More Merry, Merry!

The extra pictures I promised...
Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend!


Merry, Merry Christmas!

Uncle Jared and Bennett...

Soon to be Aunt Erinn and Elise...(Erinn was supposed to be in St. Louis with her family, but due to all of the weather, she wasn't able to get there. We know she probably missed her family, but we were so happy that she was here with us to celebrate!)

A rare picture of me and Elise!

Su Su and Lila (with her mischievous grin)...

Phillip, David, and Bennett playing cars...

Elise kicking back with Uncle Jared...

Lila loves playing rough with her Daddy...

Just a few pics from our fun family filled day! I need to get some of the other one's from Mo to add to this...We were so thankful to all be together for Christmas!

Christmas Eve we went to a really neat church service at my parent's church that was completely centered around the children. They took volunteers from the audience and acted out the nativity scene...When it started, Elise said, "I'm only going up there if I can be the Angel!" Well, she got her way, and she did a great job...she was definitely the youngest, but did so well! Mo took pictures, so I will have to put those up later. I just really enjoyed that she was able to really pay attention in church and learn...

Hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the Holiday with family and friends. I can't tell you how overwhelmed with gratitude I am for the fact that we are able to share this special time with my Grandparents, parents, Aunt, Uncle, cousins, and siblings...I know not everyone gets to have their whole family together, and I feel so blessed. To have my babies both being rocked by their Great-Grandfather on Christmas Day is really just about as good as it gets!

Merry Merry everyone!
Love, Nicole


Lots of fun with Shelley

We were so excited and appreciative that Shelley used one of her few days off to come and visit us on Monday. The kids had a great time playing with her and loved seeing her (as you can see in the above pictures!)
We love you Shelley!


Parnell Christmas

We celebrated Christmas with David's parents yesterday...David, his Mom, and Elise started off the day with Church, while I stayed home on RSV duty. David's Dad was recovering from some minor surgery, so he stayed back as well. They enjoyed their little outing-Elise always loves any one on one time she gets- so I know she was thrilled. After church we had a simplified version of Christmas dinner that I came up with and then spent the afternoon relaxing and opening presents. As you can see below the kids had a great time with all of their new toys!
Bennett with his lawn mower/vacuum....

Lila playing with her Little People...

Elise (and David) playing with her light writer (really neat toy...)

Elise opening one of many Cinderella gifts. You can see Emmy smiling in the background...I wish I had taken more pictures, but I got distracted with putting together toys, etc...At least I caught a few things! We are so thankful for their generous gifts and for the time we spent together.


Breakfast with Santa

I think Elise is feeling pretty confident because she has had a lot of face time with Santa this year. SuSu treated us to breakfast with Santa at the country club this morning. It was so much fun. We were so sad that Lila and Bennett weren't able to come (still on RSV quarantine) and they were definitely missed. But, we did have a great time hanging out with Jacob, Suzanne, and Nana (Su's Mom), as well as Aimee and Mitchell. We are already looking forward to going back next year with all of the kids!

Jacob was not sure what to think about Santa! He was wishing he could have the breakfast we were eating this morning. He was really eyeing Su's orange juice.

Elise teasing Su when she asked her to smile for a pic!

There was not a peep out of Mitchell...even when Santa held him! What a little cutie.

Elise and Su Su. Elise, as usual, was much more into preparing her biscuit than actually eating it!
What a fun morning! We are looking forward to our Christmas celebration with the "other" Parnells the rest of the weekend...Lots of fun times and memories to look forward to.


Good idea?

Once in a blue moon I come up with an idea that I am proud of...
Right now that is the use of this antique piece of iron we have hanging in our den. David's parents found it on one of their antique hunts in Europe and when I saw it I just loved it! Before children, the iron was just a great way to fill up an oddly shaped wall that we have with a piece of interesting architectural salvage..Now, every Christmas I display all of our Christmas cards on it...I know people work hard on those cards, and I would hate to just throw them away after looking at them. This way we get to enjoy them for quite a long time...And, during the rest of the year we use the iron as additional "refrigerator" space for all of Elise's artwork. Can't wait for Lila and Bennett to start adding to the display!


Congratulations Daddy!

David found out Wednesday night that he made partner at his law firm! We are so thankful that they acknowledge and appreciate all of his hard work! We are so proud of him!

Yeah Daddy!

