Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holly Jolly Christmas Events

My last Holiday post was a simple wish for all of you to have a Merry Christmas because I was far too exhausted to elaborate on our holiday events.

Let's see...December 11th- 21st

The week after the big Bunco party Shannon, Sam, and I ALL had strep throat. After recovering from that and returning to work that Tuesday, I decided to stop at a little roadside market in Pelion (home of the Pelion PEANUT PARTY!!!) and get a bag boiled PEANUTS. Little did I know, I was picking up a bag of FOOD POISONING!!!!! We had to miss a couple of parties and well-deserved nights out but...Any who. I recovered from the labor-pain-like stomach cramps by Friday and tried to get back into the Holiday swing. Until...poor little Fulton started with the projectile vomiting on Sunday and so kindly passed it along to the rest of us. I didn't have a break from that until the next Thursday. We were out-of-commission for two solid weeks with THE CRUD!!!!! My poor little Fu even had to have an Upper G.I. done due to unrelated and unexplained episodes of vomiting prior to the whole stomach-bug thing. He was diagnosed with SEVERE REFLUX. He had it as an infant and we thought it had gone away but apparently not. The x-ray tech commented that she had never seen a baby chug the barium before. Fulton's claim to fame is that he will eat or drink anything that won't eat or drink him first. He was a tough little guy and tolerated all the testing very well. My poor children did NOTHING fun before Christmas. There was no traditional making and baking of the Biscottis and no visiting of fun attractions or holiday playdates...NOTHING. I intend to make it up to them in the New Year. Parent Guilt...there is nothing like it!

Fortunately, everyone was well for Christmas. So, on with the show we went!!!!

December 16th (okay, so they did 1 fun holiday thing)

Edventure Discovery Council's Snowville Breakfast

The Discovery Council members were invited to a breakfast and a visit to Snowville at Edventure. It was a very nice gesture and the boys really had a good time. They always love visiting the Edventure. It's a great place to see...if you've never been.

Cookie Decorating
Fulton checks out the Snowville slide
Sam at the fishin' hole
Fulton is just like mommy...he loves watching the weather with Ben Tanner

Sam and Fulton hit the hockey rink
December 23rd

Michael and Kristin came in town to celebrate Christmas with us. Kristin prepared a fabulous lunch for all of us. We exchanged gifts and I think everyone was very thankful for everyting. The weather was so warm and we stayed outside most of the day. The kids played so well together and we enjoyed the usual delightful chaos. We just couldn't function without it.
Uncle Michael (a.k.a. the baby tosser)
Waiting to open presents
Sam and Jameson go for a spin
Isabella tries to hug Fu

After leaving Muzzy and Boppa's we headed to the lake to spend the evening with NaNa and Papa. Sam and Kirstin played together so well. She likes to be Mother Hen to the little ones. Madeline and Fulton enjoyed their own playtime in the den. We had good conversation and a great time opening gifts! Everyone enjoyed playing Sam's new game that Uncle Randy and Aunt "T" gave him!

Kirstin and Sam scoped out the presents

Fulton and Madeline enjoyed their playdate

Who needs one angel on top of the tree when you can have 4 at the bottom???

December 24th

Wow! Another Christmas has arrived so quickly. We finished shopping and still had lots of wrapping to do. We also went Christmas Eve service at St. John's. Sam was to "sing"/stand for the prelude to the service. He walked out and stood at the front of the church like an angel. However, once he saw me in the crowd of the church he glared at me as if he could strangle me. It was truly priceless! I think I hit "stage mother" status at that moment. Our good friends sat in front of us and remarked that it is quite possible that Sam will need therapy because of the whole thing! The rest of the program he just looked at the floor and occasionally shot me a dirty look or two! Hilarious!!!!

Sam refusing to sing or make eye contact with anyone at church

After church we headed to mom and dad's for the traditional Italian Christmas that my mom has been preparing for my grandad (Papa) for about twenty years, since Granny died. It was super, as usual and everything looked beautiful! We were joined again this year by my Aunt Angie and Uncle Mike and my cousin Andrea. Clayton also invited April to join us for dinner.

