Friday, December 21, 2012

Trimming the tree

This year we bought a real tree at CostCo again, and it was quite the deal for a beautiful 7-8 ft full tree! We weren't ready to fork out the moo-lah for a nice fake tree quite yet... so this seemed like a great idea.

Never-mind now that it is dead.  I mean, crispy-crunchy don't-touch-it-or-the-floor-will-fill-with-needles dead!  Not sure if it was my fault of not watering it well, our crazy back and forth weather, or just my black thumb rearing its ugly head -- but our tree no longer makes the house smell, and it's not very pretty to look at.  This was one of the last ones CostCo had, and they wouldn't have gotten more - so we had no real choice in the matter (other than maybe buying it somewhere else, but that thought isn't helping matters).  So I NEED to post these pictures to remember that we HAD a beautiful tree!

I hope your tree still smells like pine!  ;o)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Build-A-Bear for Paige

We had a hard time getting a party together for Paige. It is a crazy time of year around her birthday, so I suspect it might be this way many birthdays in the future, as well. But, we explained to her that not many people were able to come if we had a party, and so we planned a special surprise for her. She didn't know what we were doing until we arrived at the store! We chose this because she is truly our stuffed animal kid, and loves to play with them! We considered going to a crazy kid place where they play, and while she would have fun there, Justin pointed out that she keeps to herself mostly at places like that. So we picked something that could be all about her.

She had a great time, and is still over the moon about her choice, "Freckles" the Calico cat. He goes everywhere with us now! These pictures were taken with my iPhone in terrible light, so I apologize for the quality.

Funny thing about these moments, it only really matters that it was captured - not if the pictures are beautiful or not. Use the camera that is with you! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Paige turns FIVE!

As soon as Daddy got home from work he was ready to give her the "big present".  

Jaelyn will probably get a bow at age three, at the rate we are going!  ;)

My happy birthday girl!

She is so beautiful, inside and out!  

 She requested shrimp for dinner and the "Biiiiiiiig chocolate cake that Lauren had - but with My Little Pony."

Someone did not exactly understand that there were no presents for her.

Oh well.

My Paigey still absolutely adores her big sister, as you can see here.

And there is no way in the world she can hide her emotions from you.  Her face always tells the whole story!

Love that girl so.very.much!

We took her to Build-A-Bear in lieu of a birthday party, which she told me was better than a party, "except there was no piƱata."  Ha!  But, that will be a separate post!

Happiest of Happy Birthday's, Paige Mackenzie!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ten on Tuesday

1. Firstly, my prayers and thoughts go out to the families that lost children and loved ones last week.  When I pray for them, God lays on my heart to pray for the parents with regret in their hearts.  They sent their children off to school, and perhaps it was a bad morning... we had so.very.many fights in the mornings before school! I also pray we all pause a little more, be thankful for those we love, and remember more vividly that no one is guaranteed a tomorrow. Loss happens every day to many, many people - the most we can do is be utterly thankful for all the people still in our lives at this moment!

2.  For me, I am snuggling longer, listening closer, and affirming my children purposefully this week.  And I pray the Lord will remind me to do all those things more often as the doldrums of regular life return next month.  We have been on our "big break" from school last month and this month, firstly because it is my busy season for photography, and secondly to enjoy the holiday time without the added stress of homeschool.  I still haven't figured the whole thing out - but we will begin again in January with a new pattern, a new approach, a new "type" of school (which I am still putting together in my head)!

3.  We are doing advent activities again this year, something every day.  We wrote them on the inside of these paper rings for the girls to tear off as our countdown.  But, I have tried much harder this year not to be "ruled" by the activities... we have switched them, changed them, and omitted some in order to do a different activity that presented itself.  It has felt a lot less annoying this year.  =)

4.  You know what is NOT less annoying?!?  The Elf on the Shelf.  Why did I ever do this to myself?!?

5.  I will go back and do a post about Paige;s birthday, promise!  I have not forgotten her!!!

6.  I am done with sessions until after Christmas!  That is a great feeling!  Time to relax a little and enjoy the festivities this week!  I do have a couple family-members who would probably like their pictures sometime THIS YEAR, so I will try to get those done on this week "off"!

7.  Justin playing "Hungry, Hungry, Hippos" with his girls!  Though I have nostalgic feelings about this game, 25 years later it seems a lot less fun because of how LOUD it is!  Four people banging plastic on plastic as fast and hard as possible... great invention.

8.  I thought I was done Christmas shopping three times, and I continue to remember something else that needs to get done.  I used to be a rather organized, list-making person.  What happened to her? 

9. We got to play n the snow on Sunday!  It was really great - and the girls all had a blast!  That is, until the snowball fight on the way to the car... our oldest is just not tough enough for those types of games.

10.  Anyone care to share their favorite holiday recipes?  I want to make some serious food this week!  =)