Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seven years ago yesterday...

my first beautiful daughter was born. It is hard to believe she is seven years old already. I remember this day seven years ago. Her father and I brought her home from the hospital and I remember thinking "what now?" Not to worry, she took charge and let us know!

What a blessing she is. Always cheerful and thoughtful. I've never known anyone who talks as much as she does (non-stop). I love the way she is always happy and trying to make sure everyone else is happy too.

For dinner, she wanted to have cheesy bread sticks that she learned how to make at school. We also had salad and of course her favorite, cupcake cones. She was THRILLED to receive a horse music/jewelry box that she has wanted for ages!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

I am adding this photo too as I know you will appreciate "the fashionista's" party attire...

I will be posting photos of our joyous Christmas Eve, Christmas, and our anniversary soon. (Whew, it's been a crazy week!)

Hope everyone has a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Handmade Gifts

Just thought I would share some of the handmade Christmas gifts I have made this year. First up is the set of cards I made for the girls' Sunday School teachers. I used one of my all time favorite Stampin' Up sets, "All God's Children".

Next up, I made this 12x12 frame for my neighbors. Their son is serving in the US Army in Afghanistan. (My heart is with all of our men & women in uniform serving in Iraq & Afghanistan and their families. Some of my most difficult days came when my husband was in Iraq & Afghanistan and I am SO thankful to have him back with us safe & sound!)

Finally, this is an accordion album I made as a custom order for a friend. It is filled with beautiful 5x7 photos of her family and is a gift for her grandparents. It opens and on one side are all the horizontal photos. On the reverse side are the vertical photos. Interspersed among the photos are some quotes she likes. There is also a fold out envelope for notes or letters of love for her grandparents.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

*Sweet* Weekend!

This weekend involved lots of family time & Christmas traditions. We made & decorated three dozen+ sugar cookies and our gingerbread house. It was a lot of fun, a lot of sugar and possibly a bit much "excitement". I am enjoying these quiet minutes while the kids are in bed. Here are a few photos of the festivities.

By the way, please don't confuse me for Martha Stewart. I know that my cookies are gorgeous and my gingerbread house is a masterpiece. Or not. (Although I can't take ALL the credit for decorating these fine confections...)

Hope you are keeping warm out there wherever you are. It is a "chilly" -2 degrees here in Southwest Ohio. Yikes!

Up next, some homemade gifts I made this year. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hey Santa!

Last Saturday we attended "Breakfast with Santa". Life for my kids doesn't get any better than crafts, chocolate chip pancakes, story time and a giant inflatable slide.

When Lindsay sat on Santa's lap, she requested the same thing she's been asking for for months - a crib and high chair for her baby dolls. This has been the only two things she has requested. She has not wavered a bit. The girl knows what she wants. Always. (This is probably why she was so very stubborn about not wearing the overalls...)

Laura, on the other hand, sat on Santa's lap and requested something totally new. An easy bake oven apparently. This girl does NOT know what she wants. She prefers to practice the womanly trait of changing her mind. Often.

What's up with the easy bake oven? This is the first I've heard of this. I hate to tell her but the shopping is done and the shopping was based on previous wish lists. Oh well. Besides, we had an easy bake oven before and I thanked my lucky stars when it got recalled by Hasbro and was replaced with various "The Littlest Pet Shop" toys courtesy of "Hasbro bucks". You won't be seeing any easy bake ovens here on Christmas morning. Shucks!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's just not Christmas without...

the chaos of a children's pageant/play/musical, etc. We have been practicing and getting the sets and costumes ready for months!

Last weekend was our big weekend for the children's Christmas musicals. Both sets of grandparents were able to be here - Jeremy's parents on Friday night and my parents on Sunday for the performances. Laura's age (1st-6th grade) performed "A Charlie Brown Christmas". Laura had a verse to sing from "The Holly and the Ivy" with her first grade friend and they did so good. They were so adorable and looked so little up there with all the bigger kids.

Here's Laura singing her part. (on the left)

Lindsay's age (3-Kindergarten) performed "Who Is Coming To Our House" based on the book with the same title. (If you have little ones, I highly recommend checking out this book - it is adorable!) It was the most precious performance. Some very talented writers and musicians from our church wrote the entire musical based on the book. The songs were amazing and the kids did a great job.
Lindsay was supposed to look farmer-ish - their musical was set in a barn. I found these adorable overalls and sewed little red & green felt patches over the pink flowers that were on the overalls. (How Martha Stewart am I!) They were perfect and SO CUTE on her! She absolutely, flat-out REFUSED to wear them. It made me crazy. I never (well hardly ever) force her to wear certain clothes. We all know she has her own opinion in the style department. Most of the time, I don't care what she wears because it's not worth fighting over, but this time, I cared. I did finally talk her into wearing them for the dress rehearsal but afterwards she insisted that she would not be wearing them again. I became slightly hysterical on Sunday morning - the first thing she said when she woke up was "I'm not wearing the overalls." We fought about it all morning. Eventually Jeremy was somehow able to talk her into wearing them when I left the room. Whatever he gave her or put into her savings account is between her and him. She did have to take other clothes with her to change into after her performance but at least she wore the overalls. (Ha ha, I won.)

Several times since Sunday she has commented "I'm not wearing overalls again." (Again, ha ha, I don't care, you wore them when it really counted.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Our family enjoys celebrating Advent as part of our Christmas tradition. Advent means "coming" or "arrival". The Advent season is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, and of longing. We are preparing our hearts for the arrival of Jesus.

The Advent wreath is a circle that reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath reminds us of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son.

Last Sunday marked the first Sunday of Advent. The first candle traditionally represents expectation or hope. At our house, we light the candle and together we read a devotional and pray. We often find activities or crafts for the kids to do to reinforce what we are learning. This is a great way for our kids to be involved in learning about the true meaning of Christmas and what it means in our lives as Christians. This year, our wonderful preschool pastor at our church created special advent kits for the families. The girls got to make their own kid-friendly advent wreath.

Each Sunday until Christmas Eve, we will light another candle. The third candle traditionally represents "joy" and is normally a pink candle. *A little note about my wreath... three candles SHOULD be purple because it is the color of penitence and fasting as well as the color of royalty to welcome the Advent of the King. Unfortunately when I went to purchase my candles, Hobby Lobby had only one purple candle left so I did it the opposite. Next year I will shop earlier.

May we all celebrate the light and hope of Jesus' birth this holiday season.