Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Rock Star

Wow! That's is really all that can be said about Marilyn the Rock Star! She was so funny when she received this, she kept saying "Open It- PLEASE". So we made her wait a few days and then on Saturday, we opened it up. Complete with earrings, rings, bracelets, sunglasses, shiny dress, high heels, purple wig and microphone- Marilyn is a Rock Star!
Her main song is Jingle Bells. She sings, "Jingle All The Wayyyyyy" over and over. And when we have the TV music channel on she dances and shakes her groove thang. She loves watching for the other top performers to also have a microphone.
And yes, she did sleep with her microphone during her nap. At two she is adorable, I figure we are in for a fun adolescence.

Bathtime Fun

Uncle Chris & Abbey gave Marilyn a set of bath time crayons for Christmas... and she thinks they are great! She always liked to take a bath, but now she begs! It is too funny. Thanks Chris & Abbey!

Nashville Visit

On New Year's Day, we packed the car and headed to Nashville for a long weekend visit. We had a wonderful time celebrating the holidays with Hunter's family.

Pappaw Don & Uncle Chris

Grandaddy Robert & Grandma Kirk both taking a quick train ride with Marilyn

And visiting with Day Day, Hunter's Grandmother, was wonderful! Marilyn loves Day Day so much and spent the whole evening cuddled up with her on the couch. She asks when she can go back to Day Day's house, and I just love it! Thank you all for a wonderful visit!

Visit with Aunt Lizzie

We were thrilled to have a holiday visit from Aunt Lizzie! Marilyn was so happy and wanted to show her everything!

At the Children's Museum's Barbie Exhibit. Marilyn was dancing up a storm!

On the Carousel and the Jolly Slide! Marilyn has had a blast this year on this slide. Who could have guessed she could share it with so many people she loves. Unfortunately, it was a short visit, but we are hopeful for more to come!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

And Santa arrived safely

Pouting Face and Happy Face

Marilyn loved the dollhouse and tent

Peaking through her tunnel

Hunter Smith - #17

Mom, Dad, Kate & Brett came by for lunch and for the afternoon. Mom & Marilyn had a blast playing Elefun, and later Grandpa & Marilyn read in the tent.

This smile says it all... we are very blessed.

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, we celebrate with my parents, Kate & Brett. This began years ago when we became too excited to wait until Christmas morning. Now it works out great, as it allows Hunter, Marilyn and I to be at home for Christmas morning.

Spoiled? Of course!

A cute Marilyn train nestled in the tree.

An adorable and very excited Marilyn!

Marilyn and her first fishing pole! Thanks Pappaw!

Daddy & Marilyn casting! It was such a huge hit we had to hide it so we could move on.

Marilyn was spoiled rotten... but so were the rest of us. My best presents were the two people sitting there with us... Kate & Brett home safely from Paris. Nothing wrapped under the tree compared to having my them home with us.

Brett spoiled us with a Christmas feast. Not having an oven in Paris made him even more willing to demonstrate his exceptional culinary skills. The meal was made even more special by using our Grandmother Marilyn's dishes.

Brenton Family Christmas

Gathering with the Brenton family makes me very happy, but it THRILLS Marilyn. She loves it! When I told her we were going to Great-Grandpa & Great-Grandma's house for Christmas, she said "I'm so Excited!"
Marilyn constantly asks where are "Joel, Joshua, Ronna, Jim, Greg, Mark, Great-Grandpa, Great-Grandma & Kashi" (the dog). She wants to know where they are and what they are doing. Sleeping and working suffice as answers for right now, but she keeps wanting more details. She likes to tell me that they are "Coming Soon." Especially Joel!
Recently she sat on the couch next to him while he worked on homework. She sat facing straight ahead and said nothing. She just wanted to be near him... awww.

It melts my heart to see the love Marilyn has for the people who mean the most to me.

Notice Marilyn as the center of attention, where else?

New Cabbage Patch Doll with the same birth date as Marilyn! And new stroller. This stroller goes at fast speeds and poor Baby needs to wear her seat belt.

She's BACK!!! This is the day Aunt Kate & Uncle Brett returned from Paris! As you can see, someone missed her Aunt Kate very much. It made me so happy to see Marilyn's excitement when she realized Aunt Kate was really home!

Marilyn and Great-Grandma looking at pictures -- and thanks for the pictures Brett... so happy to have you back!

Mennel Family Christmas

What a wonderful Mennel Family Christmas! Gathering with family is the highlight of the holidays for me. This year our family welcomed five new babies, Kalen, Abby, Claire, Griffin & Claire. So our family has grown even more! I just love getting together with Grandma & Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Spouses and lots of little ones! We had 67 (I think) in attendance this year!

Santa (Jason), my cousin Jenni with their twins Griffin & Claire. This picture makes me so happy! Every time I see it I get the warm feeling all over that God is in complete control and brings all things in His time.

With a family of 100, we require a bit more space than a living room. I think the bigger our family gets, the greater the amount of love we share. I love sharing these special times with my cousins and their children as we reminisce about Christmases of our youth.

Here Grandma attempts to take Marilyn up to Santa. As you can see, Marilyn wants NOTHING to do with it. She even tried to climb down Mom. Funny though, not even five minutes later she yelled, "Hi Santa, Nice to See You!" Kids are so funny.

Children's Museum with Grandpa & Grandma

On December 18, we all left work early for a special evening with Marilyn. It was great to spend time with Mom & Dad at the Children's Museum. Surprisingly, Dad had never been! Thankfully he had a pint sized tour guide that was ready to show him around.

First we visited Santa. Marilyn was so excited to see him... from a distance. Once it was our turn, her infamous "shy hand" appeared. So I jumped in and posed with Santa as well. Mommies certainly have wish lists too... why not share it. Marilyn did inform Santa that she wanted a truck. As soon as we got up she yelled "BYE SANTA" and waved at him. She really likes him from the safe distance of more than a foot.

Next was the Jolly Slide... and yes, that is Grandpa with Marilyn. I love Marilyn's face after it was over... she just loved it!

At the train exhibit

As you can see, they are like two peas in a pod.

Here on the Carousel.
After the Children's Museum, we went to the Iron Skillet for dinner, then drove downtown to look at the lights on the Circle. Then it was off to Christmas at the Zoo. Unfortunately, I was too chilled to take pictures at the Zoo. Marilyn was sad that so many of the animals were put away due to the cold. But the best part for me was her saying that she only wanted to "hold my Pappaw". Dad carried her through the entire zoo, and she didn't want anyone else. What a fun filled evening! Thanks Mom & Dad for the wonderful memories.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gingerbread House

With enthusiasm and a bit too much optimism, Grandma Jane, Marilyn and I undertook the construction of our first Gingerbread House. Let's just say... Marilyn LOVES icing! I thought she was going to knock over the house in her attempt to scoop a little more icing. The process was messy but lots of fun! And our house turned out great. Apparently the icing is like cement because it held up like a champ until we disposed of it last week.

Jolly Days

While Grandma Jane was here, we also we went to the Children's Museum to enjoy a few hours at Jolly Days. Marilyn was thrilled by the slide and was excited to ride. Grandma Jane indulged her (of course) and accompanied her!

Grandma Jane & Marilyn


Brushing a Reindeer and admiring a snow village

Fun times at Playscape and on the Carousel