A Belated Hello to 2017

It would appear that the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 have swallowed me whole.  It's partially true. 

BUT! While not posting, I have been taking pictures. 

First, December. 

 

December started off with an incredibly cold soccer tournament on fields in the worst condition we've ever seen.  Parts of the playing field cordoned off with crime scene tape.

December started off with an incredibly cold soccer tournament on fields in the worst condition we've ever seen.  Parts of the playing field cordoned off with crime scene tape.

But the girls had an amazing time anyway, because they're awesome like that.  There were holiday and birthday celebrations at the hotel.  Giggles and cake, too. 

But the girls had an amazing time anyway, because they're awesome like that.  There were holiday and birthday celebrations at the hotel.  Giggles and cake, too. 

Back home, it was time to set up the Christmas tree!  Those who know me, know what a complete Christmas Dork I can be. I'm training these three to follow in my footsteps.

Back home, it was time to set up the Christmas tree!  Those who know me, know what a complete Christmas Dork I can be. I'm training these three to follow in my footsteps.

Ella's class had their annual field trip...to Cowboys Stadium.  You read that right.  It was extremely educational. 

Ella's class had their annual field trip...to Cowboys Stadium.  You read that right. 

It was extremely educational. 

And Michael's soccer team celebrated their No. 1 season ranking (playing one year up!)  These boys may look sweet in this photo, but they are a rowdy, hard-playing bunch.  We're very proud of them. 

And Michael's soccer team celebrated their No. 1 season ranking (playing one year up!)  These boys may look sweet in this photo, but they are a rowdy, hard-playing bunch.  We're very proud of them. 

And then our girl turned 11.  Holy cow.

And then our girl turned 11.  Holy cow.

Aunt Amy scored yet another crucial, quick save. 

Aunt Amy scored yet another crucial, quick save. 

Hint: the gift she just opened was a trip to the place in the next photo down. 

Hint: the gift she just opened was a trip to the place in the next photo down. 

Ella wants to grow up and be Joanna Gaines.  With her organizational skills, she's off to a good start.

Ella wants to grow up and be Joanna Gaines.  With her organizational skills, she's off to a good start.

We had a ridiculously fun day, checking out the Silos. 

We had a ridiculously fun day, checking out the Silos. 

Onesie Christmas jammies!  (The boys still haven't figured out that their Christmas Eve gift will always be jammies...they'll come along eventually.)

Onesie Christmas jammies!  (The boys still haven't figured out that their Christmas Eve gift will always be jammies...they'll come along eventually.)

I promise, Brisket also got to open his own gifts. 

I promise, Brisket also got to open his own gifts. 

Some gifts require a pirate sword to open. 

Some gifts require a pirate sword to open. 

Man, it's hard to wait your turn. 

Man, it's hard to wait your turn. 

I mean, a book about Farts?  Thanks, Aunt Molly!

I mean, a book about Farts?  Thanks, Aunt Molly!

When waiting your turn, feel free to turn gift wrap into costuming.  Kate makes it work. 

When waiting your turn, feel free to turn gift wrap into costuming.  Kate makes it work. 

The main event.  Christmas dinner is ready. 

The main event.  Christmas dinner is ready. 

Wes makes homemade Christmas pickles which are gaining quick fame.  He only had to remake one batch after his sous chef (ahem, me) didn't rinse the cucumbers well enough after their salt bath. 

Wes makes homemade Christmas pickles which are gaining quick fame.  He only had to remake one batch after his sous chef (ahem, me) didn't rinse the cucumbers well enough after their salt bath. 

#nanaknitsAll of the kids got knit hats this year. I've already "borrowed" Ella's on multiple occasions. 

#nanaknitsAll of the kids got knit hats this year. I've already "borrowed" Ella's on multiple occasions. 

Immediately after Christmas, we went home to pack up the tree, plus a few bags, and headed out to the lake for the best week of the year. 

Immediately after Christmas, we went home to pack up the tree, plus a few bags, and headed out to the lake for the best week of the year. 

Of course, we packed up some of the kids' gifts to keep them busy so us grown-ups could sit out on the porch with a blanket and a good book.  

