Our Kids' Blog

“Big” Christmas Gifts

December 31st, 2010 by Mommy

The girls got a dollhouse and kitchen this year as their “big” gifts. The dollhouse is a remodeled version of my childhood dollhouse that my Grandparents built and decorated for me. Both girls love their gifts. When they saw the dollhouse for the first time, Julia went running for it and Emily just stopped and stared at it taking it all in. I have loved listening to all of the conversations that have occurred in the dollhouse between it’s inhabitants. There isn’t a piece that hasn’t been inspected, used, and sometimes even repurposed. It has also been an opportunity to learn about sharing.

While we have had kitchen toys and appliances, this new kitchen has been quite a hit. The sink and oven have been a great fascination. It is perfectly sized for Julia and it shows as she has become the master chef. She has been baking lots of cupcakes – she puts on her oven mit, places the tray in the oven, adjusts the temperature, opens the oven, removes the tray (still wearing the oven mit), places candles, and delivers the yummy treats.

I see hours of play hidden in each dollhouse room and in the kitchen appliances. What joy!

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Dollywood at Christmas

December 30th, 2010 by Mommy

The girls and Mama visited Dollywood just before Christmas. It was a cold day, but we were bundled up and seemed to always have one more layer we could put on. Like usual the girls wanted to ride the carousel first. You have to hold tight when you are wearing mittens.

We then continued on to ride the young kid rides. Emily loves to make friends with other kids when we are at parks, and this trip to Dollywood was no different. She and a six-year old became best friends on the first ride. Emily cried when we got to the second ride because her new friend wasn’t riding in the same pig. She moved to join us. But it didn’t matter how good friends they were, nothing could get Emily to ride the bumblebee ride. On the other hand, Julia was thrilled to ride the bumblebee ride. They said good-bye to their new friend as she went on to ride the bigger rides. While Emily was unwilling to ride the flying bumblebee, she requested to try the Ferris wheel. I’m not sure that she would really be able to handle it, it will have to wait for a day with Daddy.

The girls discovered a mural wall that they could color. It was a blast and will be inspiring our own at-home version. Mama isn’t going nuts, but I’m going to give it a try and hope all the walls in our house don’t turn into murals.

We have been visiting Dollywood for months now and have never gone to a show. Between the cold weather, more kid-interesting shows, and a desire to take off some of our layers encouraged us that direction. We saw “Babies in Toyland” and found it to hold the girls interest. An hour was a long time for them, but it was fun.

We hope to go back one more time with Daddy before the year ends for more fun!

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Family Christmas

December 26th, 2010 by Mommy

We celebrated Christmas with extended family who visited for the holiday. We attempted a family photo and ended up with this awesome photo. I think the fact we got all the adults to look at the camera at the same time and not blink was a success and then adding Caleb’s expressive face to the mix made it over the top. Maybe one day the younger ones will want to look at the camera.

In the photo: Don Lieder, Ann Lieder, Jennifer Reichle, Philip Reichle, Joyce Reichle, Robby Edwards, Rachelle Edwards, Phil Reichle, Caleb, Nataniel, Emily, and Julia.

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The Santa Story 2010

December 26th, 2010 by Mommy

Scene 1 – The Visit:

The girls visited with Santa in Miami this year. Santa was visiting in an ice and snow palace and after talking with him there was a snow room that had snow for kids to play in. Emily was very excited to see and speak with Santa. She showed no shyness with him. There was no line behind us so she had plenty of time to talk. Santa asked Emily what she wanted for Christmas and she told him she wanted toys and a star for the top of the tree. Santa was very kind and sweet with the girls. Julia had a different response to Santa. She cried at the idea of sitting with him. In the end, Mommy had to sit next to Santa and Julia on her lap. The girls were not sure of what to make of the faux snow, but liked to watch Mommy play in the snow and throw it into the air.

Scene 2 – The Message:
Some sweet friends of ours arranged for the girls to receive their own individual messages from Santa. We recorded the girls watching their videos. The messages were quite a hit! Emily continued to talk about what Santa told her through Christmas.

Emily’s Video Message

Julia’s Video Message

Scene 3 – Christmas Morning:

Christmas morning we found that Santa had visited the house and left lovely things in our stockings. Among what he left there was a Christmas star, princess coloring book, Backyardigans characters, Ernie doll (a Julia favorite), ponies, musical instruments, and toy kitchen utensils. The girls loved finding their stockings and were excited to empty them out. There were lots of excited proclaimations of discovery and joyful facial expressions.

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Reading a Book

December 13th, 2010 by Mommy

This morning the girls were playing their usual games. One of them is to lay out beds for themselves and then lay down for pretend naps. Today a new variation was added that involved Emily reading books to Julia. Emily was describing the action associated with each page remembering the words that have been read to her. It warmed my heart to see Emily being so sweet to Julia. Also, my excitement at the beginning interest in reading. While I have encouraged Emily to read to Julia, she has never tried it before now. I guess she wanted it to be her idea instead of mine.

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Daddy’s Lap

December 13th, 2010 by Mommy

This was a sweet cuddle time with Daddy. Julia was enjoying her morning milk and blanket with Robby. So, when Emily came and saw the scene, she decided to join in. When Emily saw me she asked for a photo. Because she asked she was willing to look at the camera.

Sweet girls!

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