Monday, December 28, 2015

Kira & Daddy, Home Alone

On Mondays Millie gets to take the boys to work with her for half-day childcare. It's a pretty sweet deal all in all, but especially on breaks when it gives Kira and I a chance to accomplish important, older-kid things.

I love how all of Kira's to-do lists start with "write to do lists."
Today, "art" consisted of superhero masks! How cute is that kid?
Kira took this picture with the big camera. She was pretty proud of herself.
Ready to save the world! Or, at least, get new batteries into John's remote-controlled car and install our new beer-cap catching magnet. (See the to do list!)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Very Wamsted Christmas

A few days before Christmas, usually we get together with Jay's extended family. Much chaos of eating and playing and present-opening takes place over eight or so hours together. This year, while working on dinner, we inaugurated a new tradition: a viewing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Below, seeing all seven cousins in one place, quietly sitting still, you will fully understand why.
No pictures exist of any other moment in the evening. Rest assured that is was festive and wonderful. Later that night, though, we did grab a snapshot of the children all camped out on the floor of John & Simon's room in their new sleeping bags (thanks, Gramma!). How cute are they?
Note: not ten minutes after this picture was taken, Simon had a total meltdown. We had to move the big kids to Kira's floor and him back to his bed. Sigh. Parenting a three year old sure is an adventure!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Something Else to Love About Christmas

Every year, after the last day of school but before Christmas Eve, we have some friends over for the singing of Christmas carols. People bring instruments, we eat too much, and we sing just about any song the crowd requests (including, every year, a rousing version of "Good King Wenceslas"). The party has ebbed and flowed over the years, but the past couple years have been particularly raucous. The children just keep getting bigger...

Just one picture here to capture a new phase in the life of this party. Sitting next to me is eleven-year-old Charlotte Alexander, who has been taking guitar lessons this year. A few weeks ago she asked her teacher if she could learn some Christmas songs for a party she was going to attend, and her teacher asked her which ones. "Any of them," Charlotte responded. The teacher was a little confused, and that makes me a little happy.

So below you see the changing of the guard. Many years ago, back in the 90s, Charlotte's father Jay taught me how to play the guitar. And here we are, passing some sort of baton.

Also, Scruff is wearing a shirt that has "Scruff" monogrammed in the corner. You can't tell because the picture is a little blurry, but it is his traditional Christmas morning shirt.

And, my friend Dave brought a banjo this year. Sounded amazing on "We Three Kings."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Capes & Coloring Books

Stumbled upon this the other day when it went unusually quiet for a spell. I think they are working on Christmas presents--notice the red ribbon--but you never can quite tell with these three. Maybe they are just superheroes taking a break?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Simon's Pirate Party

A couple of weeks before Simon turned three, he informed us that he was having a Pirate Party. "At my Pirate Birthday Party, we are going to have so much fun!" We're still not sure exactly where this idea came from--obviously it could have been John or Kira; there is a rumor that it came up first in a conversation with Gramma--but we went with it. So we invited a couple of neighborhood families and some cousins, told them to dress up in their best pirate gear, and celebrated the greatest three-year-old kid we know.

 Not everyone is pictured below, but I think you get the idea.
Kira somehow convinced our neighbor Matt to create a treasure hunt with her. They drew a map, marked some spots with an X, hid some treasure, and led quite an activity. Good thing someone had a vision for a game! 
John, chasing something. There was a lot of running around.
Brothers resting before the next attack. 
Millie leading present opening. The boys' double skull-and-crossbones plus all the girls' bandanas really get me. Plus, Millie looks amazing in a pirate hat.
 Happy Birthday, Simon! Yeeaarrrrrggggghh!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Birthday, Simon!

Happy 3rd birthday to this little matey!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Silly Face Sort of Day

We did our best to get some good pictures of the Wamsted families, together for the first time in the beautiful mountain scenery. Alas, and almost to be expected, no such luck. Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Up in Highlands for a Wamsted-Pickett Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sunday Best

I've more or less done this post before, back when Millie first started her job and I took charge of Sunday mornings. But, it happened again this Sunday. Kira chose her own outfit, which prompted me and the boys to push into Flannel Day. As my friend Scruff told me, "Looking at all these kids is like watching the evolution of your fashion sense."

Also, my haricuts. I've definitely had all three of these harictus before.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

More Halloween

Here are the boys at their preschool's Trunk or Treat on Friday.  Big fun!
Here are the 3 kiddos before we headed out Trick or Treating on Halloween night.  I wish we'd gotten a picture of the whole crew we were with!  Lots of children!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Gramma's Birthday Celebration

In celebration of Gramma's birthday, Gramma, Papa Al, and the Montgomery Wamsteds came to Atlanta for the day.  We went to the High Museum first.  There are some amazing interactive spinning pieces outside.  We spent a good bit of time there (and took some pictures).  Then we had a picnic and went to the children's exhibit inside.  After that, it was back to our house for the afternoon and evening.  We had big fun, which was of course topped off with cake and ice cream!  Seven grandkids who are 7-years-old and younger made for an eventful and hopefully wonderful birthday celebration!
 And for our only indoor picture, we captured the birthday girl with all 7 kids!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

When Jay Turned 39 1/3

So, we had some friends over for dinner last night. One thing led to another, and Jay's friend Dave got it into his head that Jay was turning 40. Jay's actual birthday is in June, so when Dave walked in, hugged Jay, and said "Happy Birthday, buddy!" more than a little confusion ensued.

Some hours later an original song was performed in Jay's honor. Alas, no recordings exist of this ode, but the end of it marked the return of the "Jay Mask" (don't ask; long story). To wit:
Actual Jay is in the back there, if you're having trouble spotting him. Below are maskless friends.
Obviously, the children love the "Daddy Masks." Thanks, friends!

Friday, October 9, 2015

When Everyone Leaves Simon & Daddy Home Alone...

Scooter Time...
...led, inevitably, to Dumpster Time. Never fear! It's a "Green Dumpster"--only branches and grass and stuff. Perfectly safe.
But, most of you will be glad to know, Simon ended up not enjoying this activity as much as his father thought he would. It's possible he's just squinting in the sun. It seems more likely, however, that he's ready to get out of the dumpster. Live and learn, I guess.
So...we went inside and got all the trucks out of the garage. Probably a better idea, anyways.