Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: In a Nutshell

2011 has been another very busy year for the Michel family.  After a snowy start to the year, we survived a blazing hot summer and enjoyed an unusually mild autumn.  Mommy and Daddy took a cruise vacation in the spring and we enjoyed family summer vacations to Branson, MO and Hot Springs, AK.  We were saddened by the loss of Grandma Marilyn Young but thrilled to welcome TWO new additions to our family -- Brogan Guy and Kinley Perkins.  Happily, we will continue to add to the family when our newest son is born in March 2012.

Ledger: This year, Ledger has transitioned from baby to big boy in almost every way.  He turned 2, moved from a crib to a toddler bed, and then from a toddler bed into a big bed in his very own bedroom.  Ledger developed a bit of the terrible-twos attitude and is frequently testing his limits with Mommy and Daddy.  His vocabulary and memory continue to amaze mommy and daddy on a daily basis.  Ledger really loves musical instruments, sports (football and basketball), tractors, and tools.  He is a boy's boy and will be an amazing big brother.

Chris: Chris has been especially busy in 2011 as he began to take online courses to get his master's degree in elementary school counseling.  In the evenings, he balances Daddy time with homework, which is no small feat. As a KC Chiefs fan, we got to see a playoff game in January only to be followed by a relatively dismal 2011 season and the firing of the head coach.  As Chris always says... there's always next year. :)

Kendell: I have been a very busy mommy, wife, and veterinarian this year.  As always, my job keeps me on my toes and very satisfied, but it is my home life that makes me truly happy.  I found out I was pregnant with baby number 2 -- another boy -- and struggled through a tough first 20 weeks of nausea before finally getting to the "feel good" part of pregnancy just in time for the holidays.

We are sincerely thankful for the friends and family that follow our blog to keep up with the Michel family.  We wish you all a healthy and happy 2012.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning 2011

Today was an amazing Christmas day.  Ledger really gets Christmas this year and couldn't wait to see if Santa left him any presents under the tree!  As soon as he could drag his Daddy out of bed, we raced to the living room to see LOTS of presents under the tree and stockings filled for all of us!  Someone must've been very good this year!  I'll let the pictures tell the story of Ledger's Christmas morning...
Ledger got right into his stocking and started opening presents.

He wanted to make sure his Buzz Lightyear flashlight worked.

He's been wanting this Spiderman mask for months!

I made Ledger take a break from opening presents to take a picture.  He wasn't thrilled...

...but eventually we got a "smile" out of him.

Ledger's very own REAL vacuum.  Now when he's "helping" - he will actually be HELPING!

This Jack Sparrow figure was a big hit.  He couldn't wait to get him opened up!

Another instrument to add to our marching parade -- a saxophone.  Ledger calls it a "trumpet".

The grand finale present from Santa was a SNOWBOARD to play with just like Uncle Josh and Daddy use their wakeboards!

Even Jayce and Barkley got presents and enjoyed family time.
Christmas morning breakfast - homemade mini-cinnamon rolls.  (A recipe from Pinterest)

They were a BIG hit with the whole fam.
After a fun-filled Christmas morning, we had lunch with the Michel and Vanderbeck families.  Daddy's muscle relaxers had kicked into full gear and he could barely keep his eyes open, so he went home to nap while Mommy and Ledger went to celebrate with the Peterson family at the Mitchell's house.  After nap time, Daddy joined us at the Mitchell's house and we played ping-pong and Sequence and Ledger played tractor's with his cousin Ethan until way past bed time. :)

We had a wonderful Christmas this year and look forward to celebrating 2012 with another little-one to enjoy.

Merry Christmas from the Michel family!

It's... It's... It's... CHRISTMAS EVE

For our Christmas Eve celebration, we planned to spend the day with the Michel family.  Unfortunately, Chris began having some nausea and back pain the night before and it continued when he woke up on Christmas Eve.  So instead of getting ready and heading off to a family celebration, we headed out to Stat Care.  Grammie came to pick up Ledger so that he wouldn't have to spend time in the doctor's office (and risk getting sick!).  The doctor checked Chris for kidney stones and then decided that it's just a musculo-skeletal problem. He prescribed some muscle relaxers and pain meds and sent us on our way.  The whole thing only took about an hour, so it wasn't too bad.  By 11:30 a.m. we met the Michel and Vanderbeck families at Red Lobster for lunch.  Yum!  After lunch, we headed home for Ledger and Daddy to take a nap.  Ledger could hardly wait to get to open some presents and it took a while for him to get to sleep.  

