Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013. A Very BIG Christmas.

The new van was an amazing ride, and we made it to Fort Worth in two days as planned. The drive to Nashville was really great. We had good weather and no traffic delays. The next day, between Nashville and Fort Worth was a bit more of a handful, with some really heavy rain that made driving quite a challenge, but it didn't set us back too far. Maggie was wonderful, once again, and we were so happy to pile out of the van at the end of the day, to our waiting family.

Resting up for the celebration

And I do what with this?
Saturday morning was busy with getting ready to celebrate Max and Miles' first birthday!

We had a couple of days here with the Cookes, and then Nina and Lilly flew in on Christmas Eve!

Grandpa and Lucy built a house of cards.

We went to Mass at 4:oo on Christmas Eve, and then came home to dinner and getting ready for Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve Jammies

The house all decked out for Christmas
What a wonderful, busy day Christmas was!

New Cars!

Lilly and "Ruthie"

There is just nothing like Christmas morning with a bunch of little kids in the house. They were so taken by all their new toys and games. Lilly had so much fun playing with her cousins.

We have had such a nice visit! Laura taught me how to crochet, a skill that I am still trying to figure out. I have the basics, and I can use videos online to learn new stitches. It is a lot of fun and very relaxing.
I have been enjoying the little people so much. What a group of cuties!
John got himself a new longboard and was really excited about using it while he was here, but the guys went to a trampoline park and he sprained his ankle pretty bad and so is off the board for a couple of weeks. He will have fun with it when we get back home though, if it's not too snowy.
Tim was able to be here for a week, and that was so wonderful!
All the kids love playing with Grandpa! He likes to pretend and so he's always a big hit. We wouldn't have come down for Christmas otherwise, it would be too hard to be apart at Christmastime.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

One of Those Big Things

We did it.
We weren't going to but it became apparent that neither of the other two vans can serve us very well for long distance trips. We haven't had a car payment for a very long time, and it has been really nice, but we are hoping that this vehicle will be with us through the rest of the busy teen tears.
It's a nice change and very roomy! I love the way it drives.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hyper-Disasters? FIRST Lego Project Winners!

Today was QUITE a day!
We left the house at 7:00 this morning, and had a long competition ahead of us.
Paul, joining his FLL team, the Hyper-Disasters, down the road in Riverside, for the first qualifier of the Lego League season.
I have to say, that at the beginning of the season, I was thinking that Paul was going to be on a team, I was going to go watch the competitions, and when the season was over he would have learned a lot, we would have some great pictures, and a lot of good memories.
For a rookie team, that is usually the most that you expect to accomplish.
For me, personally, I have been feeling so buried in obligations and details, that I couldn't even imagine getting Paul to practice each week. Since Tim is coaching Brendan's team, I thought this would be an activity in which I could be a cheering mom and just enjoy the ride. I just couldn't shake loose any time to really get involved.

Well, I got a little bit involved.
Paul came home and said that they had started their project, and they had some ideas, but were having a hard time getting them to gel. They are all so doggone smart, that I thought that all they needed was a little direction, and they would be able to run with it. I was right.

Man, they pulled it off so well.....

The judges thought so too...

Then it was on to the tables....
Round one....

and here is Round three....

Then we have the awards and closing at the end. Boy, were they surprised when they heard that their presentation had taken first place!

Then they did the presentation in for the whole group!

They were even further over the moon when they learned that out of twelve teams they would be one of two to go to the state competition!


Friday, December 6, 2013

That's How it is in Texas!

So THIS is what was going on in the Cooke's yard on Wednesday....

....and the is today, Friday.

Hard to believe.