Elf Mommy and Elf Daddy had Santa's Workshop in full steam mode on Monday Night. Mommy was a wrapping fool and Daddy put together a Kidcraft Kitchen in a record 3 1/2 hours!!! Go Elfs!!
"Twas a couple nights before Christmas, and in the Dever house;
Mommy and Daddy were working, trying to be as quiet as a mouse.
The kitchen was being put together by Daddy with great care,
In hopes to convince Emerson that St. Nick will have been there.
With Emerson all nestled and snug in her bed,
Mommy and Daddy worked 'til they were almost dead.
Daddy with THE KITCHEN and I with gift wrap,
Knew it would be a long time before our winter's nap.
Daddy was in our loft and I never heard a clatter.
This couldn't be right, something had to be the matter.
Putting together a kitchen was sure to make a clash;
40 pieces of wood would make me want to dash.
Mommy continued wrapping but her progess seemed slow,
She was worried about Daddy and his new kitchen foe.
When what to my wondering ears should I hear,
But a happy Daddy saying, "I'm all done in here, my dear!"
"What are you talking about, how did you do it so quick?"
"Well, my dear, I'm the elf of dear Old St. Nick!"
Mommy was baffled, the instructions did claim,
"Don't wait til Christmas Eve or you'll be ashamed!"
Not a curse word, not a sigh, no stomping about
Daddy looked at Mommy like he never had any doubt.
Without any frustration or yelling at all,
He finished it, he finished it, he finished it ALL!
Check that off the To Do list, and let out a sigh
I still wouldn't believe it, if I didn't see it with my own eye.
Now on to the presents, 'cause Mommy wrapped a few
an assortment of sizes, shapes and all different hues.
Mommy was busy too, yes, it's the truth,
Just look at the floor if you need the proof.
The presents were there all scattered around
Some of them single, others in a mound.
"Let's get going, we'll take them by foot,
Under the tree is where these presents will get put."
Mommy and Daddy were tired and about ready to crack
It was 1:30 in the morning and we were ready to hit the sack.
But, how does the saying go? 'Tis the season to be merry,
Now where is that damn Clean-Up Fairy!
We hid the kitchen so it would not show,
and put the presents under our Christmas tree a glow.
We can't wait to see Em's reaction when she looks underneath.
Glad that task is over, whew, what a relief.
We've been up half the night, now, our legs feel like jelly
and I'm sure in the morning we're gonna look like helly!
We accomplished our mission, we were really quite stealth
That kitchen wasn't going to get put together by itself. Alright, Alright it's time for bed I feel this slight pain starting at the top of my head. We've checked off our list and done enough work "There's plenty more to do tomorrrow!" I said with a smirk. We got into bed and hit our sleeping pose We are so glad this night finally came to a close One last comment came out like a small quiet whistle "Tomorrow, don't let me forget to run the Bissel!!" But, here we exclaim as we turn off our light "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a GOOD NIGHT"
On Sunday afternoon Danny, Emerson and I attended a Jingle Jolly Party (not sure if that was the official name, but that's what I am calling it) hosted by Haegan, one of Emerson's classmates, and her family. The party was such a great idea...we all gathered at Haegan's house with her parents, brothers, and brothers friends and set out to go caroling around the neighborhood. Haegan's dad is a Durham police officer so he got in car and put his blue lights on to lead everyone around the neighborhood. Haegan, Aurora (another classmate) and Emerson all had so much fun, singing all the new songs in their repertoire. After caroling, we came back to the house to meet Santa. Everyone got a chance to sit on Santa's lap. It was a great party and fun afternoon!! Thanks for inviting us Haegan!!
