Thursday, January 27, 2011

What did you write in your "little love note"?

This week at school, the teachers sent homework to the parents. They asked us to write a "little love note" to our child.

This was tough...how do you put that much love on one piece of paper?

Well here's our attempt:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Do you know your states?

For Chirstmas, Cohen got some flash cards with pictures of the 50 states of the United States of America. These cards have lots of great information on the back, including state flower, motto, and bird. Today, we are only learning the states.

Cohen loves to do flashcards, and he calls this his State Game. We've only been working on this for a couple of weeks, but he picked up on them right away. Check out how well he's doing...

Monday, January 3, 2011

How does the Allen Family celebrate Christmas?

On the weekend of New Years, Jace, Cohen, Lucy, Ella and I loaded up in the minivan and headed to North Louisiana to celebrate Christmas and New Years with my family.

A couple of years ago, my parents built a new house. Well, some might consider it only half house (or maybe a quarter house) and the rest is a shop/garage/boat storage/motorcycle storage/etc. I'm pretty sure you could fit a nice size airplane in this garage. Anyway, I say all that because this year my mom decided to hold the Allen Family party in the shop. It was perfect. My dad has a couple of heaters he turned on, we all pulled up lawn chairs and blankets and we used the shop table for gift storage.

Here is Cohen posing in front of the gift table. If you look really hard, you can see my Mom's Christmas tree. For those interested, I get my love of Christmas tree decorating from my Mother. (The tree is about 3 foot tall...it's sitting on the table, and I think it may have 12 ornaments on it).


My family does not eat turkey or dressing. We just don't love it, so for Christmas each year we've had a variety of dishes to replace the Christmas bird. We've had a fish fry, bar-b-que, and this year, steaks. Yum! 

After eating, my Mom setup the shop for the annual scavenger hunt. While she has not done this EVERY year, the years she has done it have been some of the most memorable. My Mom is known for hiding gifts or stockings and forcing you to use clues to find your stuff. In the past she's gotten very creative with this game. One year she even used verses from the Bible to describe objects she used to decorate her house at Christmas time.

This year, she did the hunt especially for the kids. My Mom and Dad have four grandkids (Alyssa-10, Ana-9, Mitch-5, and Cohen-2). Since not all the kids are great readers, she did a picture scavenger hunt. She took pictures of objects in the shop and had the kids go find that object to get another picture of another object, until they finally found their Christmas ornament. It was so much fun!!

Here are all the kids, patiently awaiting their turn.


My younger sister, Mitzi and my younger brother, Greg decided to join this party.


Here is my Dad (or Big Al or Bigubal or Bal as the kids refer to him) giving instructions on how to play the game.


We let the kids go oldest to youngest. Alyssa's clue was a picture of the American flag. Her's was by far the most difficult, because there are about 45 American flags around the shop. (Ok maybe not 45, but there are certainly more than just one).


Ana found one of her clues on the treadmill.


I don't remember for sure, but I think this is Mitch looking at a picture of a door knob. There are 5 doors in the shop, and of course his next clue was on the 5th door he found.


Cohen is not really that familar with the shop, or how to play this game, so I helped him a bit. His clue was a picture of the sidewalk chalk bucket. He pulled out all the chalk and was ready to play...he didn't understand that there were more clues and at the end he would get a gift.


 A clue in the recycled can bucket.


And one in the mop bucket.


Cohen with his gifts. He was so funny. When the older kids would open a gift they would say "I got new blue jeans" or "I got a race car" or "I got hair bows." Cohen would just hold up unopened gifts and yell out "I got, I got" over and over again.


My parents got Cohen a plasma car. This is a really neat little toy. You move forward my turning the steering wheel side to side.


The box said it could hold up to 250 lbs...so Cohen and I could go together!


My older sister, Joani, wanted to take a turn too!


As mentioned in an earlier post, the Allen family loves our fireworks! After all the gifts were opened, we moved the party outside!


We also roasted marshmallows.



I'm not sure what's going on in this picture. I just love the way Cohen is watching his Uncle Greg. Also if you look way in the back of the picture, you will see the rest of the Christmas decorations at my parents house. They put lights on a tree in the yard.


Mitzi and Jamie took a minute to stand next to the decorated tree and take a cute picture!


We had so much fun at the Allen Family Christmas party! Can't wait to do it all again next year!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What other Christmas Day traditions do you have?

So far we have covered Santa's gifts, our gifts to each other, and the stockings. Let's move on to more Christmas day fun.

Years ago, my mom started this tradition of baking cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. Usually, my mother would cook bacon, eggs, toast, biscuits, pancakes, etc., but on Christmas she would take the morning off and let the Pillsbury Doughboy do the cooking. I LOVE this tradition....so we are passing that one on to Cohen.

We also had chocolate pudding for breakfast as well. During bath time on Christmas Eve, I was singing Christmas songs to Cohen. I started singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and you know the second verse goes "and bring us some figgy pudding." Well as soon as I started singing that verse, Cohen wanted pudding. I told him that he would have to wait until in the morning. His first request on Christmas morning was not to see what Santa brought him, not to see if the reindeer ate their food, not to see if Mom and Dad got him anything...no, no, no...this kid sat up in bed and said "pudding." So yes, we had chocolate pudding and cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning.


Jace read the official Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 while we ate our breakfast.


After breakfast we moved on to decorating Jesus' Birthday Cake.


I ended up having to spread most of the icing, but Cohen put the sprinkles on all by himself.




The middle of the cake was well sprinkled....I think it looks wonderful!


Later, we put candles in the cake and sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. I guess I forgot to take pictures of the candles and the singing, because I was so busy singing too.

Overall it was a great day!