In other Parnell news, I made my first trip to the ER this morning with one of my children. Actually, I think that is pretty impressive considering I have three kids and two of them climb everything in sight!! Bennett has been struggling with a cold and early this morning we could not get his wheezing controlled, even with the nebulizer we have. So, I talked to the nurse and she told me to go on in. He was a real trooper, and after 5 hours there he was diagnosed with RSV. They gave him a couple of more breathing treatments and some oral steroids and he already seems much better. In fact, I think he is on a steroid high because I saw him a minute ago trying to throw a soccer ball through one of our Christmas wreaths as if it were a basketball goal.

When I was sitting in the ER room with plenty of time to think, my mind keep wandering back to parents who have really sick kids and who have to watch them be poked and prodded like he was (for just a few hours) all of the time. I can't imagine! It actually helped me keep our little visit in perspective...just a little bump in the road, and he'll be fine!

Can't believe only 7 more days until Christmas!

Love, Nicole


Happy Birthday G!

We all love you very much! Hope you have a wonderful day!


Early Visit from Santa

I'm back! Santa came early this year and brought me (well, us, technically) a new computer!!!! I can't tell you how excited I am, as the old one has been the cause of much stress (especially in the "two you" area) over the last several months...It is something that we had been discussing, but something I didn't think we could do at this time. David came home Friday and surprised me! This will definitely allow me to get back to enjoying my hobby, and I should have no excuses about keeping up with my blogging as well! Thanks so much to the best husband ever (although the intangible gifts he gives are even better)!!
Everyone seems to have fully recovered from the stomach virus, so I am actually praying for some more snow around here so that the kids can do more than just look at it through the windows!
As for Elise's quote of the week, I heard her telling my Mom last night that we had been decorating and getting ready for Christmas..., "So," she said, "Mommy got God and Jesus out of the attic."
As I am sure you figured out she was referring to the Nativity Scene (an awesome wedding gift from Aunt K)...
Happy Holidays!
Love, Nicole


Let it snow!! (In more ways than one)

Yes! We had snow in Louisiana! It was so exciting! I promise to be back soon with pictures and hopefully a funny story or two. We have been bogged down at home this week with the stomach virus yet again..Lila is the only one who has avoided it thus far (knock on wood), and so, unfortunately, the kids were not able to enjoy the snow to its fullest. In addition, our computer is broken yet again which is putting quite a damper on both my blogging and my stationery (at the worst possible time!)... So, if anyone is wondering why I haven't responded to emails- that would be why...Hopefully it is fixable..I am starting to have a feeling we should have asked Santa for a new computer!
Good thing about this time of year is that it helps keep it all in perspective...hasn't been the best week, but it could be much worse..we have so much to be thankful for!
I'll be back soon!
Love, Nicole


Three hardworking elves

We spent the whole day yesterday decorating inside and out for Christmas. It was very interesting having three little elves that wanted to "help" out. Especially since Bennett thought all of the ornaments were balls and he wanted to try to throw them as far as he could! Funny, though, now that the tree is up they have lost interest....We'll see what the week brings!

Goofy fake camera smiles from Lila and Bennett...

Fiesty little thing!

Ohhh...this looks like fun!
Elise helping David put the lights on...She was really a huge help this year...She kept telling us that the tree was just "perfect", and the "best tree we've EVER had"...(does she really remember the other two?? haha..)
The finishing touch....
What a fun day! I love rediscovering all of the ornaments as we are pulling them out of the box...I have several old glass one's from my Dad's Mom, David's parents have brought us lots of neat ones from all of their travels, and my favorites are the ones with the pictures of the kids at prior Christmases....
Fun, exhausting day!


Little "Angels"

The Barrois family had us over last night for some delicious gumbo homemade by Will. It was SOOO good. The kids all had a great time playing together...We don't get to see them as much now that the girls aren't in school together, so we always look forward to any time we can share. They had the prettiest and biggest Christmas tree I think I have ever seen! Gorgeous. It was pretty funny because when we drove up last night, opened our garage, and saw our little tree waiting to be decorated, David and I simultaneously started laughing! We definitely have a Charlie Brown tree this year! But, it will be decorated with love and that's all that matters! Speaking of, better get to decorating....


Starting the celebration...

We went to our first big Christmas event this morning- breakfast with Santa! It was organized by the Moms of Multiples and was at an adorable little cafe in Old Mandeville. All of the kids ate breakfast and then patiently waited for Santa to arrive....

Lila wasn't so sure about the sausage...
Bennett LOVES pancakes- his favorite!

Elise actually ate some pancakes as well!
Soon after breakfast Santa arrived to meet all of the kids! I wish we had been able to video the kids' reactions (no free arms!), especially Bennett's. He was SOO excited! He started pointing and saying "ho, ho, ho" and stomping his feet. It was precious...
After Santa made his rounds he found his seat and the kids all waited in line...
Bennett was thrilled to sit on Santa's lap, and even more excited when he got a toy car!

