Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Friendsgiving!

Happy Friendsgiving!  

With Thanksgiving just past us, we head into a busy hustle and bustle holiday season and a lot of "I wants" really come to the forefront. I like to find ways to celebrate our lives and our friends all year long. We are truly so very blessed to have an amazing group of friends in our lives whose children are all friends as well.  We celebrate all of our successes together and are there to support each other when we struggle.  I couldn't ask for a better group of people to surround myself and my family with which makes writing about being thankful for friends, so very simple!  We spend birthdays, holidays, and so many "regular" days together making memories. I love that my children are learning by example, the value of true friendship.  We have teens, tweens, school-agers, toddlers, and babies. Stef, Tracy, Amy, and Amber are my people. I love their kids like my own. The men are friends, the women are friends, and the children are friends--we couldn't ask for a better group! From regular nights for supper, to birthday celebrations, to summer playdates, it's just better with friends.

These four little girls have been friends for as long as they will ever remember.

Stef, Amy, and I shared a time pregnant last year which made my last pregnancy very special!

The youngest of the group...Amelia, Liam,and Violet.

My beautiful friends and our beautiful babies!

Sometimes our crews are together, but not everyone is there. Teens are with friends, families have other obligations, we have some blended families too. We love and cherish the time with whomever is with us and look forward to the next get together for everyone!

Usually on Thanksgiving, my family has a meal together with just us. In a blended family, sometimes the mix of people changes, but with my mom and brothers across the country, it's just us for the holidays. It's a happy day where I am reminded of how fortunate I am to have my husband and children.  This year, however, some of our best friends, Tracy and Gary, weren't going to be celebrating Thanksgiving with their family until later in the weekend, so we invited them to come over and join us for our own Friendsgiving.  It was a happy day celebrating and being thankful for those we love most!

This month Netflix and the #StreamTeam have been celebrating Friendsgiving and dynamic duos! In addition the blessing of my best friends, I'm fortunate enough to have my very own dynamic duo--Lily and Violet!  A brand new Veggie Tales--In the House {a Netflix original} just started on November 26th and my girls were super excited to watch! They gathered up all their Veggie Tales stuffed animals, snuggled up in the big chair to watch another dynamic duo in Bob and Larry! (These are all Andrew's toys from when he was a toddler circa 2001ish)

Some shows to check out on Netflix for your littles that emphasize friendship & dynamic duos:
Veggie Tales in the house
Sesame Street Elmo   Friends
Bo on the Go
Justin Time
The Fox and The Hound 2
1. Bob and Larry: VeggieTales in the House
2. Bert and Ernie: Sesame Street: Elmo and Friends
3. Bo and Dezzy: Bo on the Go!
4. Justin and Olive: Justin Time
5. Tod and Copper: The Fox and the Hound 2
6. Clifford and Elizabeth: Clifford

Lily is a big fan of Bo on the Go and always talks about her energy which I love!  Violet loveloveloves Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood so we're always talking friends with that show! 

And a few for the big kids too: 

My favorite children's book is Charlotte's Web, so I love watching this movie with all of my kids and talking about the friendship between Charlotte and Wilbur.  The bromance between Phineas and Ferb is fun! I enjoy watching that show with the kids too!  

Phineas and Ferb
Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated
Wild Kratts
Adventure Time
Mario Bros Super Show
Charlotte s Web
1. Phineas and Ferb
2. Shaggy and Scooby: Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
3. Vada and Thomas: My Girl
4. Martin and Chris: Wild Kratts
5. Finn and Jake: Adventure Time
6. Mario and Luigi: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
7. Charlotte and Wilbur: Charlotte's Web

There are some fun and also more intense friendships and dynamic duos for the grown ups to be found also!  George and I have been watching Sons of Anarchy--me for the first time and he to rewatch as the series ends and seeing the friendships and loyalty there on an entirely different level has made for some good catch up time with my husband.  I love having a show to watch together! My next solo show is going to be Gilmore Girls!  

