Friday, June 29, 2012

Legomaniac part 2

From Spencer:

Today I Made the best lego thing I have made.

My note:
Spence figured out a way to attach his 2 escape pods to a larger vehicle. Quite the impressive creation.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Year's 2012

In a stroke of genius, Gma Valerie had the idea of creating a Google doc for families to sign up for meals and activities. Nothing had to be a big production, just a way of having something planned and someone in charge of some family fun each day. Some days we played "Minute to Win it," other days it was Wii tournaments. On our day, we took everyone over to the Potomac Club game room and enjoyed air hockey, football, ping pong, and pool. Good times. 

New Year's Eve, we spent some time over at Papa's and Grammy's house. My dad found this Little People set, I believe at a garage sale, and Trina became the steward of it. It has been a favorite toy for all the grandkids and was much played with over the holidays. *In her latest room cleaning, Trina bequeathed the Little People set to Emma, which has her pretty much thrilled. 
Here are John and Isaac playing with the Little People. Papa is looking on with crutch in hand. He suffered a pretty severe ankle sprain when playing wally-ball with the fam at the local rec center. Couldn't keep him down, though. He was off to a movie with the fellas the same night with a stool in hand for proper ankle elevation. 

Here we are getting ready for the traditional round of White Elephant gifts. We joke that it is basically a chance for my dad to offload some of the "treasures" he picks up through the year. He always puts in way more than his fair share of the gifts. Lots of laughs as they get opened.  

What could be inside this package, Papa?

Spencer got the yearly regift of the sponge "Family Heirloom Fruitcake." Best white elephant ever. It remains in the circle year after year. There used to be a Mr. T chia pet that was also a repeat offender, but I believe that got gifted to (and maybe even used by) my Aunt Carol and Uncle Geary a few years back. 

After an afternoon of fun at the Cummings, we were back at the Wride's for the fondue feast. Lots of deliciousness dipped in chocolate, caramel, and cheese concoctions. LOVE this tradition.

One final memory. It may even have been New Year's Day. Brock, Valerie, and I had a jam session. Basically, Brock comes up with a really fun, unique way of playing a Christmas carol or hymn, and we try to blend in. We came up with a really cool "Good King Wenceslas" if memory serves correctly. 

Cousin fun over Christmas

I thought it would be fun to post a few pictures of what the cousins were up to over Christmas vacation. There were many, many rounds of "Mr. Fox, what time is it?" You know...the game where someone stands at one side of the yard acting as Mr. Fox and everyone else poses the question. When Mr. Fox replies "4 o' clock," you take 4 big steps and repeat getting closer, and closer until Mr. Fox yells "Dinner time!" and chases after you. If you make it back to the baseline, you are safe. If you are caught, you become the fox. (I had actually never heard of this game, but was happy to be introduced and even played a few rounds. Kudos to the uncles, Gpa, and all-star Adam who joined in with the kiddos on numerous occasions). Here's a shot of some of the group taking a break from playing. There were also lots of rounds of tag with trees as base. And yes, Spencer is still in his pajamas...just in case you were wondering. Vacation is about relaxation and schedule-free living. 

Spencer quickly claimed the dining room table as Lego central after opening gifts on Christmas morning and was happy that there were many interested helpers. 

The girls painted their nails with some new nail polish.  

The boys (Ryan, John, Daniel) built a basement fort. John was SO proud and happy to be playing with the big boys. I was happy he was happy but quickly swept him off the top of the table. This fella has an inclination toward head wounds and had split the back of his head open earlier in the month at a playground. (John - that's where your scar comes from, buddy.)

Maddie wrote a Christmas play. We have it on video. It had a special appearance of a ninja in it to keep the boys engaged. Here are the cousins rehearsing their parts (which were copied, stapled, and highlighted). 

Here is the performance. Good entertainment, I tell ya. 

Harrison and Bridget were super nice to share their awesome puppet theater. John is peeking above the curtain, but the other cousins are hiding for effect. Good chance Aunt Leslie is back there helping out too. She's pretty awesome that way.

We also had some major fun with all of THESE cousins. Here's Papa with all of his grandkids (at the time). From L to R: Isaac, Emma, John, Hannah, Miriam, Spencer, Reuben, and Lily. 

Christmas Day 2011

We celebrated Christmas in 2011, and now that it's been 6 months, it's probably time to document it for posterity. This was on "on" year for the Wride clan. All of Adam's siblings plus their cute families descended on the Leesburg hub. We opted to spend several nights there as well (camped out in the basement) so we could join in the evening fun and games. It was a par-tay! There were a good 20 people in the house, 9 of whom were grand babies. That makes for a lot of presents, folks. I'm pretty sure Santa dumped the remaining packages of his sleigh when he got to this stop. 

