Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ketchup Post

No, actually, this post is not about ketchup

BUT I do need to catch up on the happenings of the Hamlin household, so here goes.  As I've mentioned before, I knew this kind of post would be necessary from time to time since I am busy with all that's going on and blogging is not exactly my first priority.

The next event on the list after James' birthday is Thanksgiving.  It was our year to spend Thanksgiving with Rich's side of the family, which makes it nice since we get to stay put--traveling with kids is something we try to avoid if possible!  Anyway, all of Rich's siblings except for Shannon were able to come to town, and it was especially good to see Ben and Judith since we knew they would soon be leaving for Germany.  Anna Ruth absolutely LOVED Adia Sulwen, and has now named several of her dolls after her little cousin. 
Anna Ruth holding Adia Sulwen
We all participated in the Turkey Day Run, which was a lot of fun.  Rich ran it, I walked it with the kiddos in the stroller, and Anna Ruth and James also did a kid's fun run after the race.  They each ran with their respective age groups and genders, but they both needed a parent to run alongside them (and in Anna Ruth's case, I had to practically drag her because she was scared to do it on her own).  They both got a t-shirt and a medal, and we hope that they next time, they will both do a bit better. 
After the race, we went back to Rich's parents' house to hang out, make food, and play a little 4-square.  We enjoyed a wonderful meal of ham, sweet potatoes, crockpot mac 'n' cheese, corn pudding, spinach salad, and pumpkin and apple pie for dessert.  Wish we would have gotten a picture of the food--it was amazing.  We always feel more justified in pigging out on Thanksgiving dinner after exercising in the morning.  :)

Anna Ruth's 5th birthday quickly followed Thanksgiving, and this was the first year we had an actual party for her where we invited some of her little friends over to celebrate with her.  She was so excited to have a princess-themed party!  We asked each of the girls to come dressed up as a princess, and the activities were as follows:  decorating princess-themed sugar cookies, decorating purple jewelry boxes with gems, giving make-overs, and playing dress-up.  A while back I had seen a castle cake online, and decided I would give it a try for Anna Ruth's birthday.  I made it purple, since that is her favorite color and added the princess figurines at her request.  I stayed up very late the night before the party making it, but it was worth the look on her face in the morning when she saw it.  She got lots of girly presents including a princess comforter for her bed, a Rapunzel dress-up outfit, a ballet nightgown with a matching nightgown for her doll, and a special gift from Daddy--a real pearl necklace and bracelet set.  We can't believe how fast our little girl has grown up! 
front of the castle cake

back of the castle cake
Anna Ruth showing off her new pearls from Daddy

our little princess on her 5th birthday

Anna Ruth wearing the new nightgown with her matching doll sitting on the new princess comforter
A few days after Anna Ruth's birthday, she performed in her ballet Christmas prgram.  Her little class danced to "Away in a Manger", and it was adorable!  She was scared at the beginning, but she pulled herself together and did a great job.  (As a funny sidenote, whenever James hears the song "Away in a Manger", he starts twirling, with his hands above his head, just like Anna Ruth does in her dance.)
a big smile before the program

Anna Ruth striking a pose
Christmas was spent with my side of the family this year, and my 3 sisters were all able to be here along with my parents and my grandmother (my Dad's mom).  It was pretty chaotic with 8 kids in the house (my oldest sister Sarah's 6 and our 2), but the adults had just as much fun as the kids.  We enjoyed many wonderful meals, played games, had a comedy night, sang Christmas carols, went out thrift store shopping and out to lunch, and opened TONS of gifts on Christmas!  Again, I wish I had gotten more pictures, but everything seemed to happen so fast and stay so busy, that I rarely thought about getting out my camera.  We also celebrated Sarah's 30th birthday and Milienne's 11th birthday, which are both on December 29th.  Overall, it was a blast, and we are looking forward to the next time we will all be together.  
the living room full of presents!

(from left to right) Sarah, Jessica, Mom, Olivia (me), Lisa
We are wearing the matching pajamas Sarah got us.
Just in case you didn't see our family picture we sent out this year in our Christmas newsletter, here it is:

One of Rich's Christmas gifts to me this year was a real pearl necklace, that I absolutely love!  I wore it to a wedding, and Rich wanted to get a picture of me with it on.

Other than holiday festivities, we've also been keeping busy attending lots of oyster roasts associated with Rich's work, going to lots of doctor's appointments, getting back into the routine of Anna Ruth's school one day a week, going to the library, etc.  I've also started working on some smocking projects that I would like to get done before this little boy shows up in early March.  I have plans to smock 3 dresses for Anna Ruth and one outfit for the new baby.  On Monday I started on the first dress and have made some good progress on it.  I will post more pictures as I get each one finished.  
This is a spring dress for Anna Ruth that will have pink and purple tulips on it.

Thanks for reading, and I will try to do better, so that I don't have to have such long ketchup posts in the future! ;)