Friday, December 30, 2016

Our Christmas

Christmas has come and gone and I can't believe it. It always flies by and seems like faster with each passing year.  We had a wonderful Christmas that was full of magic and love!

Christmas Eve we woke up and spent the day watching movies and making Jesus' birthday cake.  At night we went to candle light service at church, and then had drinks and appetizers afterwards with my parents.  The girls were so crazy hyper and bouncing off the walls all night...I think they were a tad excited!  Brynn put out the cookies and milk under the tree and we quickly ran to the bedroom to read the "The Night Before Christmas" with my mom before Jolie snatched those cookies up with the quickness!    This is the exact same book that my used to read to us when we were little.  I love that she passed it down to me.

Steve and I stayed up far into the night assembling bikes and doll high chairs and stuffing stockings.  So much fun! This is the first year that Brynn is sleeping with the door open so we hid out in our bedroom with the door locked!  I legit had so much fear that she was going to wake up! What do you do once these kids get bigger?!?! It can only get more challenging I imagine.

Christmas morning, Jolie woke up first.  I picked her up and we sat on the couch waiting for Brynn to wake up.  I will never forget this....because it cracked me up so much...
Brynn must have heard us moving around getting Jo's milk and things and all of a sudden I hear her say from her room "huhhh, what...mommmm?? Santaaaa??? Santa,  is that you !!!!" and then she comes running out of her room.  I seriously wanted to die of laughter. She came out and started analyzing everything...his half eaten cookies which she called "wasteful!" hahah and then his boot footprints to the door.  All of a sudden she finally noticed her huge wrapped present and screamed MY BICYCLEEEEE!  Ugh, so much Christmas magic.  This was the very first year Brynn has asked for anything specifically.  And boy did she want this bike with all her heart.  As for Jolie, she was so happy with the very first thing she took out of her stocking a bubble puppy rubber bath toy...didn't take much to please her.  Sissy opened all the rest of her presents for her.

We surprised the girls with redoing this giant play house in the backyard.  Now this may or may not have been my childhood dream as a child!  But it sure was fun to do and surprise the girls with.  We planted flowers at midnight in the flower boxes, hung a wreath and moved all their play house furniture in in the middle of the night.  Brynn's face is pure joy.

We spent the morning watching Brynn ride her new bike up and down the street while little sis cheered her on clapping the whole time and then eating Jesus' cake! Gah, they make my heart swell sometimes!

Christmas morning we had a big family breakfast followed by naps all around. That night my mom threw a big Christmas dinner for everyone where the kids opened even more gifts and we enjoyed being together as a family.

It was a great Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Salt dough fun

I have a list of little holiday things and traditions that I like to do every year.
I didn't quite get to them all last year with a colicky newborn, but this we are sure breezing' right through them.  Man, what a difference a year makes! haha

Anyways, one of the traditions I always like to do is salt dough ornaments.  It's super easy and super messy, but nothing 10 mins of cleaning can't fix.

Brynn had sooo much fun doing this this year.  That's another thing I love about traditions..I love seeing how their level of involvement, skill and enjoyment changes each year with these sorts of things.  I think she could have cut shapes for hours.
We set this up to do during Jolie's nap time.  I had planned that later she could help with the painting part.  Well, teething has happened and that called for a short nap and she was up and ready to join the fun.  But, Im glad she did because she loved it, giggling up a storm..and much to my surprise did not eat it!

We spent the afternoon painting them all, and this morning Brynn glittered her little heart out!

Next up on the list ...Christmas lights and baking!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Learning the Christmas Story | Our advent tradition

It is so important for me keep Christ as the center of Christmas for my children.  It is easy to get caught up in all the fun of Santa,  Elf of the Shelf and presents.  We LOVE allll those things!  But, I never want Brynn and Jo to think that is what it's all about!  Especially, now that Brynn is getting older, she is really such a little sponge and loves learning.

A year ago I was introduced to this advent calendar by a dear friend, that teaches kids the Christmas story through a daily bible reading and making ornaments.  It is called "truth in the tinsel".

 We did it last year..but not full out..newborn life was crazy! So, this year we were ready.  I actually spent a full day with some girlfriends pre prepping all the days and supplies into individual ziplock, which has made this soooo much more simple.
It was such a fun day, wine..kid free..just hanging out, Christmas music and prepping.

Each day has a clue.  The kids have to listen for the clue in that days bible reading, then shout it out when they hear the word.
This year I put each clue in these little mini envelopes I made.  Brynn takes one down each day and opens for her clue.

Then, each day has an ornament craft that goes with it to hang on the tree.  We have a mini tree in Brynn's room that we hang them all on.
The idea is that by the end of it all your child can recite and understands the whole Christmas story.

It has been so much fun for us, we do it every morning during Jolie's nap time while listen to Christmas music.  I love it so much, so does Brynn and it makes me so happy to see her understanding.  She actually told my mom all about what she has learned yesterday, using everyones names.  It was so amazing to witness.

I can't sing this advent enough praises.  I am so excited to have it be a yearly tradition and do it with both girls next year.

Friday, December 2, 2016

North Pole Breakfast

Last year was our elf Puffy's debut in our household.
Brynn has anxiously been awaiting his arrival this year and he finally came December 1st.
He brought the girls a North Pole breakfast complete with powder donuts, candy canes and M&Ms.
Brynn totally freaked and was jumping up and down screaming in excitement, followed by telling him a million times how much she loved him. Jolie was mainly in it for the food,  I mean.. when is she not ;)

The amount of times I caught Brynn talking to that little elf yesterday was priceless..singing him Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer all him books and opening to a page with Santa's picture so he wouldn't be lonely!  I mean, come onnnnn, I  melt over her sweetness sometimes.

If that expression doesn't say it all right there!