Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Decorating for Christmas

I LOVE decorating for Christmas. It is one of my favorite activities of the year.

Christmas shopping begins on Black Friday but the trees do not go up until December the 1st.

While the kids are at school and Rob is at work (depending on the day of the week December 1st falls) I clean the house and get all of the decorations down from the attic (much easier in our new house) and set up the trees.
By the time we are together as a family, the trees are ready to be decorated.

This year December 1st was on a Saturday and while the kids were happily planning at Nana and Pas Rob and I prepared the house for Christmas.
(I could not resist this first picture... Oscar the Grouch does not normally help decorate but this year he helped with the biggest of the 5 trees).

 Our family tree is in the living room between our living room and dining room next to our entertainment stand.
The 3 Sparkle Trees (one for each of the kids- biggest to smallest) is in the fireplace room.

Tucked under the kids trees are the 24 books of Christmas. We read a different Christmas story each night to count down the days until Christmas.
 Decorated with love by the Sparkle Sisters
 And this is what happens when you have a little brother.
Yes that that is the 3 sparkle trees on the ground knocked over by Cooper. Who was tearing the M&M garland from the branches.
This was the first of the three times he knocked down the trees that day.
 Our stockings are hung on the mantel with care
 It definitely feels like Christmas around here
 5 People in our family means 5 trees.
1 Family Tree
3 Sparkle Trees
1 S'more tree

 Plus my s'more nativity.

 Its beginning to feel a lot  like Christmas!

Hope you and your families are having a blessed holiday season.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Daddy's Little Elf

Look who's all tuckered out from helping decorate for Christmas....
Pictures of the 5 Christmas trees coming soon.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Swim Lessons

Lillian has finished another session of swim lessons.

Her skills have grown in Leaps and Bounds.

Here she is before swimming her 25m free style. She also can swim the 25m backstroke.
(She prefers to swim from the deep end to the shallow end although neither end can she touch).

Her instructor Miss Amy said that this summer Lillian can join the swim team.
It is the same swim team that Madison currently swims for.
5 years olds are asked to join the the team by invitation only- so this is a HUGE honor.
Lillian is quite excited.

For now we are taking a break from lessons for the holidays and will return to lessons in January.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy 30th Birthday

to ME!!!!!!!!

My wonderful husband (who would still be wonderful even if he hadn't done this) planned a surprised trip to celebrate our anniversary and our birthdays at an all inclusive resort in Cancun.

We had 5 days and 4 nights at our resort and enjoyed the time to relax, sleep in, and read.

This is the view from our walk up patio.
Our own lounge chairs and a Tiki bar just across the pool.
(They upgraded our room at check in. We were excellence club members and had our own pools and private beaches and bars to take advantage of :)

 This is standing on our back patio looking in. The curtain on the right is the jacuzzi bathtub.

Rob was able to capture a few of the morning sunrises on the beach (I was a sleepy head).

When you arrived at the beach the cabana attendants would ask your preference... covered or uncovered lounge chairs, direct sun or shade. It was awesome.
 One afternoon we took a bike tour (all the way to the resort golf course and back) and as a result found an awesome tour to climb and capture the sunset.
 Us on top of the tower

 This is 1 of the 7 pools (all pools had attached hot tubs). It was a little chilly to swim, but perfect weather to soak in the sunshine.

Behind us is one of the 2 restaurants on the water. We ate there the first night- we actually ate at both restaurants on our first night, back to back. First the Lobster House and then the Steak House. (Both were yummy)
 Walking on the beach in the evening was our favorite part of the day (or at least mine)
(I realize this is a sunrise picture not a sunset but I still liked walking on the beach)
It was a wonderful trip.
The anticipation of the surprise, trying to piece together the clues and guess our destination were all part of the fun.

We are so thankful for our family and their willingness to watch our 3 Sparkles so we could have a get away.

My 30's are off to a great start!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Hospital stay

What an exciting last couple of days.

It all started Sunday with a low grade fever that kept creeping up. It reached its peak of 104 that night. Non stop crying Monday afternoon brought us to the pediatrician where we ruled out strep, ear infections ( so we thought) and his chest was clear.
Home we went to continue to try to get him to eat or drink (anything)
Tuesday morning we were sent for blood work and strictly monitoring cooper's fluid in take and out take. 
Wednesday morning, after another phone call to the doctors office with his diaper and sippy update, we were admitted to the local hospital for high fever and dehydration, where we have spent the last 48 hours.