Fulton and Papa (His Great-Grandfather)

Sam poses with Muzzy's Rudolph
April and Clayton
Aunt Angie, Papa, and Dad

After dinner we hurried home so we could put the boys to bed so Santa could come. I've never seen Sam so excited to go to bed...EVER! No power struggles that night!

Santa did indeed come that night, which leads me to...

December 25th Christmas Day!!!

We are so thankful for all our many blessings. I feel so fortunate to have been able to provide an exciting Christmas for my sweet boys. I am most thankful for the time I got to spend with my family and that everyone was happy and healthy. Watching the awe on Sam's and Fulton's faces was so heart warming. Sam could truly appreciate Santa and gift giving this year. I thank God for this joyous time of year to remind us of all of life's wonderful gifts!

Sam and Fulton had been very good this year!

Dixie and Linus had been good too! They both got plush new beds. Dixie got a pearl necklace and Linus got a new boot to chew on. They both had lots of treats in their stockings.

Santa enjoyed his mid-night snack of biscottis peanut butter bars and milk. He even left the boys a note regarding their extra gifts.

Fulton checked out his red car.
Fulton loves his new chair and Sam loves his race track.
They both love Sam's jungle animals!
The really good stuff is always in the stocking!!
After playing with Santa stuff and opening way too many presents, we cruised back to Muzzy and Boppa's house for more eating and opening. My mom and her sisters prepared the usual fare for 20+ people. It was fabulous as always and great to see EVERYONE!!!
Sambo and Fu pose in front of Muzzy's tree
Mom, Aunt Judy, Great-Aunt Nita, and Aunt Laynie
Mom made them all matching aprons.
"The Cookettes"
Fulton, all tuckered out, loaded up his favorite gift of the day, the shopping cart, with some of his loot and made his way back home. The shopping cart was, of course, the least expensive and came with a million pieces of play food that can be found under every piece of furniture in our house now! But He loves it!!!
It was a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

James Brown

Okay...about 2 minutes into this video there is a clip of James Brown on the steps of our State House. My dad's band is his accompaniment (wearing red shirts). My dad had just handed over his microphone to "The Godfather of Soul" and was trying to move the stand out of the way when he nearly knocked James Brown over. You know what they say...we all have 15 minutes of fame. This happens to be 5 seconds of my dad's 15 minutes and it was featured on CNN, no less. I think it is quite funny!!!
Video: 'Godfather of Soul' on stage*

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas from What's Bakin! We hope Santa was good to all of you!

Look for more to come on our Holiday adventures....

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Music

Turn up your volume. For your Holiday listening pleasure...DJ Jazzy Claude has picked out a few of her favorite Christmas songs. The BLOGAMP is located at the bottom of the screen. Feel free to forward and rewind as needed!
Enjoy...and Merry Christmas!!!!
Oh! and we're taking requests until Midnight on December 25th!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Bunco Christmas Party

Bunco Bash 2006!!!! ;-)

Some of the Husbands

Patrick K., Tommy, John, Shannon, Patrick G., and Jimmy

Some of the Wives

Allison, Shannon K., Me, Jen, Darby, Marie, and Mason (not pictured: Ansley, Ashley, Ellen, Shannon H. and Leigh)

We celebrated our Bunco Christmas Dinner/Party this past weekend. I hosted it and prepared dinner for the group. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the big Italian feast my mom prepares on Christmas Eve. I decided to share that tradition with my Ultra Fabulous Bunco group. Since our husbands don't believe that there is really a game called Bunco, we decided to include them and make it a date night for all! We were very sad to be missing two of the Bunco greats, Ashley (and her husband, Rick) and Ansley (although she did send her husband Patrick so he would be representin' the family).

We seated 21 people to an Italian dinner of homemade spaghetti and meatballs with salad and lots of Italian bread. The ladies pitched in and brought appetizers, bread, desserts, and snacks for the bunco tables. I thought everything turned out delicious and there weren't any complaints that I know of! (However, I can't take full credit for the mom came over for a crash training course in the ancient recipe.)

