Oh my. Our daughter is funny sometimes. She really likes to help clean the toilets. Great, right? Usually, it is! Although this particular day there's a chance I had to stick my hand in some questionable water to retrieve a cleaning device. Yuck. I sent her downstairs to work on the downstairs bathroom, and this is what was happening. If you don't normally enjoy videos, this one really might be worth your time!!

Oh, Oliver. He just loves his sister!!! Does whatever she's doing!!!! Yes, they are grooming My Little Ponies!!

Avery wanted me to straighten her hair the other day as I was doing mine! I was amazed at how fast just a little section went. So, the next day we did her whole head! It was fun to see her with such a different look! Hard to imagine she'll be 5 in one week!!! I can't believe I signed her up for kindergarten. I can't believe she's starting to read and write sentences! It really is amazing! Here is my straight-haired big girl!!!

Oliver's basketball skills have now progressed to some dribbling! I laugh just a little bit too hard in this video at his funny look- but I couldn't help it! What was that look for???

Here is the previously mentioned "chicken wing" caught on tape!!

Oliver got a new hat. He apparently feels really cool in it.Everyone... and I do mean everyone was grumpy the other day. So, we all put in side ponytails and the day just turned around!Oliver knows how to get on the couch now. All he does is tackle Avery and come close to falling off. trouble.
He painted himself with yogurt. He was quite proud. We used it to give him a mohawk!
We finally made it to Christmas!!! We had a family celebration here before our trip to Arizona. Avery really was so excited this year! She couldn't wait!

Avery and her lip gloss. Oh my. She actually received this from Erica, but wow. I thought she'd use it up in one day with all of her re-applications. All morning with the lip gloss!Helping daddy assemble the Barbie townhouse! I didn't include many pictures of Avery from Christmas morning because all of her pictures came out with closed eyes. She must have been so excited she couldn't keep her eyes open! So enjoy this one!

Oliver with one of the many balls he received!

I'd like to introduce you to what we call The Chicken Wing. When Oliver gets excited, he flaps one arm. So we named it the chicken wing and now he does it on command! Here it is in full effect!

Some serious fun was had that morning! They really had a wonderful Christmas! Shortly thereafter, we hopped in the car- a day early- and headed out for our 15 hour drive! Many of you know, Avery got the stomach flu during hour 13 of our drive. Horrible. Avery's not really a "trooper" when it comes to being sick. So the fact that it was happening after a really long day, was quite terrible!!

But once we got to AZ, there was lots of fun to be had! It took her almost a week before she was feeling better. But the excitement of Christmas pulled her through!!

Oliver enjoying his stocking stuffers!He loved this rocking chair that his cousins received!Speaking of cousins... talk about fun! There four of them- ages 4, 2, 1, and 1. Yikes! It was loud, crazy, full of chase, and wild!!! Actually, we didn't attempt to get a picture of them together. But here are the ones we could catch! Avery and Karsen... they wore each other out!! Ooohhh, mischief!!!

Kamy and Oliver really just looked at each other. Not a whole lot of playing together going on there!

Ok, I think we're caught up now!! Phew!

So moving on through December, Avery had her dance recital right before we left for Arizona. It was pretty great! Her little studio did The Nutcracker. She got all dolled up, put on her ill fitting, too expensive costume (oops, was I not supposed to say that?), and danced her little heart out!
Practicing her moves backsage!

So Erin and Tyler came to visit! Unfortunately we had to shoo them off early because we decided to get out of town early to beat a big snow storm! But here is Erin coloring with Oliver. She doesn't look super enthused, but its so cute that Oliver was coloring! Oliver snoozing with his favorite babysitter (and monkey and kitty cat!)
Avery at her preschool Christmas party.
Oliver has learned the art of hiding! All we have to say is "where's Oliver?" and he'll run to this little nook and hide. He's very tricky!

Awwww.... Oliver lovin' on his sister!
Then the mischievious twinkle in his eye comes...
Starting to get a little crazy...
Bouncing on sister....
Wa hoo... the big finish!!!! This was merely one capture of an event that took place over and over!
Then on some other separate, random occasion we were running errands. Oliver fell asleep. He is famous for talk, talk, talkin' one second and then two seconds later, he looks like this. Now kids fall asleep in the car all of the time. But his little death grip on his water bottle... so cute.
Ok. It's time for the big catch-up. Christmas happened. Since our Christmas letter got sent out after the new year, I suppose its only fitting that I'd be posting Christmas pictures on January 14th. Let's begin with the world's worst tree. It was terrible. It never really took much water, it wilted really fast, and locked in all of the internal ornaments with it's extrodinarily dry branches!! And, we kept trying to straighten it, then we figured that the whole triangle shape was just off kilter from the main trunk... terrible.
Here, you'll see that we were so set on not dealing with a 15-month-old messing with presents, we put the tree in a corner on a table, blocked it off with furniture, and put the presents in the tv nook!! Ridiculous. Oliver definitley doesn't have that "smile for the camera" thing down. at all.Oliver isn't convinced this is a good idea. Avery has really warmed to Santa! She told him she wanted a Three Muskateers Barbie and that Oliver wanted a ball (which he did!!).Doesn't it look like the reindeer's hoof is holding Oliver in place?Ok, see ya next post!