After a fun Eve of the Eve at the Mills' house (I can't believe I didn't take any pictures!!!), we had a low key Christmas Eve at home. Most of the day was spent in our pajamas! We cooked, cleaned, did laundry, and baked cookies for Santa...
Then it was time to get ready for Christmas Eve church.
SuSu and G came with us this year to our church, which was very special!
Trying to get a picture where we all look our best is still quite interesting around here....but it has gotten a little easier! (Although I am never really happy when I am in the picture!)
After church we ate dinner and hung out, but the kids were so anxious to get to bed that we went ahead and called the reindeer with sparklers at around 7. Then the kids ran right in, up the stairs, and hopped into bed! I think they were all asleep by 7:15!!!
It was a relaxing day and a good way to prepare for the full day to come tomorrow....
We headed to Lake Charles late Wednesday afternoon to celebrate Christmas with David's parents. The kids were so excited to go on a "trip", although we did hear "are we there yet?" about 40 times on the fairly short 3 hour ride! :) We got there pretty late Wednesday, so we just visited for a little while and then went to bed. David was able to schedule some work there on Thursday morning, so he headed out for that in the a.m. and the kids and I hung out with his parents and got ready for the day. When he came home we ate lunch and then opened presents. I was actually pleasantly surprised how little the kids mentioned this, especially since the den was overflowing with gifts!
After exchanging gifts we headed out to visit some friends....the girls, of course, immediately changed into some of their new clothes...
Martha's best friend Debbie's daughter Margaret, and her daughter Lucy...David and Margaret grew up together.
Then we headed out for a special surprise- there is an ice skating rink in LC for the holidays and the Parnells wanted to take the kids...
They LOVED it!
After a short warm up period they all did really well...(I tried to act extremely confident even though I had only been once before- kind of scary that I was helping them learn!!!)
And David and I got a good workout!
The rink was at the new (actually REALLY nice) casino that they have in Lake Charles. It is like a big lodge...so we took some goofy pics by the big fireplace.
After skating, we were off to visit some more family friends, The Stevens.
David also grew up spending lots of time with them...here is Betty Ann...
...and her daughter, Shawn, and granddaughter, Sarah.
We went out to a nice dinner Thursday night and the kids did pretty well. It is definitely the fanciest restaurant they have ever been to, so we did lots of talking about table manners. We really enjoyed the treat and the food was delicious!
After the long day on Thursday we spent Friday morning just hanging out and letting the kids spend time with their Grandparents and play with their new toys...
And then it was time to head back to Mandeville for the Mill's Eve of the Eve Chili night!
We had a great trip and really appreciate the Parnells for having us and treating us to some delicious food and fun firsts! The kids will definitely be talking about ice skating in Louisiana for a while!
My Mom joined us for the annual Breakfast with Santa at our neighborhood clubhouse. We all look forward to this every year...
Not the best pic, but at least we are all looking at the camera!
Elise was the photographer here!
Working on her list for Santa, which she decided to add things to, dangerously close to Christmas...warned her that the elves may have trouble meeting those requests. Her response, "they can just go shopping."
Yippee!! First year with absolutely no tears!! Just another sign that our little ones are growing up!
Even Santa's extra large lap did not have enough room for all three this year....so, Bennett was a gentleman (bad hair day and all!) and let his sisters sit with Santa
SuSu and her three grandchildren!
One more sign letting us know that Christmas is just right around the corner...
I am the proud wife of David and Mom to three wonderful blessings- Elise, Lila, and Bennett. I am thankful every single day that I have the opportunity and gift of spending the majority of my time with my children- who I love to pieces, and who challenge, inspire, frustrate, and teach me things every single day.
This is my online journal, which I am hoping the kids will see as a perfect substitute for a scrapbook or baby book--because I don't see those happening any time soon!!
Elise Laurent was born at 5:00 p.m. on July 19, 2005. We did not find out her sex during my pregnancy and we were thrilled to tears (and slightly shocked) to meet our beautiful baby girl. She was a big baby at 8lbs, 8oz, and David and I couldn't take our eyes off of her. Elise is an old French name that David and I have always loved. Laurent is both my paternal Grandfather's name and my Dad's middle name. We always dreamed of having a daughter and were so thankful and overwhelmed to be given such a blessing.
Elise is a true first born. She likes structure, likes to fully understand everything, likes her questions answered to her satisfaction. She loves to be challenged and to challenge. She is also highly sensitive and independent.
She is a wonderful big sister to Lila and Bennett....
Lila and Bennett
It would be an understatement to say that we were shocked to learn on November 11, 2006 that we were not expecting baby #2, but baby #2 and #3!! In just shy of two years we would have created quite a family!
But, on June 1st, 2007, at 36 weeks exactly, we were thrilled and completely overcome with joy and gratitude as we welcomed two big, healthy babies into our family. First, Lila Sue, named after my Mom at 7lbs 0.6oz, and secondly, Bennett Raymond, named after David, David's Dad, and my maternal Grandfather, at 7lbs 10.4oz.
Lila has been the vocal one from the start and to this day is still pretty much running the show. She is the life of the party, the entertainer. But she is also the most compassionate, most giving of our children.
Bennett is a true boy. He is active and rough and loves to tackle and throw. He also adores his sisters and his Dad and gives the best hugs around. His big baby blues get me every time.
Boss is the newest member of our family. He was born on June 15, 2010, and he came home to us on September 9th. His full name is Boss Brees Parnell. He is half maltese and half poodle, and 100% love. We are so thrilled to have him!