the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My New Book

Greg made me (and his mom and my mom too) a book for Christmas. Every time I look at it - which is a lot - I just tear up because it is so cute! He stole all the words from a book that my kids have but made it a bit more personal than the original book. There were some spare pages when he got to the end so he just filled those with pictures. Here it is:


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post Christmas Post

Get comfortable. This is going to be long.

The 23rd
I wrote a post about pre-Christmas stuff on the 23rd but somehow it didn't post. It is posted now so be sure to scroll down and read it. Or don't, but do watch the video because that part is really funny.

Christmas Eve
After lunch we headed north to visit with Greg's family. First on the to do list when we arrived was presents! Marcus was totally into presents. Mostly he enjoyed tearing into them but really didn't get that he was supposed to be excited about what was inside - at least not until later when all the unwrapping was done. He just kept yelling, "More presents!" and then ripping away.

Will was into opening a present here or there but mostly wanting to play with the contents or just hang out with whoever was up for hanging out.

Everyone received some pretty cool stuff and Greg and I were particularly happy to get Guitar Hero!

After presents it was time to enjoy what will now be our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. We had Christmas Eve dinner Guatemalan style - with tamales! Greg's mom made this yummy bean and rice dish along with some veggies and corn muffins. I brought the tamales I had made and froze a week or so ago. Mmm.... yummy!

We played with our new toys for a bit and then ran off to church service. We changed the kids into pj's at the church and then left for home to wait for Santa. The kids fell asleep in the car (it is a 2 hour trip) and we were able to get them right into bed so Santa could come.

Christmas Morning
Santa was here!

We wanted to get pictures and video of the kids seeing all their new presents so we kept them confined until we were ready. Then they had to wait because my brother Willie and Sindy wanted to see their reaction and they weren't quite ready yet. Finally, we let them loose.

We thought Marcus would go crazy when he saw all his yellow presents but he was quite distracted by the massive amounts of choo choos that he barely noticed. We got our train table at our neighbor's yard sale and set it up so we can either have the wooden trains on it or use it with the Geotrax (the plastic train/airplane stuff in the pictures) so it really won't be taking over our entire house as it was doing Christmas morning. The first gift I got to open Christmas morning was a new battery for my camera! Yay!! I had already cursed my camera several times that morning because my old battery sucked and I could only take about 10 pictures before it needed recharged. I clicked away on that old camera all day and still had lots of power to burn!

After eating some cinnamon rolls, it was time to dig into presents!

All I heard from Marcus all day was, "More presents!"

Will opened a few

but mostly wanted to hang out with his Uncle Willie. (I was forbidden from taking pictures of Sindy at this point because she had not showered.)

The kids were forced to abandon their new things and get dressed so we could go to my parents' for brunch... and more presents! While Marcus tore into his stocking gifts there, Will hung out with Uncle Randy and read books.

I finally got Willie and Sindy to stand in one place so I could get their picture.

And we can't forget my dad. I got him this shirt last year for Christmas since he had been wearing the same "Bah Humbug" sweatshirt for the past 15 years on Christmas morning and my dad insisted on squeezing himself into it.

The kids and Greg went home so they could take a nap. (One great advantage from living a couple miles from my parents'.) Greg's nap got cut short because with all the fun we were having in the morning, I totally forgot to make the salad I was supposed to be providing for Christmas dinner. I had to talk Greg through the salad assembling over the phone since it wasn't just an "open a bag of salad and pour it into a pretty bowl and claim you made it yourself" kind of salad. I concidered borrowing my dad's tractor and driving that over to our house but decided against it. When the boys were rested up they headed back over. Just as they were arriving, so were some aunts and uncles and cousins and such. We feasted and then the adults did their grab bag exchange. Marcus had stopped yelling, "More presents!" at some point and started yelling, "Pap-pap's choo choos!" Pap-pap was happy to comply. (Greg was apparently thrilled about the trains based on his expression in this picture.)

Finally home and ready for bed. We all got new pj's for Christmas and this was one of the best parts of the day. Relaxing!

The Aftermath

So, yes, we did get lots of new toys but I am so glad that it wasn't overwhelming this year. Last year we didn't know what to do with all the stuff and because of the age of the kids, the types of toys were pretty limited and I felt like we just had a million different versions of the same toy. This year the kids got a great variety including some clothes and pjs and shoes and games. Greg made me such a fabulous little book (and gave copies to his mom and my mom too). I can't wait to share it but this post is long enough so that will have to come later.

My brother left on Saturday and my kids miss their new playmate, particularly Will.

I was able to get a picture of the two of us together before he went.

The kids have been well occupied with their new toys. Here they are sitting in their choo choo made out of their chairs with their choo choo shirts on watching The Choo Choo Movie (which is actually titled "The Polar Express").

The weather was great yesterday (like close to 70 degrees) so we tore them away from their toys and went for a walk all around our property. I was really impressed with how well they did walking through the muddy and leaf covered woods. It was a great time!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Complete and Total Review of our Christmas Experience

We have too many toys.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!!

Hmm... Somehow this post I wrote on December 23rd never posted so here it is.

Let the holiday celebrations begin! We've been having a good time seeing Willie and Sindy on and off these past few days as they run between different engagements they have while in town. The kids love having them around and having new people to play with... that is if this can be considered playing:

The kids got their first presents of the season today. Everyone got a new ornament to put on the Christmas tree.

This evening we had our annual Christmas dinner out with my family. For the past few years we all go out to eat around Christmas - my parents, my sister and her husband and kids, Willie and Sindy, and Greg and me and our kids. It is the one chance during the holidays that we all get to sit down together and talk and catch up and not be trying to fit in present opening and cooking and aunts and uncles and all that other stuff that goes along with the holiday. Things didn't turn out quite so smooth this year though. My brother-in-law was at home with my nephew who was sick. I wasn't quite as excited to see Willie and Sindy since I have spent some time with them these past few days. And a few minutes into the meal I started feeling under the weather and ended up spending the rest of the meal sitting out in the car. (Thanks to some Pepto when I got home, I am feeling much better.) Still nice to have almost everyone together. The last time we went out to eat I got cole slaw and Marcus ate almost all of it so this time I got him his own cole slaw. Is it normal for a 2 year old to be shoveling in a bowl of cole slaw that is almost as big as his head?

We are spending Christmas Eve with Greg's family and then Christmas Day with my family. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to see the kids enjoying Christmas this year.

Whatever you are celebrating this season, from my family to yours, have a good one!

(This photo was obviously taken a few weeks ago and is the last picture ever taken of the pooch. She will definitely be missed this holiday.)


Saturday, December 20, 2008


My brother Willie and his girlfriend Sindy showed up this evening to stay with us through Christmas. Marcus met his Uncle Willie 2 or 3 times. The only time Will met his Uncle Willie was a year ago. Will was scared of Uncle Willie at the time since my brother can be a little loud. Willie and Sindy arrived and within 10 minutes, Will grabbed onto Willie's hand and was giving him a tour of the house.

Then Will decided Willie should read some books with him. Willie claimed he can't read but Will doesn't care because he can't read either.

While Sindy took a little power nap on the couch, it was off to do some grocery shopping for the Wills.

And then, of course, Will had to get his Uncle Willie involved in playing football. The game lasted for over an hour and Will was falling on the floor laughing at what great fun it was to throw his football at Uncle Willie's head. All good times must come to an end and bedtime was fast approaching. Will screamed for 20 minutes when I put him to bed because all he wanted was some more play time with his new best friend.