Mrs. Claus better watch out :-)

SANTA.... Jake was so so so excited!
haha - i love it!!
Cole just couldn't get over the beard.... and I think Cole is thinking, "you look younger than the last Santa we saw... how can be?!"

Eating a candy cane... didn't want to suck it - just bite it!



Here are some videos. The one thing about blogging is that I just make time to put pictures up and write .... not really figure out HOW blogger could work to my advantage, so instead of having the videos all throughout this post, they all just automatically were put down at the bottom. Oh, well.... a video is a video is a video....

The boys making some music.....
video

Jake silently rockin' out to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" the other night .... his endings are always the best!
video

Grad videos.... Here is Capt. Ashinhurst.
video

The new Marines marching in....
video

Chris is front and center (back turned at first)
video

The cannon!
video

My favorite.... eyes right! How cool does it look!! This is the staff passing by before all the new Marines. Chris is the very first one.
video

All of the parents celebrating at the end and cheering.... lots of proud family members - as they should be!
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