Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's a Nephew!

Dave and Jaime found out this morning they are having a BOY!! We are so excited! It's the first grandchild on Jaime's side of the family and the first grandson on our side. He is healthy and all is well. Praise the Lord! We couldn't be'll be fun to have a little boy in the family. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Christmas Story

Last Christmas when Darby posted videos of her sweet girls reciting the Christmas story from Luke, I thought is was so precious! I made a mental note to try it with the girls this year.

On Christmas Eve, we have read the Christmas story from Luke 2 for as long as I can remember. Last year, Anna Clare read it for everyone (including over the phone for my brothers who couldn't come home because of work). I thought it would be a special surprise for my parents if she recited it this year. So tonight we will meet at my parents' church for Christmas Eve Communion and then gather together for some special Christmas Eve traditions. I am thrilled that my brother Dave and his wife Jaime are in town this year and my sister and her boyfriend will be with us as well. My brother Scott and his wife Laura will be coming straight to my house in the morning for Christmas brunch. So we will all be together on Christmas Day!

Anna Clare and I have been practicing learning verses from Luke for the last few weeks and I must say I underestimated Owen's ability to memorize scripture as well. She learned about half of what Anna Clare did, but picked up what she learned simply by listening to us. So here are the girls sharing their versions of the Christmas story...

Merry Christmas to all of you and Happy Birthday Jesus!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Week

G.G. gave this little apron and hat set to Anna Clare when she was 3 and I just love it!

At the end of last week I told a friend that I was so relieved to have all of my shopping (gifts and food for Christmas morning breakfast that we have at our house) and most of my wrapping done and I was just going to spend this week with the girls. Doing whatever. Staying in our p.j.s all day, baking, Christmas movies, games, whatever they wanted. That same day I came across this post that was linked from a blog I like to read. It completely affirmed my plans for this week. Sometimes I feel like I spend so much time doing stuff for my children that I often miss out on time with them.

We kicked off the week of Christmas with our 3rd annual neighborhood Christmas caroling event Sunday night (I left my camera at home). We all gather at a designated home for dinner and then pile up in the back of a truck bundled up and covered with blankets to several homes in the neighborhood caroling and passing out homemade goodies. Then we end the night with dessert and visiting. It is so much fun, and I hope all the children will grow up with that as a wonderful Christmas memory.

Monday morning, my friend Denise had several children over to decorate Christmas cakes and make ornaments. Sadly, Owen had to miss because she was a bit under the weather over the weekend, but Anna Clare was happy to go and make Owen's ornament for her. She came home with these cuties...

Last night our same neighbors borrowed their church bus and surprised all the children with a "Polar Express" pajama ride around town consisting of hot chocolate, cookies, and Christmas lights. (Owen had to miss that too...being sick is not fun! But she is feeling much better)

Today we have not left the house and have spent a little time in the kitchen.

(A little break from baking for a self-portrait)

Our doorbell rang in the middle of our project so we threw another baker into the mix.

Not too bad for 3 little bakers!

I am excited about the rest of the week. Steve has even convinced me to go hunting with him this week (I have never been hunting in my life!). Should be interesting.

But most of all I am excited about celebrating the greatest gift ever known that is for all the people...the birth of our Savior!

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mountain Trip - Part Two ( Biltmore)

Our plan for Friday was the Biltmore. Jaime and Dave had been before and since she had to work Friday, we decided to let that be our day to visit the Biltmore so we would all have Saturday together. Dave offered to keep the girls so Steve and I could go alone. He works the night shift as a nurse, however, and since they were pretty wound up when we got there Thursday night, we decided to take them with us and let him sleep.

We decided that we would stay as long as we could and that when they had had enough we would leave, whether that be one hour or all day. I am so glad we took them. They were incredibly well behaved and had the best time. We stayed five and a half hours! I never would've thought it!

The house was incredible. Absolutely amazing. I didn't take any pictures inside (I don't think you were allowed to but I really can't remember) but this was the view from the back looking out...

After the house we headed toward the gardens.

One of the gardeners explaining his job to the girls

The whole way up to NC, Steve told the girls we were going to find a cold creek for them to put their feet in. Owen kept asking, "When are we gonna get to the creet?" Well, we found the perfect little "creet" at the Biltmore...

I'm not sure if this was acceptable, or even allowed, but we did it anyway.

They thought it was great.

Then we got in the car and headed over to Antler Hill Village (still part of the Estate)

Antler Hill consisted of shops, restaurants, the winery ( with complimentary wine tastings for the adults and grape juice tastings for the kiddos), and a farm and petting zoo. On the hill is the Inn at the Biltmore for guests who wish to stay on site.

And this is Cloud, the bunny who started the craze. And my animal lover husband has encouraged the craze. I told him that he and Santa can work that out.

Gonna wrap this trip up with one last post (probably after Christmas) of our Saturday adventure!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More Christmas!

No tears this year! A big improvement from last year.

These are a few of my favorite things

O's Christmas program

Polar Express Day in 2nd grade

A.C.'s letter to our elf, Nick. Yes, that does say B.U.N.N.Y.! (Oh my!)

Our cousins are here! G.G. brought this big "color and decorate" playhouse and it is keeping them entertained for sure. See Walker behind it? As we gave thanks last night for our meal and for all that God has provided, we were especially thankful that his heart procedure went well and that he is healthy and doing great! They are all having a blast together. I just wish they didn't live 5 hours away.

LeighEllen and Anna Clare

Owen in her adorable monkey hat that G.G. gave her

LeighEllen and Owen playing with the "Gel Gems" that G.G. brought

I think they are waking up from their naps...the grown-ups that is! Happy Weekend!