Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

savannah…and 34!

Last weekend, the kids opened a present from Granddaddy and Renee.

New raincoats! Perfect gift from the Pacific Northwest.

Sunday we went to our friends' annual "Nip, Nibble and Nog" after church. Such a fun, Christmasy event and time with friends.

We drove to Savannah Sunday afternoon and after dinner, drove around (in the rain) looking at Christmas lights and houses all decorated. We had to put on our jackets, switch into our rain boots and get out at the Salvation Army house.

This older couple has been decorating their house in Gordonston for years, handing out hot chocolate and collecting donations in a red bucket for the Salvation Army. The kids love it. We all do!

On Monday, we started my birthday celebration with a breakfast at Huey's on River Street - one of my favorite places in Savannah. My sister and her children met us there - along with my brothers, one sister-in-law and my mom.

I love my family. It was a great start to the (very rainy) day!

It also happened to be my family's annual Girls Baking Day, so we headed to my aunt's house to make all sorts of Christmas goodies. Hannah thoroughly enjoyed herself and we have a whole bag of yummy treats to last us for a while.

I really wanted to go to The Olde Pink House for dinner - with the children. I liked the idea of taking them to a fancy dinner, all dressed up, and thought they could handle it. I was delighted at how well they did…through a two-and-a-half hour affair. Meme and my brothers and sisters-in-law joined us. The food was delicious, as always, and we had a wonderful time.

Hannah and Joseph really enjoyed my chocolate birthday message. The chocolate was apparently good. I had to include this picture Joseph took with my phone…

After a pancake breakfast on Tuesday we went to the mall for mani/pedis. I was thrilled when my husband agreed to have his first pedicure. I've only tried to talk him into getting one for 9 years!

He admitted he enjoyed it.

We had lunch with Gran Gran, Poppy, Aunt Sarah and the boys before driving home to Sandersville.

A short, but lovely, birthday trip home. Happy 34th to me!

And now it's Christmas Eve!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

christmas happenings

This week (like everyone else's) was a busy one for our family. There were dinners and meetings, field trips and parties…and come last night, we were excited and relieved to be home with nowhere to be until church tomorrow morning.

Last Sunday the cherub choir performed. They were pretty cute singing The Little Drummer Boy, Go Tell it On the Mountain, Silent Night, Mary Had a Baby, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Those are my babies in the blue plaid.

Monday, we hosted my small group (and families) for a Christmas dinner and cookie exchange.

The kids ate pizza around the train table in the playroom, while the grownups ate chili and salad around tables in the dining and living rooms. Not everyone, but most:

All eight of us have two children each. How funny is that? We were missing one couple, two spouses and five children. Still, for this time a year (and a lot of sickness going around), I think that's pretty good! We had a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, the pre-K took a field trip to the library in Milledgeville for a special Christmas program and a visit from Santa Claus.

Hannah was one of the chosen to sit on Santa's lap. She had the greatest smile as she climbed onto his lap. When he asked her what she wanted, she said an Elsa costume "and that's all." I think he was taken aback by her briefness. He assured her he would bring her other stuff, too.

{Now, did you notice she said "Elsa"? It's been Anna for a long time, so that's what she's getting. This past week she's been saying both. But that's it. No other wishes. Makes me want to add an Elsa costume, nightgown, something!}

I let them open one present early. These matching pajamas:

And yes, Hannah's doing a breathing treatment. She's had bronchitis and Joseph has had a sinus infection. Both on antibiotics. Hoping for a healthy Christmas week!

The preschool went to see (the best ever) Santa at the bank on Thursday morning. Joseph was not interested in sitting in his lap, at all, this year. But I got him up there by saying "Go show Santa your acorn!!"

And these were the pictures the bank printed for us:

Hannah's class party was Thursday afternoon. Each parent was to bring a wrapped present for their own child. {I'm not really a fan of this, but I go with the flow.} Hannah was super excited to open her Frozen microphone. I have a feeling we'll see a lot of performances over the break.

We've done more Light 'Em Up acts, including hiding the dollar bills the kids received during a recent children's sermon on the shelves of the grocery store.

They loved doing that and wanted to keep checking on them, so I had to push for a quick departure so we would be unnoticed!

Joseph's class party was Friday morning. He is a cheese ball.

He ate lots of sugar and was extremely excited to open his new tractor from John. {They draw names.}

Yesterday afternoon Hannah and I went to a mother/daughter Christmas tea. As she did last year, she wore one of my old dresses.

