Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eve

This is my first trial post from my brand new Christmas gift - an iPad! The only pictures I could find were a few from Christmas Eve so future posts may be out of order but that's okay. I'll have to figure it all out when I have more time to play with it. (It's kinda been monopolized by my boys!)

Cookies for Santa:
 Playing on the beach...I could get used to this in December!
 Malachi and Uncle Scott even built a sandcastle!
Jonas liked walking all over and it was much easier having him at the beach now than it was this summer.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More Milestones

In addition to Elliott's big milestone last week, Jonas started walking! He's been able to take quite a few steps together for a while now but just didn't want to do it very often. As of last week he's been walking more than crawling. Our baby's growing up!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Buddy's Best Trick Yet

Apparently our elf Buddy is in fact magic. Or at least he's very talented when it comes to potty training!
Last Thursday morning our boys woke up to this:

Buddy had taken their stockings and hung their underwear/diapers on the hooks instead! Elliott was very concerned about where his stocking had gone and whether Santa would be able to fill it with presents if Buddy didn't return it. He talked about it for about a half hour and I just kept telling him that Buddy would probably return his stocking that night, just like he always cleans up his messes at night when we're sleeping. Then as I was cleaning up the kitchen from breakfast Elliott came downstairs carrying a pair of underwear. He told me that he wanted to wear underwear and use the potty all day so that Buddy wouldn't need his diaper anymore. Elliott has wanted to wear underwear on occasion before, but he always had multiple accidents and later decided he wanted his diapers back so I didn't think much of it at that point. By naptime when Elliott had gone to the potty several times, mostly without being asked, I thought maybe we were on to something. That evening (still no accidents all day!) he didn't even want a diaper for bedtime, although we decided he needed more practice before wearing underwear all night long. I was VERY excited about such a successful day and wanted Buddy to reward Elliott somehow since Elliott apparently thought wearing underwear would help get his stocking back so...
Buddy returned the boys' stockings and made a special note for Elliott saying, "Yay Elliott! Keep wearing these. You're a big boy now!" The boys thought it was hilarious that underwear were hanging in the kitchen and Elliott couldn't wait to take off his overnight diaper and put on his "big boy underpants."
Now it's Tuesday. 6 days in and only 2 accidents. I consider that pretty successful and I give full credit to Buddy the Elf for potty training Elliott!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Buddy the Elf

Just before Thanksgiving I was looking at some pictures of the popular Christmas tradition Elf on the Shelf. As I was looking at them I thought to myself how I was glad we hadn't bought into this tradition and how I hoped that noone would gift us an elf that I would then have to keep up with. Then the boys received an early Christmas gift. An Elf on the Shelf.
The boys named our elf Buddy (although Johnny Football, Manziel and Heisman were also possible name options) and I must admit it's been pretty fun having him around. For one thing, Malachi has recently been questioning the reality of Santa Claus, mainly because he just doesn't think it's possible for one person to do all Santa does in one night. But Buddy stumps him. He is so excited each morning to show us what Buddy has gotten into over night! Thanks to friends who also have elves at their houses and Pinterest it's been pretty easy coming up with fun and creative things for Buddy to do each night too. And tomorrow I'll share my favorite thing about having Buddy around, but for now here are some pictures of all Buddy's shenanigans so far:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa Train

A while ago my siblings and I decided the cousins should get to do something fun together for Christmas rather than get more toys (which none of them needs!). So yesterday we took a trip to Lebanon, Ohio, to ride the Santa train.
We started with a half hour train ride. There was even an elf that entertained us with balloon creations while we rode!
We got off at the "North Pole Junction" where we had some hot chocolate and cookies. The kids were also able to color a picture, write a letter to Santa and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

We all had a great time and I'm so excited that we were able to make memories instead of buying more presents that won't last. Hopefully this will become a tradition the cousins look forward to each year!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My Little Piano Man

Jonas is getting quite a bit of personality lately. He's also starting to play well independently and one of his favorite toys is my old toy piano. Maybe we have a future musician on our hands?!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Family Time

I know I just posted about our Thanksgiving weekend, but since then I received a copy of this picture (thanks, Kimmy!) and thought I'd share.
It's almost the weekend and we have lots of fun things coming up. I'm going to try hard to make time for the blog and to keep everyone up to date with our holiday happenings over the next few weeks!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Break

Whew, what a weekend! We had a great Thanksgiving break and enjoyed lots of time with people we love. Becky and Kevin were able to visit and we managed a short Skype date with Jessica and family in Alaska. We really missed having them here again this year!
We had perfect weather on Thanksgiving. I had hoped for another backyard football game, but apparently there are too many little kids to worry about now so we just played outside instead.

