Saturday, December 31, 2011

341 Days until...

The count-down started Christmas Morning- 341 Days Until Cute Bell leaves Santa and joins us for another fun December!

Her last few appearances before she left....

Traveling to Virginia
(She hung on to the clothes hanging bar the whole time!)

Christmas Cookies
She thought we should make some Christmas cookies. No arguing there!

(Chocolate Snowflake Cookie Recipe coming soon!)

A fun Christmas Craft....
(One for Reese)
(And one for Graham)

Good-Bye Note
The gift and note left before she flew to the North Pole on Christmas morning...

Inside the bag was a stuffed, plush Elf on the shelf look-a-like.
It came with this cute poem:

"I'm not the Elf on the Shelf
that you know.
I do not fly
through the ice and snow.
My job is simply
to stay here and play.
You can touch me and squeeze me
and love me all day."

Thank You Cutie Bell! We sure will miss having you around. See ya in December!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wrapping up Christmas

Christmas in Virginia..

My family tradition, with my parents, has always been to read the story of the birth of Jesus before any presents were opened.
My Dad purchased a fun book and nativity set called
"What God wants for Christmas"

The set includes 7 boxes...
A part of the nativity is in each box.
But when you get to box #7, you find out what God really wants for Christmas.
(There's a mirror in the last box, in case you are confused! :) )
Pa pa ends in prayer and then.......

Present time!

(Fun creation made by Mom!)

Joel and I joked what we wanted for Christmas was for our kids to get along....
We got it!!!!

Christmas with my Dad's side has one of my favorite traditions...

"Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday dear Jesus!
Happy Birthday to You!"

And this is how many people were singing that....

I love ALL my family and I feel so blessed we were able to spend time with most of them this Christmas!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Little Christmas...

We haven't spent an actual 'Christmas Morning' in our own house since we've been married. We started a tradition of turning a night, before we travel for the Holidays, into a Christmas "Morning". 

Stockings are opened before breakfast....
(I underestimated the amount of room in the stockings, so some fun things were hung on the tree. It turned into a fun 'hunt'!)

Breakfast! (Must come to the table in P.J.'s, of course!)
This picture is missing the best part (Bagel French Toast, found here) but I wanted to include it because the plate of sausage biscuits makes me smile every time I see it. Graham is anti-bread right now, so can you tell which biscuit is his????

Then presents!!!!

Wooden Cookie and Pizza set for the Little Buddy...

More rooms for Reese's doll house she's been collecting...
(This excited face was because she opened the Baby Set- hard for Mommy to find!)

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

"A BIG doll!"

I take a picture of Reese's present to Daddy every year.
She does it completely herself- wrapping and addressing! :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas....

From my family to yours!
Reese, Lindsey, Graham and Joel

Here is one of my favorite Christmas songs. 
It's hard for me to listen to this song or read the lyrics without tears coming to my eyes!

While You Were Seeping
Oh little town of Bethlehem,
Looks like another silent night.
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky.
And while you're lying in the dark,
There shines an everlasting light.
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight.

Oh Bethlehem, what you have missed while you were sleeping?
For God became a man
And stepped into your world today.
Oh Bethlehem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King?
While you were sleeping.

Oh little town of Jerusalem
Looks like another silent night.
The Father gave His only Son,
The Way, the Truth, the Life had come.
But there was no room for Him in the world He came to save.

Jerusalem, what you have missed while you were sleeping?
The Savior of the world is dying on your cross today.
Jerusalem, you will go down in history
As a city with no room for its King?
While you were sleeping.

United States of America
Looks like another silent night.
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children.
And while we're lying in the dark
There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky.
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night.

America, what will we miss while we are sleeping?
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay?
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King?

Will we be sleeping

United States of America
Looks like another silent night.

(Casting Crowns)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal
This could be that perfect, warm Christmas breakfast dish you are looking for...

What You'll Need:
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar (for the top)

Here's How:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the 1/2 cup brown sugar (for topping).
Spread in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar on top.
Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.

Serve warm with milk. Very satisfying and yummy!

Source: Adapted from here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Surprises on surprises....

I love showing some surprises on my surprises.

Can you tell the theme of the presents for Little Mister?

Reese now knows which ONE is her present.
(Mommy doesn't put names on them so little readers have no idea how many they get!)

Daddy likes giving rather than receiving, but we all have fun giving to him.
Reese had fun stuffing his stocking with 'Daddy' things. I loved to hear her giggles about the 'fingers' sticking out.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Parties 1-3

A week before Christmas and we had already had 3 Christmas parties!

Christmas #1-
Reese's School Christmas Party
(The one we got to make these cute cookies for.....)
Reese's teacher loved her gift. A personalized ornament!
(The little boy who forgot to take his coat off, is not part of the class. Hehe.)
(By the way, being in her classroom makes me want to be in kindergarten again. Her teacher always has it decorated so nice! )

Christmas #2-
Joel's Extended Christmas Family

Reading the story of Baby Jesus....


Love his tiny little fingers at work....

Little lefty!

No mistle-toe needed! :)

Christmas #3-
Nana and Pa's Christmas

Love this facial expression! She has wanted those P.J.'s to match her American Girl Doll!!!!