Emerson's class is visited by Ms. Beth, the music teacher, every week. She teaches them songs and dances and they always have a great time. I always know when it's been a "Ms. Beth Day" because Emerson comes home singing. You might remember my Christmas in October post about Emerson coming home from school one day singing "Jingle Bells". Ms. Beth and her teachers were preparing Emerson and her classmates for their first ever Christmas Pageant. They practiced every week with Ms. Beth and daily in the classroom with Ms. Rosa, Ms. Stacy, and Ms. Kara. Mommy and Daddy tried to help Emerson as well, singing with her at home, having conversations with her about being on a stage and looking out to lots of people, not being scared, and letting her know we would be there watching but she might not be able to see us. We also thought she would only be singing Jingle Bells and Happy Birthday to Jesus, until we found out Thursday night, from Emerson herself, that there were 3 songs. All of this preparation led up to the main event, Emerson's First Christmas Pageant, this past Friday.
When I dropped Emerson off on Friday morning, I asked the teacher what time we should get to the church sanctuary that afternoon for the 3:00 pm performance...her response, "Oh, no later than 2:15 or you won't get a spot!" Seriously?? Well, she was right! Danny and I showed up right at 2:15 and there were already about 10 families seated with tripods and cameras in place. We managed to snag and save seats in the 3rd and 4th row (both sets of grandparents came to Emerson's inaugural performance). So, for 45 minutes we waited, waited and waited. I was nervous, I've been there before, in front of all those people during dance recitals, and I know how I always felt and I was old enough to know what was going on, I wasn't 2 1/2. It was that fear that made me nervous for my little one. Danny and I actually had a bet going on; I was sure Emerson was going to do one of two things....either sing the loudest or stand on stage searching for her parents, or rather grandparents for that matter, and then cry when she saw us and couldn't get to us. So, between my fear for Emerson and my anxiety on which of the two Emerson performances we would see that day, I was ready to get this show on the road.
At about five minutes until 3:00 pm, the door to the sanctuary opened and all you could see was the petrified look on the first toddler in line. They all filed in one by one, in their neatly organized line; that is, until Ms. Emerson walked in and tried to make a v-line for her parents, shouting, "Daddy, Daddy!" at the same time. Laughter came from the crowd and I knew we were in for a big surprise. Rosa quickly grabbed her and they took the toddlers behind the screen until it was time for their performance. Ms. Gail, the daycare director, came on stage and welcomed everyone to the show, making a quick note to tell the parents of the two year old class not to wave at them or they would be off the stage and running into the crowd. After Ms. Gail's welcome, Emerson's teachers began the process of getting the kids on stage. Emerson surely made a memorable entrance from behind that screen and didn't stop until the performance was over.
Okay, I won't make you wait any longer....here is the video of the performance. Pictures and more blogging are below. If the video doesn't load fast enough, you can click on the link below the video to be taken to the hosting website. Enjoy!!
I can't imagine why I even had the slightest inkling of nerves for Emerson, can you? I didn't see one ounce of nerves or stage fright in that child. Of course I have watched the video about 30 times now and still laugh EVERY TIME. When I say that Emerson is a mess, a spit fire, spirited, full of herself, full of life, a joy and so on; that video corroborates it all.
After the show we headed back to Emerson's class for some treats and some more fun with her classmates. We hugged Emerson and told her how proud we were of her, to which she responded, "Mommy, all the peoples came to watch me and stood in my spot and you and Daddy were in your spot and the peoples watched me." Yes, Emerson all the "peoples" watched you; you entertained us all!!! I could tell Emerson was proud of herself for getting up in front of everyone and singing. She was certainly hamming it up in her classroom and showing off in front of her grandparents. We can tell that Emerson really loves her class, classmates and teachers, and that is the most important thing to us. The best way to top off the whole day was dinner with all the grandparents and SNOW. Although the snow didn't stick, it was the perfect ending to our first Christmas Pageant experience and really set the mood for the festivities we have in store for us this coming week. I can't wait until next year's show!!!
For Emersons's first Christmas (at five months old), we took her to see her first "mall" Santa Claus; she really could've cared less and didn't really know what was going on. Last year, though, at a year and five months old, Emerson wanted nothing to do with a "mall" Santa Claus. She wouldn't get close to him and only wanted to see him from afar. She was still a bit young and still didn't quite understand the whole concept of Santa. The only time she got excited about Santa was when he was in a book or was one of the many fake Santas in our house. This year has been a bit different, though, Emerson really gets the concept of Santa and has really showed interest in talking to him. I think being in an older class this year has really helped her. She has said on many different occassions that she wanted to go sit on Santas lap and has even listed off what she will ask Santa to bring her (a kitchen, a flower, a ball, a babydoll and a present).
