Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day

When the kids finally woke up on Christmas at 7:30 (late for them), SG and JJ ran to our room with Sydney yelling "it's Christmas!" Then, they ran into the kitchen and the first thing she did was yell "baby Jesus is here...he's here now." Baby Jesus does not arrive in our nativity scene until Christmas morning and this has become a big deal to her. After that, she told us that we should eat breakfast......what?!?! Anyway, after quickly giving them some grapes and milk, they headed into the family room to open their stockings and then headed upstairs to some

Christmas morning surprises!

A train table & a Rapunzel doll with a couple extras. They were very excited!

Can you tell how much JJ likes his train table?!?! ( I hope so, because it took us about 8-9 hours to put together...building the table, stations etc, setting the tracks and then hot gluing most of it. It's still a bit fragile for a 2 year old but we're hopeful he will continue being careful with it??)

This was our first year giving three gifts to each of the kids and for now, we are doing one Santa gift and three gifts from us. We agreed that this was a good decision for our family and of course, they all received more than enough! Sydney received a princess costume, a toy and a "craft bin" I created full of activities and crafts for us to do. JJ received two small Thomas trains, a game, and a Cars sleeping bag with pillow. Luke received a leapfrog birthday cake. No, not three this year but he has more than enough to play with :)

One great part about Christmas this year was that it fell on a Sunday, so after we opened presents, played & ate breakfast, we took a few photos before church

The favorite gift in 2011-celebrating with this crew!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pre Christmas

Part of the fun of Christmas. . . the events leading up to the big day and also spending quality time with family and special friends at various homes/gathering spots. I wish we had a picture of more of the special moments, and with everyone we had the pleasure to spend time with this year. Sometimes with our "little" family it's a bit too hectic :) to capture all the pictures we would like.

I love this picture of Luke with his great grandfather Ralph, who turned 93 in September. After a serious fall this past spring, he is doing so well!

Here are all six of the cousins at Granny's house. I guess we got one of six to actually look at the camera (and she's 13)....oh well-they are still cute!

Here they are with our sweet friend Avery at Chickfila...her sister was not in the mood to be in a picture without Mommy :)

SG, JJ & LA with their Nana and Buddy

Below, see Sydney & JJ sprinkling "reindeer food"
out in the yard on Christmas Eve night

This might not seem like a big deal.

But, this is the first time I can remember Luke and JJ playing together for more than a few seconds :) The toy was a gift from Nanny to Luke, and JJ also loved it since it has balls that pop up and around. Luke quickly figured out that big brother knew where to put the loose balls and he would hand them to him again and again.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Luke's First Christmas

Last night was Luke's first "Happy Birthday Jesus" party.

He liked the hat with stickers that Sydney made for him...he is such a joy!

We started this party tradition last year as I was attempting to establish Christ-centered traditions for our kids. Based on the first two years, I think this will now always be a part of our Christmas Eve. Sydney and I made strawberry cupcakes and white chocolate pretzels on Christmas Eve morning.

Later in the afternoon, she and JJ made nativity placemats and I laminated them.

Last night, we enjoyed treats, watched The Very First Noel, read the Christmas story, sang Happy Birthday and finished another craft.
Back to Lukey...look what he started doing on Christmas Eve...(no more army crawl, it's the real thing!) Watch out-he's fast!

He was happy this morning to find some things he enjoys in his stocking :)

And, found it just as much fun to play with tissue paper as the actual gifts

This "cake" sings the happy birthday song and let's you "blow out" the candles. He's getting practice for his big day on January 7...oh my!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas is Here!

We have been travelling, and spending lots of time with family, friends and each other. Lots of memories to catch up on soon, but now-we are just excited to celebrate the birth of the One who changed the world forever. Happy Birthday to Jesus!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

PJ's, Pancakes & Santa

Sydney's friend Adriana turns five this week and we celebrated last weekend-A PJ's, Pancakes Breakfast with Santa party! Her Dad and Mom have also become good friends of ours over the past few months and we all five had a great time at this party!

Sydney eating pancakes with the birthday girl :)

Santa had story time with the kids

(notice one little boy who fit himself in between all the girls?!)

He visited with each of them several times, giving them jingle bells and cards

(She told Santa she wanted a Rapunzel doll and he told her "we are working on that")

At the beginning of the party, my little man was (literally) hiding from Santa, but he warmed up.

By the end of the party you could see him sitting in Santa's lap and whispering "choo choo"

Luke was okay with Santa this time, but I wouldn't say overly impressed

Another fun thing they got to do---make "reindeer food!"

Fun, fun party!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Starbucks Sisters

Four months ago, my sweet friend Brittany invited me to a 6am Monday morning bible study at Starbucks. Now, I'm not exactly into getting up at 5am (especially on Mondays!), and I hate coffee, but I love this friend so I gave it a shot.

(Somehow, unbelievably, Britt and I have only been friends for a little over a year-but we have this amazing friendship that doesn't come many times in the span of life. ) forward to today, three studies complete and many early Mondays- and I can now count 11 sweet girls as amazing friends and sisters in Christ. Some of these women I have been blessed to know for years, while others just since August. Last night, we gathered to celebrate the birth of our Savior. And here we are (minus Dwan-missed you!) at Olive Garden last night.

Merry Christmas Starbucks Sisters!...looking forward to early Monday mornings with you in 2012!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Party Animals

We were getting out some of the party supplies for our Happy Birthday Jesus party (Christmas Eve) and they just couldn't resist trying the hats. (Love the way he's sporting these sunglasses too!) They crack me up.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Program

Last week, Sydney's class joined with the other Tues/Thurs P4 class and had their Christmas Program. They had been working so hard since early November and did a wonderful job at the performance! We loved every second of it and Sydney was so happy. In all, the group sang 7 or 8 songs, along with 3 short skits. She sang very good in the beginning and the end but took a break in the middle :). When I asked her why she said just because she was so happy. It was obvious that she was, and we were so proud of our princess! Jeff and I (and Sydney) were excited that Granny & Papaw made the trip to see the show!

Here is a part of one of their songs:

For one song, they pulled a kazoo out of their
stocking necklaces and played for us:

In one skit, Sydney was one of three kings:

We had literally been counting down the days til the program because she was that excited about it. The day did not disappoint-she loved it, and we did too- most certainly one of my proudest times as a Mommy to date.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Santa Cow & "Choo Choo Santie"

Look how content my sweet baby is just
sitting with this ridiculous looking cow :)

Sydney loved him too. Even Jeff got in on the fun.

Yet, someone from our family is missing from the Santa Cow pictures and I'm not referring to myself. A certain 2 year old boy kept saying "No! Go choo choo Santie ho ho ho" "Go choo choo Santie ho ho ho!" He knew that we were heading to the Polar Express event after dinner, and was ready to move forward with that part of the night! So we did...

And, here they were, anxiously waiting for the conductor to say "All aboard!"

After boarding the train and listening to the story, it was time to go...but not before we met someone special.

She was so excited to give him her list. He loved the list and Mommy was a bit sad to leave it behind.

You can't tell from this photo but JJ liked this Santa. ("Santie ho ho ho")

Luke took one look at him and screamed in his face. :) I guess he preferred the cow.

All in all, a very fun night for our crew!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Blessed to "do life" with

these amazing friends

these God honoring men

and these precious children (too many precious children
to capture in this photo ~30)!

(Pictures from our Christmas party last weekend)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

1 Month Away from 1

Lately, he

celebrated his first Thanksgiving (favorites included
mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie!)

and opened his very first Christmas present!

We love our Lukey so much! He makes Christmas in 2011 even more exciting!