Monday, December 31, 2007

O'Loughlin Family Christmas

The pro at work. We couldn't have done it without you.

Can you sense the excitement. No, really - we all had a great time. I just thought this picture was funny.

We gave out baskets to all of his family. I had to take a picture because it was so excited for the way they turned out.

Gifts galore! The kids had a great time delving into the pile of presents.

Chris and Steph. They always look so in love.

Grandma helping Brody with his present.

Chris and Steph gave Caitly and Nathan each chef hats and aprons for Christmas. They also gave the family a donut maker. Caitlyn was really excited - and she has since been requesting that we break it out.

Still reviewing... Family Christmas Party:

We have a tradition with my family of having a Christmas Party every year. We switch years of being in charge of the party - so that means that whoever is in charge that year needs to have a Christmas message, activity, dessert and so on. This year Chad and I were in charge. This is what happened that evening:

The grandkids getting ready to exchange their presents. We didnt make the kids wait for Christmas Day. We have made the decision in our family that the grandkids will exchange names, but that they are only allowed to get a book for each other. It is so great not to get more toys, but rather a great book that they can enjoy. I highly recommend it. The kids love it as well - and they wre so excited!

For out activity we introduced them to an O'Loughlin Family tradition of playing the chimes. Chad's dad worked tirelessly to make these chimes years ago - and there are probably close to 30-40 in the set. The kids did a great job and we had some beautiful music that evening!
If I ever catch Randy in a picture that he isnt covering his face - then it is note-worthy and must be acknowledged.
Chad was our maestro that evening - baton and all. (His dad made that addtion this year and it has been a little bit of a joke)

I cant believe it, can you?

Okay - so the picture isnt completely complete - but it is the majority, and since we had two families in town at the same time the opportunity had to be taken advantage of. What a great lookin' group right? Can you believe that we only have two kids looking away. That is a great ratio - especially considering that there is nobody behind the camera making abnoxious sounds or waving their arms to get the kids attention. That is pure timer right there.

Okay - I also have to make special mention of Cole-boy. He is the the little boy all the way to the left staning up. That is just too cute.

Grandma's Annual Christmas Program

I am recapping some the festivites from this holiday season. Eventhough this happened a couple of weeks ago I thought I would share:

Every year since I can remember we have performed the nativity at my Grandma and Grandpa Vance's house. We have a big breakfast and then we proceed to get dressed up to fulfil our role. Since the grandkids have all since grown up (except for little Dale :) ) The torch of the nativity has passed on to the great-grandkids, and they did a great job. Here is a peak into the morning.

Grandma Vance preparing for the days festivities.

Little JP getting dressed up for the nativity program. I chose this picture because he was defintely the most excited boy to participate. I had to acknowledge his enthusiasm. For some of the boys it was like pulling teeth!

The beginning of our nativity program. Caitlyn and Ellie were so excited to be angels and they took their role very seriously. They really did look angelic as they stood their so statuesque performing their role. It touched everyone that was there. This picture is amazing because of the rays coming down on the scene right over our baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

After the program Grandpa Vance hand out presents to all of the great grand kids. We love Grandpa. You wouldn't be able to find a better person than him.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa Wuz Here

It is 2 minutes before midnight and Santa has already been to our house. Has he been to yours?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Somebody is 5!

Today is Caitlyn's birthday! She is 5 and couldn't be more excited about it. She believes that she is taller than Nathan because she is 5. (She is not) She also showed me how she could balance on one foot because she is 5 now. (that trick is about a year old). She loves knowing that it is her birthday. All this and it is only 6:55 AM!

A tradition that we have is to start snapping pictures of our kids before they wake up on their birthday. Here is a short tour of Caitlyn's collection.

She has always been a morning person. She gets that from her mother.

Happy Birthday to Caitlyn!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Say Cheese (180 times)

Last night was the annual O'Loughlin Family picture night. (pronounced: take pictures until you barely want to be a family anymore). Don't tell me that you havent felt the same. We took over 100 pictures in the process, and we only ended up with 3 to pick from. The frustration is indescribable. Thank goodness for digital cameras and large storage cards. For those of you on our mailing list, you will also get this in the mail. This is a handsome family if I do say so myself!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Camera and Croix

We have decided to take up a new hobby! It is time that we started having some decent pictures of our family and other things so we bought a Canon XTi!It was the perfect timing to do this, because we need to be skilled in its use for when we hit our vacation spot in St. Croix, Virgin Islands! Thanks to a great friend that gave us a sweet hook up on a free place to stay there, we will be spendingan entire week there in February. Airfare is compliments of American Express Skymiles, and we are only paying for our entertainment and food. They end up being the same thing though because you can hit the ocean with a dive light and spear and catch all the lobster you can eat! Yummm!But that isn't even the best part! There is a small uninhabited island just off the coast of St. Croix called Buck Island. This island is the real motivation for the new camera. It is absolutely amazing. (I am giddy just thinking about it)Oh man, we are dying to go. Stay tuned for random facts about St. Croix as I discover them through my obsessive reading and research about this place.

I almost forgot the best part! NO KIDS! Sorry guys, our last vacation was for you. This one is for Mommy and Daddy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


On Saturday we all went to the Build-A-Bear Workshop to add to our Christmas decorations. They have Rudolph and Clarice that you can have stuffed. Caitlyn was very excited, and Nathan was happy to be out and about. The line was long, but we were dedicated. If any of you have been there, there is an entire wall that has bins of "animal skins". You pick out the animal and give it to the stuffing lady. Then this happens...

Are you kidding me!? There has to be a better way of stuffing these things.

We made it past the stuffing trauma and we got to the part where you give them a heart. It was really cute and Caitlyn was extremely commited to doing this the right way as you can see in the video. All - in - all, it was really cute. If you want to do this - plan on it being an investment. Yes, I said investment. We did one reindeer (the other one in the video is Ben and Sarah's - who graciously let Nathan put the heart in, but I think Ben was a little disappointed that he didnt get to do it. Maybe next year we will complete the duo.