Monday, February 04, 2013

Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas!  Sam and Emily were very good this year, and Santa treated them pretty well.  We had a great time at Christmas Eve at the Matouseks' and Christmas Day at the Russells' - with a visit from Santa to complete the merriment!

Enjoy our holiday pictures!

Decorating the Russell Christmas Tree 2012

All the Russells had a fun time decorating Nanna and Pop's Christmas tree.  Great-Grandma even got to participate virtually through Skype!

Enjoy our pictures.

Thanksgiving 2012

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, hosted by the Hoopers.  Sam and Emily had a great time playing with my cousins (thanks Caroline, Jack, and Tom!), and dinner was delicious.  The evening ended with a classic sing-along to Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Good times :-)

Enjoy our pictures.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween 2012

Trick-or-treat! Have some adorable Halloween pictures!

October 2012

October was all about preparing for the big day - Halloween!  We went to the Ecotarium's Pumpkin Fest, played in the leaves, and made haunted gingerbread houses. 

Enjoy the pictures

Emily Turns 6

Emily had a blast at her outer space-themed birthday party with friends from preschool and kindergarten.

Check out the pictures!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

September 2012

Emily turned 6 this month and the family celebrated with pizza and cake.  We also went to a great fall fair where the kids had epic pillow fights with John and launched a trebuchet.  Throw in some apple and pumpkin picking with friends, and we had a perfect fall month.

Enjoy our pictures!

August 2012

We spent the last month of summer having fun in Rockport, playing with our new gerbils, and visiting the zoo.  John and I also escaped for a weekend in Vermont to attend a fabulous wedding. 

In bigger news, Emily started Kindergarten this month!

Enjoy our pictures!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

June and July 2012

 What a month!  My high school friends all got together for Sarah and John's wedding party, the kids and I picked blueberries and strawberries, and we all had a great day at Canobie Lake Park.

Enjoy our pictures.

May 2012 and Preschool Graduation

 The kids spent a lot of May exploring the neighborhood on their bikes, and John and I escaped for a weekend for a family wedding. This month's highlight, though, was Emily's graduation from preschool!  She's off to Kindergarten in the fall!

Enjoy our pictures.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Florida Vacation 2012

We just got back from a week in Orlando with my parents, and we had a fabulous (exhausting) time! 

The resort was beautiful and kept the kids entertained, with 7 different pools, several playgrounds, and a mini-golf course.  Emily and John perfected "speed" mini-golf, while Sam mostly liked rolling the ball down the course.  Emily loved lounging in the pools in her turtle float, and got brave with her swimmies.  Sam apparently is a doggie-paddle natural! Looks like they can both take swimming lessons this summer.

Monday we checked out Islands of Adventure.  Harry Potter World is incredible!  The kids gnawed the heads off their chocolate frogs and were amazed by the Hogwarts Express and, of course, the castle.  My parents swapped child-wrangling with us, so we all had a chance to ride the Hogwarts castle flying/video/crazy cool ride.  And we got my mom back on the Dueling Dragons roller-coaster.  She went on it twice. Go Mom!  Dr. Seuss World was mostly a hit, especially the train, merry-go-round, and face painting, and both kids had serious fun exploring the Jurassic Park playground. Sam took a nap in the stroller while Emily ran through fountains to cool off.  By 3, the kids were ready to head back to the condo for a swim.

We had a lovely lunch with Great-Grandma on Tuesday.  The kids were excited to visit, and Grandma even decorated her house with pictures Emily had made for her.

Wednesday were were off to the Magic Kindgom. We arrived in time for the opening ceremonies (OK, my mom and I dragged us all there well in advance of opening time, but hey, you want to be the first on the carousel!) and the kids loved seeing the characters singing and dancing at the train station in front of the gates.  We headed right back to Fantasyland for rides on the carousel, Small World, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Dumbo.  Sam loved the all the rides, but Em was a bit "nervous" on the darker Peter Pan and Pooh rides.  Then it was time to meet Princesses, defeat Zurg on the Buzz Lightyear ride, and crack up at the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor show.  Sam conked out in the stroller while Emily rode the Magic Carpets and explored the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse a few times.  We all survived the Jungle Cruise and another round on the Carpets.  We saved the best for last - the Dreams Come True Parade.  We were right up front and the kids were so excited to see all of the characters.  Many of them came right over and gave Emily and Sam high-fives or waved to them from floats.  Snow White even blew Emily a kiss!   After getting the kids settled with my parents at the condo, John and I went back to the Magic Kingdom for dinner, a few rides (though Space Mountain broke when it was almost our turn!), and the Electric Parade.  I dragged John into the Tiki Room show, for which he may never forgive me.

We all recovered by the pool on Thursday and then went out for a fantastic dinner.  Sam fell asleep on the way there, but stopped screaming after about 15 minutes and was actually pretty happy for the rest of dinner :-)  My birthday dessert was pretty fabulous!

On Friday we checked out Downtown Disney.  We had a blast exploring the Lego Disney scenes, picking out "prizes" from the shops, and digging for dino bones at the T-Rex Cafe.  Sam wanted to stay there for lunch, but it was a little (ok, a LOT) too noisy and dark for Emily, so she and John had a nice quiet lunch while my mom and I took Sam into the T-Rex Cafe.  He loved it!  Once the metor shower started though, and the dinos all started roaring, and the mammoth started trumpeting, I knew it was a good thing Emily wasn't with us!  Craziness!

Saturday was another relaxing day by the pool, with a visit from my Aunt Bette and cousin Journey.  It was great to see them both, and we had a nice time catching up.

I put some of my favorite pictures into the post, but you can see all them here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Easter 2012

The kids had a great Easter, coloring eggs, eating chocolate for breakfast, and finding lots and lots of eggs hidden by a very sneaky Easter bunny.

Enjoy our pictures!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Samicus Maximus!

Our little Sam is growing up! To celebrate turning 3, we had three parties - one with the Matouseks, one with the Russells, and one with all of the Pilkanis grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Throw in celebrating at school with cupcakes, and you have one very happy boy who will be eating nothing but broccoli and carrot sticks for the next 11 months!

Enjoy our pictures!

January-March 2012

Superbowl, snowstorms, and sprinklers. What a fun and strange three months!

Enjoy our pictures.