Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dodd Girls Take In the Ballet...

Nana has been eagerly awaiting the girls being old enough to take them to see the Nutcracker. This was finally the year, and we've all been looking forward to it all year. Nana even included her older girls too- me and J-Rae. We were just as excited as the girls. We all got to get dressed up and started out with a nice lunch. The girls were giggling and enjoying being together. Nana's always great about doing fun girl stuff. I guess she's been waiting a looooooong time to have girls in the family :)

We got to go to a little presentation before talking about the story and costuming. Who knew how many toe shoes those ballerinas wear out?

The show started out set in the huge fair Nashville had to celebrate Tennessee's centennial when the Parthenon was built. This homeschooling mommy had fun noticing all that with Ashton since we were just studying it.
The dancing was obviously quite impressive, but oh the costumes! They were amazing. We all had our favorites. Ashton's was surprisingly the snake lady that danced like a cobra. It was really good but I can't believe she liked it better than all the princess costumes. Of course, we all liked them all. It was also really neat how they used so many children. The girls really enjoyed seeing so many kids their age. Ashton has asked me a hundred times if she can try out!
It was a very special day I know the girls will never forget. However, the highlight of my day was when I asked Ashton if she liked it and she said, "I liked everything but the boys' pants. They were so tight. They were like, ewwww."
I have to agree with her 100%. J-Rae said all she could think of was the jokes David and Jon would've been making :)
Thank you so much Nana. It was a wonderful way to start the Christmas season!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

All Aboard the Minivan Express...

After snuggling and watching the Polar Express which Will especially adored, we had a fun surprise planned. I got the idea and even printed off free golden tickets from this great blog.
I popped popcorn for everyone and even hid bells in the bottom of their popcorn bowls. I also had made hot chocolate for all the boys, chai tea latte for Mommy and pink milk for my girl. When we were all in our snuggly pj's I told them to go look for a surprise under their pillow where they found golden tickets to the "minivan express". They were all so excited. Even the boys got it and knew it was their train ticket. It was so sweet!
Daddy was supposed to play conductor but stressed out when I told him he had to punch a word on everyone's ticket that meant something to them like in the movie :)
They were excited when we told them the minivan express was going to drive around looking at Christmas lights.
Then Jon and I danced out carrying everyone's hot chocolate and singing the "Hot Chocolate" song. I'm really sorry there is no video to show you of that! Then they all started singing the song as Mommy passed out the popcorn.
I was worried this boy would be upset when he realized there was no train, but he loves him some Christmas lights so he was happy.
We started out at a house in the neighborhood next to ours which is always one of our favorites. They add more each year and are out of room. We especially enjoy the cross on top.
This year when we arrived we died laughing when we saw what was in the yard across the street from the lit up house:
That is SO something I could see us doing!
Wesley surprised us by being the first to find the bell at the bottom of the popcorn. He was so excited which led the others to digging in the bottom of theirs. Wesley said, "This Santa's reindeer bell?" This planning mommy was thrilled that all 4 were so excited about their bells. I had no idea they'd enjoy them so much. They never stopped ringing them for the hour long ride. Jon and I had another of those "we really have 4 kids moments" because of how many bells were ringing :)
Jackson suggested they sing Christmas carols while we rode around and used their bells as instruments. It was so sweet to hear them all singing together.
This was one of our favorites (in Campbell Station for my local friends). You can look here forever and see more and more like the opening and closing mailbox, Santa's seesaw, gingerbread men and lots of others. Jackson suggested we play I Spy which was fun.
Besides the ditto sign mine and Jon's favorite find of the night was the house that had a Festivus pole up! You have to be a Seinfeld fan to understand how awesome that was. After I took this picture of Jon next to it, I made a video of my telling him all the ways he has disappointed me this year- hee hee, too fun! (that looks like a beer can in his hand but it's really a mug of hot chocolate in a church cup!)
By the time we made it to the grand finale house Wesley had tapped out:
We watched the house at Crown Pointe with the computerized lights for a while. It has its own radio station with synchronized music which the kids obviously had fun dancing to:
What a sweet night.
These are the memory making moments this Mommy lives for!
My favorite quote of the night was when Will tattled on Wesley who has an obsession with saying the b-u-t-t word right now after other words- every word in fact, "Mommy, Wesley said Christmas butt!" Gee, thanks for telling me!
I don't think our night could've gone better or been more fun. I can guarantee the minivan express will ride again. In fact, the kids asked if we could do it again the next night and the next. Ashton even wanted to know if we could do it at other holidays like Halloween.
I hope you print yourself some tickets and take a ride yourself.
If you do, let me know how it was!

Video From Santa...

You can imagine my surprise when I opened my e-mail to see that all 4 kids had received an e-mail with a video from Santa. We gathered them all around to watch. Here's Ashton's. She was excited to see that Santa knew about her beautiful birthday party. She wasn't quite as happy to find out he wanted her to try harder in school and help around the house, but when he showed her a picture of the Calico Critters she had asked for in his book she was a little more motivated.
Next we watched Wesley's. My favorite part was when Santa said he hardly recognized him in his Spiderman's outfit because when he would wear it he would rip off his mask and say, "It's me Wesley" as if we had no idea :) Of course, he didn't so much like the part about going to bed when Mommy and Daddy said it was time. Despite our greatest wish, it didn't really work that night to get him to stay in his bed before 11:00 either :(
Will was hilarious. When Santa told him he had a special trip he just smiled his sweet smile as Santa showed him a picture of him and his beloved Snow White at Disney World. Then when Santa said he need to needed to stop throwing those silly tantrums he gasped and looked at us then tried to unplug the laptop!!!! It was hilarious, but he wasn't amused in the least.
The entire time Jackson was saying he didn't even want to see his because he knew it was going to say to be nice to his sister (just like Santa told him when we had our picture made with him). When Santa showed him a baseball picture and said he knew his team could count on him, Jackson said he remembered seeing him at his game. Last summer we all thought we saw Santa at the game in a tropical shirt! Sadly, I'm afraid this year we have a 4th grade doubting Thomas among us, but I suppose it was time. It still makes me a little sad though.
I hope you liked their videos. It was truly a priceless moment. Maybe someone you know will get one too?