Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Christmas Day Celebration

Wow, another Christmas has come and gone!!  It's amazing all the prep work and build up, then it's over for another year.  It was fun, and we were blessed with a great day of being together to celebrate.

Our day began early with Hannah up and about, anxious for us to get up and turn on lights, so we could start.  Her reaction when she came out and saw the pile of goodies, and that Santa had not only eaten the cookies and milk for him, but the remnants of the reindeer snacks was also evident.  He had also taken the crafts she made for him and answered her note about last years gifts, and then had left a thank you on the back of her note.  She was thrilled!!

Lauren was a bit hesitant in coming out not sure if she'd find anything for herself.  With all the activities and build up these last few weeks, she's had a few meltdowns, and she thought she'd made it on "the naughty list", and could only look forward to a lump of coal in her stocking.  Santa was gracious in overlooking these as he knew she was trying to be better, so she was beyond thrilled to see the goodies left for her!!

Kevin, Cameron and I were not left out.  We each had wonderful surprises in our stockings and Cameron got a new Itouch that replaced his old one lost accidentally while fishing. Needless to say he was quite pleased with this.  So, after all the presents were opened, I got busy fixing our meal and preparing for Grandma's arrival.  Poppie wasn't feeling well, so he wasn't able to join us.  We made sure to send Grandma home with a care package of food, so when he was up to it he could enjoy some of what he'd had to miss out on.

After eating and talking, all the while Kevin was busy putting toys and doll stuff together, or installing batteries and testing electronics, we headed out front for the kids to test the girls radio controlled trucks and Cameron's remote controlled helicopter.  The day was perfect and it felt great to move and burn off a bit of what we ate.

Cameron really managed to maneuver the helicopter around beautifully

We ended our day with a few favorite Christmas movies, before finally closing out another incredible and blessed day!!  For all who celebrate Christmas, we hope yours was just as special.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, have a blessed and happy Christmas!!!

Were able to take this family Christmas picture with ALL our kids when Amber and Eddie were out visiting this past October, thanks to Downtown Disney's Christmas store for the background setting.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"

Love to read the poem titled for this blog post, and though it's not Christmas Eve yet, it is Christmas Eve day and last minute preps are taking place, lists are being checked and kids - including big kids - are getting excited for tomorrows activities.

Small tree in my work area and the doll house my grandfather made me

Main tree in our living room

The house is decorated, the food for Christmas dinner is purchased and initial preparations have begun. We'll be checking NORAD and now I see Google Maps are  also displaying Santa's around the World progress.

Decorations on the top of my desk
Cameron's tree
Hannah's tree

Lauren's tree

Tree in the sunroom

Growing up, Christmas was always a special time and this season always brings out the big kid in both Kevin and I, so we find ourselves trying to allow that same magic for our children too.

Kid's stockings by the fireplace

Tree in Kevin's office

Small tree and decorations on top of the TV cabinet

We're sending you our best wishes for a wonderful Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Ballet Performance

Cameron ready for his Christmas party
Christmas season is moving on and preparations continue. Parties are happening, and the girls have been excited about all the activities.
The girls have been taking a ballet class for the past few months, and last night was their first performance of the dance their whole class has been working on.  It was done to Hillsong's, Emmanuel, and was really a beautiful dance choreographed to a beautiful song.

Hannah has been organizing practices for she and Lauren, with the video their instructor posted on Youtube to learn the rather complicated hand movements.  She and Lauren have put in a lot of time since they were right at the front of the group they wanted to be sure not to embarrass themselves, or let their dance class down.

It was actually a stroke of good fortune when we went out last Wednesday and had dinner at Raglan Rose Restaurant.  The Irish dancers did their performance, then chose kids to join them onstage and

try the Irish dance along with them. Hannah and Lauren were asked to participate and got up on stage and did a good job with the dance shown them.  I was able to use this when Hannah began getting a bit nervous to say, "if you could get up and do a dance you didn't know in front of a group of total strangers, you can handle a dance you do know in front of an audience that for the most part you will know too".

So after this, they were ready to take on a public performance of their Christmas piece

Here are a few pictures of their performance that went off without a hitch.  The girls were thrilled that Grandma and Poppie came to watch them too.

So the Christmas countdown continues, with only 3 days to go.  I think I have all the preparations ready and now it's time to get my meal planned out so that goes as nicely as their dance did!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cookie Baking with Grandma

Yesterday Grandma came over to make cookies with me and to help the girls decorate some of the sugar cookies we made. 

We spent most of the day mixing, rolling, baking and finally decorating an abundance of yummy cookies.  I didn't actually count our final total, but in looking at the variety and numbers, we easily made 15 dozen or more.
Let the decorating begin

Me rolling Sandies in the powdered sugar, messy, but oh so good!

Grandma took some home for she and Poppie, and two small packages to give, and after putting some in cookie tins for us, I put the rest in freezer bags and loaded our freezer with the rest. 

Hannah wanted to make a melted snowman cookie, like the ones  I made for my cookie exchange.

The girls decorating results

Won't have to buy cookies for months!!!!  Fun day, and the house smelled amazing as we baked.
Best of all, creates wonderful Christmas memories for the kids. Definitely a win, win situation!!

Enjoying the season,


Monday, December 16, 2013

Farewell Doc

Today we said farewell to a longtime friend, when our cat Doc passed away.  Doc has been part of the family for 18 years.  He was a funny cat in that he could be so ornery and at times just plain grumpy, then he would demand attention and grab your arm to keep you petting him when you stopped the attention and all the while purring with his very LOUD purr.

Doc as a kitten

Doc with his brother on left, Marty - they were almost like twins

He has made three moves with our family since he first joined us as a kitten.  We had his brother for only a few years.  The two were named Doc and Marty since Cameron who was 2 at the time we got them and loved the movie Back to the Future, so he chose the names from the characters in the film.  They were about 3 months old when we found them at the animal shelter. 

In his cage for travel in the back of the truck as we moved from California to Florida

It's always hard to say goodbye, especially as we've had to care for him for and watch him these last few weeks as he declined, but we're so glad to have had him grumpy and all, for as long as we have.

Farewell, Doc and thanks for all the love you did share with us.