Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Very Davis Christmas

We spent a portion of Christmas vacation in New York City on the way to visit Tom's brother's (Steve) family. Here is a diary of our trip:

Saturday December 22: Santa made an early surprise visit to our house overnight. The girls woke up to find he had delivered their American Girl Dolls early. They also were happy to see tons of presents under the tree from my side of the family. We had a great time opening our gifts then headed out for our car trip to NYC. . .

By 6:00 Saturday night we had found our hotel in Jersey City. We had an excellent view of the city from our hotel room and a view of the Statue of Liberty during the clear daylight.

As soon as we settled in, we hopped the PATH (New Jersey Subway system) and found ourselves coming above ground right in the middle of the hole that used to be the World Trade Center. What a humbling and sobering sight. After switching trains, we headed into Times Square. WOW! We have never seen so many people in one place before. We quickly forgot our plans to grab a bite to eat in a restaurant and ate on the street corner outside Toys R Us and MTV studios (hot dog for me, pretzels for the girls and Tom).

After a visit to M&M World and the Hershey Store and a NY pizza place, we took a walk toward Rockefeller Center where we saw the beautiful tree all lit up and checked out Radio City Music Hall where we would be in the morning.

Sunday, December 23: Up Early!!! We hopped the subway (we're pros already) and headed to Radio City Music Hall for the 9:00 performance of the Rockettes for the Radio City Christmas Spectatular. A 3-D ride from the North Pole to NYC, then a tour around the city, followed by tons of dancing and singing by the Rockettes left us all in the Christmas spirit.

Then we walked to the American Girl Place (the girls couldn't wait) for a couple hours of shopping fun. Lunch at TGI Fridays was good (wow- $20 for a sandwich????) and reenergized us for our next adventure.

We hopped the subway again and headed to the Natural History Museum. We were met with a LONG line to get in followed by crowds galore inside the museum. There was soooo much to see!!!! The girls really wanted to see the African mammals and the T Rex, so we made those a priority and then called it a day.

Back to the hotel to rest and try to catch some of the Patriots game while the girls tried their new clothes on Julie and Molly (their American Girl Dolls). Tom was able to meet up with an old friend from Kansas. . .Goofball, also known as GB or better known in NYC as Michael (Is he really a title insurance salesman now????).

Monday December 24: Up early again. . .we packed our bags and headed out of the hotel for a few shots of the skyline and Statue of Liberty. We jumped the PATH again to go back to the American Girl Place for brunch. This time the girls (dressed in their Christmas dresses) brought Julie and Molly with us. One small, minor mishap on the subway (just when we were feeling like pros) left us a bit shaken, but all was well when we got to the destination. The girls loved the brunch experience, then we headed back to the hotel, packed the car and headed out of the city: Destination: Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

3:00 Christmas Eve - We arrive at Steve's house earlier than expected. Tom heads out for a run while Melanie and Kylie get reaquainted with their cousins, Liam and Lucas and their step-cousins, Mariah and Cerena. A Christmas Eve dinner of delicious Ravoli cassorole was followed by stories around the Christmas tree then spreading reindeer food on the front lawn and singing Christmas carols. Off to bed for the six kids. . .Santa is on his way!

Christmas Morning: Presents for 12 people takes up a lot of room!!!! The kids were so excited to start tearing into everything. Opening gifts was a bit chaotic, but the kids sure did have fun. Steve and Dawn's gift to their kids was the Wii system. So, guess how the rest of the day was spent??? The kids (and dads) really had a great time with Wii, especially the golf and bowling. But I think the most hilarious and fun time was watching Tom and Steve boxing. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Dinner of ham AND turkey was extravagent and delicious!

Wednesday December 26: Another day for the kids explore the Wii and play games, play Barbies, play house. . .you name it, they did it. Tom and I took a trip into town with Dawn to see some of the sights and run a couple of errands. Then we took Steve and Dawn out for a Mexican thank you dinner while Beach Grammy and Grampy took care of the six kids. Thanks guys!!!

Thursday, December 27: We packed up our car one last time and took a bunch of family photos before heading back to New England. A LONG drive through Connecticut with tons of traffic was frustrating, but we finally pulled into Tom's dad's house in Rhode Island for a Christmas celebration with him and Donna around 7:00. More gifts, conversation and food! Then wearily we headed home to Cape Cod where Jayhawk was eagerly waiting our return (not really. . .I think he barely lifted his head when we came in!).