Of course, we packed up some of the kids' gifts to keep them busy so us grown-ups could sit out on the porch with a blanket and a good book.  

We also discovered the dice game Left/Center/Right. 

We also discovered the dice game Left/Center/Right. 

Henry cleaned us out, every round. 

Henry cleaned us out, every round. 

Happy New Year!  Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017. 

Happy New Year!  Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017. 

January

The year started off on a warm, lazy note. 

The year started off on a warm, lazy note. 

Like, really lazy. 

Like, really lazy. 

Back to home and reality, Ella celebrated her birthday with friends for a sleepover.

Back to home and reality, Ella celebrated her birthday with friends for a sleepover.

Poor boys, they were stuck watching movies in Mom and Dad's room while the girls took over the house. 

Poor boys, they were stuck watching movies in Mom and Dad's room while the girls took over the house. 

This beautiful girl turned sixteen.  Sixteen. 

This beautiful girl turned sixteen.  Sixteen. 

Aunt Amy with the save!

Aunt Amy with the save!

February

One of the best parts of Pre-K? Lunch.

One of the best parts of Pre-K? Lunch.

Another one of my bright ideas...recovering our antique dining chair seats turned into a full weekend project.  But at least I had helpers. 

Another one of my bright ideas...recovering our antique dining chair seats turned into a full weekend project.  But at least I had helpers. 

More birthdays! 

More birthdays! 

And a trip to the Perot Museum. 

And a trip to the Perot Museum. 

Snack break.

Snack break.

The boys built a pretty impressive "gate" to their hiding place in the backyard.  This was taken on construction day one of three. 

The boys built a pretty impressive "gate" to their hiding place in the backyard.  This was taken on construction day one of three. 

Valentine's Day preparations underway. 

Valentine's Day preparations underway. 

Progress toward the finish line wasn't exactly linear.

Progress toward the finish line wasn't exactly linear.

Valentine's class parties are rough on boys who don't dig Freeze Dancing. 

Valentine's class parties are rough on boys who don't dig Freeze Dancing. 

Tossing in his Valentine's treats -- score!

Tossing in his Valentine's treats -- score!

The football training has begun.

The football training has begun.

My beloved XT-1 died a very slow death (following a July 4th lemonade spill) so the time came for an XT-2 replacement.  It came with me to Atlanta for some test shots and a quick manual shooting lesson for a friend. 

My beloved XT-1 died a very slow death (following a July 4th lemonade spill) so the time came for an XT-2 replacement.  It came with me to Atlanta for some test shots and a quick manual shooting lesson for a friend. 

T-ball!  After deciding soccer wasn't his bag, Henry is giving baseball a try this spring. 

T-ball!  After deciding soccer wasn't his bag, Henry is giving baseball a try this spring. 

Bright. Cold. Early. 

Bright. Cold. Early. 

Henry's favorite things about t-ball, so far, are dancing in the outfield and hanging with his buddy Drew. 

Henry's favorite things about t-ball, so far, are dancing in the outfield and hanging with his buddy Drew. 

The Minions are back in action!

The Minions are back in action!

A trip to the farm was a great excuse for Ella to try her hand at baking a multi-colored 4-layer cake from scratch. 

A trip to the farm was a great excuse for Ella to try her hand at baking a multi-colored 4-layer cake from scratch. 

My photographer's assistant got a little distracted in Rocket's car barn. 

My photographer's assistant got a little distracted in Rocket's car barn. 

If you're in the market, this gorgeous girl is up for sale. 

If you're in the market, this gorgeous girl is up for sale. 

And a touch of March.

Drew's last choir concert.

Drew's last choir concert.

Watching the boys climb onto the dugout bench is really funny. 

Watching the boys climb onto the dugout bench is really funny. 

West Side Story was incredible at Casa Manana -- if you're local, try to check it out. 

West Side Story was incredible at Casa Manana -- if you're local, try to check it out. 

Ella and Kate wanted to meet Maria, so we stalked her after the show. 

Ella and Kate wanted to meet Maria, so we stalked her after the show. 

Followed by lunch at the Cork & Pig.

Followed by lunch at the Cork & Pig.

And dessert!

And dessert!