Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Pictures 2014

The time of year has come where my kids have to get dressed in their Christmas attire and smile for the camera like they're actually enjoying it, when we all know that they are not.  There are so many ideas for Christmas pictures on Pinterest,  that I decided to scope it out and see if I could come up with something cute that the kids might actually have fun doing.  I came across a picture with a Mommy and Daddy tied up in Christmas Lights and the kids were on the other end of the cord looking like they're the ones who had tied them up.  I thought I would change it up a little and wrap the lights around my two older ones and let my three year old be the villain.  I thought they would all have fun with it and I might actually get some cute pictures out of it.  BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!  My three year old wouldn't even participate and Colton and Bailey were not thrilled with the idea either.  So, with that being said here are the pictures that will not be making the Christmas card this year.

The lights we were going to use went out and Kinley was hiding so I told Colton and Bailey that I wanted to take some practice pictures and have everything in place before we brought Kinley into the mix and brought in more lights.

I told them to try looking like they were surprised to be tied up. 
Colton ended up looking like the kid from Home Alone and Bailey....well in her defense she did have a tooth pulled that day, but was was perfectly fine until I asked them to take pictures.

Colton and Bailey were getting a little better, but my hopes of getting a decent picture with all three kids were quickly diminishing since I could hear Kinley in the hallway yelling, "I'M NOT TAKING A PICTURE", and Greg is sitting in his recliner saying, "Let's just do this on Saturday when everybody is in a better mood."  I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that he was trying to watch football and this had become a distraction for him.
Needless to say, these will not be making the cut.  As a matter of fact, I went to bed that night and gave myself a mental pity party and pretty much had myself talked into not doing Christmas cards at all.
 Moving on to the weekend.....There was no talk of Christmas card pictures on Saturday, mainly because I didn't have the energy to deal with it.  I wasn't even sure I wanted to deal with it at ALL!
Sunday evening I decided I would give it one more try, but this time I would try a different approach.  It went something like this....ME:  "Kinley, do you want to go sit in a tree in the back yard?"  KINLEY:  "Sure Mommy!"  ME:  "It's a little cold outside, so we need to get you dressed."
KINLEY:  "O.K. Mommy"  ME:  (thinking this might just work)  I tell Colton and Bailey to get dressed and meet me outside which they reluctantly do.  On the way to the backdoor I decide to try and get a picture of Kinley standing in front of the tree.

Enough Said!
She LOVED being in the tree.

 Greg came out to see if I needed any help making her smile.
She didn't know it in this picture, but he had one of the biggest grasshoppers I've ever seen on his back.  He picked it up out of the yard and put it on his back in hopes of entertaining her and making her laugh.

 Why didn't I think of this tree thing sooner?
Colton and Bailey came outside so I took a few group shots.


Greg suggested that we sit Kinley on the riding lawn mower and have Colton and Bailey sit in the trailer and take their picture.  I then suggested that if the riding lawn mower was a Great Big Tractor that would be a Great idea.  Sorry, I really don't want to send out Christmas cards with my kids sitting on a lawn mower...but that's just me.  The kids climbed on anyway so I figured it wouldn't hurt to take their picture.  Kinley was on the lawn mower seat, Colton and Bailey were in the trailer and remember that HUGE grasshopper I mentioned earlier?  Well, he was on the lawn mower hitch.  I was getting ready to start taking pictures when Kinley turned around, picked up the HUGE grasshopper and threw it into the trailer with Colton and Bailey.  Before I knew what was happening, Bailey jumped out of the trailer and landed belly flop style on the ground.  Colton didn't hesitate to laugh at her and Kinley didn't know what to think.

They decided the lawn mower wasn't such a great idea.
Colton wanted me to take a picture of him chopping wood.  We compromised and he just stood by the wood pile while I took his picture.

 and then Kinley decided she would pose by the wood pile too.

Meanwhile, Bailey was climbing a different tree and getting in position to have her picture taken.

Colton and Kinley decided climbing the tree was a good idea and joined in.

It was a little hard getting them all into place and comfortable enough to sit and smile for a picture.

 but we managed to get it done.

After Kinley decided she didn't want to be in the tree anymore, a miracle happened. 
Colton and Bailey actually agreed to take a picture together and Colton didn't even freak out when Bailey touched him. 

During all of this Greg had gone in the house to watch a little football, but came back out right as I was finishing up with the kids.  I took this opportunity to get some pictures of them together.  Again, Kinley would not agree to posing for another picture.
By this picture, you would think that Greg had a head full of hair.
I hadn't planned on being in any pictures especially since I was in my warm pajamas, had no make up on and my hair was a mess, but at the last minute I decided differently.  It was getting close to dark and when I told Greg my plan, his response was "It will be dark before you can get yourself dressed and ready for any pictures."  He thought he was home free until I ran in the house, slapped on some make up, ran a brush through my hair and dressed myself from the waist up and was back outside just in time to get a few shots before the sun went down.