So, last Sunday (12.13.09), like crazy people, we took our chances at Southpoint Mall for a visit to see and talk to Santa Claus. (In years past, the elves were giving out restaurant pagers for the line to see Santa because the wait got up to two hours long.) We arrived at the mall right at 11:00 a.m. thinking we could grab lunch and then head down early to stand in line for a 12:00 noon opening for Santa. Ahh, we were wrong; when we got there at 11:00, there were already 4 people in line. Danny promptly filed in and took 5th place. Emerson and I proceeded to walk around the mall, buy some presents, and waste time. Around 11:50, I returned Emerson to Danny and then headed to my post for picture taking. Emerson was very patient waiting in line, but you could tell she was getting more anxious with every minute.
Waiting patiently for Santa!
Finally at 12 noon (on the dot), Santa Claus emerged walking towards all the eager patrons. There was an audible cheer and then there was our little Emerson who shouted, "Santa Claus, Santa Claus, that's my Santa Claus". She was so excited and even got Santa's attention with her joy. The elves came over and opened the robes to begin the process. The first child went in; Emerson watched intently and was sizing up this new process. She was such a good little girl waiting for her time to see Santa. And then, it was her turn and off she went with no hesitation, she hopped right up in Santa's lap. I stood outside and took pictures and Danny stood on the other side of the photographer, so neither of us could hear what Emerson and Santa were talking about. (With all the rehearsing that went on of the list, we were sure she wouldn't miss a thing and would run down that list with Santa with no problems.) A few smiles and pictures, a Ho Ho Ho, and a hug for Santa and then Emerson was off his lap and running to her Daddy!!
Telling Santa what she wants for Christmas!!
The professional Santa picture
I met Emerson on the other side of the Santa area with a big hug and kiss and an "Emerson, I am so proud of you". I asked Emerson if she told Santa everything she wanted. She looked at me and said, "Yes, Mommy. I told him I wanted a ball, a flower, and a present." I said, "What about the kitchen and the babydoll". Her eyes welled up with tears, a concerned look came across her face and she started this little whine she does when she is sad. She looked at me and said (as she was turning back to go talk to Santa), "I didn't tell him, Mommy". I took her hand and told her it would be okay and reassured her that Santa knows, he knows exactly what you want. Even though she seemed fine with my answer, she still wanted to sit and watch Santa. I think she was in complete awe of him.
Emerson didn't want to leave, she wanted to talk to Santa again!
I must say, it was the perfect real "first" Santa experience. It really sealed in the excitement that is in our house right now about Christmas. I am sure this Santa visit will become a yearly tradition that we do for years and years to come!!
Last Saturday (12.12.09) we took Emerson to Disney on Ice's Let's Celebrate, her first ever "production" of this type. We are trying to acclimate Emerson to all the characters before our trip next month. We were joined by the Hermans, so Emerson was super excited to sit next to Ivie like a "big girl". Emerson really enjoyed herself clapping, laughing, and dancing to all the songs, only getting a bit scared when the Halloween Celebration started. This production was all about "celebrations" and included a Winter Wonderland with Mickey and Minnie, a Halloween haunt with the Disney villains, a very merry Un-Birthday Party, a royal ball with all Disney Princesses, and various holidays, celebrations from around the globe.
We couldn't leave without a souvenir, right? So, during intermission Danny and Emerson ventured to the lobby to see what was available (there was a souvenir table about every 10 feet, so there was no way any parent was getting out of there without buying something). When Danny and Emerson returned to our seats, Emerson was carrying this spinning/light contraption. She loves it!!
