Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve....and Christmas review...

Happy New Year's Eve!

Below are a few glimpses of our Christmas Eve...E's reaction to every gift (whether it was hers or someone else's) was either "oh wow, look at that!" or "oh wow, what is that?"...hilarious!

One of her favorite gifts? A medical kit, complete with stethoscope...and who knew that she knew that big word!? Big girl! (Paging Dr. Crawford...Dr. Crawford, you have a call on line one...)

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Amazing Christmas lights...

Hubby, E and I loaded up in the car to look at Christmas lights the night before Christmas Eve...we stumbled upon this. Turn up your sound! (You can hear the music and E's sweet little voice in the background as she watches this display...)

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

O come, all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas Eve church...

Christmas Eve...


Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

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.

Silent night, holy night
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Monday, December 22, 2008

What we did this morning...

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Christmas traditions with friends...

Last weekend, we got together with our friend Laura to "do Christmas". E was spoiled with a cute, pink laptop computer...a fun new toy that she cannot get enough of! My how E has grown from years past...

We also got together for a Christmas playdate last week with my dear friend Amy and her cute kiddos Claire and Nathan -- these kids always crack me up when they play together....they're spread apart in age, but always find ways to have fun together!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Can you stand the cuteness?

We all enjoyed our song service at church this morning.
E was decked out in holiday finery -
and sang at the top of her lungs,
even if the words and tune were not quite right...

In Sunday School this morning,

E's class made Christmas necklaces with jingle bells on them...

apparently, they sang Jingle Bells, too,

because she sang in all the way home in the car!

Upon arriving at home,
E had to rush to feed her babies
-- apparently they were starving from
a long absence from their little mommy!

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And here's a sweet video of our girl,
sending you her holiday wishes!

Hard at play...


We've been having a lot of "spend the whole day in your footie pj's" days around here lately -- and to entertain herself, E's been helping me with laundry and other chores around the house....she paused in the middle of the fun to try on my blue jeans....not such a good fit...but a cute photo op!
Note: this morning is our church's annual Christmas Song Service -- we are SO looking forward to it! It's always beautiful and such a fun tradition!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Oh wow, look at that!"...


E has really been enjoying Christmas lights this year. After dinner tonight, we took a walk around our cul-de-sac to look at the lights on our street. They're not as grand as the lights in many neighborhoods, but it was good simple fun! E loved the blow-up, light-up figures that our neighbors put up! After one walk around the circle, E asked to go around one more time, but we opted to go inside...the wind was chilly and temps were dropping...after a few warm days, winter is back in Texas!

Simple joys...


We've been trying to enjoy some "home days" this week...enjoying our tree, Christmas music on the stereo and the simple joy of being at home playing with toys, doing chores and just "being". It's been nice! And what do I love? Seeing my girl totally ignore the TV to read the pile of books we picked up from the library. Gotta love that!
PS Happy 1st Birthday to our god-daughter, Anna Louise! :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Overheard...

...Mommy, please wake up the Christmas tree! (asking me to turn the lights on)

...Mommy, are Baby Jesus, Elmo and Curious George friends?

....Mommy, turn the green on! (heard when we were sitting at a red light in car)

...Oh WOW, look at that! (When going out looking at Christmas lights on homes)

...Mommy, what're you doing? Out, out, out! (When I am working in the office and E cannot get in, due to the baby gate in the doorway...)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Special day...

...on this day, 11 years ago, my husband asked me to marry him!

...on this day, 1 year ago, my brother-in-law asked my sister-in-law to marry him!

...on this day (not telling how long ago!) my dear friend Kelli was born! Happy Birthday to you!

So many things on one day...and right before Christmas...special times!

Holiday bread baking with Daddy...



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Monday, December 15, 2008

Something new...


You may remember that hubby's sister had the most beautiful red, white and black decorations at her November 15 wedding...After the big day was over, the beautiful red candleholders were dispersed among family members for future use. What beautiful Christmas decorations - and what a beautiful way to remember a beautiful, special day!

Incidentally, today is Alan and Lucy's one-month wedding anniversary - congratulations one one month of wedded bliss!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The stockings were hung...


You've heard about the tree skirt...yes, I also made all of the stockings in this photo, with the exception of the one with my name on it. My mom did that one when I was tiny. I made hubby's T*gger stocking when we were dating...I teased him that he HAD to marry me, after I put in all of that effort...and I made E's sweet gingerbread stocking after I finished the aforementioned tree skirt. After that year of crafting in 2006...I am done with felt crafts for a while! Whew! But, boy, am I ever glad I completed those projects -- seeing these each year makes me smile!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A tree just for E...


We have a few of these tiny trees strung with lights from a previous year's decorating adventure....and this year I decided one of them would be perfect for a little tree, just for E. Someone gave me a set of beautiful nativity themed felt ornaments made just for a child at one of my baby showers -- I was so tickled...because I'd been thinking of making something similar (but after the tree skirt, I'm not sure I would have had the strength...) So the gift saved me the effort of crafting them myself. These beautiful ornaments are combined on this tiny tree with some S*same Street ornaments - one of E's current passions. Such a fun little way for her to celebrate!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Crafty fun...


This year, I created "bag tags" for several kids and grown ups on my list - not only are these great ID tags for diaper bags, tote bags and the like - they also make cute clip-on tags identifying whose gift is whose at holiday time!

Thanks to Super-Mommy Amanda for this great idea -- she shared it several months ago when she hosted a fun playdate at her home...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

E's special nativity...

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When I was pregnant with E, I bought her a small version of the popular L*ttle People Nativity. This year is the first year she's really understood who all of the characters are -- it is so sweet to hear her talking about Baby Jesus and to see her playing with all of the pieces. Of course, in this video, it would be so sweet to hear her singing "Away in a Manger" -- which she recently learned for her Sunday School Christmas program....however, you will hear that she is instead singing her own version of Elm*'s theme song....you have to love two-year-old logic...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another special nativity...


