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Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Smithville

On Christmas Day, we ventured down to Matt's parent's house in Smithville. It is a mere 30 minute drive... we weren't about to travel much farther than that with a momma who is 39 weeks into her pregnancy! We just hoped that baby Allison would wait to make her appearance until at least after dinner. Our wish was granted and Christmas Day came and went with no trip to the hospital. We did open presents and had a wonderful meal of lasagna and delicious snacks all day long! It is always great to see the kids play together and how much they have grown since last time. Just think, next year we will be celebrating not just Jesus' birthday, but also Allison's birthday! Wow - I am already exhausted just thinking about it! Enjoy the pictures!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Christmas Morning' 2011

Well, with baby due to arrive any day now, we decided to have Santa come Christmas Eve morning (just one day early). The girls were so excited to set out cookies and milk for Santa and even carrots for his Reindeer! Then, it took them over an hour to finally fall asleep! After a late bedtime, Lexi was up bright and early at 5 am... she hopped in bed with us to wait for her sister to wake up. Finally at 7:30 Jill woke also. They waited patiently on the steps for daddy to get the video camera ready for the big reveal. Then, at last, they RAN into the family room to find the loot Santa had left behind. He was very good to both girls - bringing them exactly what they had asked for! Lexi received a HUGE Disney Princess Castle along with a Talking Super Grover and a Tiana barbie doll. And for Jill, Santa brought a Baby Alive, a "Jill" doll aka. Cabbage Patch Doll that looks just like her, and a Tinker Bell barbie doll. Santa also left a few more wrapped gifts for both girls under the tree. Needless to say, they both made out like bandits! Success... and still no baby Allison. Hopefully she waits now until at least tomorrow night (we are supposed to be in Smithville for Christmas tomorrow!). Time will tell! Enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Elves are Back!

I can't believe I almost forgot to Elf our family! It has become sort of a tradition. It is so funny to watch back. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Christmas!

Well, we managed to squeeze our 1st Christmas of the year in before baby #3 decided to arrive. Since we are dangerously close to baby's due date, everyone agreed to travel to Copley for our Thomas Christmas this year. The Ginter clan (along with G.G. and Papa Bud) all arrived on Friday. We had a taco ring for dinner and my good friend Michele even got to join us and meet my crazy family! Then on Saturday the Crossland clan joined us. The only one missing was Matt Gurtz... dumb ol' stomach bug! We missed you!!! After a 4:30 dinner we got a quick photo of everyone (thanks Natalie for taking the pic) and then we started in on gifts. It moved along fairly quickly and before you knew it we were all talking and playing games. Great food, great company... GREAT FAMILY! Thanks to all of you for making the trip out east. I still can't believe we were all under 1 roof for overnight (except Marty and Shannon who left late Saturday night)!! It was close quarters, but I think everyone at least got some sleep. There for a minute I wasn't sure if baby Saris would hold out until the weekend was over, but alas... she is still not here. Most likely sometime soon, though! By the way, Hotel Saris is now closed until next year!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Big Girl is 5!

Well, it has been a whirl wind few weeks, but Lexi is now officially 5 years old! We had her party a few weeks early (beginning of November). Then, the Tuesday before her birthday we took her to her choice of restaurants... Red Robin in North Canton. While we were in North Canton, mommy decided to go ahead and get a photo shoot in at the Kiddie Kandids (inside Babies-R-Us). The girls were WONDERFUL!!! I wasn't sure where my quirky, shy girls were and who had jumped into their bodies! Anyway, great shoot and we even got Daddy in a picture! Lexi's birthday was on Tuesday and she took snack to school (Trix yogurt). Then we ventured to Grandma Chris and Papa's house for Thanksgiving on Thursday where she got more b-day gifts - thanks everyone! And... since the Ginter/Thomas family didn't meet up for Turkey Day, she will probably get even more loot on Dec. 10th when we conviene for T'giving/X-mas at our house! Can we say "The Longest Birthday EVER!" Anyway, enjoy the pictures from our photo shoot!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lexi's 5th Birthday Party!