One of the Wride traditions that I am a BIG fan of is eating breakfast BEFORE going to see if Santa came. It keeps the campers happy. Candy for breakfast makes kiddos grumpy. Here are some cousins enjoying cinnamon rolls (my contribution this year), cereal, juice, and milk.

Getting the lineup ready. I think Emma and Ryan are trying to figure out who is taller. Sorry, folks, it's an age thing. Youngest to oldest...

Sadie made her way up front eventually, if I remember right. These were happy, excited cousins. 

When we got upstairs, we discovered that Santa, in his wisdom, had set the stockings in the living room while the rest of the presents were in the family room. We had time to sort through the stocking goodies and then put everything on pause to head off for 9am church. While I did capture some video of the stocking fun, I'm afraid no still photos were clear enough to post. We'll have to jump to this fun picture of Emma at church in a fantastic dress my sister Celeste made her. She also made Christmas vests for my boys (and similar ensembles for all the nieces and nephews), but again in the craziness I didn't get a photo. I only have this one because I was helping Emma dress for family pictures, which took place on the lawn right after church (and before we opened any presents). The kids were remarkably good sports, and it was the only chance we had of getting ALL the Wride families in a photo together. Naps and departures would fall in rapid succession the remainder of Christmas Day. 

Here are Maddie and Emma in their cute sweater dresses, provided by Gma for the family photo. The kids looked SO cute. It was cold, but again...good sports all the way around. (Maybe they were worried that Santa would take the presents back if they didn't cooperate?)

Home again, home again, jiggity jig. Most of us opted to change back into pajamas to recapture the luxury of being lazy on Christmas Day. It was a joyful day and, for the record, the sacrament meeting was quite fantastic. I'm all for going to church on Christmas. :)

*Somewhere there are loads of fun pictures from later in the day when we continued gift exchanges with the Cummings clan, as per tradition. It was another joyous Christmas celebration full of family fun. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Legomaniac

Spencer's description of his latest Lego invention:
I made 2 of the same escape pods.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Can't Help Lovin' this Man of Mine

Father's Day fun is starting early around here. Due to Sunday morning meetings, we decided to have our leisurely morning celebration on Saturday. Remember, we like to really stretch and savor any cause for celebration around here. 

We asked Adam what he wanted for his Father's Day breakfast. "French toast" was his reply. Well, we can do something with that. A quick search on Six Sisters' blog revealed what looked to be an easy, scrumptious recipe for Nutella Stuffed French Toast. If you know Adam, you know he LOVES Nutella. We were sold. We took a family trip to Wegmans to secure the necessary ingredients. First time I've ever purchased Texas Toast (which, thanks to a wikipedia search, I discovered is nothing more than thickly sliced bread). This breakfast did not disappoint. I could only manage to eat one slice, and that without syrup. It was that decadent. Emma snapped a photo of the breakfast tray.

Here is the breakfast crew. I planned to snap a photo of Adam with kiddos, but John is a bit of a grump until he has had breakfast, and I was unsuccessful in my attempts to get him to eat something earlier. A family photo at arms' length had to suffice for this group. The kids were excellent helpers. Spencer washed and sliced the strawberries and bananas by himself. Emma helped mix the egg mixture. John held the spatula and kept saying "hot" and pointing at the pan. Pretty cute.

Next, it was time for presents. The kids and I decided that this first gift would be a perfect Saturday present. We had taken one of Adam's old, white t-shirts and redecorated the back of it. 

This gift was made with love. Each child helped trace something on the back. Emma helped with the road lines; John did the STOP sign; Spencer helped pick colors for everything and did the house entirely by himself while I was making dinner last night. They were really excited to give Daddy this present. 

Here's a shot of the back, modeled by Adam.

And...the best part...a built-in back tickle. The kids drive cars on the roads, resulting in a relaxing way for Dad to join in their play. (Thank you, Blue Basket for the idea.)

Emma just announced to Adam that Father's Day is a day for fathers to play with their kids. Funny in contrast to Mother's Day, which was a day for mom to stay out of the kitchen and take a day off. Adam is a willing, cooperative and AMAZING Dad. He's spent the morning snuggle wrestling and generally playing with these three cute kiddos. They are the luckiest kids, and I am one lucky, lucky lady to have this man by my side. 
Love you, Adam.