It was a festive atmosphere. The conversation and stories were great. The kitchen was a bit stained and sticky later, but nothing a good sponge couldn't clean up. Some of the attendees had to be hog-tied a dragged to their cars because they were having such a good time, but the baby sitter's pocketbook was quickly getting heavier. And grandmas were passing out on sofas as the midnight hour passed. We truly had a ball and have even more stories to tell, now. My precious babies some how slept through it all!

Meet (most of) The Bunco Group:

Marie & Steven (Marie and I are Speech buddies and have stayed in touch since we graduated from Columbia College. )

Darby and Patrick (Darby is my LIFE-LONG friend and oddly, our moms are in a bridge club together. Were tryin' out the 2nd generation...only we're playing Bunco.)

Jen and John (I've known John for years and Jen and I became friends shortly after they were married. Jen and (my) Shannon also worked together for a few years.)
Mason and Jimmy (Oh my! Where do I start with Mason and Jimmy??? That's a whole separate post!)

Ellen and Tommy (Ellen and I have known each other since high school and recently re-connected through Junior League and Bunco.)

Leigh and Malcolm (Leigh and I grew up together at St. Joseph's and have a LONG, FUN history.)
Brian and Shannon (Shannon and I are Junior League buddies and they also bought our first house from us.)

Shannon and Chad (Shannon and I have been friends for many years and her mom and my mom also belong to the same bridge club.)

Allison and Lindsay (Allison and I have become friends through the preschool. We have discovered many people we have in common and established an INSTANT connection.)

Ashley and Ansley couldn't make it!
(I have known Ansley for many years and we were in a supper club together prior to having children. I was introduced to Ashley through Ansley. The strange thing is, I was good friends with Ashley's brother in high school but never had the opportunity to meet her...weird!)

I love this group of ladies so much!!! It's a great mix of old and new friends. In fact, it's such a good mix that I feel like we've all know each other for a thousand years.

I also took from this a very valuable lesson... my next house will have a 2000 sq. ft. kitchen because that is where we stayed THE ENTIRE NIGHT!!!!!

I can't wait to do it again!!!!

Playgroup Christmas Party

On December 5th the boys got together to celebrate the holiday season. Allison so kindly opened her door to 14 wild animals and their keepers. The boys enjoyed making ornaments, decorating sugar cookies, running around the house and snacking on some delicious party food (a.k.a. Chic-fil-a nuggets!!!!). I prepared the take-home treats for the boys.

Craft of the month: I am on a cone craft kick I made Christmas tree cones filled with M&M's. I dipped them in green chocolate, sprinkled them and topped them off with a little yellow star. I packaged them and stuck a little Christmas message on the bag. I thought they turned out quite cute. Sam didn't have any trouble devouring it either!!!!

Any who. The boys had a great time and I'm sure no one had any trouble getting the little munchkins in bed because they were quite tuckered out. We found it hard to believe that with that many bodies in the house that there weren't any major issues and the worst part was the organized chaos of the picture taking by the tree!!!
These were the best 2 shots out of about 15!!!
Sam was assuming NO responsibility for holding on to Fulton so Judson took charge while his brother, Ben escapes from the picture. Heath couldn't handle any of it so he went to sleep (I don't blame him!).
And this was about as good as it was going to get!
We feel so blessed to have such sweet little friends for Sam and Fulton. I can't believe that not so long ago there were only 7 of there are 14 and we have the 15th addition due in less than two months (Stephens and Chapman are expecting a brother)!!!!


Merry Christmas to our sweet little fellas in the all boys playgroup!!!!

Sam and Fulton Baker

Andrew and Hugh Barker

Grant and Cannon Dorsey

Judson and Ben Holmes

Harris and Heath Jackson

Stephens and Chapman West

Charlie and Brooks Wheeler


Sam and Fulton enjoy the fruits of their labor...decorated sugar cookies!

Brooks and Baby Brooks

April with Cannon, Grant, and Harris...making ornaments

Jackie and Andrew

Hugh and Fulton

Ben, Judson, Stephens, and Chapman enjoy the playroom

Fulton and Heath (bottom right) try to get in on some of the action with the big boys

Okay Daddy, close your eyes...this is not a pretty sight!!!

Just plain ol' silly!