As you can see below, Elise was also excited to meet Santa, and thankful for the stuffed Santa she received....She told him she was going to be extra good until Christmas...but, judging by how hard she fought her nap this afternoon, she wasn't being 100% truthful with Santa!
To digress just a little, I must say that it has been a very interesting first few weeks of Christmas season with a very inquisitive 3 year old. She has tons of questions, and I never realized how complicated it was to explain the Holiday season. I'll think she "gets" it, but then she'll say something (for example, she told my Mom that it was going to be Jesus' birthday and he was going to be 2 this year) which then informs me that she really doesn't...It is difficult to try to keep her focused on what Christmas is really about when everything that you see and hear is about Santa and presents...So, we are working hard on that...Kids are great for this reason, having them reminds me more and more of what I need to be focused on, instead of spending so much time worried about what we want for Christmas. Easier said than done, but I've set that as a goal to work on...Anyways, back to our family day today...
Lila, on the other hand, was not so much into Santa. From the second he walked into the room she was not happy! She is VERY hesitant with strangers, and I guess Santa just seemed strange to her.....The stuffed teddy bear didn't even seem to help!

We finally ended her agony after we got a picture!
It was a great morning spent with lots of other Moms and Dads who, like us, have multiple blessings! Helps to keep in perspective all of the craziness of this time of year...
After the breakfast we were off to Home Depot to get our tree...
Success!!! Should be interesting with a tree this year. Since Bennett thinks he is Superman, Spiderman, and the Incredible Hulk combined I'm not guaranteeing that the tree will survive until Christmas. But, it is worth a try.....
Happy Holidays everyone!


Sweet Lila

Yesterday I had a sweet surprise when I went to pick up Lila and Bennett from Mother's Day Out. When I walked up to the door I could see Lila sitting on the floor with one of her classmates laying down with his head resting near her leg. He was hugging his little "lovey" and she was "reading" a book to him (no matter that the book was upside down!). It was sooo cute. It was even cuter when the teachers told me the back story. Apparently the little one was upset and so Lila went and got his lovey and handed it to him on the ground where he was laying. Then she sat down and scooted herself up to him with the book and started to read. They said she is definitely the care-taker of the class! I just had to tell this story, because I know I give my feisty "middle" child a hard time for how rough and tough she can be...deep down she is just a little sweetheart! She such a special little one!


The secret life of a soccer mom

I was reflecting back on my day today, and I have to make fun of myself for a few minutes. I have been looking forward to this day for quite a while. Why? Sadly, it is not one of my children's birthdays, or a special anniversary, or some other important day. Today, December 2, is Britney Spears' birthday. I have had the DVR set for over a week to record her on Good Morning America, and as soon as I had a free second I bought her new CD (released today) on itunes. So there...I love Britney. Now, don't worry, I don't love her in a "I want to share this great love with my daughters" type of a way. They don't know who she is, and I plan to keep it that way as long as I can. So, I patiently waited until all the munchkins were down for their naps to run into my room and watch GMA. I felt like I was doing something kind of sketchy, or a little evil even! I have enough "Mom guilt" as it is, and now I can add loving Britney to the list. But, I can't help it. There is something about a small town girl from Louisiana that can't sing all that well, but that can dance like crazy. I just love it! As for GMA, it was worth the long wait until naps. The old Britney is back!!
Tonight, after dinner, David took the kids upstairs to read some books before bed, and I stayed down to vacuum (and listen to my new CD--OF COURSE!!)....After he put Lila and Bennett to bed, he and Elise came back down. She loves to come down, drink some milk, and watch a little of the adorable Goodnight Show on Sprout- it is her "big-girl" routine...Anyway, I was still jammin out to my ipod and kind of clueless to the fact that they had come down. I saw Elise staring at me (and actually kind of making fun of my dancing - to be honest) and so I took my ear buds out. (I forgot to mention that today was one of those days where I still had my work out clothes on from this morning.)
She looked at me, and said, "Mom...........are you about to just open the door and run?"
David and I just looked at each other and laughed.
I thought to myself, and then said out loud to David, "Sometimes I think about doing that..but, not tonight sweetie."
She wasn't even trying to be funny this time, but she just is. At least to us. Her timing is priceless.
On another note, the best husband in the world is already trying to figure out how he can get me tickets to go see Brit when she opens her tour in New Orleans in March. How fun would that be?? Glad he is willing to indulge my guilty pleasure....