Saturday, February 14, 2009

Over here, cupid!

I have never been one to fall into the trap of Valentine's Day. However, I am a sucker for my kids when they get excited over something. They have been so ready and loving all the decorations. So this year I wanted to do something really special for them and I didn't let the fact that three of the four of us were sick ruin our good time (Trav and Audrey with the stomach flu and Aiden with strept throat).

We ate heart shaped pizza for lunch them opened gifts. Audrey and Aiden each got their own personalized M&M's. Being that they are their favorite candies, both kids loved just getting the M&M's. But they were over the moon when they saw their names on the candy.

"Audrey Elizabeth" wouldn'f fit so we went with "Audrey Lil'Bits," which she really thinks is her middle name. She started saying this because she couldn't say "Elizabeth" and it just stuck. In her mind, everyone's middle name is "Lil'Bits." She also got Giselle and Robert dolls from Enchanted.

Aiden got some Star Wars posters for his room. I don't know if he'll even sleep at night now. He may just stay up and stare at the guys on his posters.

Valentine's Day also holds another special significance to us. Aiden's last seizure was at his preschool Valentine party two years ago. Now he has been seizure free for 2 years and we couldn't be more thankful! That was such a traumatic time in our lives. I reflect on this each Valentine's Day and know we are blessed that he can "come out" of this.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Best of December

In early December, we moved the couch from Grandma Heckel's house to our basement. The one there before was left from the former owners of the house and really just needed to go out for junk pickup. So between junk pickup and moving in the new couch, we were without any seating. The kids didn't want to watch Frosty and other Christmas programs sitting on card table chairs so Travis and I blew up their sleeping bag/air matresses and let them "camp out" in the basement. Even now they still want to get them out they watch movies.

* As a side note to this story: Aiden wanted to help the guys get the couch down the basement so my mom told him to help with the cushions. As he was halfway up the stairs, my mom threw one of the cushions down the stairs, knocking him backwards down the stairs and spraining his ankle requiring crutches. As my screaming baby boy was trying to get to his mommy at the bottom of the stairs, my mom threw the other cushion down at him, knocking him into me! How did I escape my childhood in one piece?

Sharon, my clerk at school, got both the kids Christmas outfits and I wanted them to open it at the same time. Audrey was asleep and Aiden couldn't wait. He came running back to my bedroom dressed like this in Audrey's outfit...

...and proclaimed, "Look! Santa brought me an elf costume!" Travis and I laughed so hard our sides hurt!

Our first Christmas family function was with the Heckel side of the family. This year Baby Tyler was front and center! Both my kids love this little boy so much and couldn't get enough of him...or his momma, Leesha!

Schimpf's Confectionary's Red Hot Drop candies are a tradition in our family. This year I actually made it to the store to get them myself! My aunt Norma and I took 2 van-loads of kids to Schimpf's, one of the only candy makers still doing it ALL by hand, and actually got to watch them make the They also have a deli (which was closed during the holiday rush) and a homemade ice cream parlor that we chose to take advantage of. All the kids then scoured the shelves to choose what they wanted to take home. Aiden chose the chocolate coins, Audrey chose chocolate chip candies, I chose modjeskas and decided Travis needed some coconut balls. After loading them up on sugar, we let them unwind at Norma's for a big ol' cousin playdate.

On Christmas Eve, we celebrate with Travis's side of the family. I love this small gathering because we don't all get to see each other much throughout the rest of the year. Every year we try to get that perfect picture of everyone together and every year we get ones like these:

As always, the kids get to many gifts. This year Aiden's favorite is the V-Motion from Mamaw and Papaw....

...and Audrey loves her Snow White costume from Bekah.

Christmas morning at our house was so exciting because they were both on Santa overload. This was the first year Audrey truly knew about Santa and was excited to see what was going to happen. When they woke up, Trav and I made them wait in out bedroom until we got the cameras ready. Then in they flew!

Aiden's favorites were his Disney figures for his "Halloween Parade."

Audrey loved her baby care center and new baby, Alice (all her other babies are named Alice, too and I have no idea why).

We held Christmas dinner at our house this year which may not have been the best decision on my part. Because of the toy explosion in our family room there was not much room to spread out. Therefore we headed to the basement which is a little to cold for company if you ask me. Despite the temperature, I love having the family over for dinner. We don't get together enough.

One night when Audrey was out at a grandparents, Travis and I had a game night with Aiden, taking advantage of some that Santa left for him this year.
When I told him to ignore me and not pose for the camera, he struck his best Stitch surfing pose the way the character poses for pictures at Disneyworld.
And I forget what made him giggle like this. Who cares anyway as long as I get to see this sweet smile!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I wanna rock and roll all night...

The theme for my school's basketball homecoming is "Party like a Rock Star" and Thursday was Musician Day. Amber, D'Arci, Beth and I decided we needed to go to the extreme. Do you think we achieved our goal?
There is also another reason I wanted to go above and beyond. I have noticed that my high school students more and more are being expected to act like adults and not like teenagers. I want to show them that something that seems so silly, such as dressing as a metal make-up band, is totally worth it. Students will ask, "What does dressing up have to do with school spirit? And why does school spirit matter anyway?"My answer to them is that they will never get back their high school experience if they throw it away now. And here I stand as an adult, and an alumni of the school where I work, in full on KISS makeup and it is ok.
My wish for them is to let loose, to laugh, to dance while they can.
And to party ev-er-y day!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Favorite November Moments

Since I was without a computer for so long I am totally behind in my blog (I didn't even do Halloween or Disney...I win the bad mom award for that!). So I thought I'd look through my November and December pics and choose the ones that mark the wonderful month we had with freinds and family.

BUCKMAN BIRTHDAYS: Since Bekah and Brock's birthdays are so close together, they had a joint costume birthday party this year. We didn't get to see all the kids in their Halloween costumes so it was the perfect way to let them reuse the costumes they really only get to wear once or twice and are dying to wear again.

Everyone played "Pin the Waddle on the Turkey"...

...and Aiden won the first place ribbon!

While the big kids were playing Wii...

...Audrey jumped it up on the trampoline.

Everyone loved the birthday princess hat!

Audrey, Bekah and Abby stayed close to the cakes, ready to dive into the icing!

Happy birthday, Bekah and Brock!

THANKSGIVING: Thankgiving is extra special when you have as many blessings as us. I think my kids are most thankful for desserts as they loved licking the beaters when I made my family's applesauce cake.

This year there were lots of new faces at the Heckel family Thanksgiving. Baby Tyler and Twins Cole and Chloe!

OUR TREE: We put up our tree over Thanksgiving weekend and it was my goal to start some new traditions with them. One thing I've always wanted is for all of us to decorate the tree together while we listen to Christmas music, drink hot chocolate and watch Christmas movies afterward...I was on a mission this year!

After the lights were on, I let them do what they wished with the ornaments (hence the small tree we used this year). Aiden had so much fun and asked about all the ornaments as he found the perfect spot for each. Audrey could not have cared less! She just danced to the Christmas music while Aiden decorated the tree. After all the ornaments were hung, we all changed into warm winter pajamas, drank hot chocolate and watched Christmas-ish movies. This year it was Elf and I think we made it through about 15 mintues before they were both done and ready for bed.