By 3:30 we were headed back out the door to Grammie and Papa Michel's house to finally open presents. :)  Ledger was a very good helper and helped Jaime pass out all of the presents!  He got to open all of his presents first.  He was very excited about his John Deere dump truck and a Batman race car set.  Every time he opened a present, he would start saying: "It's.... it's.... it's.... it's...." until it was finally open and he could declare: "It's a DUMP TRUCK!"  It was pretty adorable.  After all of his presents were done, he helped unwrapped presents for everyone else in the family too.

After all of the presents were through, we had our annual scavenger (treasure) hunt through the house.  Ledger led the way.  Of course.  And then we just got to spend time together eating sandwiches and helping Ledger play with his toys.  By 7, it was time for us to head back home and get ready for bed while the Michels and Vanderbecks had to get ready for church.  

When we got home, we said goodbye to DeeDee elf.  It's his last day of 2011 as our scout elf, but we know we'll see him again next year.  I wonder if DeeDee elf knows that next year he'll have TWO kids to report to Santa about! :)

Dee Dee elf thought he could hide amongst all of our Sweedish Tomtees.
 When we put Ledger to bed, we read "Twas the Night Before Christmas".  Last year, we had all of Ledger's grandparents along with great-Grammie and Nanny read and record a page of the book.  Ledger really enjoyed listening to all of his grandparents read him a story.  It was especially touching to hear Nanny's voice read the last page since she is no longer with us this Christmas.
"Merry Christmas to all.  And to all a Good Night"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Little Drummer Boy

Since watching the marching band perform at cousin Ethan's high school football games this fall, Ledger has been enamored with instruments and "marching".  He can often be found dragging out random toys and holding them to his mouth as a pretend trumpet or banging on them like a make-shift drum.  Thanks to Emily and Josh, Ledger got a marching drum for Christmas last weekend, and has frequently requested demanded that Mommy and Daddy march in his parade around the living room too.  So here are some pics of our little drummer boy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

First Christmas of the Season

This weekend we drove to KC for our first Christmas celebration of the season with the Powell and Perkins families.  On Saturday morning, we woke up and stayed true to tradition by staying in our pajamas to eat breakfast (yummy breakfast wreath -- eggs, bacon, biscuits) before huddling around the Christmas tree.  Santa actually knew to deliver some stockings to the Perkins' house -- I think our DeeDee elf must've told him where he could find us.  Ledger got the honor of delivering the stockings to everyone this year, although he could hardly wait to open any of the stockings before they got to their recipients.

Ledger got a lot of cool stuff in his stocking, including a few movies and a train whistle.  Kinley got to open her first stocking, too.  The highlight of her stocking was a Wubby -- a beanie horse connected to a pacifier. She fell in love with it right away.

He couldn't quite get this train whistle figured out.
He would put his mouth to it and just make the train whistle sound himself.  :)

Spiderman toothbrush.  Ledger had to do shoot webs from his hands.

Kinley didn't seem so excited about Mortimer the Moose.

Kinley really loved her Wubby.
We all really enjoyed opening our Christmas presents this year.  Chris and I got new phones.  If you've tried to call us in the last few weeks, you probably know that our phones were dying respectable deaths.  Of course, this leaves us a lot of "tinkering" to do over the next few days!  Emily and Josh got beautiful new barstools for their new house.  BoomMa and BoomPa got a new GPS (nicknamed "Bert") because their previous GPS ("Bev") was older than their two grandkids... combined. :)

Ledger must have been very nice this year, because he sure had a lot of presents under the tree!  From BoomMa and BoomPa, he got a lawn tool set including a chainsaw, lawn mower, weed wacker, and leaf blower.  He loved it!  He even insisted on wearing the safety goggles and work gloves.  :)  He got a marching drum set from Emmy and Josh and enjoyed doing his own marching parade around the house.  It's a good thing Kinley is such a good sleeper (during the day).

Trying to figure out how to get batteries into all of these tools.

Get my gloves on, BoomPa!!

Drum, drum, drum.

Watch out trees -- Ledger is coming for you.

Kinley just laid there and watched her cousin Ledger play with his toys.
That evening, we went to a Japanese steakhouse for our family Christmas dinner.  It took a while for Ledger to relax around the "fire", but he was plied with edamame and white rice. :)  At the end of the meal, we all took our turns trying to catch shrimp in our mouths.  Emily (by far) caught the most.  Enjoy the gratuitous "open mouth" collage. :)

Thank you to the Powell and Perkins families for another wonderful family celebration.  We are so happy to welcome Kinley for her first Christmas this year.  We love you and hope you had as much fun this weekend as we did!