Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Seasons Greetings! Another year is rapidly closing and we find ourselves thinking of our wonderful family and friends (but not the bad ones) and wishing we could share a fireside and conversation with you. This year, technology will have to step in for most of you. So, please imagine yourself next to a warm fireplace while you sit back and read of our year's adventures.

Ahenobarbus continues to live his life “Groundhogs Day” style (cf. Bill Murray): wake; work; slack; work; attend meetings; go to bed; repeat. Between classes and bishopric-stuff, he squeezes in a few family-moments and the occasional hike. In his spare time (ha!), he likes to try out new recipes. This year he deep fried our turkey and refined the recipe for homemade protein bars. In July, he made international headlines as he revolutionized academics with a paper presented at a conference in Leeds, England. He cannot believe that you haven't heard of the importance of the Cypriot campaign on the Crusade of Frederick II. Really people... After his conference, he joined the girls in Utah where he and Pulcheria hiked Subway Canyon in Zion National Park.

Taking care of the girls and her calling in the Relief Society Presidency have kept Pulcheria busy, but enjoying life. One of the highlights of her year has been her morning runs with the neighborhood ladies. Well, kind of. What she really likes are the long talks afterward! Another highlight as been the opportunity to volunteer in Beemer's class and her school library once a week - she loves the shouts of “Beemer's Mom” whenever she enters the classroom. Pulcheria also looks forward to her monthly book club and has read some great books this year. Her favorites this year were The Help and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Beemer is now six years old and a kindergartener who enjoys school and reading. She kept the Tooth Fairy busy this summer, losing all four of her front teeth in three weeks. We've forbidden her from chewing rocks, anymore. She has become a great swimmer and her lessons were filled with zeal. Beemer has a passion for shoe-shopping, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People, but she avoids grocery shopping at all costs. She is a gregarious girl and looks forward to any excuse to spend time with friends. She is also a blossoming practitioner of the visual arts. Her favorite milestone of the year was when she caught her first frog all by herself on a family hike.

Audi is an almost-three-year-old who wants to do everything that Beemer does. She is vocally anticipating preschool next year. As could be predicted, she loves – loves – to dress up and very often runs around in her princess dress and hat with numerous necklaces dangling from her neck (did we mention she's almost three?). She rarely leaves the house without her sunglasses and purse. Adri is also becoming quite the little dancer and is musically inclined. She loves to shake her hips and sing any song that comes to mind.

In between and around all of this, we managed to fit in explorations of numerous caves around Missouri. We went on camping expeditions in Michigan, Utah, Missouri and Illinois. We were also lucky enough to host some of you on visits to St. Louis and we are looking forward to more visits in 2011!

We hope this season beings you warmth and joy and that the new year will hold new joys and adventures.

With love to you and yours,

Ahenobarbus, Pulcheria, Beemer and Audi

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas is Coming.

The tree is trimmed, the stockings are hung, the gifts are wrapped (ok-half the gifts are wrapped), the packages are shipped, the carols are being sung, and the cookies are baking. Now, if I can only get the Christmas letter written. Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Tea Party

One of my finds on "Black Friday" was a large collapsible table, which I used to distract the girls while I unloaded the rest of the car. It worked better than I expected and the girls asked to eat lunch on our new table - such excitement!

Ahenobarbus set it up and then we both got distracted with Audi. When we got back to the living room, we found lunch all set out for us. Beemer even set the table with my old ET Tea Set (yes, I am that OLD and that COOL) in my honor. She also unloaded almost everything in the fridge for us to eat. She even got us all drinks (notice AT's Rockstar). And the tablecloth - its a sheet, but the color was "just right." It was the perfect Day-After-Thanksgiving-Tea and a pretty good reason to clean out the fridge!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This Thanksgiving Season, we "planted" a Thankful Tree in our living room. Each day we all added one leaf with something we were thankful for written on it. The girls really got into it and it helped us remember that Thanksgiving is about more than turkey and pie. It turned out so well that it might become a permanent part of our holiday celebrations!

Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Beemer's Birthday (One Month Later)

Last month, Beemer turned 6 and we celebrated all week long!

We started the celebration with a trip to Chuck E. Cheese with one of Beemer's best friends (unfortunately I forgot my camera). This is the two of them opening her gift before we left the house.

Audi got all dressed up to celebrate Bree's special day. When we skyped with the grandparents on Sunday, she kept us all entertained with her dances.

The pile of presents.

This is her newest stuffed BFF - she loves it because it sings to her and tells her stories!

On her birthday, we had some of our St. Louis "family" over for cake and icecream.

Happy Birthday Beemer!