We had a great time and I can't wait to go to Disney World, Emerson is going to be in awe. I've included some pictures from the day. Luckily, I am getting to share these with you. Amy and I both got busted at various times during our excursion because of our cameras. I was told as we were entering the building that I couldn't bring in my 2nd detachable lens (well that sucks, what's a girl to do??), they said we would have to take it back to the car. So, being desperate for that lens, I turned to my husband and partner in crime and I sent him "back to the car" with the lens. But really I told him to go out and put the lens in his jacket and sneak it in (shhh, don't tell!). Luckily that worked and now I have great pictures to share with you. I am hoping there are many more of these productions in our future.
There are two running themes going on in our house right now, DISNEY and CHRISTMAS. So combining the two of them is bonus points. A couple of weeks ago, we had a family adventure to Lowe's Home Improvement; I was looking for some things for to add to our Christmas decorations. I walked away from Emerson and Danny for a couple of minutes to check something out and when I returned, Emerson was holding this Cinderella snow globe/music box (can you tell someone has her Daddy wrapped around her finger). She was so excited about it that he JUST couldn't say no. I think we heard the same song about 30 times on our car ride home. So, we knew one day this would end up being a Show-and-Tell item and since all of December's items are Christmas themed...what better time to send it to school with her for Show-and-Tell.
Although we weren't very busy in November, the month seemed to fly by. Danny had two trips in November, an overnight to Atlanta and then a 6 day trip to Anaheim, California...6 Days!!! I think Emerson and I were ready to kill each other by the time he got home. Danny made up for it though, he brought Emerson a Minnie Mouse from Disneyland and gave me a bunch of girl time by watching Emerson. It did seem like a spent a lot of time with some of my favorite women this month. I was invited to go to a girls night down in Pinehurst to attend the Festival of Trees. I did a girls brunch with Emerson, Mimi and Betsy at Fearrington and a shopping excursion at the Durham/Orange County Junior League Holiday Market with Mimi and Betsy. The best day of all was spending the afternoon shooting my little cutie and getting some of my favorite pictures EVER of her. We also helped welcome a new addition to the Dever Family. Grammy and Papa got their new puppy, Brutus. Oh yeah, and we celebrated Thanksgiving...so I guess it was a busy month but certainly the calm before December's storm. Here are some of the blog highlights:
(click on the link below to see the original blog post)
I hope you can re-enjoy (or enjoy for the first time) the blog posts.
A Note about Flashback Friday
So I am caught up with my monthly pictures that I have been sharing every Friday for Flashback Fridays. I started Flashback Fridays so that I could catch everyone up with what went on with the Devers, since I was pretty slack with this blog in the beginning. Now that I am caught up with the monthly flashbacks, I am going to move my monthly posts to the last day of each current month. So, for example, you will get December's monthly round of pictures on December 31st. I obviously can't call these Flashback Fridays because they won't always occur on a Friday. (I am not sure what to call these posts and would be happy to entertain any suggestions...Monthly Review? The Month in Review?) I will continue Flashback Fridays every Friday but these posts will now look back with pictures, videos, memories. I hope you have enjoyed getting caught up with all the Dever happenings. I have surely enjoyed getting you all, myself, and this blog caught up.
The Nester is one of my favorite craft/home decor bloggers. I've followed her blog for about a year now. She is the type of person I want to be best friends with, shop with, give her full reign of my house to do as she sees fit with. I religiously follow her blog, and can't wait for the next edition to end up in my inbox. I love her outlook on decorating; functional, lived in, not-to-stuffy but classy, and most importantly, "It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect, To Be Beautiful!!" So, when The Nester announced on her blog that she was taking over The Christmas Tour of Homes from Boo Mama (another great blogger), I decided I was going to link in this year. Last year, I followed the tour from The Nester's post and enjoyed seeing everyone's decorations in blogger world, but this year, I decided to do a link of my own, especially since The Nester was the new host. The tour was supposed to start tomorrow morning but it seems the Nester posted early tonight and when I checked the site there were already 165 links to the tour. I am going to go ahead and post and link up to this year's Christmas Tour of Homes with the Nester. So, without further ado, here is our home all dolled up for the season. I hope you enjoy the tour. Thanks for doing this again Nester, I hope one day our paths cross, especially since you are a fellow North Carolinian and only live 2 hours away!!