I know it is 2 weeks after her party... but here it is! I finally had a few extra minutes to post some pictures. Lexi shared her birthday party day with her best buddy Logan. We had a great joint party with a Tangled/Transformers theme. The kids all had a great time and I think it was a success! Enjoy all the pictures! (and a HUGE thanks to aunt Brittany for manning the camera all day!!!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Football!

Over the past few weeks, we have taken the girls to not 1, but 2 football games. First we saw Papa's team, the Smithville Smithies, beat Dalton by a landslide! Cousin Zach and aunt Julie even joined us for the first quarter. Our girls, however couldn't leave until the game ended and they could meet up with Papa! He even took them out on the field (after the players had exited, of course). We managed to stay warm and got a few good pictures.

Then, last week we watched uncle Andrew's Mansfield Madison 7th grade team beat Orville! Way to go!! Once again, we couldn't leave until the game was over so the girls could congratulate uncle Andrew on his win. Is he taking after Papa... I think so!

Weather was great for both games and can't wait until next year when we have a third little girl in Smithies garb!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1st Day of Gymnastics!

While Lexi went to school today, Miss Jilly got to start her gymnastics classes! She was so excited!!! We are taking her to Pinncale Gymnastics near Medina (the same place we took Lexi to 2 years ago). She is in the parent/child class, so mommy gets to stay with her during her 45 minute lesson. Let's not forget that this will get increasingly more difficult for mommy as she nears her New Year's Eve due date! Anyway, enjoy the few pictures I took on her very first day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of Pre-K!

The time has finally come! Lexi started school today!!! She now goes 5 mornings a week from 9 to 11:30. It is really good for her in order to prepare her for Kindergarten next year. She just loves it! Most of her friends returned this year and are once again in her class. Ms. Calli is her teacher and we had NO TEARS today!!! Hopefully this trend will continue... and then tomorrow my little Jilly starts Gymnastics! Oh what a week!!! Enjoy a few pictures!

And a blast from the past... last year's 1st day of Preschool!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fun at the Park!

With only 1 short week left before school starts, we decided to enjoy Preston's HOPE Park in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Ava and Sophia were able to join us (along with their mom, Shelby) for a great morning of fun and adventure! We packed up a lunch and spent a few hours burning off some energy and having a blast. This park is awesome and the kids just love it. Too bad it is quite a haul from Copley - a good 45 minutes! Good thing Shelby lives about half way there. Great way to break up the trip! Enjoy the pictures and if you are ever in the Cleveland area with children... stop by for a few hours of free fun!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Daughters and Daughters and Daughters, OH MY!

Yes... it's true. We are having yet another girl! Needless to say this will be the final addition to the Saris family (we are out of bedrooms)! I think the Ultrasound Tech got a pretty good 3D image of the little one - due to arrive sometime around December 31st! Hopefully you can make out the body parts!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Backyard View

Last night, the sky behind our house revealed the most amazing sight! It was orange and glowing!! The houses across our street were all aglow with a tangerine hue. It was beautiful! I just had to take a few pictures. Enjoy!

Clear Lake '11

Well, Ben and Erin Culler finally got us to their home at the lake! We made the 3 hour trip this past weekend and had a blast! Clear Lake is just across the Indiana state line just miles off of Rt. 49 (very close to Ohio and Michigan). We left Friday after lunch and made it home by Sunday for supper. The kids all had a great time and were tuckered out! We went swimming/wading at the sand bar off the island, took many boat rides, swam off their dock in the waist-deep water, and even went tubing!!! Jack LOVED the tube... Lexi, Jill, and Nate were ok with it, but I think preferred to be swimming. The adults even escaped and enjoyed a DELICIOUS dinner at a local restaurant (thanks to Sara the babysitter for taking on all 4 kiddos). All the kids did wonderful and we really enjoyed our time spent with the Culler family. Thanks for having us and maybe we will return next year or even make this a yearly ritual?!?! Enjoy the pictures.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Crossland Wedding!