We all headed down to mom and dad's for Thanksgiving dinner - all 27 of us! There was a kids' room:

 A men's table:
And a women's table:
That was kinda funny, but when you're seating that many worked! There were also birthday cupcakes for me. Yay!
Mom, Megan, Kelsey, Kim and I left at 10pm to go up to the outlet malls for our annual midnight shopping experience. It did not disappoint! We shopped for 6 HOURS! We all got some good bargains, had lots of laughs and came away tired and happy. I got to bed a little after 6:00 - crazy that I'm usually getting up at that time!

The Lloyd Company Open House was also this weekend and Saturday evening we had the store's Christmas dinner at the Bell Tower. It was another delicious dinner and fun time with friends and family. Now that there's no chance of jinxing it, I can proudly say that all the kiddos were VERY well behaved! Even these two:
 Maybe it's because they were very interested in reading the Bible?
They were well behaved, but that doesn't mean we were able to get a decent picture of all of them!
Now we're getting back to real life, except we're missing one silly little boy! Elliott got to go back to Tennessee with Yaya and 'Buelo for the week. We hear he's being good and having lots of fun, but this house sure is quiet without him! Maybe I should take advantage and get the Christmas decorations up...'Tis the Season!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
We started our morning early with the Turkey Trot in Chillicothe - and it was a successful run for the Allsops! Erik finished with a personal best of 16:35 and won a pumpkin pie to add to our Thanksgiving feast. I also beat my goal and ran 29:12. It was lots of fun seeing so many friends and family there, a great way to begin our day of thankfulness!

Friday, November 16, 2012

On the Verge

This skill has been going on for a while now but my little stinker doesn't like it when I grab the camera for a quick video. He's so close to walking alone! Last night he walked all the way across the living room - a few steps at a time then falling, standing back up and going a few more. He gets really proud of himself so I'm pretty sure he'll be nonstop very soon!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

At the Dentist

Walking back to the room for his first dental appointment, Elliott turned around and said to me, "this is gonna be awesome!" I'm not sure what had him so excited about it, but he did do great. He even did an Aggie yell for the dentist when he was asked about his favorite football team (of course he was wearing his Aggie hat). 
I'm thankful for a very nice, patient and understanding dental hygienist, Jill, who loves our boys. I'm also thankful for the daughter of another hygienist who watched Jonas for me while I got my teeth cleaned. I'm still not sure what made me think it was a good idea to take a 1-year old with us for three appointments and two sets of x-rays! Oh well, we survived and we're cavity-free for at least another 6 months!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Last month Malachi went to his first sleepover at Carson's house. It was very strange to realize he was old enough to do that and be okay without me and Erik. I think it was a success because afterwards all he could talk about was when Carson would be able to spend the night at our house. So (finally!) a couple weeks ago Carson came to the Litter Family Fun Day at Grammy Litter's house and then spent the afternoon and night with us. The boys played Legos, Star Wars, spies,, video games, built a fort, drank pop, watched a movie, ate popcorn and cookies and camped in the basement. Malachi was extra excited too because Carson was able to go to church with us the next morning.
So sleepover #2 was a success! But, my goodness, it makes me feel old to have a child old enough for sleepovers!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy Birthday, Papaw!

Kelsey snapped this shot during Jonas' cake smash photo shoot and I thought it was too funny to not share. Too bad she didn't photoshop in the correct number on top of the cake!
Happy birthday, Dad! We hope you have a fun day and know how much we all love you!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My New Job

One of the reasons it's been difficult to find time to post more regularly lately is because of my newest job - babysitting! At the beginning of October I started watching a teacher's two kids every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. As with any job I've had to readjust my schedule a bit and get used to having less flexibility, but I am thankful for a way to make a little extra income while still being able to stay home with our boys.
Here's Elliott with his new playmate, Kylee. Kylee turned two in June. She is as big as Elliott and talks very well. She wants to be a little momma - always picking up the babies and trying to take care of them. She can be dramatic and bossy, and I'm learning what it's like to have a little girl around! She's definitely strong-willed but also a very sweet girl.
Here are Jonas and Bryson. Bryson will turn one in January. He is a super easy baby, as long as he's fed and has a clean diaper! He's bigger than Jonas and doing just about everything Jonas does, in fact it will not surprise me at all if he walks first!
I think it's been good for our boys to have other kids around - except for the colds they've passed back and forth a couple times now! There are days when my "time-out step" is worn out by the end of the afternoon and Elliott and Kylee fight like siblings on many occasions, but hopefully they will enjoy having friends around to play with during the week.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Malachi's First Awards Assembly

Last Friday was the awards assembly for Malachi's first quarter of 1st grade. We are so proud of him - he received awards for Perfect Attendance and A Honor Roll!
Way to go, Malachi! Keep up the good work!