All lit up for Santa's arrival....
(as Emerson says, "We have to decorate the house so Santa will come")
To see how other bloggers have decorated their homes or to link up and show off your home, click on the Christmas Tour of Homes logo at the top of this blog to take you to The Nester's blog, her tour and all the links to other bloggers tours.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!!!
This past Saturday, we headed to the NC Museum of Life and Science with the Herman Clan for the museum's annual Santa Train. It is such a great idea and had it not been raining and 30 degrees, I think we all might have enjoyed it a bit more. Don't get me wrong, it was fun, we did enjoy it and the kids enjoyed it but I think had it been a bit warmer and not drizzling, we would have stayed and enjoyed some of the activities set up at the various booths. The most exciting part, obviously, was the train ride to the "North Pole". We arrived just as the train was pulling into the station and then began loading for the 5:40 pm trip (we were on the 6:00 pm trip). Emerson didn't quite understand why we didn't get on that train and was so sad when it pulled away from the station. She had the saddest look on her face, even after we explained that we would be on the next train. I think she thought that she wasn't going to get to see Santa Claus. She was so excited when that train pulled back into the station and it was our time to board. All Aboard!! We all found our seats and soon we were on our way to Santa's house.
We came to a stop in the woods to find a house lit up with lights and lots of "blow-up" figurines depicting the North Pole. An elf came out to greet everyone, he gave all the kids candy canes and let them know that Santa would be by to see them soon. Santa made his rounds to all the girls and boys. When Santa finally got to Emerson, she was shy at first but soon warmed right up when he asked her what she wanted for Christmas; she said, with much enthusiasm, a doll, a kitchen and a present. She's still confused on the whole present thing!! He repeated her list back to her (even the present part) and said, he would see what he could do! Before we pulled away from Santa's house, he told us to look in the woods for Rudolph as we continued on our adventure; he said we would see his flashing red nose. Sure enough, about half-way back to the station, the train slowed down a bit and all of a sudden in the dense trees, a red flashing light went leaping through the brush. All the kids squealed with excitement when they spotted Rudolph's red nose.
After the train ride, we had a quick minute for thawing out under the standing warmers and some sips of hot chocolate, which Emerson LOVED!!! Then we made a mad dash for the warmth of a heated car and heated seats (I just love when we can use our auto start on the car and it's toasty when we get to it!) Nothing can top off a cold night visiting Santa better than Bullock's Bar-B-Que, at least in Dale Herman's mind, so we headed to Bullock's for some good 'ol Southern Bar-B-Que. All-in-all, it was a great night with great friends and that jolly old guy in the red suit!!!
Last Friday, I rushed home so that Danny, Emerson and I could go pick out our Christmas tree. It had rained pretty much all week, so we were taking opportunity where we could get it, especially since rain was in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. For the past seven years, we have gotten our tree from Scott's. (We actually get out pumpkins from them for Halloween as well.) Emerson was very excited to go pick out our Christmas tree. She has pretty much been excited about all aspects of this Christmas this year. Holding Emerson's hand, we headed toward the trees to start searching for just the perfect one, when all of a sudden, we came to a standstill. Emerson's heels dug in the ground like a bulldogs and she wouldn't budge. She spotted the fake, blow-up Santa that was sitting in his chair waving and she wasn't moving one more inch. I had to pick her up to walk past him. We eventually got closer and closer to him, eventually touching him and even hugging him but it took awhile to get there. (Emerson was very leary of Mall Santas last year but this year she has seemed more interested, especially since you have to tell him what you want for Christmas so he can bring it to you. We will see how it goes when we attempt a "Mall Santa" this weekend.) We walked around the entire tree lot until we found the perfect tree and until Emerson approved of it. We think we found a great one...smaller than some of ours in past years, but it fits in our living room corner perfectly. You can see it on display Monday when I participate in The Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes. Check back Monday for The Dever's house tour.