Colton and Bailey took turns taking our picture and we did manage to get Kinley to take a couple with us.  
 This picture had the potential of being a good one if Colton wouldn't have been standing behind Greg with deer antlers. 

I couldn't take a picture with Kinley and not with Colton and Bailey, so here we are.
  I have officially survived another year of Christmas pictures.
Next year I think I will just hire a professional........even though I think I said that last year too and possibly the year before that.

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Friday, December 6, 2013

Jake, Our Elf on the Shelf 2013

     We've had our elf on the shelf, Jake since Colton and Bailey were 2 or 3 years old.  He arrived at our doorstep one day and the kids have loved him ever since.  When they are old enough, I will tell them that their Aunt Mary actually adopted him and had him sent to us. They are nine now, so he's been a part of our family for quite a while.   He has visited the kids and brought smiles to their faces for many years now and he is definitely a big part of our Christmas tradition.  This year he came a little later than usual and I think the kids were starting to get a little worried when he didn't show up on December 1st.  Thankfully he finally arrived with his annual North Pole Breakfast and all worries went away.

This year he came with a new scarf and boots.
and a few sugary treats for breakfast. 

Jake's idea of breakfast is Gum drops, powdered donuts, cupcakes, candy canes and little red and green chocolate chips.
He brought each of them a little gift.  Bailey got a chocolate bar and elf on the shelf earrings, Kinley got a Minnie Mouse Christmas tin with Chocolate Minnie Mouse heads inside and Colton got Chocolate tools.  For those of you who really know Colton,  you know he likes to save unique gifts, so of course he didn't want to eat his Chocolate tools.  He wanted to save them FOREVER!  Kinley took care of that!!!!  He walked in on her in his room going to town on his Chocolate saw.  All I heard from the living room was, KINLEY, NOOOOOOO,  YOU BETTER RUN!  Two seconds later I see Kinley rounding the corner and running full speed into the living room with Colton right behind her.  Needless to say that ruined his collection so he decided he might as well eat the rest. All that is left is a Chocolate Hammer.  We will see how long that last.  You would think by now that Bailey and Colton would know if they don't want Kinley getting into something, they  need to hide it and put it where she can't reach it.  Although she is a good seeker and climber so I'm not sure if that would even work.

The North Pole breakfast was a success and of course they were supervised while brushing their teeth to make sure there was no sugar left on them.  Thankfully no one went to School with a belly ache.  This is the only day of the year that they are allowed to have a candy filled breakfast so they really have fun with it. 

The next day Jake arrived dressed as Willie from Duck Dynasty, complete with a beard and bandanna,  which was a big hit!  
Usually by now I have taken the kids to Bass Pro Shops for our annual picture with Santa which also is when they write out their Christmas list and put it in Santa's mail box.  I have been a slacker and we haven't made it there yet so Jake brought cards, envelopes and stickers so the kids could get their list made and delivered to the North Pole before Christmas.  The kids were surprised to see Jake in some new pajamas.  It seems his wardrobe grows every year.

The kids got their list written last night and left them for Jake to take back to the North Pole.
We assume that's what he did because they were gone this morning.
I'm thinking maybe these elves should come with a confidentiality agreement for the kids to sign saying that they won't discuss their elf with friends at School.  Bailey came home the other day and said, "We have such a good elf!" "I was telling my friends at School about everything Jake does, and some of them were disappointed because they said their elf just moves around the house at night and never brings them anything.  I can just see those kids going home and complaining that their elf isn't meeting up to their standards.  Honestly, moving to different areas in the house at night is what the elves were intentionally made to do, but I guess our elf just can't help himself.
So here we are on Friday and Jake has managed to keep the kids entertained with his little surprises.
This is how we found him this morning.
Such a sweet little elf!
We have until Christmas Eve before Jake goes back to the North Pole to stay until next year and we all anticipate what he will do next.  He starts our mornings out on a Happy note and gives the kids something to be excited about TOGETHER which is a rare thing around here.  The fighting between Colton and Bailey isn't near as bad during December because they know Jake is watching everything they do and reporting it back to Santa.  Occasionally they will even tattle on each other to Jake....."JAKE DID YOU SEE WHAT BAILEY DID!" or visa versa and then I have to remind them that they are making themselves look bad in front of him.  WIN WIN for me!!!!
I don't know who has more fun with him....ME or the kids!
I hope everyone is having a nice Holiday Season!!!

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory