Happy Day After Thanksgiving everyone! I'll use our pictures to detail the day. The second pic shows Mikayla full of smiles while we were in line at Starbucks - on our way to the Festival of Trees. Unfortunately, the family had a less-than-smiling morning (in contrast to our expectations), due to: not winning at the same time as the rest of the family at Macy's Day Bingo (Mikayla),not being responsible for ones' own mess (Brayden), and a little "discussion" between John and I - always a nice thing when 3 out of 4 of the family members are in tears before 10am! On the other hand, to be able to model a heated arguement in front of the kids, and then communication, clarifiation and resolution in front of them as well, - well, I don't think that's such a bad thing for them to see. (Not to mention for them to grasp now that not every day that we build up to be perfect will always live up to our expecations....) All this said, we loved the smiles that started to shine once we left the house...
Here Brayden is hanging out with his stuffed-bear buddy at the Festival.
Getting Brayden to go talk to Santa took a little coaxing. We persuaded him that he was doing it for Mikayla and he could just stand by the big guy. However, as he stood next to him, Santa told him to take a seat on his lap, and I was pleased that Brayden obliged and went alont with it all. It was kind of a cute interaction - Brayden is apparently demonstrating with his hand signal that all he wants for Christmas is peace on Earth. =)
The nice thing about Sweetwaters is that it is situated right along the Willamette River. John took aobut 50 pictures trying to capture this shot...
I'm not so sure Mom is going to be so pleased with this picture of her, but I loved Dad's expression. After the year he's had, Mom is going to have to deal with it in order to show that awesome smile on Dad's face!
A nice little close-up of Mikayla and I. I know I've mentioned this before, but we were even laughing with her that all she wants for Christmas is to LOSE her two front teeth! (They're getting looser....) And, clearly, that blonde hair came straight from me! (Ha-ha...)
Ah, another Mom and child - a sweet shot of John and his Mom-
Recognizing that my children are so much better behaved in a restaurant if they are kept captivated, I went online and printed out some fun Thanksgiving activity and coloring sheets. They were a huge hit, the kids were as exceptional as they've ever been...
Oh, that coloring has improved so much over the years-
Mikayla's giving that angelic look like, "Me, cause a problem? Wherever would you get that idea?". Actually, she only got semi-hyper when it came to eating the bread-rolls - she was a little obsessed with them.
Following dinner, we headed across the street to the Valley River Center mall and watched "Madagascar 2". It was good movie, apparently Brayden really enjoyed it. I think some of the appeal was lost as you already knew what to expect from the characters. I'd say it'd make a great Dollar Theater movie choice - or DVD rental... John chose to use his time wisely to get a nice nap so that he'd be able to survive his midnight shopping adventure. Hey, whatever works.
Mom and Dad came by the house to pick up Sydney for the weekend after that, and allow Mom and I (as well as our reluctant husbands) to puruse the ads and map out our strategy for today's adventures. This picture shows her reaction after hearing the suggested time for when we should begin... (Not really, but I thought it was a fun caption...) Really, she was enjoying the pumpkin pie.
Mikayla loves pumpkin pie as well - she was quite animated about it all-
John took off soon after with Travis for their outlet shopping, and I took my time around the house packing up as we'll be pretty much gone all weekend (outside of the short return time after shopping today to dump off our bounty). On the way up to Michele's house, the kids watched "Elf" for the first time this season - and it was such a joy to hear Brayden's constant laughter. That has to be one of his all-time favorite movies. At the end, Brayden said, "you know, that movie just never gets old...". Too fun - man, do I have a lot to be thankful for!