Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Last Day of School/St. Louis Christmas

WARNING:  LONG POST…Lots of pictures!  :)

The nice thing about finishing up these Christmas posts in January as that I get to take a bit of time to reminisce about all that we did over the holiday season.  So much goes on between Thanksgiving and New Year’s that often I don’t have a chance to appreciate all the little things that occurred.

Mary’s last day of school was on Friday, December 18th.  As one of the room mothers for her preschool class I was invited to read a story out loud to the little ones.  This was so much fun for me to do…one of my favorite parts of the school day when I taught 3rd grade was read-aloud.  (I really get into doing voices and making the different characters come alive for the students!) 

In addition to treats and party games, the PreK-ers serenaded the parents with Christmas carols in both English and Spanish.  (Mary’s school offers Library, Spanish, and Music classes as part of her preschool programming in addition to religious education.)


Christmas gift exchange.  Each students was asked to bring a new, wrapped book under $5.00 suitable for either a boy or girl.  Mary donated Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs                                             and received Snowmen at Night.


Mary and her classmates singing Cascabel or Jingle Bells in Spanish.


Class Picture, Christmas 2009

That same afternoon, after school let out for Winter Break, we loaded up the car and headed to St. Louis to celebrate Christmas with my family.  This was such a treat. Typically, we celebrate after the holidays (due to Chris’ fire dept. schedule) and honestly, by January, I’m all Christmas-ed out!

My sister and I planned a special surprise for the little ones.  Since the Macy’s Department Store, “Breakfast with Santa” happened to fall on the Saturday that we visited, my sister made reservations for us to attend.  It was such a wonderful time!  There is something so magical about going to a huge downtown department store, seeing the windows dressed for Christmas, and getting to eat breakfast with Santa, Rudolph, and of course all the elves.


Benjamin would NOT walk past the red rope.  Rudolph was greeting guests and Ben would have nothing to do with a giant-sized reindeer even if it was Rudolph!



The Balloon Elf made the rounds to the table.  I think it’s hilarious that the elf visited my kids first and I suggested animal art and when he returned to make balloon art for my sister, her boys wanted swords.  So of course, Balloon Elf had to return to make a sword for Benjamin…gosh mom, get with the program.  (I am so more natural at parenting girls than boys!  LOL)


Mary’s Macy’s Christmas Wish List. 


Nope, no Benjamin to be seen.  He was hiding behind me as I snapped the picture.  I told you it was a giant-sized Rudolph!


There’s our miracle “heart” baby.  It has been 3-months since his open heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect.  He is now a wild man and doing great!!!


This is Eli’s big brother, Alister.  I got them these cute personalized cups for Christmas and decided to bring them to the breakfast.  Needless to say, the didn’t have a personalized Alister cup so he got a cool race car water bottle.


Santa visited each table.  Once again, Ben is no where to be found.  I’m not sure if he was crawling up the back of my shirt at this point or screaming hysterically on my mom’s lap!!!


I love this sweet angelic face getting painted with a reindeer!


We’re all smiles now…now that momma’s given in to allowing a weapon!!!  LOL  By the way…I just noticed how dangerous this situation really was…no, not the balloon, the electrical cord and HOT COFFEE behind the spastic 3-year old!!!


My mom (Mimi) with Mary and Benjamin.


Me with my kiddos. 

LAST, BUT NOT LEAST, a couple of pictures from Saturday night when we celebrated Christmas with my parents, brother and sister and their families.


My sister, Joy, with my kiddos.  Yup, she’s a December baby!


My sister, an ICU nurse, gave Mary a pink medical kit! A girl’s gotta look fashionable when practicing medicine!


And finally, my favorite picture of all, my sister got my husband this totally cool floating cooler for our boat.  NOT that we condone boating and drinking, but a girl’s gotta have a way to keep her Diet Coke on ice!!!  We decided that Joy got the award for best presents this year!!!

So that’s it!!!  Thanks for bearing with me as I posted all these Christmas holiday pics.  Next post up….Mary in the Nutcracker!


  1. That floating cooler is hilarious. Your kids are such a good mixture of you and your hubby.
    Mary's handwriting is so neat. Good for her. Also I love all the pictures. The kids are so cute. I'm glad they had a good winter break.

  2. I really liked the floating cooler :-)

    I was lucky to have teachers that read loud for us during the whole month of december. We started every morning by listening to them for twenty mintes :-) I loved those mornings!

    I have never before seen a balloon sword :-)
    Have a great day now!

  3. My wonderful man is a nurse and would have gotten a kick out of that pink medical kit. I also love the picture where she is looking off to the side. It all looks wonderfully loved filled. Blessings, Cherie

  4. These were fun! It looks like you had a really wonderful c
    Christmas. You were right, that reindeer was HUGE! That looked like a great time for the kids, lots of activities for them to do. I STILL need to post my Christmas pictures, at this rate it will be Christmas in July!

  5. looks like a wonderful holiday celebration.

  6. I am loving all of these pictures from Christmas. Everyone seems so happy and excited. I feel like I have gotten to know you and your kiddos better already. I agree the floating cooler for the boat, that is cool!!!

  7. Hey Valerie! Thanks for visiting! :)
    What cutie patootie kids you have!! Do you know what #3 is? Must be heaven to already have a boy and girl and just be anxiously awaiting the arrival of another!

    To answer your question, we got our Beaba as a gift but it was bought at Williams-Sonoma. They run about $150 there, but I've seen some discounted on sites like I'd look on Ebay too if you are looking to save a few bucks. I can't imagine that even after use, this system would lose its quality so I'd be okay with buying one slightly used.

    I'm following you now so I can hopefully see this new blond beauty coming your way! Hope you'll follow too! I'll be sharing baby food recipes as Clint starts having more variety than the basic first fruits and veggies!

  8. Some really sweet pix there :)

    My fav is the face painting pix and of course the medical kit from aunty nurse :)

    That cooler is a riot.

  9. That is a cool looking cooler!

    Will Mary start up school again this month?

    We checked out the Snowmen at Night and Snowmen at Christmas books- they're pretty cute.

    Looking at Christmas pictures makes me sad that it's over already. Time has just gone so fast this past year.

  10. Valerie, did I miss an announcement?!?

  11. Wonderful photo's of your children and your family. All of you (including you :) have cute baby faces! :)


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