This beautiful nativity belonged to my mom's best friend. She went on to heaven when I was in college, and I now have the honor of having this nativity in my home. It's very similar to the nativity that mom and dad displayed in our home when I was growing up, and it belonged to a dear friend and role-model, so it's extra special to me. Although I have several other "more beautiful" and much more opulent nativities, this one holds a special place in my heart!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Advent Wreath...


We have this Advent wreath in the center of our kitchen table...we light one new candle each week of Advent and let it burn while we're enjoying our family dinner together...a simple yet beautiful reminder of the true reason for the season!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tree skirt...


I started this project about five years before E was born...and I didn't finish it until the year she was born -- I was sewing madly up until her first Christmas to make sure it got done -- thank goodness newborns sleep so much!!! While I will NEVER undertake a project of this size again, I'm also glad I made myself do it -- we'll always treasure this tree skirt. My mom made a felt one when I was young, and it was always magical to me. I hope E has the same special memories of this one...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kitty under the tree...

This happens every year....the first item under the tree is not a wrapped package -- but our cat, Victoria. Apparently the felt tree skirt, snug location and warm lights are too much to resist...




...the same thing happens each year with my parents' cat, Misty, at their house, too....cats must share these tips on great sleeping spots!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sorting through the ornaments...


Like many families, we have so many Christmas decorations that are special....ornaments from childhood, ornaments commemorating special trips or special events, personalized ornaments with our names and the name of our little one.

E was a big "help" in sorting through the ornaments. Her favorites? The S*same Street themed ones from Gramma....and Mommy's ornaments that look like coffee cups from St*rbucks....she keeps saying "cup, cup!" and wanting me to take them off the tree so she can pretend to drink out of them...silly girl!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

'Tis the season...

...to be jolly...click here!

Putting up the Christmas tree...


E was a big "help" this year putting up the Christmas tree....for some odd reason, she thought that the lid of the plastic box that holds part of the tree was a "bed"....note her checking it out for size!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Special nativity...


I vividly remember painting (with help!) this little nativity when I was in preschool. A sweet lady at our church did at that time and still does fire ceramics and paints them to sell -- when I was young, she would bring these items to the preschool at our church and allow the preschoolers to paint them. This little nativity has been precious to me since I was three -- and I still put it out each year. Joseph's head fell off one year - and was superglued back in place, but he's none the worse for the wear.
Such special memories....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Candles in the Windows...


Last Saturday, we decorated the house for Christmas. We're keeping it simple this year....we have a new artificial tree (thanks Mom and Dad!) and we're keeping the rest of our decorations simple. After a very dramatic, emotional year for our family, we feel the urge to keep things simple and instead focus our energy on spending time together, relaxing and focusing on the true reason for the season.

One of my favorite, simple ways to decorate for the holidays is to place lighted electrical candles in our front windows that face the street. Even without Christmas lights on the house, this simple decoration is so homey and sweet - it speaks to my heart. Maybe it harkens back to our pre-E days when we traveled in New England and so many other beautiful places where bed and breakfasts and beautiful old homes displayed these candles in their homes' windows year 'round, just to enjoy the glow.

Such a simple joy -- and one we repeat each year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Daily...


My dear friend Kim challenged me to post each day in December. I am a bit behind in getting started and am back-dating a few posts to catch up, but I loved blogging last December about our family traditions, favorite recipes and family fun...so I'm going to give it a shot again! (And, let's just say, thank heavens for Blogger's ability to pre-schedule posts! :-) A busy girl's best friend!)

Thanks, Kim, for the fun challenge!
Friends, do you want to join me? (Hey, who cares if you're reading this a few days after December 1, or even if you can't join in each day...take a gander at blogging about your own Christmas traditions and fun....join us!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shopping Divas...


E, hubby's sis, my mom and I hit the malls with all the other nuts on Friday morning. We had a small list of deals to nab....but the highlight of the day? Getting interviewed in the parking lot by a cameraman from our local CBS affiliate. They wanted video of people getting out of their cars in the rain and unfurling their umbrellas. I supposed this was even more interesting because we had several people in our vehicle...including a two-year-old! However, we didn't make the news...as my mom said, they must not have liked our looks! Ha!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks...



We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at my parents' house this year -- wonderful food, a wonderful nap (for E and me) and a great visit with hubby's sis and her new husband...thank God for His wonderful gifts!
(Forgive me as I back date some posts -- I have been so behind on blogging due to a nasty headcold, a ton of freelance work and a variety of other factors...I'm trying to catch up!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

There's nothing like old friends...

While "down south" for Lucy's wedding, we visited my best friend and her family and "did Christmas" with them...so what if we were a bit early? The kids had a great time together, and the adults did, too! Be sure to check out the video at the end of the kids playing in the tissue paper. Who needs to buy gifts, when you can play in tissue paper?


...what faces! E looks awfully guilty...

...me getting sweet baby hugs from Anna...

...E and Anna checking each other out...
...what a crew! we've been through so much together!
good friends are a big blessing!...

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Lucy's wedding!

We had a wonderful time in San Antonio last weekend...Lucy's wedding was just beautiful, and Alan is officially part of the family now! The wedding and reception were beautiful, and it was wonderful to see family and friends, but we're also so, so glad to be home...

...with my parents at the rehearsal dinner
(they were great in helping with E all weekend!)...
...here comes the bride!...
...the sweetest flower girl, ever!...
...the gang's all here!...
...the happy couple...
...E totally loved the wedding cake...

...what a bunch of goofballs! we had a great time!...