Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Santa Claus Came to Town

Its almost 2009 and time to wrap up the holiday season on the Rode Family Blog. On the Saturday before Christmas, we got together with some of our good friends for a fancy Christmas dinner at the Oregon Grille.
We had 15 people altogether with a long table in the most upstairs room. The food was excellent! Laura and I took advantage of the husband/wife system of ordering steak and crab cakes and then sharing. Surf and turf, baby! We got to do that two nights in a row, considering we had my office Christmas party at the Harryman House on the night before.
Then came Christmas eve. After Kinzie went to sleep, Laura and I opened our gifts to each other. I gave Laura the Nikon Coolpix 560, with the touch-screen that Ashton Kutcher advertises. She loved it and many of her photos will appear later in this blog post.
Laura got me the Ravens helmet hoodie that I wanted so bad, plus a canopy tent and portable grill/cooler for tailgating. They were all great gifts and I can't wait till Jimmy Buffett announces his 2009 tour dates so I can start preparing!
Here is how the Christmas tree looked with all of Kinzie's presents wrapped underneath.
We left Santa Claus a glass of milk and some peanut butter cookies... (he really enjoyed them!)
After Santa left, we woke our little girl up....
She was so adorable in her Christmas 'jammies.
One of her most favorite gifts was the white-sparkle Tinkerbell dress.
She enjoyed walking down the steps to show it off to us. Here is the whole family in the pile of presents. ... lots of Disney dvds!
Our first stop of the day was the Sroka family. Here is Mackinzie with her cousins, Brooke and Emma.
Laura got to try out one of the cool features of her Coolpix camera... the touch-screen drawing.
Laura's brother, Josh, got a Shock Ball for me. Its like a hot potato, only it gives off a pretty powerful electric shock at random intervals. Its pretty awesome and rivals the Ravens helmet hoodie as my favorite Christmas gift of the year.
Here I am with Josh. I was able to find a dvd copy of the 1989 Orioles "Why Not" video for Josh.
Here is Mackinzie with Pop-pop and Gigi.
After lunch and exchanging gifts with the Sroka family, it was off to my parents' house for the Rode portion of Christmas.
Nannie got big hugs from Kinzie for bringing more gifts from Santa.
... and Laura got to try out more of her touch-screen drawing on Will...
... and Brittany.
Kinzie loves playing with Uncle Playdoh!
... and her older cousin, Audrey. They shared Grandpop's massage chair and watched "Sleeping Beauty" together.
When it was all said and done, we had lots of trash to throw out. Trash day finally comes tomorrow, so our living room has pretty much looked just like this for almost a week now.
So that is Christmas 2008 all wrapped up into one blog post. 2009 is just around the corner and baby Maeby will be here before you know it!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

To Hold You Over Till Christmas...

It's been over twenty days since our last post. We have had a lot going on lately, but not many pictures have been taken. I usually only like to post "picture" blogs because I think they're more visually interesting. I still don't have much to post now, but I figured this short blog post will hold our readers over until after Christmas... when I'm sure there will be lots of pictures to share. Here is the Christmas card we sent out this year. We sent out as many as we could, but if we missed you, consider this our holiday greeting to you!
Last Thursday, Mackinzie participated in her school Christmas play. It was really cute, but also in a really dark room, so our pictures didn't turn out so great. I video taped the whole thing (but on an old analog video camera, so I have no clue how to transfer it to the computer)
Here, Kinzie's class is displaying the nativity scene. She was an angel.
After the play, we went back to her classroom for some candy before going home.
Santa Claus is coming tonight and we're all so excited! You can ask Mackinzie what Christmas is all about, and she'll say "it's Jesus' birthday"..... and what is more important Santa or Jesus? "Jesus!"
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The (Thanksgiving) Weekend That Was

