Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Happenings

Since I'm behind on posting, here's a bundle post on what we've been doing during the Christmas holiday . . .
Baking Club "Gingerbread" houses

Christmas Play (pictures from practice)

Christmas Concert at a local middle school - Director is our friend, Courtney

 Doughnut Reindeer

3D Christmas tree craft

First Snow Storm - It wasn't as big as the hype, but the kids had fun scraping snow together to make snow castles (as they called them)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Happy 15th Anniversary!

We've come a long way, the Knight and I.  Never a dull moment.  I can't imagine life without him!
Happy Anniversary!
This is a set from Department 56.  We bought the church, wedding couple and car (with balloons, Just Married sign and cans hanging off the back) on our honeymoon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bird Watching

For reasons I don't want to bother to explain (boy am I lazy!!), we were at Nana & Pappy's house today for school.  What could be more fun especially when the day ends with a movie night!?!
Bud getting a little help from his 'skeleteen'.  Some of his words are just too cute.  Gunna miss that.
Pappy has a serious fascination with birds.  He has six bird feeders some of which are guarded against the squirrels and turkeys that try to get the bird seeds.  (Don't mess with a sign guy that has access to foam board and a BB gun for that matter!)  He even has binoculars and a bird guide.  They see anything from woodpeckers and blue jays to finches and chickadees.

This squirrel did chase the birds away once he came by the tree, but he didn't attempt to climb the tree.  He mostly ate seeds that fell under the other feeder.

I wished I had gotten a photo a woodpecker, but the number of winged-visitors thinned out in the late morning and afternoon when I decided to pull out my camera.  However, it's like a coffee shop drive thru with a flurry of activity in the early morning!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Memories

Growing up, I always enjoyed laying by the Christmas tree listening to Christmas music. (For some reason, I remember laying on the floor in my brothers' room across from the livingroom.)  Occassionally I would fall sleep listening to music admiring the tree.
I still love to lay by the tree and listen to Christmas music. (Side note: This year's tree is so big with so many lights - 750 to be exact - that it's too bright to sleep by! Kinda bummed, actually.)
Many years ago, I was back home with my first born who was 5 months old.  She woke in the early hours of the morning.  I took her downstairs to the livingroom, turned the Christmas tree lights on and enjoyed laying with her on her first Christmas until she fell back asleep.
Sitting by the tree has become a nice place to have my quiet time with the Lord as well. I enjoy the sunlight streaming in too. God is good!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Decorating THE Tree

Note to self:  If EVER in the future we get a huge tree, plan LOTS of extra time for decorating.
Well.  We are on Day #3 of decorating this tree.  Yesterday, I decorated around the house and got the beads and angels put on the tree.  Today, the kids put the bulbs on during their lunch break from school.
I'll try to remember to put a finished product photo on later (see below) . . . after I finish putting bulbs on the very top of the tree where the kids couldn't reach. {sigh}

Butterfly the ballerina balancing to place bulbs on our beautiful tree.

There were about 10 bulbs in the section Bud is standing at.  He was doing a real thorough job.

After we explained that he needed to spread them around a little, I found him saying, "Hmm" with his finger to his mouth as he stared at the tree.

Teamwork! YAY! And they did it on their own.
Funny side story:  Yesterday the kids were digging through the Christmas stuff while I was decorating, and they were trying to figure out whose snowman toy was whose.  One child commented, "Hey, we figured that out without fighting about it."  I told them that is the goal!  We are getting there.  Slowly.

Our 2012 Christmas Tree ~

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

O, Christmas Tree!

Today was packed with so many memorable things, I couldn't help but post something.  Although, I don't know how I'll ever forget that a child of mine forgot their underwear in a haste to get showered and out the door to get a Christmas tree! {insert major eye rolling and head shaking}
Ever since we bought this house, the Knight has wanted a tall Christmas tree to go in our cathedral-ceilinged livingroom (and yes I realize that's probably not a word).  Since we moved in December 17th last year, we were fortunate enough to even HAVE a Christmas tree last year (albeit an artificial tree set up by the kids and inlaws).  We usually go as a family to pick out a tree, but the 60 degree weather in December was enough to convince me to go with the kids while the Knight was at work.
This trip was nothing short of an adventure.  We attempted to find a tree in the front lot that was already cut down, but there weren't any that looked like the tree we thought the Knight would want.  So we decided to cut our own and asked for directions to the field where the douglas fir tree were.  I'll spare you the details, but our excursion involved large ruts, slippery mud, praying, driving off the beaten path and cheering when we finally arrived back on a main road.
Finally made it! -- in search of the perfect, tall tree.

The kids thought this tree looked like it came from Whoville.

Seeing these trees over the hill made it easy to explain a tree farm to the kids.

Here it is.  The perfect, tall tree.

Bud took a turn cutting down the tree.  He's got a couple more years and muscles to go before he's a real help.

So did Sparkle!  She was happy to see some sawdust fall down while she was cutting.

Everybody is ready to yell, "Timber!"

Dragging the tree back to our van.
We then drove back to the front lot with the tree partically hanging out the back to have the tree wrapped and to pay for it.  After it was wrapped, we did manage to get it loaded in the van.

Tree trunk at dashboard . . .

tree top smashed in the back.
The kids were excited to surprise the Knight with the tree we picked out.  After dinner he carried it in and placed it in the stand.

Bud is posing with tree before we took the twine off of it.

Our Christmas-exploded livingroom, the Knight trying to fix a string of lights and the girls are doing Christmas I Spy books.
We decided to go with a new way of hanging lights this year.  I saw the idea on Pinterest and can't remember if it was Martha Stewart or who, but they suggested you hang the lights vertically instead of wrapping them around and around the tree.  The only snag we found was the weight of the plugs, but we think it turned out nicely.
The official hanger of the lights doing his job.

A little hot chocolate and marshmallows before bed.
We didn't quite get to the decorating.  It's going to be a big job to cover all that tree!  We measured it at 11' tall.  It's actually a little taller than the Knight wanted, but not by much.

The glow of that many lights almost lights up the whole livingroom.
Can't wait until it's decorated!  Hope we have enough decorations!
Here's a short video of the kids pushing the tree over.  We had a great afternoon together.  One I'll cherish for a long time.