Well, Shannon is finally legally part of the family! Marty and Shannon got married on Sat. July 23 and it was a blast! It was also a HOT one!!! We managed to have fun through the sweat and it was so great to see all of Shannon and Marty's family and friends come out to celebrate with them. Flower-girl-Lexi had a minor melt-down just prior to walking down the aisle, but Matron-of Honor-Maely held her hand and she made it to the front of the church. Lexi was a trooper through the heat and with it being a LOOONNNGGG day (she was up by 7:30 and not in bed until 11 pm), I think she did ok. I have 3 albums of pictures... one from Rehearsal Friday night, one from Saturday morning before the wedding, and then one from Saturday afternoon and evening after the wedding. Enjoy!!!
P.S. They are the same pictures as on facebook, so if you have already looked at them you don't need to see them all again!




Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Lexi's hairpiece choices!

Just for you, Shannon! Let me know what you think!

Headband (off-white)

Headband (off-white)

Headband (off-white)

Headband (silver with rhinestones in the flower centers)

Headband (silver with rhinestones covering it)

Tiara (simple with rhinestones)

Rhinestones that twist into the hair

Pearl flowers that twist into the hair

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Saris Family Vacation

Matt and I decided to take the girls to the Atlantic coast for our vacation this summer. We used our time-share and went to Galloway, NJ (which is only 20 minutes from Atlantic City and the Boardwalk). We mostly stayed around the resort and enjoyed the pool and nearby restaurants. On Sunday, we ventured to the coast to see Lucy the Elephant. Lucy is a 6-story hollow wooden Elephant that sits on the Atlantic shore and overlooks the ocean. Matt found the pamphlet in the resort lobby and Lexi just HAD to go see the giant Elephant! It wasn't very impressive, but Lexi liked it.
Then on Monday we ventured back to the coast and walked the Boardwalk. We only went about ½ mile in one direction, but that was plenty for the girls. Then we ate at
Rainforest Cafe (where Jill was scared to death of the moving animals) and even let the girls put their toes in the ocean before returning to the resort. The water was very cold and they didn't mind at all to go back to the warm pool.
Tuesday afternoon, we left our resort and headed 1½ hours to Langhorne, PA where we would spend the rest of our vacation. The hotel we stayed at was a mere ¼ mile from
Sesame Place! Needless to say, this was the highlight of the trip for the girls. Lexi loves Grover and Jill likes Elmo. We got a few great pictures with both characters. We enjoyed 2 days at the park and then headed home on Friday. Whew! Tiring but enjoyable vacation. Maybe someday we will try it again (not for a few years, though with another baby coming). Enjoy all the pictures!!

Ginter Second Cousins Unite!

Well, it was a long time coming... but the Ginter cousins finally united (about half of them at least) and all our kids finally got to meet - with the exception of Brittany's kids who were in daycare and couldn't make the Thursday trip. We missed you!!! But, it was great to see James and Sara. It had been quite a while since we had seen them. A good effort was made to get a picture of all the great-grandkids. I don't think it turned out half bad! It was great to catch up with everyone! It was bittersweet, though to know that Granny was in the hospital and couldn't join us to enjoy all her great-grandkids all together. Enjoy the few pictures!!!

Toledo Zoo!

Back in May, the girls and I went to Brittany's for the day. We decided to introduce Lexi and Jill to the Toledo Zoo! They LOVED it!! Lexi especially loved the elephants (the Akron zoo doesn't have any). They also loved the activity center and the wading stream. We tuckered them out and had a great time! Enjoy the pictures!

Zach's 1st Birthday!

So, I know I am about a month late, but here are the pictures from Zach's 1st birthday! He is sooos ornery!! He also loves the Sesame Street character Murray, but we couldn't find a Murray cake, so Big Bird and Elmo had to do. Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One More Time...

Well, as a few of you may already know, we are expecting again! The official due date is December 31st... What a due date! We are really excited, but having said that - the morning sickness has been by far the worst of the 3. Hopefully it soon passes and we can get back to a somewhat normal day-to-day life. Can't wait for our third and final bundle of joy to join our family! Here is the first official picture (if you can make it out). The head is at the right and the feet are sticking up on the left side.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Time is Flying By!!

