Tuesday, December 20, 2011

hello, december!

Oh, December... you always catch me off guard and fill my camera with so many pictures, I just can't decide what to post.  So, here's a "few" I thought showed best what we've been up to...

The evening after Thanksgiving, we put up our tree.

It was Millie's turn to put the star on top this year!

 Instead of making our traditional popcorn balls on "tree night," Chad made this yummy fudge instead that we poured over popcorn.  Thank you, Chad, for saving my sanity... I detest making popcorn balls, especially when I'm in the middle of trying to help put up our decorations, and thus I've deemed this our new tradition.  :)

The Saturday night after Thanksgiving, I took the girls to The Des Moines Playhouse to see "Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells."  It was very cute and the little actors and actresses did a splendid job!  We completed our Girls Night Out with dinner at Fazoli's.  They enjoyed yummy *free!* kid's meals of spaghetti!

 One way the kids have endured these cold days has been putting their big Zhu Zhu pet house together.  This helps kill some time!  :)  It's amazing how much entertainment those little hamsters provide.

A few Sunday evenings ago, the ladies of our small group invited a few friends over for a Christmas Craft Night.  I was truly impressed that my friend, Jess, even attended with her 2-day old baby!  She had just come home from the hospital that day and still wanted to come!  Of course, we were thrilled to have them!

 We started the evening with food and stories of Christmas memories.

Then we took a few minutes to focus on the true meaning of Christmas by reading The Light of Christmas.  I know I've mentioned it before, but seriously... if you don't have this book, buy it NOW!  :) It's the one our family reads every Christmas morning... it clearly explains the reason why Jesus came and the kids LOVE it!

 Then we headed into the dining room to tackle making our Advent Calenders from mini muffin tins.  For info on how to make them, check out my post here from last year.

Here's Lydia with her finished product:
It was a fun night!

Next in our camera roll is... 
Our Gingerbread House!

A few Sunday nights ago, the kids had their Christmas program at church.  This was the first year they all three got to be in it!

Tate with his girl, Harper, before the program.  He adores her.  :)
*Thanks for the photo, Abby!*

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the kids in the program because I was recording it the whole time.  But I was able to steal this one from my friend, Jessica's facebook...
See little Millie in the front row with the pigtails!  She did such a great job!  :)

 And this is one that I got from our recording, so it's not that great because there was no flash...
Addie did a fantastic job singing her heart out!  :)

If any of my church friends got better pictures of Addie or Tate, please let me know!  I'm willing to shell out big bucks for those!  :)

 This past weekend, the Advent calendar said to go through toys and books to donate for the needy.  The kids LOVED doing this and it made more room for their soon-to-come new Christmas toys!  :)

And, finally, Adeline and I made this clipboard for her teacher, closely following the instruction from my friend Liz's blog.

My favorite part was the note Adeline wrote on the paper pad we included...

All I told her to do was write a nice little note, and she took off from there!  :)  She does have an awesome teacher this year and we are soooo thankful for that!

Hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas season too!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

so long, fall

 I realize that fall doesn't officially end for another 21 days or so, but once Thanksgiving is over, fall might as well be too.  December just doesn't sound or feel like a fall month.  

So here's my official "So long" salute to the season that brought us...

*a beautiful all-kid-made leaf centerpiece*

 *cute brown corduroy outfits*
 I guess it also brought us the big scab under Millie's nose... aka "Millie's face meets the sidewalk."  Ow.

*special moments shared with family*

 *an endless supply of leaves*

 *a fun daddy who rakes up all the leaves, just to let the kids scatter them all about again*

*a Thanksgiving Dinner with loved ones*

*a grandpa who hides around corners scaring kids and tickling them relentlessly*

*a grandma who plays soccer with the young'uns until she's plum out of breath*

"Run, Nana, Run!"

 Addie reminding Nana of the rules of soccer.

 *precious time spent with cousins*

There you have it.  My fall wrap-up.  Now our tree is up and Christmas music is playing.  As much as I hate to admit it, snow will soon be falling and temperatures will be plummeting.  Time to usher in winter!

Hope you all had a lovely fall!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a late orchard post

Sorry, these pics are from last month, but I just couldn't go without documenting our family's trip to the orchard this fall!

It was such a beautiful day in mid-October.  We really couldn't have asked for better weather.

The kids got their hand at milking a life-like cow.

 We even got to watch a super cool science show inside the barn.  Didn't get pictures of the actual show, but there were explosions and fire and everything!
This is Addie's best smile.  :)

 Launching apples.

Working together to find their way through the hay maze.

Poor Tate.  He just couldn't get a foothold on the jumping pillow.

Maybe next year, little buddy.

Taking a hayride out to the pumpkin patch.

Our lil' pumpkins.

Riding back with our goods.

Little pig, little pig, let me in!

Enjoying a tea party with the Mad Hatter.

Looking forward to seeing you again next year, Center Grove!