28 December 2010

Lions and tigers and bears... OH MY!

Today we made plans with Aunt Liz to drive up to Jacksonville to take a trip to the zoo. Unfortunately, we had already made those plans before we knew it was going to be below 30 degrees when we left home - and that it wouldn't get above 40 or so for the whole time we were there! So, we got the girls bundled up in hats, gloves, and all the most winter-y clothes they own.

When we got there we had to practice our roaring to prepare for all the animal encounters we were planning. 
First, we saw the lions. Well, this metal lion at least. (We did see real lions later, although I couldn't get any pictures of them, thanks to the silly protective glass between us and them!) 
What's really funny is that all the statues have these signs next to them:
I'm sure in July that's a valid warning, but it seemed somewhat unnecessary today!
We rode on a little train around part of the zoo, and saw elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, all kinds of cool animals. It was so cold, though, that they were all a little sluggish... 
There was a neat koi pond, and we spent a good deal of time looking at the huge fish. 
The komodo dragon apparently doesn't like the cold weather, so didn't make an appearance, but the girls seemed content with playing on the statue. 
There was a "Wild Animals Carousel" that seems to have been the highlight of the day. It moved pretty fast so Harvey had a hard time getting good pictures, but Lela rode on the zebra, with Liz's help, and Resli rode on the elk with me behind her just in case.
After the ride was over we discovered this great gator with an orange and blue saddle. Too bad we didn't get to ride on him, but we did stop for a CHOMP moment.
The flamingos were very noisy and also quite pretty. Although I was somewhat disheartened to learn that they're fed special food in zoos to help maintain their color. They looked a little artificial to me... 
We were looking forward to seeing some gorillas and apes, but they were too cold to go outside also. So Harvey and the girls had to do the next best thing: imitations.

Lastly, we stopped for a family portrait on our way out. 
The best part is that both Resli and Lela slept on the ride home - a virtually unheard of event anymore. All that sun and cold and wind and excitement must have just worn them out!

26 December 2010


Believe it or not, today it actually snowed in Gainesville! Not a snow like you folks up north experience, and nothing that would ever accumulate, but flurries and flakes nonetheless.
If you look really close, you can see it in this picture:

We brought the girls outside to enjoy it, even though I'm not sure they understood what it was.

They wanted to build a snowman... We're waiting to see if we get any more. Otherwise, we'll have to build a snowman out of mashed potatoes or something.
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Merry Christmas, 2010!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, we sure did! 
It started with a happy discovery, that Santa did in fact visit our house!
This caused great excitement and rejoicing. 
The girls received all kinds of wonderful presents. The probable highlight of the day was opening the package from Ms. Jenifer- the complete set of Disney princess dolls! 
In fact, there were many many dolls this year! Perfect for two very girly girls. (I sure do hope the next one is a boy....)
Grandpa Dick gave Lela a tent, which both girls are having an absolute blast playing in. 
Adam and Amy gave Harvey a neat 3-D writing pad, and he's creating all kinds of secret codes. 
Nana gave the girls adorable outfits - here's Resli modeling her new dress. 
And here she is modeling the super cool hat Aunt Melissa gave her. (Who taught her this modeling  pose? Sheesh!)
Lela got a hat from Aunt Melissa too. 
Aunt Lizzy gave them both cute outfits too, which -again- seem to have resulted in joyous dancing. 
All in all, a fabulous day with family and love and fun. We hope your holiday was a great one, too!

24 December 2010

Christmas pageant

This evening was the pageant at church. Resli was an angel. (Let me rephrase, Resli dressed as an angel, but I can't vouch for the fact that she acted like one the whole time...)

Lela was going to be a lamb but recently decided that she didn't want to participate. So she had some time to kill during the final dress rehearsal - yet again, we are grateful for the ipad!

The service started with the Angel Choir, all of whom were already costumed for their subsequent roles in the pageant. Resli is on the top row in the middle.

They sang "O Jesu Sweet" and "The Little Drummer Boy." Here's a video of the latter, although it's hard to hear, I know.

Then the pageant started. Lela scooted out to the middle of the aisle so she could see.

Resli (and the angels) sang "Angels We Have Heard On High" and, for such a difficult song, actually did quite well.

What you can't hear is that in the silence that followed, Lela looked up at me and yelled, "Resli didn't mess up!" Good thing we go to church with a lot of nice, friendly and understanding people who happen to think our daughters are very cute.
Both the angel and the non-lamb are snug in their beds, so we better let Santa get to work.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
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Video messages from Santa!

The girls were thrilled to receive personalized video messages direct from Santa Claus this morning!
If you want to see them, you can click here for Resli's, or here for Lela's. 
Ho Ho Ho!
(If you want to create your own video, you can do it at Portable North Pole!)


As in years past, we drove out to see the lights decorating the house out in Windsor. And as in years past, the girls loved it. 




23 December 2010

Practicing for tomorrow's pageant

This morning we had a quick rehearsal of the songs the girls are singing in the pageant tomorrow: Angels We Have Heard On High and Away In A Manger.

Lela went all Rain Man on me and at the time I couldn't figure out why. She just told me now, though, that she was pretending to be a prince, and that because those were "girl songs" she couldn't sing them, since she was a boy.

A quick visit to see Santa

The girls and I headed to the mall this morning to see if we could catch Santa there before he heads back to the North Pole to rest up for tomorrow night. There was a bit of a line, but they entertained themselves with the scenery and the TV, playing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. 
But when it came time to sit on Santa's lap, Lela wanted NOTHING to do with it! Resli was great, smiling and sweet and convincing Santa that she's just as angelic as can be.
I blame myself for Lela's reluctance. Before we left the house I made them both use the bathroom because I said Santa didn't want anyone peeing on his lap. They happily complied, but then when it was time to climb up with Santa, Lela decided she was scared of peeing on him! (She hasn't gone to the bathroom since, so it wasn't out of urgency that she felt that fear, it was just because I put the image in her head.)