Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Pitter-Patter of Little ... Wings

I don't like to publish posts out of chronological order, but I couldn't wait to share our news! For Christmas this year, my parents got Jeff something he's wanted for a long time: a parakeet! He received the cage and a gift card on Christmas; last night we went to pick out the perfect bird.
Meet Peregrin Took - Pippin for short! 
Everyone has been very excited to welcome our new little friend. Throughout his growing up years, Jeff's mom had a succession of parakeets and Jeff has often talked about getting one.



Last night Jeff asked me find a cover for Pippin's cage. It amused me to give him this temporary solution:
Yes, those are cats.
 This morning, the little girls were squealing and screaming and I said, "Girls! Stop screaming or you'll upset Pippin." Instant quiet. I think I'm going to like this bird.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Big Day

So apparently this is post number 1000! I never imagined I would keep up a blog for this long, but I have loved every minute. Happy birthday (sort of), A Common Life!


Christmas morning was spent at home, just the six of us. I think Kaity brought the girls in our bedroom at 5? Too early, that's for sure! I had already gotten up at 3-something and set the monkey bread out on the counter to rise, so the first thing I did when the kids got up was to pop that in the oven. Then - present time! 

We kind of geeked out a little this Christmas. Star Wars, Doctor Who and Star Trek were well represented for sure.

The kids wore their new pajamas - a Christmas Eve tradition.

I mean. Is there anything cuter than a baby in footie pajamas?

Kaity crocheted a tiny Yoda doll as a gift for Joe. I think he likes it.

I got Jeff this "Tom Baker as Doctor Who" robe.
Here's Kaity in her Princess Leia pajamas. She and Joe got Ticket to Ride as a joint gift from Mom and Dad.

The classic "Mine!" pose, as demonstrated by Selah.

Both girls got new princess shoes.

Kaity in her Princess Leia pajamas, Doctor Who slippers (a gift from Nannie) and her ewok scarf.

Kaity, with her new Sherlock, Doctor Who and Harry Potter t-shirt. Yay for crossing fandoms!

Darth Vader hoodie for Joe! It even has a cape on the back,

Sheer adorableness in a hat from Aunt Jenn.
 Mama needed some geeky gear, too:
"Set phasers to stun!"
I also got coloring books with a new set of colored pencils, a Spock refrigerator magnet ("Ladies love a sharp-eared man.") and beef jerky.

Kaity-Kaity again. Isn't she cute?
Joe in his Star Wars/Harry Potter mash-up tee. I'm not sure he's changed out of it since Christmas morning.
After nerding out over our presents and noshing warm Monkey Bread, we loaded up Claire and headed to Grammie and Bobba's house!

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Very Pittard Christmas

One exciting thing that made this Christmas special is that Joe and Jennifer were able to come home for the holiday! They came to our house Tuesday night for a short visit, and then we all went to Ken and Cheryl's over the next two days to spend time together and celebrate Christmas. Naturally, Jason and Paige were there with their three. Ken and Cheryl's hearts were full at having all the children and grandchildren home at one time. I have many, many pictures, but I will do my absolute best to post only a dozen or so. No promises.

Raegan and Selah

Three out of four granddaughters snuggled on the couch: Kaity, Sarah and Raegan.

Joe, Jenn and me gathered around Joel's Kindle working on a word puzzle.

Joe and his little girl.

Sarah's expression when Uncle Jeff called her "Sarah Beth". Apparently she prefers being called Steve, Bob or Bobbie.

The boys, discussing important world events, like the new Star Wars movie.

Joel, like many teenage boys, is elusive when the camera is around. Also, please note the sibling argument in the background. Ah, just like home.
I love this expression on Jackson's face! At one point I told him he looked so much like his daddy and his response made me laugh: "Hey, my daddy looks just like your Uncle Jeff!"

Jacob and his new sword.

Raegan and Lauryn playing together.

Kaity and Sarah, attacking Uncle Jason from above while Raegan battles him with a sword.
I also love this expression on Paige's face! She was laughing at the children piling on her husband.

Kaity and Joe playing with Joe's new MineCraft LEGO set.
Lauryn was fascinated by Uncle Joe playing guitar.
Jeff and Ken
Ken and Cheryl with their three handsome boys!
(For those of you keeping score at home, that's 17 pictures. I should have known I couldn't manage it.)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Creative Christmas

I could post Christmas pictures from now until Valentine's Day if I shared all that we've done! I think we were really trying to make up for the flu plague that hit us last year when we weren't able to see anyone until practically after New Year's Day. One thing I did was something I've never done before (at least since I was child with Mom)... Gingerbread Man Cookies! I don't care for the taste of gingerbread, despite my childhood Christmas memories being scented with Lebkuchen. But it just seemed like a fun, traditional thing to do, so I baked up a large batch for the family to eat and to share with the neighborhood children. I never ate one, but judging by the rate at which they disappeared, I'd say they were pretty tasty!
I just used a simple white royal icing recipe and decorated with various sprinkles and decorations.
 I also made the kids' yearly ornaments this year. Sometimes I use store-bought, but this year I was in the mood for creativity. I bought little wooden plaques at a craft store and used scrapbooking paper I already had for the backing.

Then I painted the fronts of them in their favorite colors and added their initials. And before you start panicking about the extra ornament in there ... I made one for a friend, too! 

Then I just hot-glued ribbon to the tops for hanging on the tree. Easy-peasy, and now the children have 15, 11, 5, and 3 ornaments in their collections. 

Running out of wrapping paper with one gift left to wrap calls for creativity, too! I grabbed a roll of plain white paper from my stash and let the kids decorate Daddy's present with crayons, markers and colored pencils. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Ballet Performance

Earlier this month, Selah participated in a ballet performance at a nursing home. The residents love to see the little girls dancing - it's always a highlight of their Christmas season. I did video a portion, and naturally my camera's batteries died in the middle of it. 'Cause that's how I roll.

Anyway, I got some sweet pictures of our little blue ballerina!

Selah is the oldest girl in her class, and it's sweet seeing the other girls watch her.

Of course little Lauryn got a bit antsy, and wanted me to hold her.

And of course Mama obliged.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Day at the Zoo

Last week, Jeff took a half-day off from work and we surprised our kids with a trip to the zoo. It was our last chance to visit on our season pass!

Jeff and Kaity!

Red panda! Possibly the cutest thing ever. Up to and including my own children.


The twin pandas at the zoo were born the day before Lauryn.

On the carousel ...

To commemorate our fun year of zoo visits, I bought these two sweet little parakeets and hung them with ribbon as a Christmas tree ornament.