And in case you missed the announcement-- all 10 seasons of the original Friends hits Netflix January 1st! PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!  Mark. Your. Calendars. 
Gilmore Girls
New Girl
how i met your mother
30 Rock
Breaking Bad
The X Files
Wayne s World
1. Rory and Lorelai: Gilmore Girls
2. Schmidt and Nick: New Girl
3. Ted and Barney: How I Met Your Mother
4. Liz and Jack: 30 Rock
5. Walter and Jesse: Breaking Bad
6. Mulder and Scully: The X-Files
7. Wayne and Garth: Wayne's World

Can't wait to see y'all next month--keep on watchin' Netflix!  We are! 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

We decided not to go to Pittsburgh's Light up Night on Friday night due to traffic, crowds and the cold.  The girls went to bed early that night anyway, so it worked out for the best. Since we missed it, Saturday night we went to a local light up night for Lily to meet Frosty the Snowman.  That was our main objective!

The weather had warmed up a little bit Saturday. We were happy about that! As we were walking from the car, the fireworks started which made for a nice kick off! The kids were excited to see them and as we got closer, we could hear that there was Christmas music playing along while the fireworks were going off.

When the fireworks ended, the crowd headed into the area where Santa would be. We headed over towards the outdoor Christmas tree to take a couple pictures and to look for Andrew's friend, Jake. We found Jake pretty quickly for the crowd size! 

While we were hanging out there, I spotted Frosty coming out of the library.  We made our way over to him. Lily was so excited! 

 Violet did pretty good with Rudolph!

 And of course, Andrew had to be with The Grinch! hahaha

We lucked out catching them all quickly!  After our photo ops, we headed into the library to make some crafts. Andrew requested we skip the Frozen karaoke though.  First up was a picture of a Santa hat. Lily was excited to glue a "snowball" {cotton ball} on the top. She also loves to write her name, so she made sure that was on there even though she started to high on the hat and ran out of room at first. :)

Next, was a Christmas tree card that she got to glue the pieces to make the tree. Although it won't look like this exactly when Oma gets it in the mail because the old lady "helper" didn't think Lily had enough glue, so she "fixed" it.  Here's a lesson's better when it's "imperfect" done by the child. While we were at this station, we ran into another of Andrew's friends' dad and little sister.  It's been awhile since we've seen them and it was nice to catch up.  Andrew and Jimmy have been friends since we moved here when Andrew was in 2nd grade and although they haven't gone to school together since 4th grade, they've remained friends since.

Not to avoid all things Frozen, the next station had Frozen coloring pages and Lily was pretty happy to be there for quite some time! She colored the snowflake, but we convinced her to take Olaf and Anna home with us, so we could go find her a balloon!

We left the library and headed over to the middle school where the other activities were being held and got in line for the balloons. We grabbed a cookie while we waited. 

The girls both got flowers and Andrew got a sword! When the clown tried to hand Violet her balloon, she wanted no part of him. She looked at me with a pretty scared look and turned her head! She happily took the balloon from me though. :)

Our final activity was cookie decorating.  Lily loves sprinkles so this was a great activity for her! She made Andrew one first and then did one for herself.  She wanted to do one for Violet too, but Violet was still working on her first little cookie. I think Lily just wanted to use more sprinkles!

I'm never one to miss a photo opportunity that is presented to me, so despite this little penguin being too narrow for anyone's face ever, we took it. 

We decided to skip Santa and wait for Daddy to go with us, plus Lily was sure that The Grinch was Santa anyway.  She keeps calling The Grinch, "The Arch".  Not sure why, but that's what she thinks his name is. 

So, lastly we headed to finally take the picture in front of the tree before going home.  We had a fun night and I'm glad that even though I often drag my teenager out with us for things like this, he still enjoys himself. 

This was the best I got.

Oooooh too bad Violet didn't look my direction...

 And well, these last few...this is what picture taking often looks like with this crew.