Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday Cora!

Today is Cora's 6th birthday and her mommy, my good friend Kathy, asked us all to help her celebrate at McDonalds. Here is the birthday girl!
The 10 children and 4 moms took over the back part of the restaurant but we were still loud and obnoxious and I'm sure many were happy to see us go. We all had so much fun though!
After meals, the kids started playing. The moms looked over to find Mara on the floor, Alaric under the table ( you can see part of his Illini shirt), and dispersed children everywhere.
The Happy Meal toys were a big hit and the kids ran around playing with them!
After just under an hour of being together, we got all the kids bundled back up ( look at Mara's cute new coat thanks to our neighbors Stella and Sylvia) and headed back out the snow!
What a fun little break in the day to help beautiful Cora celebrate- Happy Birthday Six-Year-Old!!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our fun day in the SNOW!!!

Brian had today off and the streets and yards were full of snow so we just knew we had to get outside. Bri and Alaric get all bundled up!
Amara was happy for awhile today, until she got in trouble because she will NOT keep her gloves on. It was SO cold but for now, we were just happy she was happy!
We helped shovel our neighbor's sidewalk and the kids were so cute walking up and back down the street holding hands to keep each other up!
Alaric and I made our very first snow angels!

Al loved getting his crane out into the snow.
Mara was fussy and screaming. She didn't want to go inside but we didn't know what she wanted...until she layed down on the sled and starting crying until she was picked up and dragged all over the yard.
Al and Brian start the snowman- it was our first ever snowman!

Eyes made out of rocks!
The finishing touches!We love our snowman!
Frosty got his own hat and scarf too!
Mara sat in her sled the whole time we were making the snowman. Here she is getting to know the big guy!
She likes him!
Our little angel....seriously, she was only happy when we dragged her around like this. It was hilarious!
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Except for once we got them sledding on our neighbor's icy driveway!

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas in Iowa City- Christmas #6...The Final Christmas of 2009!!!!

Saturday morning we headed to Iowa City for the Bechtel/Houser Christmas at my aunt's house. Maddie and Brady got a Wii for Christmas so the little ones loved playing with them!
Me and my cousin Brad relax!
Brad, Brian, Dan, and my Dad head to their favorite place in Iowa City, John's Grocery Store. They have one of the largest and most extensive selections on microbrew beers. The boys stocked up!
V and Maddie had lots of quality time! My cousins from South Dakota were snowed in all weekend. Mindy, Woody, Samantha, Alinia, Benjamin, Taylor, and Kurah were very missed!
Alaric was so excited to open gifts. Our family draws family names and you buy things for the whole family so you have to be creative. Becky and Auntie Doris gave the little ones their own gifts too.
We drew the Brad Houser family this year and made them Ladder Horseshoes. Brady was really excited.
We also made them beanbags- they loved them!
Wii was a big hit! The guys spent lots of time in the den this Christmas- Brady had lots of male bonding.
Always exciting...when you get to be taller than your Grandma.
Mom and Dad got these super soft personalized blankets.
Auntie Doris loved her handmade skarf ( By Jennifer) -doesn't she look glamourous?
Dad learns how to read stuff on a blackberry!
Best entertainment...put a baby in front of the window on a sunny, snowy day to watch the birds eat!Brady and Alaric loved their time together!
The roads were bad, the weather cold but we had a wonderful time with family in Iowa!!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Monticello-Christmas #5

Merry Christmas!!!!!! Alaric waited patiently for Mara to get her diaper changed so we could see what Santa brought!

They went straight to the cookies and milk to see if Santa ate them- HE DID!!! And he left a thankyou note. AND...Rudolph ate his carrots and left a tiny bit by the front door.

The stockings, the stockings!
Amara loved seeing what she got from Santa!
Al loved the firetruck book from Santa- he sure knows Alaric well!
The first gift of Christmas was what Alaric made for mommy and daddy! He had been waiting so patiently to give it to us. It was a beautful Christmas tree ornament for the tree that he made himself at school. He was so proud of it and we LOVED it!
My baby!
For those who don't know yet, we only give 3 gifts to everyone on Christmas representing the 3 gifts the Wisemen brought to Jesus. Each gift is specified....one just for the person, one for us to do away from the house together as a family ( geared towards the interests of that person) and one for us to do together at home ( geared towards the interests of that person). It keeps Christmas centered and focused on the time spent together instead of the stuff and other things that often time take over our lives!
Amara:
Gift to do away from the house-a princess ball!
Gift just for her- a retro telephone you can pull ( it's new however Brian and I both had the same phone growing up)
Gift for us to do at home- Seasame Street and Elmo pack ( interactive book, puzzle, lunchbox filled with bath toys, etc)
Alaric:
Gift to do at home- Bob the Builder pack ( blanket, DVD, books, and puzzle)

Gift for us to do outside of the home- Soccer net!Gift just for him- a new bike!!!!
Katie:
Gift for us to do at home- the movie UP and mircowave popcorn!
Gift just for me- a giftcertificate for a ONE HOUR massage!!!!
Gift for us to do away from the home- next Thursday and Friday we are headed to Indianapolis for a getaway in our favorite hotel ( residence inn by Marriot) and a trip to the Children's Museum!!!!!!
Brian:
Gift for us to do at home- a wooden popcorn bowl engraved with THE FULTONS and a huge bag of popcorn for our countless movie and popcorn nights!
Gift just for him- a framed picture of a poster of Brian's grandpa's tractor. Bordering the poster are the words of the Eulogy Brian wrote and gave at grandpa's funeral. The four pictures around the outside are of Bri as an infant on the tractor with grandpa, Alaric and g-pa on the tractor, brian as an adult with g-pa on the tractor, and all three of them on the tractor.
Gift for us to do away from the house- a two day trip to Western IL February 4th and 5th that includes a movie, swimming at a hotel and ordering his favorite pizza, heading to Moline with our family, his parents, my parents, and his grandma to the John Deere Headquarters and then finishing with lunch at his favorite restaurant, Steak N Shake!!!!
Amara checks out all the pictures we received from friends this Christmas- they all get taped to the front door in the order they are received. Everyone loves looking at them!Family breakfast- orange juice, carmel rolls, bacon and fruit!!!
Our Family Tradition on Christmas is to do NOTHING!!!! As soon as breakfast is done, we blow up the AeroBed in the family room and start an all-day-long movie marathon. It includes family friendly movies, jumping on the bed, naps, and lots and lots of bad food ( popcorn, pizza, chocolate, etc). You must stay in jammies all day. It's our favorite day of the year!
The kids took turns giving Daddy belly zurberts!
The kids tried to fit themselves into their toy basket! Amara fits better than the two of them together but they had fun trying!
Me and my babies lying on our Christmas bed!!!!

We started watching our first movie and Brian and I looked between ourselves to see our babies holding hands on their own as they watched TV....
S0 Sweet! We watched 4 full length family friendly movies, Brian and I watched the Hangover during naptime and 12 hours later, Brian and I fell asleep on the AeroBed and slept overnight in the Family Room- a PERFECT Christmas Day!!!

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The kids LOVED jumping from the couch onto the Aero Bed over and over and over!
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Merry Christmas from The Fultons!!!!