Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cocoa With Mrs. Claus

Last Thursday, we went to Chick-Fil-A to have "Cocoa With Mrs. Claus" Chick-Fil-A does all kinds of free events and activities for families and kids. We love Chick-Fil-A anyways, but these family nights make us love them even more. When we got there, they had a table set up with stencils and markers. Each kid got a plain white mug that they could decorate any way they wanted.

Evan took his very seriously.

Carter decided to free hand it and draw everybody he knows on there.

Carter posing with his mug

After the boys got done decorating their mugs, they got to have a cup of hot chocolate and Mrs. Claus was walking through and talking with the kids. Evan had her sit down and the talked that poor woman's ear off. The boys were so funny. I love how social they are, they're definitely not shy. "Mrs Claus" was so nice to them and gave them all the attention they wanted, it was very sweet.

I have to show of the mugs they made. Evan got a stencil for each side of his mug and he taped it down and traced it all by himself. I didn't do anything. Look how good his "Love" came out.

I thought this was very impressive, too.

Carter drew all the people that were important to him, he kept remembering people and have to add more. It was really cute.

He put his name on there and a picture of Santa.

Sipping his delicious hot cocoa.

After Mrs. Claus came by and talked to them and left, the boys went in the play area and played for awhile. Their friend, Cooper, came by later on and the boys go to play with him and eat dinner with him. They had so much fun.

I get emails from all the Chick-Fil-As on what's going on each month and I put it on my calendar and we try and go to at least one or two events there a month. The boys always have so much fun and it's a great way to spend an evening. Plus, after they do whatever the special activity is, they get to play in the play area with the other kids and eat dinner. We also do a lot more of these over the winter than we do in the summer, when it's cold and or wet out, we start to get a little crazy, so we're thankful for things like this going on to keep up occupied.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Crafts, Story Time, and Monkey Joes

The past week, we have been doing more crafts, some more story times, and went to Monkey Joes.

We did these super easy toilet paper roll angels. It didn't take long and didn't cost anything since we already had all the supplies we needed (which wasn't much)

Last Tuesday, my mom came with me to take the boys to Monkey Joes. It's this enormous indoor bounce place and it's always crazy. I've gone by myself with the boys but it's a huge place and the kids can get pretty wild in there, so my mom text to the night before and offered to come with us, I immediately said yes. We were the first ones to get there and the ONLY ones there the entire 2 hours we were there. Nobody else came in, the entire morning. They boys had the place to themselves. We have a few "buy one get one free" admission coupons that expire at the end of the year that we're trying to use, so we'll go again during the boys Christmas break from school.

It didn't phase them that they were the only ones there, they still had a blast.

That night, I put the boys in some Christmas pjs, we ordered pizza, and we watched a Christmas movie. The boys were so excited. They call their footie pjs, "piggy pajamas" I don't know why, but it's so cute that I can't correct them. :)

We've been doing this once a week the past couple weeks and I think we all really enjoy it.

The boys aren't the only ones who have been doing crafts. I finally made a Christmas wreath to put on the front door.

I took the boys to a new library for story time. It was "Story Time with Mrs. Claus" There were some field trips there, so it was a pretty good crowd. I thought "Mrs. Claus" did a great job and kept the stories short and very interactive. The boys had a really good time.

I would come here again. They have a story time that the boys could go to once a week because it's on a day they don't have school, so we might check it out again.

The boys have also been spending a lot of time on their Lincoln logs that they got from Aunt Brandi last year. They love these things and can play with them for a long time.

The boys also got paddle balls in some gifts that came in the mail from Greg's Aunt Janet and Uncle Joe. The boys LOVE these, especially Evan. He gets so proud of himself after hitting the ball with the paddle.

Carter (who desperately needed a hair cut when this picture was taken) loves his too.

I've been wanting to make one of these since last Christmas and even went to an antique store and got these vintage soda crates just for this. I love the way everything turned out, except for the burlap. It's too folded, it needs to be more fluffy and "relaxed" not folded all neat.

And I turn on the lights on the votives in the jars for the boys at night, especially if it's dark when we eat dinner.

I made a Christmas countdown plate. It was super cheap and easy, but this was my first one, so it's far from perfect. I'd like to make one for the major holidays or events (like birthdays, going back to school, etc) so hopefully I can make my next couple look better, but I love changing the number every night after the boys go to bed and when they come down, they immediately go to the plate and tell me how many days are left until Christmas. I have added a little gold bow at the top, I need to get a picture of the final product and post that.

