John and Dana

and our life with the munchkins!

Christmas Day 2010

This Christmas morning the kids woke up and giggled all the way down the stairs to find all of their goodies Santa had stashed under the tree. We let them open their stockings while John and I woke up. That took about 2 seconds and they were ready for round 2 of present opening. The one thing the kids all wanted were those godforsaken Pillow Pets. So of course Santa went all out! Kaelyn got her ladybug, Ian got his dolphin (definitely not a comfortable pillow) and Gavin got a dog.  The kids also got other miscellaneous things like more wooden train tracks, puzzles, LuLu the Kitty that doesn’t ever stop meowing, and some board games.

The boys got dinosaurs from Santa in their stockings.

Gavin looking for more.

He was being such a cutie pie Christmas morning!

Kae with her Dolly and Buttercup. The boys also got Mr. Pricklepants, Rex, Trixie, Lotso and Stretch, all from Toy Story 3 of course, in their stockings as well.

Oh man, there she is. 13lb LuLu. That’s all I have to say.

Gavin lovin on LuLu. Thinking that this cat doesn’t run away from me!

Ian got some extension pieces to make his Thomas and Brio wooden railway systems bigger. Little did he know a much bigger railway surprise was waiting for him at Nana and Papas!

After the opening of gifts at home, we headed over to my parents house to opening up stockings, gifts and have John’s special biscuits and gravy breakfast before Baga had to work. The kids got more spoiled with all the attention from Maga, Baga and Uncle Steve and loved seeing what was hidden under all the wrapping paper. By this point, Gavin was kind of over the whole “gift” thing but Kae and Ian had no problems helping opening his gifts.

Ramone, from Cars, was in Ian’s stocking. He has been sleeping with him ever since. He also changes color, totally  just like the REAL THING! Too cute.

Kaelyn with her Selena Gomez and the Scene CD from Uncle Steve. She got this one signed by Uncle Dane today. Kaelyn also got the animals she wanted from the American Girl doll catalog, along with some more accessories and clothing for her dolls.

Gavin with his very own pop-up toy.

My dad got his Griswold Family Christmas shirt from us. It vividly brought back memories of putting our own cut down tree on top of his jeep and having it fly off the top of the car onto Rt.31. Oh the memories. Definitely one Christmas memory I won’t forget. It’s a bit full. Lot of sap. *spits*

I just love how this picture came out. Seabrook Island and Dad, two things that go very well together! Mom ended up getting some awesome new pj’s, perfume, and necklace. Dad got a rocking new esspresso maker and made some for all of us! It was truly a great Christmas morning. (also, his mustache is back…if anyone was wondering 😉 )

After our Cathony celebration, we headed home and  all took naps. We then headed over for round 4 of Christmas! The Rork Christmas! Nana, Papa, Megan, Pat and Al were all around to join in the festivities! Nana and Papa made an awesome roast, with tons of sides and drinks to go around!

Kaelyn opened up her big gift from Nana and Papa and it was her very own American Girl doll, Lanie!

Auntie Megan made Kaelyn and Lanie matching hats for the winter months!

During the BIG reveal! Ian and Gavin got their own Brio table and new track set from Nana and Papa!

The one and only time we will capture on camera the boys behaving so nicely and sharing.

Well Santa got a bit carried away. The boys love Toy Story and so does Mommy, so Santa decided to get them their awesome Buzz and Woody pjs for Christmas this year. He was able to find some Tangled jammies for Ms. Kiki too.

 

I’m almost finished wrapping up the end of the year posts. Just a few more to go and I’ll be all caught up! Next up blog: Downstate Springfield Trip to see Nana Nana and Papa Papa! We had a blast and are still full from all the eating we did down there 😉 Healthier foods and exercise are on our agenda in the new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As you may have requested…

I have made these quite a few times now, John’s Aunt Toni makes the best cookies and offered up this recipe. Never fails when you need to get over a chocolate craving. Mmm!

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

Level: Easy 🙂

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Nestle Toll House Baking Cocoa

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (1 package) Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees. Combine Flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in separate bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Enjoy, makes about 4 dozen cookies!

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Plan Day

For those of you who don’t know me really REALLY well, I LOVE planning and calculating and being a nerd basically. So I make lists and have  3 different calendars. I also did my taxes the day we got our W-2’s. And you thought JOHN was nerdy. Yeah…I’m a bazillion times worse. So Wednesdays are my planning days. I make a list of what we are going to eat for the following week because the Jewel and Valli Produce ad’s come out today. Also I guess you have to be organized/prepared with 3 kids.

So, John and I tend to plan our meals a few days in advance, like if its going to be something we know the kids won’t eat. This Friday is Mussel Friday. Its basically mussels in a white wine/shallot/tomato broth that you eat with crunchy wonderous ( YES I KNOW ITS NOT  A REAL WORD) bread, and wine. Yes folks, we do get excited about the little things. And I actually like cooking now. It’s giving me something else to do.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mussels-in-white-wine-recipe/index.html

Thanks to mom and dad for finding this amazing recipe years ago, because it is definitely a keeper.

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