I know, I know... it has been forever since I posted! I promise there is good stuff to come. We celebrated Easter at Chris and Chuck's house, Jill turned 2, and G.G. Eileen is now 80! WOW! I promise pictures and recaps are on the way! In the mean time, check out my good friend Kim's photo blog (Photos by Kimberly) for a quick preview of Jilly's 2-year old photo shoot - and some of the girls together, too!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easter Bunny!

I must be a mean mom for making my children see the Easter Bunny. As you can see, one child is crying and the other one look scared out of her mind. Oh well, one day we will look back and laugh at this picture! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Finally Spring!

Just a quick post with a St. Patty's Day picture and then on to some Spring fun. We spent the day at Grandma Chris and Papa's house when Ben and Julie were in town - just look how big Zach is getting! The kids had a blast outside! Then we got another gorgeous day later that week. Enjoy the pictures!

Chris and Chuck's

Fun at home!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fort Rapids

This past weekend, we made a trip down to Columbus to stay at Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark with the entire Ginter clan. We left Friday after Bethany got home from work and didn't return home until Sunday afternoon. At the hotel, we were all staying in 1 suite. It had one bedroom, a loft, and 2 additional queen beds (along with a pull-out couch that we didn't need to make into a bed). G'pa Gary and G'ma Nola got there 1st and checked in. Next was our family and shortly afterwards the Gurtzweilers arrived. Uncle Benny was in California on a LONG business trip (7 weeks to be exact) and took the red-eye flight leaving California around 11 pm and arriving in Columbus around 9am Saturday morning. Needless to say uncle Benny was pooped! He still managed to swim with us all for awhile before napping. We all enjoyed the waterpark on Saturday and our meals consisted of tacos-in-a-bag and a crock of meatballs - with hotdogs for the kids. Saturday evening, Papa Gary took Benny home (since his car was still in Cincinnati). I think Benny enjoyed his own bed and some much-needed sleep. The rest of us chilled in the room and just spent time together. Sunday morning Papa Gary and G'ma Nola left bright and early to make it to Columbus Grove in time for church. The rest of us packed up and suited the kids for one last swim. After a quick bite at Steak-n-Shake we headed for home. A huge thanks to uncle Andrew for staying at our house with Banky! Enjoy the pictures.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Febuary (in a nutshell)

The last weekend in January, Brittany and Maely brought the kids to visit along with G.G. Eileen and Gra-Nola (for the day Saturday while Papa Gary was at a motorcycle convention in Cleveland). Maely and Brittany bundled up the 2 older girls to have some fun in the snow. I think they really enjoyed being young and free with the sled and building a snowman! Then Febuary just flew by for us. We had a lot going on for a winter month. Matt and Bethany worked 3 out of 4 weekends this month. The one weekend we had off was Kyle's 1st birthday party - which Lexi and Matt didn't make it to (Lexi was sick). Earlier in the month, Gra-Nola and Papa Gary brought their puppet skits to Lexi's preschool on a Friday morning and then did an encore skit for the kids at church on Sat. evening. The kids loved the puppets! Nola's cousin Mike and his wife Heidi even helped out on the Saturday performance. So fun! Throw in Valentine's Day and you get a pretty busy month. Enjoy some pictures!

Brittany and Maely's visit

Puppet Skits

Valentine's Day Kyle's 1st Birthday

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Keeping Busy

This past weekend, Matt had a "Fantasy Football" End-of-the-Season Party. Quite a few guys showed up to celebrate the past football season. We also had a few women and children in the house full of guys - thanks to Abi and Jen who kept me company. Abi and Brett also brought along their 2 girls (who are very close in age to our girls). It is always great to see them and let the kids play together. Looking forward to more "play dates" in the future!
Then today I decided it was time to get Jill's bangs out of her face. I ended up getting her hair chopped! It was very thin and I guess you have to keep it short in order for it to get thicker (length weighs it down). We will see if it works! Will take some getting used to, though. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fun in the Snow!

The girls and I decided to go outside this afternoon so mommy could shovel the driveway before daddy got home from work. Jill wasn't so sure about the cold wet stuff at first, but by the time we pulled out the sled she was grinning from ear to ear! Lexi did great holding on to her on the sled while I followed them down the driveway. So glad the girls got boots for Christmas from Gra-Nola and Papa Gary! Thanks!