I'm not very good at it, but I really love doing crafty stuff. So, it's been fun doing crafty things with the boys and making a few Christmas things for around the house.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Columbia County Christmas Parade

Sunday, we went to the Columbia County Christmas Parade. I had some sample Christmas cards printed up and Evan managed to rip a string on his shoes, so we had to find him a pair before school on Monday, so we spent the entire morning shoe shopping for the boys. We ended up finding some and being able to get to the parade area about 1:30 and get a good seat. The parade started at 2:00, but people were already getting ready and holding their spots around 9:00am when Greg and I left for the day to start our long morning of shoe shopping.  

We started at Walmart to pick up my Christmas cards. There was a santa in the photo department taking free pictures with the kids, so the boys hopped up there and started talking his ear off.

After 6 stores, we finally found the boys some new shoes. We headed over to get set up for the parade. We got a great spot right before they closed down the street. It was 1:30 and the parade didn't start until 2:00. So, the boys finished up some leftover pizza that we got from Sam's for lunch.

I'm not in the picture much, but I'm trying to do better, even if it's a selfie.

The boys eating their candy canes that Santa gave them earlier.

It was pretty chilly out, but not miserably cold.

Some excited boys waiting for the parade.

Evan finally looked happy, so I had to include this one too.

The road was closed down to traffic, so the boys were going over to the white line and saying it was "hot lava" and they'd squeal and run back to their chairs. It kept them entertained until the parade started.

The police were going up and down the road until the parade started and the boys got such a kick out of him waving back and saying hi to them.

That serious face is Carter watching the Frozen performance, some girl was singing Let It Go.

The boys love "Let It Go"

My favorite part of the entire parade. That is supposed to be a motor home and that guy walking behind it, in the white robe is "Cousin Eddie"

The Griswold family car, complete with an enormous tree on top.

The parade was pretty long. It was after 3:30 before it was over, but the boys did really good.

They loved pointing out the different things they saw. They loved the marching bands and the ROTC troops--which were all referred to as "army mans" haha.

The boys stocked up on the candy the people in the parade threw. A lot of it was bubble gum, and because I'm a mean mom, that went right into the trash. 4 year olds don't need bubble gum.

The end of the parade with Santa on a fire truck.

The boys took off their hats in the car and they both had such "hat head". It had been too long since we had cut their hair, but I actually liked how Evan looked with some hair.

And this is the typical face Evan gives me when I go to take his picture, lately.

We really enjoyed the Columbia County Fair. I think next year, we'd like to check out another one,   maybe a smaller parade like the one in Harlem. But, I definitely think we should keep Christmas parades as part of our annual family traditions for Decembers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lights Before Christmas- Riverbanks Zoo

We took the boys to Lights Before Christmas over my birthday weekend. The Zoo decorates the entire place in lights and then they open up at night (when they're normally closed) and you can walk through and look at all the pretty lights. They also have Santa there to take pictures. They have fake snow machines set up throughout the whole zoo and so every so often, snow would just come falling down--that was definitely the boys favorite part.

The 3 Westover boys posing in front of the enormous tree at the front of the zoo.

The fake snow.

These pictures make it look much lighter than it was when we got there. It was almost dark when we got there.

There wasn't much open, but we did get to walk through the barn and see the cows, bunnies, and turkeys.

Evan thought this was a really need light display.

Evan decided he wanted to catch some "snow" on his tongue.

They both became obsessed, running around with their tongues out, trying to catch a snow flake.

Evan just gave up and reached over and grabbed one that landed on Carter's hood.

And he stuck it in his mouth. And discovered the hard way that the fake snow is actually soap.

But, Carter had to try it for himself, so he licked one off his coat too. (pretty sure he regretted it)
It was nice to see the lights and the boys had fun, but I wouldn't go back for that. I'm glad we went once, but I wouldn't make it an annual trip. We went for Member's Night Out over the summer, where they open the zoo to members only after 6:00 and they had so many fun things to do. There were crafts and games set up all over the place. Activities, employees talking with the kids and telling them all kids of fun facts about animals, it was so interactive. That's kinda what I was expecting. I definitely want to try and make it to those next summer because the boys really enjoyed those.