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Last summer I wrote a new book titled Crossroads. After I wrote it I
let it sit for awhile because it was kind of an emotional story for me
to write. It's about a family's struggle with a cancer diagnosis and
it was inspired by my best friend who recently combatted cancer
(successfully). As I was writing it my father in law was going through
chemo and radiation and just as I finished it, my father was diagnosed
with cancer and my mother underwent brain surgery (all in the same
week). It was tough for me to read it again to edit it (and my mom is
my usual editor), so it remainied untouched for awhile. Once she was
feeling better I sent it to her and she edited it and I gave it to
family as Christmas gifts. I have gotten such a positive response from
those who have read it that I have decided to release it to the
public. It's NOT a sad story! I don't like sad stories or sad endings,
so you will never catch me writing one. It's about strength and
inspiration during tough times (with a side story of mystery). If you
are interested you can purchase the book at Enter my
name Kelli Davis in the search and you will be taken to all my books.

Here's the synopsis:

Corruption, scandal, murder, intrigue. Anne Stone deals with these
issues on a daily basis with unflappable conviction. She ran from
abuse at the hands of her alcoholic father to become one of the
nation's top investigative reporters. One call from her sister, Megan
threatens to disrupt Anne's career when she finds out that their
mother, Anita has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is refusing
treatment. Anne remembers her mother as a person who never stepped in
to help Anne when her father was on a rampage and Anne has to dig deep
within herself to find compassion for a woman who turned her back on
her own family.

Anne's love for her sister ultimately is what convinces her to return
home and offer support. Once home, Anne is forced to work on her
relationship with her mother and often is tempted to give up and
return to New York. But something helps convince Anne to stay in
Colton, Colorado and it has nothing to do with Anne's mother or

Enter Kaylee Taylor. Kaylee is a feisty, imaginative six year old who
is battling leukemia for the second time in her young life. She shares
a chemotherapy room with Anita and brings life and joy to a dismal
setting. And beside Kaylee sits her father, Jake Taylor - a man whom
Anne grew up with. As children they skipped rocks, climbed trees, rode
motorcycles, skinny dipped and played practical jokes on their
siblings. Jake knows all about Anne's troubled home life and may hold
the answer to her being able to put the past behind her.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sweet Snowville and Foggy Bottoms

We spent our snowy, rainy, windy afternoon indoors today making a Gingerbread house. The girls had fun creating their masterpiece with a little eating along the way. We added the little Gingerbread house that Melanie made at a party the other day to the scene as the dog house. They named the big house Sweet Snowville (since we are snowed in) and the dog house is Sweet Foggy Bottoms (since it is so foggy outside we can hardly see the neighbors houses right now). Tom keeps saying he's going to eat them. . .but I'm more worried about Jayhawk since he ate last years Gingerbread house!

Cheetalishish Christmas

After only four weeks of classes, Melanie's hip hop group put on a little Christmas show for the parents. I recorded it as you will see below. The first is only part of the routine because my memory card became full. The second is the full routine, but a back view most of the time. Watch them both for feel of the whole performance. I think the girls did great for only practicing for four weeks!!!

Cheetalishish Christmas (Front view - Partial routine)

Here is the partial front view. My memory card filled up half way through, but you can see Melanie's face more. . .

Cheetalishish Christmas

Here is Melanie's Christmas Hip Hop routine. For some reason the instructor had us sitting behind the girls, so I got the back of Melanie. She's in the first group that comes out with the short black pants (white socks). They performed it again and I got some from the front, but my memory card ran out half way through the performance.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lady Frostina the Snow Girl

We got about 6 inches of snow the other day. Melanie's school let out early and she, Kylie and Jayhawk spent several hours playing while it was still snowing. Then Friday Kylie and I had fun building our snowgirl! Kylie says it looks like she's wearing a skirt (sorry I can't make the perfect snowman) so she has to be a girl and her name can't be Frosty. Oh and that's not a pipe in her mouth it's her "whistle." So, here's our creation. . .

Get Elfed!

Check out our family's moves! Click below. . .

