Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I can hardly believe it is over.
I normally do not take decorations down until after New Years, but our tree was crispy, the poinsettias had dissipated and the fresh garland on the stairwell had turned into cedar confetti.  I couldn't stand it any longer.  Lily even told me as i was taking the decor down, that i did not have anymore Christmas spirit. :-(  Was my need to have things tidy getting in the way of keeping the Christmas spirit alive in our home?  No, it was the smell of a dead tree that was.  Sorry've got your toys and Jesus in your heart to keep that Christmas spirit alive and well.

My sister and her family, along with her husband's parents joined us for Christmas Eve dinner and church service.  We had a great visit, stuffed ourselves silly and rolled into church at 7 pm.  Every year, our service at church ends exactly the same way.  We pass candle light to the person you are sitting next to while singing Silent Night and every single time it takes my breath away and brings a mist to my eyes when we hold up our candles on the very last verse.....Silent night, holy night. Son of God, love's pure light. Radiant beams from Thy holy face.  With the dawn of redeeming grace.  Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.  Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.It was a beautiful sight my friends.

Morning came way too soon because we stayed up way too late being Santa's helpers.  In the 10+ years of having children, we've never had a child wake us up at the crack of dawn to open gifts.  I know, please do not hate us because it kind of happened this year.  I thought it was Lily, but come to find out it was Bella who came into our room at 6:30 am and in my not so proud parenting moment i told her to go back to bed.  Should've figured it was Bella because she obeyed and did just that.  Lily came in at 7:30, tried to snuggle and that lasts for a good 5 minutes before everyone is miserable from her fidgeting, so we got up.  The girls do so good.  They wait patiently until they are given the signal to head down all at once.  We don't wrap Santa gifts, so it always takes them a few moments to figure out whose pile is whose, but once they do, the looks on their faces is so worth getting out of bed.

We did our Santa gifts and the girls were playing with their new 'heart's desires' when Daddy springs on us at 9:19 am.....we should go to church!  Duh!  We should!  This day only happens once every 7 years, when Sunday church service actually falls on Christmas.  So we hustled and got to church only a few minutes late.  And while the girls whined about leaving their beloved toys at the moment, they left saying, "That was fun"!  AMEN!  So thankful our Daddy remembered to take the commercialism out of the day for a brief moment, so our family could remember why we even get to have this incredible celebration....Jesus' birthday.

We were back home, refreshed and hungry.  Made our traditional cinnamon rolls and then we finished the afternoon off with family gifts.  It was perfect!

Trusting you had a wonderful day with your loved ones and hoping you are looking forward to the New Year!

Welcome to our home and yes, you really do have to take your shoes off. :-)

Crazy coaxing...all on their own!

Love the note they left the big fella....

This was a new find this year.
The girls loved changing it each day and i didn't have to
hear a million times over and over...
How many more days until Christmas?

Grace's heart's desire gift

Bella's heart's desire gift.
We were shocked too! :-)

Lily's heart's desire gift.
I know she told Santa she didn't know and he needed to surprise her, but she has asked for an 'ipod' over and over.

Got the girls a white board for their playroom and got this on Groupon.
Can you believe we've never been to the Great Wolf Lodge?  I am so excited!

Seeing the goods!

Love the reaction to the sign and of course Lily is asking, "What does it say?", but she knows it has to be good
because her sisters are squealing.

Love this child....even with that big old Hummer, she still sits down to read a book first.

Daddy got this card for Lily.
Got a Lily funny for you.  Are you surprised?  I was pretending to be her baby during the day and asked for some
food.  She gave me something and i was being difficult (like she would) and told her i did not want that.
She said, "What do you want, some arm pit food"?
Oh my gosh, i still laugh out loud each time i think of her response.  We all had the giggles like you wouldn't believe.
She is right though, looks like most babies are eating out of their Mamma's arm pits. :-)

Her Hex-bug is remote controlled and yes, kind of creepy.

Sunday morning service with Pastor Patrick.

I know what you are thinking....not how gorgeous the star is but why didn't i let the girls wear their jammies.

I lit the candles three times each, so each girl had a turn blowing out the candles by themselves.

Seriously where is your Christmas spirit?

This was one of their Santa gifts, to make headband and bracelets for their dolls.
Silly was a little hard and Mommy ended up making all of them.

Nope, those headphones did not come off all day.
Annie, notice Lily's robe?  She had to have one because she says Janey is having a spa party for her
birthday and a robe is a must.  Hopefully Lily is even invited to Janey's party.  :-)

How cute is this candle holder?  Our gift from Bella.

I have 3!  I have three!  I have THREE!
The wonderful all day kindergarten teacher at Sunset Primary, Amy Hunter,
 makes thesefor Christmas presents for the parents.
 Look how much bigger Lily's hands are than her sisters!

O Christmas tree...O Christmas tree....
How droopy are your branches.
Forgot to take a photo of our tree when it was all perky.  It never drank
an ounce of water and totally looks like a Charlie Brown tree, but
i still loved it!

God Bless America!

Got a little crafty this year and made a couple of Christmas pillows out of felt. 
My bestie Rachel helped me make the envelope covers and i did the rest.

More craftiness....flocked my own outdoor porch tree.

Got this wreath on clearance last year after one of my other besties, Victoria
posted about hers.  Black felt tie are left overs from my pillows.

Thought our bunnies looked cold,
 so i bundled them up with a few more leftovers.

Fun find at Ikea.

Can't forget the mistletoe....even if it's fake. :-)

Loved, loved, loved my fresh garland on the stairwell this year.
Disliked, disliked, disliked it today when i went to take it down.  It too was a crispy critter.

Remember the girls little tree i got them?
Felt a little guilty for taking all of the Christmas decoration down so i switched
it over to a winter white tree to keep up through January and who knows,
i might get crazy and do a Valentine tree....stay tuned.

Ahhh.....even though all of the above was fun.....
Sweet Baby Jesus, you're what it's all about!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

From 23 to 13 + one new furry family member!

Yes, i was fortunate enough to do two photo shoots yesterday.
Started out with 23 and ended with a mere 13, plus one cute furry surprise that Santa brought to the Meade family.  Can you imagine the screams of joy coming from that house when the presents were opened?  It was caught on video and almost makes me want to get the girls a dog....okay, for like one second and then i get over it. :-) 
Lorina's Mom and Dad, sister Krista and family, along with her sister in-law Angela's bunch all came to visit for the holidays and i had the wonderful pleasure of taking family photos today at Chamber's Bay for them. 

Even though these were not my own relatives, it made me realize the gatherings of families over the holidays or one of the best gifts of all.

Family Fun!

The grandchildren plus the new furry one, Zoe

Doug and Sharon with their crew!

Krista, Avlynne, KJ and Addie

Angela with her pretty girlies.

Sophia and Allie Rae

Some of my favorite people in the whole world!

Samuel and his bro, Ben.

They added another lady to the house to help round things out. :-)

JB and Lorina

Pretty little Mamma with her men!

What a handsome bunch!

Lorina with all of the girlies.

Thanks Doug and Sharon for making such wonderful children!