Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve!

Had a full day planned, but managed to sneak in some picture taking in the morning:



The Hanlon's came over for lunch and it was great to have them to ourselves and catch up a bit. Hopefully a trip to Iowa is in our 2012 future!

Arlan, Ava, Jillian & Ryan:


We hadn't taken a group picture since before Ava was born, so we got a new one for my fridge:


After a friend made brie at our college party a few nights ago, I put it on my list of goals for 2012. Ha! Got it done in 2011! Not sure it was the most gourmet thing around, but it was melty and yummy! Brought it to the Hollingsworth's where we went to ring in the new year:


They have Just Dance 3 which I had heard good things about. We had a blast trying it out.  Think we might have to go trade in our Just Dance Kids for this!


Even better, a video:

video

Jillian went down soon after this, and we headed outside for some fireworks. I played around with my camera and got some fun shots. Jessee:


Claire:


Scott:


Ryan:


Gretchen:


Me:


Can you see Lance's foot running out of the picture?


Back inside to ring in the East Coast New Year on Lance's awesome TV, then watched some Cars 2 until Central Time New Year!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Starry Nights

We managed to get in on the last night of Starry Nights!


The kids were excited and Bentley came, too:



This is a cool display like a pinball machine. When the ball ends at this sign, it lights up, "Kapow!"


Reflection in the lake:


Gingerbread man:


Under the sea section up through the woods:




Love this last section where they surround you with stars above and beside:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post Christmas

Do you think a new leaotard makes one better at gymnastics?


Look how she's getting her leg out...can a cartwheel be far off?




Picked up some new Jibitz while we were away:


Ryan got a Cars 2 racing game that kept him busy for awhile:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Final Days of the Trip in Maryland and Virginia

We left Bel Air and picked up my randmother for lunch in Catonsville. Spent some time back at her house opening presents after lunch.

Then it was off to Northern Virginia where we partied with our college friends. I convinced Jillian to wear a bow again!


All the kids: Zoe, Ashe, Izzy, Emily, Wesley, Nolan, Ryan, Ketzel & Ezra, Harper, Jillian, Caden and Ainsley.

And the paparazzi parents:


My family:


Instead of gifts, we made goodie bags for all the kids...a bunch of junk that would keep the kids busy while we were at the party, but we could throw away when we left!

Light up balloons (being dropped from the loft):


Glow fairy wands (and swords for the boys):


We spent the night with Mark and Shelby and exchanged gifts in the morning before heading home.

Jillian and her godfather:


It was a long drive home, but we got there soon after midnight!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After Christmas

Another easy going day. The kids played around the house.


Ryan wants a DS, and it seems that Jillian likes them too!


My niece, Kate was patient when I said, "Hold on! That's some good light!" and proceeded to adjust my camera and take like 20 shots. It was worth it!


Kate, Cheryl, Ryan and I went ice skating. Ryan did great for his second time! He hung on to the wall the first couple times around, but then got going!



Kate spent a lot of time on the ice, but always got up! We discovered by the end that is we kept her focused on something in front of her (like her aunt skating ahead), she was much more steady




Notice how it looks like he's running?

video

Meanwhile, Everyone else went bowling:


Later, we went out for sushi! There were so many of us eating it that it came in a boat!


Alex didn't get ice cream today like everyone else, so Scott & I snuck him in some Ben & Jerry's later that night!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in Maryland

I don't think I have gotten a good Christmas morning picture yet! Doesn't she look excited?


After reading the Christmas gospel, the kids dove into their stockings:



The tree looked so nice!


Santa brought Jillian some leotards for "nastics":


a tinkerbell sweatshirt:



and the baby she asked for (in her arms):


Ryan got a fingerprint art book:


 a robe, some new glow-in-the dark sheets, and a set of Roald Dahl books.

Later, we played games:



Can't beleive my nephews are freshmen in high school this year!


Watched games:


And played family Minute to Win it!

THe first contest was a marshmallow toss:



Matt was the only one to get it in!



Next up was cup stacking. I went first (no one got my picture), followed by Rachel who beat me by one cup!


Sadly, Gene beat her by one, as well. Apparently, it is good to go last.


Which was good for team Beatty in the final event! Team Sprouse was off to a good start:


but faltered and didn't have any ornaments hanging when the minute was up. After a hotly-contested disqualification by the Foley's, all team Beatty needed was one to win.  We put up our one set and let the clock run out.


After which, we showed our talents to hang all 5 sets without any falling.


Santa, finished with his busy night, came back to visit us again. There was no hesitation by Ryan, who immediately knew it was Grandad.


And maybe Jillian sensed it too, because she got about as close and friendly with him as she had with any Santa this season, showing him her doll and thanking him.



Later, he stuck around while we opened other presents and she went over on her own to show him what she had received!

The best part of the night was that the kids all ate together and even my little ones didn't need too much of our attention, leaving us to enjoy the laughs with the rest of the grown ups.

A very good day indeed!