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Kylie's Family Party

Since life is crazy for us the next few days and on Kylie's actual birthday (Tuesday the 11th), we decided to celebrate as a family on Saturday. She opened her gifts yesterday afternoon. You may notice we acquired a new piece of real estate. . .that's the Barbie House from my parents. Kylie wishes to tell Grandma and Grandpa, "The Barbie house is the best birthday present ever!!!"

She also loves the Bride Barbie from Beach Grammy. . .she opened that up and moved her right into her new house along with 30 of her best Barbie friends. Tom and I gave her the Leap Frog talking globe and the HS Musical cheerleader outfit for dress up play. We also gave her Honey Pie Pony for her Strawberry Shortcakes, Shrek the Third and the Hannah Montana - Meet Miley Cyrus CD. She loves the magnetic dollhouse from Uncle Eric, Aunt Joni and Alex. Thanks everyone!!!

After gifts we headed out to dinner to the BBC (British Beer Company - Kylie's choice) where we all feasted. Kylie and Tom shared a pizza and Kylie almost ate 3 pieces! Then the waitress surprised her with a big piece of chocolate cake for dessert.

After dinner we bundled up and went to Heritage Museums Spectacle of Lights where we got to see Santa and ride the carousel while walking through beautiful light displays. It's one of our family yearly traditions and seems to get better every year.

Today we are hanging out at home. . .Melanie has been fighting a cold and ended up awake last night with a fever and horrible sounding coughing and wheezing. She's feeling better except tired this morning, but I thought we should stay home. So, I found a substitute teacher for Sunday School. They are happily playing with all the new toys and we are going to have movie and game day in our PJs.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ballet Routine

Kylie is harder to see in this one. She's on the far right, kind of behind the teacher. This is part of the routine she will be doing for her Peter Pan recital - they will be Tinkerbells.

Tap Routine

Kylie had her observation day at tap/ballet class and I played around with my movie feature on my camera. I guess I didn't realize how easy it was to use, or else I would have been making tons of movies all along! And if I can upload them, watch out! I have a whole new hobby! Here's a tap routine that she did.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Over the Rainbow

We celebrated Kylie's fifth birthday on Sunday with a Wizard of Oz theme. Our guests were greeted with a yellow brick road at our entrance leading them into the basement (Over the Rainbow). (Notice the squished Witch?)

Their first stop in Munchkinland was to make their very own ruby slippers, then Melanie (AKA Dorothy) led them on a scavenger hunt to find the witch. Along the way they found Toto and two of the witch's brooms. Then they had to reassemble their own scarecrows which gave them their "diplomas." Then they had to chase rotten apples out of the forest (relay race) which awarded them their badges of courage (and helped them find and melt the witch). A fun game of don't get stuck in the witch's castle when the music stops was a blast. Finally they had to help the tin man get his heart and were awarded with their own heart necklaces. All the girls clicked their heels together and said "There's no place like home," and were transported back to Kansas (upstairs) for cake and ice cream.

Making our ruby slippers

Our scarecrows were really cute! Thanks Beach Grammy!

As soon as everyone left, Kylie couldn't wait to try on one of her presents from her school friend Jessica. Perfect gift!


Kylie was very brave and held really still for her MRI. The results came back 4 days later and showed no Chiari! And a completely normal brain. Thank goodness!

An update on my parents. . .mom is still feeling pretty good. She has occasional headaches and has to be really careful not to overdo it. My dad is still feeling pretty tired. He had his first appointment with his oncologist last week and has more testing to undergo. They still can't find the primary site of the cancer and can't proceed until they do. . . the cancer on the small intestine was on the outside of the intestine, so they know it is coming from somewhere else. He also has to have a surgery to reduce the size of his prostate which is going to happen very soon.

Our First Thanksgiving. . .

Our first Thanksgiving in our new home was simple and relaxing. We woke up for waffles (on my new Belgian Waffle maker - early Christmas from Tom), watched the parade and then had a dinner of turkey breast, mashed potatoes, corn and homemade bread. It was a beautiful day outside, so we loaded up the dog and went to the conservation land for a walk in the woods. Jayhawk took a swim and the girls played on the beach and playground. Then it was home for pumpkin pie and a movie.