 This was iv number 1 our second and third ivs were in his feet. This chair is where we spent our 48 hours- rocking a lot and snuggling 
Eating a graham cracker while he waited for his breakfast (he ate 2/3 of a banana and a 1/4 of a pancake and then Mama's McDonald's hash brown before we left. Plus a cereal bar when he got home. He is finally getting back to normal)

3 IV's and lots of fluid bags and we were discharged this morning. Discharge criteria was that he had to eat breakfast :)

There were lots of exciting  moments in our stay (exploding IV's, sleeping in a rocking chair, rocking 24/7) and even a Few Ah ha's (finally disagnoised his infection after he broke out in a full body in a rash, plus an ear infection, tummy medicine,)

We are home from the hospital, in clean Jammie's and have enjoyed a nap in our own beds.

God is good and we are so thankful for all the prayers and support of our friends and loved ones.

It's good to be home! 

Friday, November 30, 2012


This year we have so much to be Thankful for.
And while the traditions were a little different, it was a great day to celebrate with friends and family and the blessings in our lives.

As traditions go, Wednesday is cooking day.
The help was a bit smaller this year... but fantastic
Lillian chopped all 3lbs of potatoes for me
We prepped the sweet potato casserole and green bean casserole plus the stuffing

Then it was on to making the desserts... everyone had their favorite. 
Pumpkin, Pecan and Apple Pies plus a Rum cake

Thanksgiving day was a relaxing morning just playing together.
Mama even got to watch the entire Macy's parade.
 Snuggled on the couch, waiting for the turkey to be carved.
 Gather around the table

Until next year...


3 Years of planning and its hard to believe that our Disney adventure is already a memory.

Here are just a few highlights of our trip:

Sparkman Family's next house :)
 Even Disney World knew that our little R2D2 was coming
 Riding the Teacups... over and over again. Cooper loved it.
 No trip would be complete without a ride on Dumbo (even if it has been re-imagineered)
 Lillian really wanted to meet the evil step sisters and the step mother (check out her evil face)
 Us with Mickey
 Of course we had to meet Tinker Bell
 and her sister Periwinkle

As you can see, we met a lot of characters :)

 Peter Pan was by far the highlight of the trip.
We had been given a tip that Peter Pan would be out after the parade and where to look for him. We staked out the plaza and saw him walk up and quickly got in line.
Since Peter Pan has never grown up, he was in no hurry to get as many people through the line and thus spent quality time (over 5 minutes at least) with each child that came to see him.
He just sat right down on the sidewalk for a chat. It was great.
 He and Cooper got along really well (They were showing one another their teeth)
 The plans are made... they are going to Neverland
 Saying Good-byes

From Peter Pan to the Princesses... Cinderella, Aurora and Rapunzal
(Cooper like Sleeping Beauty the best)
 Princess Hugs
And that was all on our first day :)

Day 2-5
We could not wait for our friends Roni and Lisa (Aielt too) to arrive from the UK.
Our first stop with them was breakfast with Chef Mickey. Gotta love Pluto :)
 Then off to the Magic Kingdom
Everything is more fun with a friend
 With a 1 to 1 adult child ratio, everyone was able to see and do what they were interested it.
Lillian and Daddy loved the Buzz light year ride
 While Madison and Roni patiently waited to meet Buzz Light year

There were only 3 rides in all of the parks that Lillian could not ride.
She was fearless and asked repeated to Go Again.
Here we are on Splash Mountain.
Yes that is Lillian in the front row.

Since we had met the Step Sisters and Evil Step Mother and Cinderella, it was only fitting that we would meet the Fairy Godmother too. Lillian was thrilled.

Fearless Lillian also loved Thunder Mountain.
Again, we are in the front row. Notice her hands high in the air (and imagine the joyful glee of going fast)
What you can't see is Mama's arms up. That is because while Lillian met the height requirements, our little Bug was not quite heavy enough to stay in her seat. But with an extra "mama" safety belt all was good.

 By the last day... Cooper was just plain tuckered out. He felt safe with Mama to fall asleep in the jungles of Animal Kingdom

 I truly think this is my favorite picture (Thanks Nana). Lillian and Cooper (plus a bag of Goldfish) planning our next adventure at the Magic Kingdom.

This was the end of each of our days... Lillian asleep on the bus on the way back to our resort (What is not pictured is Cooper screaming on the bus on the way back to the resort :)

Just one final picture before the end of our adventure,
 I had hoped when I posted this picture that I could also post the first picture (7 years ago to be exact) of Madison meeting King Louie but that picture is not digital :( (maybe I will scan it)
But you get the idea... 7 years ago Madison raced across Main Street to meet King Louie and here were are seeing him again. It was reuniting old friends.
My how my Moopers has grown :)

It was a magical adventure and everything we had hoped for. The weather was great, the company was awesome and the memories will last a lifetime (or at least until Cooper is 48" and we can return :)