Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Poor Avery spiked a fever of 105 right before we headed home for Christmas ... it lasted for days. You can notice her in the background of most of our Christmas pictures slumped over something looking pretty pathetic :( Thankfully she bounced back by the end of the trip.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Visit to Santa

After two attempts, we finally made it to see Santa. Next year we may not wait around for Matt as we wound up fighting the week-before-Christmas crowds.

We attempted Santa on a Friday night with Matt followed by a nice family dinner. After a failed attempt we wound up with Santa early Saturday morning without Matt and a trip to Steak n Shake.

Avery's a little skeptical

Caleb explaining his requests: Pirate ship and legos ...

you know, the little ones

Jadyn - unimpressed

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Decorating the tree - Popa style.
Last year's tree saw a bottom level theme. This year the kids figured out that they could pull up a chair to reach higher ... they just refused to spread out AROUND the tree so we have a definite vertical line of decorations this year.

The Griswold Family Christmas Tree

Keeping with Popa tradition, the day came to find and cut down our Christmas tree. For anyone who remembers last year's trek, this year's started off very similar: loads of snow on the ground, a beautiful winter day, happy, bundled kids. Last year we went in the afternoon in the middle of the week. We had plenty of sleds to pull the kids on and drag our tree back on. This year ... we went on a Saturday. All of the sleds were being used by dozens of children wanting to sled - makes sense. So, after standing there looking at each other briefly, Matt and I put smiles on our faces and told the kids to forge ahead. With Jadyn strapped to my chest, we marched through the snow in search of the perfect (ish) tree. Caleb, of course, loved it. Addison, to our surprise, loved it. Avery, ... apparently absolutely hates the snow. She bounced back, but we had to stifle a few giggles to her over-dramatic wails everytime a snowflake brushed her face. Jadyn, thankfully, slept the whole time.
When we finally found our tree I backed up to take a family picture. In true Griswold fashion, Caleb pronounces, as he poses, "Fa la la la laaaaaaaaa" much like Clark Griswold when he plugs in the lights he worked so hard on.

Just getting started

Our surprise "snow bunny"

Found it!

Chopping it down

Pretty miserable

Sledding fun

Warming up with hot chocolate

All bundled up

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Day!!

The first snow has fallen for the winter season in Michigan! The first flakes fell Thursday night and by Friday morning we had over 6 inches - enough to cancel school because it just kept on coming! Caleb and Addie had so much fun playing in the snow together. And Avery just enjoyed running back and forth from window to window exclaiming, "Oh no! It's snowing!! Look Mom! Snow!!"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving in Michigan

This year Matt had to work on Thanksgiving night, so we spent our first holiday here in Michigan. It just so happened that many of our friends were in the same situation so we joined forces and attempted to have a Grown Up Thanksgiving together - and I'd say it went pretty well! I even dolled up the turkey all nice and pretty which was great - until we realized that I put it in the oven upside down and now the right-side-up skin was all pasty and slimy!

Avery laying claim to her cookies

The "pretty bird" - albeit a belly sleeper

The disgusting underbelly - no wonder we couldn't find the timer!

The spread

A successful attempt at Dutch Apple Pie

Hot chocolate!

Caleb and Addison totally out after a long day of fun!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This girl just keeps getting bigger and bigger. She's quite pretty if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Avery's Antics

Silly, silly Avery. So we put the girl in her big girl bed and, for the most part, she's doing a great job. But there are many nights when I find her getting into some mischief. Avery has taken to spending her days making messes, undoing what's just been done, and making me laugh. She continues this behavior into the night which leads to some exhaustive bedtime battles, but I've found that if I just leave her to do her thing, she usually chooses sleep on her own in some odd way/place/position. I haven't taken too many pictures because I don't want to encourage her as she's changing her clothes, re-organizing drawers and what-not when she's supposed to be sleeping, but below are a few I have gotten once she's cashed out.

You can't tell, but she had put on 3 pairs of underwear, 5 pairs of pajama pants, one pair of pajama shorts, and a nightgown. "I'm a princess" she says when I walk in.

Diaper free - it took me awhile to figure out where she put it

"Playing" with Jadyn

Cashed out after finding the newspaper in my room and strewing it across her floor

Friday, November 13, 2009

Avery Turns 2!

If I could invent anything, it would be a machine that could freeze my kids in time. Don't get me wrong - I just love watching them grow and delight in the accomplishments that they make as they get older, but I just feel like the days are flying past me and my babies are turning into big kids way too soon! Avery turned two this week and I just can't get over it!
We had a nice time celebrating her birthday in a fairly mellow fashion. While in Ohio for a very brief weekend we had an open house at my parent's house and celebrated her birthday with some friends we haven't seen in quite some time. Back home we celebrated rather quietly - taking the kids to Chuck E Cheese during the day and having cake at our house at night. We started the morning with a celebratory birthday donut (though I couldn't find the "2" candle at the time) and cartoons.

Avery at her second birthday ...

Surprises us at how quickly she changed from a quiet, complacent baby to a spitfire toddler.
Talks and talks and talks.
Is fearless.
Loves to imitate her big brother and sister.
Enjoys music and loves to dance.
Seems similar to Caleb in her comprehension and memory.
Makes us laugh several times a day with her silliness.
Has a "strut" that you have to see to appreciate!
Is extremely independent - can dress herself, cleans up after herself, and constantly claims, "I do it!"
Refers to herself as "Ahvee"
Blesses us everyday with her delightful personality!