Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Countdown!!

Well it is that time of year again...my FAVORITE time of year again...Christmas time!  One of our favorite traditions is doing our Christmas countdown and I am so excited to get started!  This is our third year (you can see our first year's list here and our second year's list here) to do the Christmas Countdown and it is probably still my favorite idea from Pinterest. 

Soooo I noticed after last years that I really needed to include in the activities things that we were going to have to do anyway like wrap presents, address Christmas cards, etc.  I also realized I really needed to look at days we already had stuff planned (like small group or Christmas parties) and plan easy, quick things for those days.  And last, but not least, every December weekend is crazy busy (fun, but busy) so I planned for every Monday to be a family movie night this year.  Now, without further adieu, our 2013 Christmas Countdown (not in order):

1. Minivan Express
2. Christmas Train
3. Read the Christmas story in a fort
4. Grinch Storytime, Whoville Feast, and the Grinch movie
5. Wrapping party
6. Watch Frozen
7. Candlelight dinner and Special Bath
8. Watch Rudolph and have Rudolph pancakes for dinner
9. Watch Frosty the Snowman and make Snowman pizza
10. Watch Veggie Tales and make Jesus in a Manger treats
11. Watch Santa Claus and Veggie Tales St. Nicholas (both short) and have Santa waffles
12.  Nativity Night--Read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible and retell it using our Little People Nativity
13. Night at the Square
14. Neighbor gift. 
15. Christmas Cards (the kids make a Christmas card for a soldier--I send out our Christmas cards)
16. Dance Party and Christmas Action Cards. Kids decorate their trees
17.  Cookie Decorating tea party
18. Christmas light scavenger hunt
19. Christmas craft
20. Random acts of kindness
21. Toys for Tots
22. Decorate Ornaments
23. Shop for sibling at the Dollar Store (one of our favorites)
24. Make Jesus' Birthday Cake
25. Happy Birthday Jesus Party!!!!!

Oh, and one last tip--some things like Toys for Tots or Christmas Cards for soldiers have to be done by a certain date so you have to make sure those are earlier!  Also, both previous years there have been things we didn't get done because things came up or we got sick and that is just fine.  I figure if we only get half of the stuff done we have still made lots of great memories together! 

Thanksgiving Day and Weekend

Wednesday morning Reid got up and I went to check on him and he had taken all of the clothes out of the dryer and put them on the couch and he was finishing up moving all of the clothes from the washer to the dryer.  Then he started the dryer all by himself.  You see, his favorite shirt was in the washer. 
 I went ahead and gave him a bath and then he put his towel on and stood in front of the dryer and watched and waited patiently until his shirt was dry.  Haha!  Later that day we all loaded up and headed to Mike and DeDe's for Thanksgiving! 
 This is his favorite shirt...and also how I found him sleeping when I went to check on him at DeDe's.  Now this is where I fail--I have no pictures of Thanksgiving Day!  :/  Not one.  Not a family picture. Not one of the kids in their cute outfits.  (Well Lilly in a cute outfit and Reid still in his favorite shirt from the day before.)  Not one of the yummy food.  Not one of any of the awesome family member we got the pleasure of seeing.  Not even the ones from out of state.  Eeeeeeek!!!  So let me just tell you that we ate lots of yummy food and loved getting to see each and every family member that was there, too!  Becca, DeDe, and I went Black Friday shopping.  I know lots of people don't enjoy--but I really like Black Friday shopping.  The boys are all going to watch football and the kids are going to play and it is a great opportunity to get out for a little girl-bonding and I knocked out most of my Christmas shopping (while getting it on sale...bonus!) 
 On Saturday we decided to take the kids out for some fun and give the guys the chance to watch football uninterrupted.  We started with lunch at the Purple Cow and both Lilly and Reid were SO excited about the purple milkshakes. 


 Then we went to the Wonder Place.  It is like a big indoor play area with all kinds of different pretend areas like a restaurant, store, vet's office, sand, legos, blocks, water, etc.  The kids LOVE it there.   Reid and Lilly both fixed us all several meals. 
 Some water area fun! 

 Lilly my little animal loving child.  (: 
Breanna was cracking me up saying, "C'mon DeDe" over and over until DeDe finally sat in one of those tiny chairs.  But seriously, who could say no to that face??  Then we watched the movie Frozen.  We all loved it!  After that we met the guys for dinner and Lilly discovered she loves steak.  Then, on Sunday, we had lunch with all of the family and headed home.  I think we all had a great Thanksgiving and weekend and we have SO very much to be thankful for--we are beyond blessed!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fun with MoMo

MoMo (and PaPa Ray) came into town the weekend before Thanksgiving and MoMo brought a couple of activities for the kids to do!
 
She brought us a cookie decorating kit so we HAD to make cookies and test it out! Ha!
  The kids were pumped up!  Lilly said, "I wish we could decorate cookies EVERY day!" 

 First you have to put some icing on the cookie...

 Lilly kept "sneaking" bites of the icing. 
 Then you have to add lots of sprinkles!! 
 Here is all of the finished cookies.  What was left of Reid's is on the bottom left.  Ha!  He just couldn't wait to eat it! 
 They were all proud of their finished product! 
 (Their cousin Emma.  Lilly and Emma were inseparable the whole time MoMo was in town--it was pretty cute!)
 And their cousin Hunter.
Even MoMo got in on the fun.
 MoMo also got them all the stuff to make razorback ornaments!  Reid, Hunter, Lilly, Emma, and Ethan. 
 And is it really fun with cousins if you don't have a silly picture to prove it?? 
Their sweet little ornaments! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November Misc.

