Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Knocking It Out!

We have been getting quite a bit accomplished around here!

For the last few days, we have been tackling some little projects that seem to get lost in the shuffle at other times.

We learned this season that we will NOT be going the route of the "real" Christmas tree again. While we savored the experience of going to the Christmas tree farm, selecting, and then cutting down our own tree, boy, did it turn into a mess! By the time Christmas rolled around, despite regular watering, it seemed that more needles had fallen off of the tree, than remained on it! So, we broke a record this year by having our tree, as well as all of our other decorations taken down and packed away by the 27th! That freed up my mind to focus on some other things that needed to be done.

I have organized Carson's "preschool cabinet", so that it is now much more functional than it was before. This is an area where I keep his letter and number magnets, flashcards, educational games, puzzles, etc.. It is easier for me to locate what I am looking for now, and it will help me to make sure that we are using most all of the items on a regular basis.

Today, I asked Caylie to clean out the coat closet while I was getting some other things done. This hard-working area has a tendency to collect too many coats, backpacks, purses, etc., and so it doesn't take long for things to start getting way too crowded in there. Now, it is cleaned out, and ready for business again.

Also, I was sick for a couple of days on either side of Christmas this year, so although I had already purchased most of the necessary ingredients, we didn't get the baking done for our neighbors that we usually do. Today Caylie, her friend Elizabeth and I all had fun while spending several hours in the kitchen preparing some treats that we will deliver to our neighbors tomorrow.

We are planning to get together with our friends, the Harrod's for New Year's Eve, so tonight we also baked some sugar cookies to take to their house. The girls used icing to frost, and write "2010" on the cookies. We used regular icing, and I sooo wish that we had used royal icing, that would harden, and not be so messy, but we were already into it before I came to that conclusion...oh well. I guess I'll just have to find an excuse to make some more soon!

Tomorrow afternoon, we will prepare some "party sandwiches", as well as some hot spinach dip with crackers to take along as well. Both are new recipes that I have found online. Hopefully they will turn out well!

Writing the Waves,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This was a pretty unique Christmas for my family.

My sister, Jeanna, spent most of December in the hospital with complications resulting from a damaged heart valve. On the 14th of December, she had open heart surgery, and we were all so grateful to have her leave the hospital, safe and sound on the 22nd. She was hospitalized here in town, so fortunately, we were able to be at the hospital often.

Needless to say, my mom and I had lots going on in December, and so some Christmas preparations that usually get checked off of our lists, didn't quite get done this year. We all decided that this would just have to be a very relaxed Christmas.

In addition to that, a couple of days before Christmas, I came down with the stomach bug. The first night, I felt horrible, and for several more days, I still felt wiped out, and not quite right, so the timing on that was less than wonderful.

But like I said...this was to be a very relaxed Christmas.

On Christmas morning, we were a little surprised by how late Carson slept. He had been so excited about Santa, that he had gotten up around 3am, and not gone to sleep again until 6!

Around 9am, Carson finally woke up, and my parents and sister arrived to open gifts. Carson had left cookies and milk for Santa the night before, and was pleased to see that Santa had not only enjoyed his snack, but had left a thank you note as well!

Stockings were first. Here, Carson is checking out the treats that he received in his stocking.

Mom got some pretty jewelry.

Christian's big gift was a Wii!

One of Caylie's fun gifts was a Vera Bradley tote bag.

Carson loved helping pass out the gifts, and saying, "Merry Christmas!" He would just squeal and jump up and down with excitement as he passed out gifts!

Corey received a much-needed new bible. His old one was very worn out!

Here is dad opening a new belt.

Jeanna got new pajamas, and didn't waste any time putting them on! Here she is hanging out in her comfy new pj's...

Carson got several new books for Christmas. Here, Mimi is reading one of his books to him after gift time was over, and lunch was in the works.

We didn't get any pictures of our Christmas dinner, but it was delicious. We usually have a very similar meal for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, so when Mom made Thanksgiving dinner this year, she froze extra portions of many things for us to have at Christmas. It helped us so much, because this year, "easy" was they key word!

Caylie helped Carson decorate a birthday cake for Jesus. She had given him a tiny cup of sprinkles, hoping that he would sprinkle them around the cake, but he went the route of dumping the whole cup of sprinkles in one spot instead!

Oh's all about the experience, not the end result when you are 3! Caylie just went with the flow, and they had a fun time decorating Jesus' birthday cake together!

We used 3 specific reason for that, but Carson placed them and removed them several times before deciding where they should stay...see the extra candle holes?!?

Carson was very proud of the finished product!

There are very few things that Carson loves more than singing "Happy Birthday", so he was all smiles when it was time to sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus".

It was a a very relaxed and easy Chrismas this year, and we all still had a great time.

We are so thankful for all of the blessings in our life, and are excited to see what the new year will bring!

Writing the Waves,

Friday, December 4, 2009

Best Christmas Pageant Ever

A couple of weeks ago, Caylie was in a play with our local homeschool drama group. She played the role of Mrs. Bradley, in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. There were lots of lines to memorize, and she did so well!

Unfortunately, Corey was out of town on business, but his parents, his sister and her family, my mom, and my sister were all able to come! She had her own little cheering section. :)

Here are a few pictures from the day..

Caylie (Mrs. Bradley) talking on the phone....

Mrs. Bradley reading from the Bible while teaching the kids about the meaning of the Christmas pageant...

Caylie with Nana and Mimi after the show...

There was a reception after the show with cookies and punch for the cast members and guests to enjoy.

It was a neat experience for Caylie, and she is looking forward to participating in the spring musical that the group is planning to do!

Way to go Caylie! We are so proud of you!

Writing the Waves,

The Christmas Tree Farm

Last year, we realized that our artificial tree had seen it's better days. It was falling apart, and the attached lights were no longer working.

It was HUGE, and took up a lot of storage space that we wanted to reclaim.

After we took it down, it left our living room for the last time.

We made a decision to go with a real tree this year...for the first time ever!

Today we went to a local tree farm to find and cut down our first real tree. The kids had lots of fun searching for a nice looking tree, and Christian even got on the ground to cut it down!

The tree farm was a neat place. It had a play area for the little guys...

and free hot chocolate and hay rides for everyone to enjoy.

Here is a cute picture of Carson that Caylie took during the hay ride.

When we got home, Carson was so tired that he fell asleep in Caylie's arms.

Doesn't she look cute in her mask? :)

It has been a fun day, and we are going to put the tree up tonight.

More to come!

Writing the Waves,

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