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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas catch up

I love having this blog.  I do.  I am just horrible at making time for it.  I think it's been one month since I last posted.  I do enjoy having this place to document the pictures, vacations, holidays and daily life of our family along with the stories and feelings that go along with them.  Since it's been a month and I can't catch up on all the pictures and happenings over that month I am going to just focus on the Christmas stuff we've been doing and decorating.  Christmas is only three days away!  I still need to buy stocking stuffers.

I am typically one who loves to decorate the day after Thanksgiving.  This year that didn't happen.  After Thanksgiving I was in-between two Christmas boutiques and elbow deep in Etsy orders.  There was no time for decorating.  A few days into December I couldn't handle the lack of Christmas in our home so we went and got our tree.  Please take notice of my husband's sassy pose with Avery...silly man.  

Avery and I handled most of the tree decorating that night.

While I was finishing up orders the kids were in their final days of school before having THREE weeks off.  They each had holiday parties.
 In Grant's class we had yummy treats, played a couple games and then we made hot cocoa mason jar Rudolphs!  Cute, right!?
  the glue gun station was my favorite

Avery had a Kindergarten performance where the three classes sang lots and lots of songs with cute hand motions and adorable handmade headpieces.
 The cuteness level was on high!
  "I see your parents and my parents..."
 And then back to their classroom for some party fun and of course the girls all insist on group photos in front of the tree.  It starts young people!

 Then later that afternoon after school but still wearing her Rudolph headpiece she helped me ship off my final big batch of orders.  Hooray!

Avery didn't want us to wait until Christmas to open her gift to us.
The attached poem reads, "When you hang this tree each year, I hope it brings a smile ear to ear.  This footprint tree will help you remember just how small I was in 2013 in the month of December."  I cried.  Like a real cry.

With the kids on vacation and my orders all sent out we were finally able to continue to decorate the house.
I captured this cute picture of them building our Christmas train together and then we discovered once it was all done that it was broken.  Then I remembered we did the same thing last year.  Ugh.  So, I made sure to dispose of it this time so we don't do the same next year.

Our 85 Christmas cards were addressed, stuffed and stamped thanks to a big bowl of ice cream.

I so love the slowness of school breaks.  
We have been enjoying a lot of time together at home and it's been awesome.

 Thanks to a two-day heatwave Avery was able to put on a bikini and take a dip in our kiddie pool in the middle of December.  This scene of her dressed like this on a beach towel while playing with a Nativity set all below our Christmas mantel was just funny to me.  I suppose we do live in So.Cal.

 We did make it to Disneyland one time before our passes got blocked out for Christmas time.  I wasn't ready for the crowds.  Like I said, we've been sticking close to home.  Haven't gone out much or even shopped much... so Disneyland during Christmas time was a little overwhelming for me.
But these two made it all worth it!
 Of course we HAD to visit Santa while there. He is always the best Santa you can find.  I mean... look at this Santa... I may have even started to believe!  Avery was so excited.  She believes in Santa no matter what anyone may tell her.
  Grant on the other hand stopped believing before he was three years old.  He came to us with all the many reasons that he logically just could not believe in Santa as a toddler! We weren't going to convince him or force him into it.  We try and put a greater emphasis on Jesus' birth then Santa anyhow... so we just let him go with his choice.  But, we have encouraged him to leave his sister's belief in Santa alone and I asked him to go sit with Santa for his sister and so I could get a picture.  Then the best thing ever happened.  Santa asked him what he wanted.. Grant told him he wanted catcher gear and then... and then they started talking baseball.  Grant and Santa shared a total moment and Avery loved it and so did I!

 This year we didn't have any big Christmas parties to attend.  We hosted a couple small gatherings at our home.  Above are the wonderful ladies(some are missing) from our current life group.

This was our attempt at a timer group shot... sorry for the two on each end that got a little chopped.

Now to share pictures from the spaces in our home that have some Christmas cheer.

Our mantel is hard to decorate and almost impossible to photograph.  There is no start or stop to it for decorating purposes and there is a giant wall sized mirror above it that shows every reflection of all other walls in the living room so photos can't focus on just the mantel. O well.
This year I went with a nature mantel with lots of trees, my dipped pine cone garland from last year and a little DIY deer silhouette I threw together this year.

 This year's Christmas chalkboard.
I almost re-created last year's because I loved it so much.  Then I had the idea of writing out the entire speech Linus gives in Charlie Brown's Christmas from the book of Luke.  I wrote it all out and it was just too busy for me.  So I shortened the speech to just this part and attempted to shape it like a tree.
This year I hung up a kissing ball.

We shrink down our dining table to seat just four so that we can fit the tree in the dining room.
I made this wreath last year and then added a Joy banner I made this year to it.
One of my favorite things to unpack each year is this adorable knit set that my grandma made me for either my first or second Christmas.  I have the picture of me unwrapping the box and pulling this Santa out that at the time was as big as me!
My little wire basket that is holding coffee table essentials plus a couple mason jar snow globes that I made last year.
These are definitely Avery's favorite decoration we unpack each year.  We bought the Nativity set the Christmas Grant was almost three and we had just found out we were pregnant with Avery.  Then Bryan's mom gave Grant the Drummer Boy set for a Christmas gift that year.
There's a little bit of Christmas cheer in my kitchen.

The kids have their little hallway chalkboard nook decorated as well.  Avery wrote on their chalkboard, "I have been good Santa. Avery 5 Grant 8"  So darn cute!
Our family photo gallery wall is where I hung the couple of Holly Garlands I saved for myself!
I updated my Starbuck's wreath that I've been using for four years now with another one of the banners I made this year.
 The tree
 One of the new ornaments I added this year that I so LOVE.
 all lit up

For those that are still here... after all those pictures... 

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Day with your family and friends.  We are so happy that Bryan has BOTH days off from work this year and are excited to host our big family Christmas Eve this year here at our home.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

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