Our family had a great Thanksgiving! I started the day off bright and early for game of tackle football with my friends. We played on a full 100-yard field and included kick-offs and field goals. We had about 16 people playing and everyone had a great time without anyone getting hurt... although my body has been quite sore ever since. I played a pretty good game myself - recording a few tackles, an extra point, and a special teams touchdown off of a botched onside kick. After the game we drove down to Arnold, MD to celebrate Thanksgiving with Laura's family. After an amazing meal, we spent some quality time with the family before driving back to Baltimore to celebrate Thanksgiving: Part Two with my side of the family. It was a really great day all-around, considering that we got to spend time with pretty all the people we love and care so much about.
The next evening we drove up to Bel Air for dinner at the Armstrong's house with some friends. Mackinzie made a new friend in Erin & Ryan's elderly grandmother. She provided Kinzie with many different teddy bears to play with.
We all had a very fun time playing games and hanging out with old friends.
The next morning we decorated the house for Christmas. This is one of Laura's favorite days of the year. I had been holding out on the Christmas music and cheer until after Thanksgiving was over, so it was fun to finally be able dig out the tree and all the other Christmas decorations from the basement closets.
Once the lights were strung and the ornaments were hung, I helped Kinzie put the star on top fo the tree.
Each year we buy a new Christmas ornament for each of us that represents that year for us.
This was a pretty obvious choice for me in 2008.
This is Laura's ornament for the year. It is pretty funny... and pretty true.
This is Mackinzie's ornament. In 2008 she discovered the magic of the Disney princesses and even made her first visit to Walt Disney World, so it was only fitting that Tinkerbell be her ornament for the year. She even has a switch on her that makes her wings light up and change color.
It's a dark picture, but here is the finished product. Now we can't help but get in the Christmas spirit every time we walk through our living room.
The next day, Sunday, after church, we went back to my parents house to watch the Ravens beat the Bengals on television.
Mackinzie and I played a little "offensive/defensive line" game. We got down in our three-point-stances and tried to tackle each other.
She took me out every time!
Then Grandpop wanted to get in on the fun....
... and she took him out too!
We should probably get her a Terrell Suggs jersey, rather than a Steve McNair.
The Pauley and Pittas families joined us later for some dinner and "Storytime with Mr. Roy".
... we couldn't miss this photo-op.

In baby news, Laura is doing great! Our fourth (out of five) Fifth-disease-related sonograms went well. The baby is definitely a girl - as they were to confirm from the previous sonogram and she is healthy and growing normally. Our final sonogram is scheduled for next Friday, December 12th. If all is still well at that point, then we can put the whole Fifth-fiasco behind us.
Please keep Laura and baby Maeby in your prayers as we continue through the coming days and weeks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A School Day In The Life

Today I thought I'd document a typical school day for Mackinzie.
Kinzie attends "A Family Affair" day care on Tuesdays and Fridays. I usually try to wake her up by 8:30am to give her enough time to eat, watch a little TV, and prepare for the school day. I try to have a cup of chocolate milk, some Teddy Graham crackers and a Flintstone vitamin ready before I wake her up.
Then I go to her bedroom to wake up the sleepy-head. This YouTube clip captured the moment.

After a short visit to the potty, it's time to get dressed. Today I picked out her "Pirate Princess" shirt to wear to school.
After getting dressed, Kinzie has her breakfast in mommy & daddy's bedroom and watches a little bit of "Yo Gabba Gabba" on the dvr.
I prepare a little soft bed on the floor for her, made up of a throw pillow and blanket.
Its a pretty good morning routine that works really well for both of us.
Here you can see D.J. Lance Rock for yourself on the television. I'll usually sit and watch 10 minutes or so with Kinzie.
Now it's time to go to school! .....Hop in daddy's truck.....
... and listen to Disney princess music! Check out the YouTube clip...

Mackinzie has been attending A Family Affair for a couple of months now. She really enjoys it!
When we first get to school, we stop by the kitchen to put her lunch box in the fridge.
Then its off to play and learn! (I didn't take any pictures inside the classroom today)

After school today, Mackinzie and I get to go to the airport to pick up my parents (Mimi & Grandpop) who have been in Florida. We're looking forward to a great Thanksgiving weekend!