Well at the beginning of November we decided we wanted to clean out the garage so that we could get BOTH cars in there before the cold weather came.
 This is what is started out looking like.  Oiy!  Also a huge shout-out to my brother-in-law for building the shelves in our garage earlier this year.  We LOVE them.  We started cleaning out and we took several loads of stuff to our local Compassion Center. 
 And we decided since we were taking stuff to the Compassion center that we should get in the attic and go through the Christmas stuff because we had lots of pre-kids breakable Christmas stuff that needed another home where it won't just be in the attic.  (:  Soooooo...since we went ahead and decorated our house for Christmas...on November 9th.  I am usually one of those people that thinks you should wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate BUT I think my mind has been changed.  I still thoroughly loved Thanksgiving but I am so glad I am not squeezing decorating into the busyness of December this year. 
 And we put the final finishing touches on the garage the next day and we are ecstatic.  I smile every time we open the garage now!!  Of course I did have to learn how to park where 2 cars could fit in the garage at the same time.  Ha!  It took us almost 10 years but we finally have a garage that is cleaned out, organized, and both cars can be parked in!! 
 We saw this beautiful sky on our way to church and I just loved it.  
 This is my happy place.  On the chair snuggled up with these two cuties.  My happiest place has their Daddy in it, too, but this was during the day while he was hard at work.  (: 
video
 Oh, also, Lilly came home with a list of words and I asked her about them and she came over and read each one to me.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  So, naturally, I videotaped it and we called Daddy and every grandparent.  Ha!  Reid apparently was getting a little jealous so he started writing his letters and he would say, "Look Mommy an F!  The F says Fffff!"  It was so cute so we had to give him some attention, too! 
 Speaking of Reid, his favorite thing to do right now is organize and line up his cars. 
 I love it.  He shows it all off when he is done, too. 
 The kids had their Thanksgiving Feasts at KDO and Lilly wanted to sign-up for Juice boxes (the pilgrim hats on the left) and Reid wanted to sign up for brownies.  And then the kids took these turkeys (made with a Hershey's bar in the middle) for their teachers.  Lilly wrote her "I'm Thankful You're My Teacher" on the feathers all by herself.  (I spelled them--she wrote the letters.)  I just can't believe how much they are learning and am so thankful they are able to be in such a great program! 
 Lola has started sleeping in the fetal position and I think it is hysterical. 
 We had lots of fun food in November.  The kids always eat so good when we make it fun so it is worth the effort for a couple of fuss-free meals. 
We have also read Green Eggs and Ham every night before bed for the past 6 months and the kids have been begging for me to make green eggs and ham.  I finally obliged.  (:  Lilly, who won't normally touch scrambled eggs ate like 6 helpings.  I, on the other hand, love scrambled eggs and could hardly manage to eat them because they look so gross.  Ha! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dinosaur Day

After the kids had prehistoric preschool week at school we decided to do some fun dinosaur activities at home.
 They painted their own dinosaurs and came up with a list of the dinosaur's favorite things...like color, food, toy, etc. 

 Then they each had one of these eggs.  You are supposed to be able to dig a dinosaur out...
 so we tried...
 and tried...
 and repeatedly soaked them in water...BUT they were like trying to dig into concrete with a paintbrush...so we let them soak some more.
 And while we did we read a non-fiction dinosaur book that told us all about several different dinosaurs and the book came with a flashlight that shines different dinosaurs on the wall.  The kids LOVED this!! 
 Then we made some pictures with some dinosaur stencils. 
 Reid loved this and part the most, I think. 
 And then we brought out the big tools and went at the dinosaur dig again.  Ha! 
We finally got them out and were so excited to find the tiny dinosaur inside.  Lilly and Reid love special days like this and Lilly is always asking, "Mommy are we going to do any 'actibidies' today?"  Love it!  (; 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Family in Town

On Halloween Bert, Becca, Breanna, Mike, and DeDe came to visit us for the weekend!  We loved having them all here and had such a great time with them. 
 Friday night we went to the volleyball game.  Turns out Spiderman likes volleyball, too.  ( ; 
 Saturday Mike and DeDe watched all three of the kids so that Bert, Becca, Matt and I could go to the game!  We hadn't been to a game without the kids in so long and we had so much fun!!! 
 Before the game Becca, DeDe, and I went shopping.  I found the sweat heaven at Old Navy and was so excited to get some new sweats for the winter.  Then we went to a local boutique and I felt like I needed a stylist and a personal trainer just to shop there.  Ha! 
 But then I found these so now I am good.  My ponytails are now very trendy.  ( ; 
 And I found this super cute coffee mug while we were out, too. 
 After the game we stopped and grabbed a bite to eat and that is where Becca and I got the great idea to go the movies, too.  So Matt and Bert dropped us off at the movies to see Last Vegas and they went home to relieve Mike and DeDe.  The movie was pretty funny.  It was such a great day! 
 When we got back to the house Breanna was already asleep so she got to have her first sleepover at our house!!  We LOVED having her spend the night. 
 She woke up with some crazy hair so Uncle Matt fixed her hair.  I was pretty impressed with his skills. 
 The kids played and played and Lilly just LOVED playing little Momma to Breanna.  She is so my little mother hen.  Oh, and Reid found one of Matt's old hats and has claimed it as his own. 
We are so glad everybody came to visit and can't wait to see them all again soon!