I realized the other day that I never posted anything about our Thanksgiving. I guess I got wrapped up in preparing for Christmas. We had a pretty low-key Thanksgiving. We all got up and had breakfast together, watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, cooked and baked, napped (well, the toddler napped), got Christmas decorations out (while the toddler napped), then headed to Grammy and Papa's for dinner with Grammy/Papa, Mimi/Birdie, and Danny, Emerson and me. It was a great day; very nice to spend time with the most important people in our lives.
Every Thursday is Movie Day at Emerson's school. All the kids bring in a movie and they watch some of them throughout the day in their movie room. On the way home from school last Thursday, I asked Emerson what movie they watched today. She said, with much enthusiasm, "Rudolph Red Nose." So when it came time to pick out a Show-and-Tell item that night for the next school day, I asked her if she would like to take her Rudolph book to school. She was very excited. This is the first installment of the December Christmas-themed Show-and-Tell items:
Yes, this is a day late...my computer literally took 3 hours to upload the pictures last night, so at 11:45 pm, I called it quits. Without further ado...Flashback Friday (a day late)!!
It's Flashback Friday, Y'all!!!
October was a crazy month for us...CRAZY!! You know it's a crazy month when you look in your Picasa folder and the month of October has 2,816 pictures. (Yes, my friends, your eyes didn't lie, it really did just say 2,816!!!) Granted, some of those were from a birthday party (so not all of Emerson), some were from my "photog in crime", Amy, and some were from my mom, but for the most part, I was pretty click-happy in October for all of our gazillion outings. Here's a recap of our October:
Note: Click on any of the subject links to take you directly to the original blog post, in case you missed it the first time, (in red) or the reference website (in green). Sorry, this post has lots of links!!
*Danny went to Vegas to help his brother and his company, SDF Strapping, for a huge trade show. I think it went really well, and I hear that they really WORKED the whole time. Of course, Emerson really missed her dad but was so excited to get her Pink Presents and Monies upon his return.
*While Danny was in Vegas, Emerson and I attended Cameron's 4th birthday party. My mom came along to take care of Emerson, so that I could get some pics of the party for Monica.
*For the past two years we have gone Pumpkin Patchin' with the Hermans, let's hope it remains a tradition. Always a good time, and always a lot of great pictures!!!
*We followed the North Carolina crowd in mid October to the NC State Fair and had a blast, BOTH TIMES! Yes, that's right, we didn't get enough the first time around with the clan that went (The Beales, The Cherrys, and The Hermans), so we went again for Round 2 later in the week with the Wisconsin Devers.
*Danny and I headed to the first ever Thursday night ESPN Primetime college football game at Carolina. This was a big deal folks, UNC closed the campus at 3:00 pm in anticipation of a huge crowd. Carolina unfortunately lost the game to Florida State (27 - 30).
*Another fundraiser, Danny and I were invited to attend and be the special guest of Ed and Heba at the Pay It Forward Fertility First Annual Gala. We are now the proud owners of a Captain'sTable dinner experience at the Angus Barn, all thanks to Danny's very quick bidding arm during the live auction. (Although, we haven't gotten that in the mail yet, guess I need to make a mental note to check on that.) We had a blast and even got to enjoy a tour of the Angus Barn wine cellar afterward!
*Every year, my friend/college roommate/sorority sister, Ann and I attend the A Shopping Spree sale, put on by the Junior League of Raleigh! It's become a yearly tradition and this year was no different. We met in Raleigh for some SHOPPING and we found some great stuff; maybe some of you will be getting Christmas presents from our adventures!!
*Another fundraiser!! This year I was lucky enough to get to help out with another famous Lineberger Cancer Center annual event....Tickled Pink (sorry, I had to do this link in pink, not green)!!! I am so happy I was able to be involved this year! (Gosh, the Devers were some philanthropic-in' fools in the month of October! We are so glad that we can give back in various ways, shapes, and forms.)
Oh yeah, and one more mention, in the middle of all of this craziness, we found time to book a trip to Disney World with the Hermans, Yay!!! Mickey Mouse and his gang have since invaded our home! We can't wait!
I hope you enjoy the pictures from this month....
you might want to get some popcorn and a soda, because there's a lot them!!