I took several pictures. Couldn't help myself! Time, stand still!!

She and her friend, Katie, made reindeer food…

…and then tried to copy the big girls (cheerleaders) who they watched jump off the end of the pool.

They couldn't seem to get the timing right, but it sure was cute watching them try.

It was a beautiful, fun afternoon. I meant to get a picture of the two of us at the party, but didn't even think about it while there, so Daddy took a picture of us when we got home.

Today, we stayed in our pajamas half the day. I did some laundry and ironing (ugh), and ran a couple quick errands, but other than that, we played, watched Christmas movies, and were kinda lazy. Except for Joe. He ran, did some work, and took apart a gigantic smoked turkey given to us by generous church members, carving it and then boiling it down for broth (hours of work).

This whole house has been under the weather, and we are ready to be well!! I know I speak for y'all when I say, "Flu, stay away!"

Monday, December 15, 2014

dear santa

Yeah…not too into writing a letter and convincing Santa how good she's been this year. Straight to the point.

Over the weekend the playroom got out of control. I was trying to take the dogs out and Hannah and Joseph had set up barricades of various toys. In my typical fashion, I mentioned we should get rid of some of these toys (I might have said "this junk"), especially if we wanted to make room for the new toys we might get for Christmas. To which Hannah quickly responded, "I'm not getting a new toy… I'm just getting an Anna costume and a brother that doesn't whine." Well, that would be nice…

For tradition's sake, I thought I'd post our wishes for this year. Truly we don't need anything, but there are several things we would like and enjoy. :)  The kids aren't really talking about anything except Hannah mentioning letter c below, but I know my babies well and things that would make them very happy. {As usual by the time I do this post, most of these things have been taken care of.}

For Hannah Monkey:

{a} Doc McStuffins nightshirt. {b} art supplies. {c} Frozen's Anna, coronation gown…has to be the coronation one. {d} accessories like this hat from Old Navy and this headband from Children's Place (they have lots of pretty ones we like). {e} Nod bean bag chair. {f} Dollhouse. {g} Minnetonka boots like her pink ones in Dusty Brown. {h} kids picnic table for the backyard, a wood one with an umbrella like this would be perfect! {i} Sofia DVD. {j} cozy slippers.

For Josey:

{a.} lantern. {b} Nod bean bag chair. {c} Team Umizoomi DVD. {d} construction equipment like this wheel barrow and excavator. {e} boots. {f} trailer for the tractor. {g} slippers. {h} vacuum, a real one (what can I say?). {i} wet floor sign (seriously, a favorite thing when we go out). {j} superhero capes (both kids would love these). {k} umbrella.

As always, Joe is exceptionally hard to buy for as he rarely ask for anything. I struggle to come up with a collage each year for him…never happened last year.

For Joe:

{a} trip to the New York Marathon…his running goal for 2015. {b} sunglasses. {c} Wahoo KICKR bike trainer. {d} casual shoes for work and play. {e} reflective socks like these from ICNY. {f} knuckle lights. (Notice the theme? We want him to be seen, and be able to see, while running in the dark of morning.)

And for me:

{a.} herringbone Toms. {b.} this cuff. {c.} these earrings (they were on here last year, too!). {d.} Cinda b Vacationer II duffle. {e.} Keurig 2.0. {f.} boots. {g.} this handbag. {h.} gift cards are always wise (Athleta, Zappos, Ballard…). {i.} Fiesta 9" luncheon plates (turquoise, poppy, tangerine, peacock, scarlet) for kids to use. {j.} these earrings.

And that's that.

I am pretty organized this year and have my shopping finished, save for a few small things. Decorations are up and around the house. Presents are wrapped and under the trees (yes, plural…we have 4 total).

We have been reading our Advent storybook and following along our Advent calendar and "lighting 'em up" (an idea made popular by blogger/author Courtney DeFeo), that is, sharing God's love with others through big and small acts of kindness. We try never to walk past a ringing bell without dropping in a little something.

We are filling up our Sparkle Box. Do you know about this book? It is so, so good. All about teaching children the true meaning of Christmas and doing for others and presenting that as a present to Jesus on His birthday. Joseph is a little young, but he's picking up on it. Hannah is crazy about it… She so enjoyed helping me at the DFACS foster children's Christmas party on Thursday.

Heart of gold, that girl.

So, while the "wishes" above are exciting and fun, we are trying to keep in mind the reason for the season. Hope you had a great weekend. Blessings to you and yours!

(…and GO NAVY!!!)