Friday, December 31, 2010

Picture Woes

I am super frustrated because I've been working all evening to get our Christmas re-cap posted but blogger is telling me that I am all out of picture space. Are you kidding me? That could not have come at a worse time! Ha! So, anyway I am going to work on trying to get that fixed and on being okay with starting out the new year behind! Which will be totally easy for me, you know, 'cause I am so laid back and all. *wink*

You can see the first of my Christmas Posts HERE.

And, be on the lookout for the following posts! Hopefully sooner rather than later!

A Christmas Gift
Christmas at Home
Christmas at Meme and Papa's
Gifts I am LOVING!
Scripture Memory Verse #1
New Year...New Plan
Tiny Hand Prints 

Christmas at Nammy and Big Papa's

We started our Christmas festivities the Wednesday before Christmas. With lots of family, we try to spend equal amount of time with everyone. It's also important for us to spend Christmas morning at our own house as a little family so we figured out that it works best to spend the couple of days leading up to Christmas with one side of the family and then the days after with the other side of the family. Basically this year it looked like this: Wednesday through Christmas Eve night with my family, drive home Christmas Eve and sleep in our own beds to wake up and have Christmas morning with our little fam, drive to the other family later on Christmas night and spend a couple of days after there. We switch the order each year of who we go see before and who we see after Christmas. It sounds confusing but it is seeming to work for us!

So anyway, this year we headed to my parents' house and enjoyed lots of fun time with them leading up to Christmas! Of course Lauren loved being loved on and ate up all of the attention. It's like she is neglected at home or something, ha!

My dad put lights on the house this year just for Lauren. She absolutely loved them and I thought it was so sweet that he did it just for her!

 There were so many presents. We are very blessed.

Big Papa getting ready for presents!!!

I have no idea what my mom was doing, but it cracks me up!

Shawn got Victoria a turtle neck. It's a little inside joke, that we were all dying laughing from!!!

Shawn and Zach both got gift cards to Bass Pro with women on them! Gross!!!

I was so super excited to get Fiesta dinnerware!!! 

My parents got Shawn a Keurig.He was so excited!!! Honestly, I am too! Decaf coffee, baby!!!

Zach got Lauren this ADORABLE Minnie Mouse pillow. She loves it and has to sleep with it every night. 

My littlest brother (who isn't so little anymore) got a new gun. 

Lauren got the sweetest apron that Victoria and her grandma made. She loves it and wants to match mommy every time I wear mine! Precious. 


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Well, we are home again after a week full of travels and family and food and we are tired. I meant to blog while we were away, but our computer had a crazy virus and it took Shawn all of today to get it fixed. So, I am a little behind on the many Christmas memories I want to post. I am going to try to get to that before the new year....which is fast approaching! Yikes!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus!

I absolutely LOVE the responsibility I have as a mother to teach Lauren about the true meaning of Christmas. This year Lauren actually remembers a lot of what we've learned and it makes me so happy to know that she is retaining some of the important stuff!!! We were so excited when we got an invitation to a Happy Birthday Jesus Party from Mandie, Kyler, and Dylan!!!

Mandie did such a great job planning and putting this party on. The girl is totally creative and such a blast to be around!

One of the first things we did was to use a little nativity set to talk about everyone in the manger. At the very end, we noticed that the baby Jesus hadn't arrived yet. Mandie used the coolest light up star to lead the kids around to find Jesus and put him in the manger. He was found under the couch!!!

Lauren had a blast driving baby Jesus around in the trailer. I commented that it was interesting that baby Jesus was using a cart without any animals, and Carissa said, "well he is God....he can do anything!" I thought that was great!!!

Throughout the party when Mandie spotted a super helper or a quiet listener they were called on to pick a special gift for their mommy! It was such a precious idea and I got the softest pair of Christmas socks ever!!! Thanks, Mandie for that unexpected and so thoughtful gift!!!

Mandie had a cute little tub full of dress up items for the kids to use to act out the Christmas story. Darling I tell you!!! Preston made the most adorable shepherd!

Lauren was really shy and didn't want to be any of the cool characters Mandie offered her. So, I talked her into being the little pig!!! I was Mary but I don't have a good picture of it. =) The kids did a really good job of acting out the play and we all laughed and said we should have got it on camera and pulled it out next year! I can't imagine what our Christmas party will look like then!

 Mandie had the coolest ornament for the kids to make. She had cut out of foam the main parts of the Christmas story and we strung each of them (great for fine motor!!!) on a pipe cleaner while talking through the story. I love that this can be used year after year to talk about baby Jesus' birth!!!

Preston and Leslie checking out the pieces for their ornament. 

 I was trying to get both Lauren and Kendall to look at the camera, but no such luck! They sure are cute though!

Kelly and Ryan getting ready to make their ornament.

Lauren wanted to wear her ornament as a bracelet!

What birthday party would be complete without cupcakes!!!  How adorable is this? I so need a cupcake stand!

The balloons were a huge hit! It was too funny how silly our kids became when the balloons came out! Precious!!!

We had a $1 gift exchange and the kids were so cute and polite as they waited their turn and picked out a present from under the tree. 

One of my favorite moments was when we gave a gift to Jesus. Lauren and I got together and I asked her what she wanted to give Jesus this Christmas. I was really coaching her to say something like being nice to others or being kind or something, but little girl wanted to give Jesus oatmeal. Yep. Oatmeal. So, that's what we wrote down. Honestly, Leslie and I got the hugest kick out it and she helped me realize how cute it really was!

Another really cool thing Mandie did was to give each of the kids a glow in the dark star they could take home with them. Each star had the word Jesus printed on it. She told the kids they could put them in their rooms for a reminder to shine bright for Jesus! How adorable is that?!?!

That's my girl...shining bright for Jesus!!!

This was such a fun day and I am so thankful for friends who want to get together and teach their kids about Jesus as well. Mandie blogged about the day here too so you can check it out!!! Thanks again, Mandie!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Should Win an Award

This week has been a little rough around our house. Lauren's been sick with the cold that never ends and Shawn and I have done our best to keep her comfortable. We've used the humidifier, steamed up and even flooded (okay, that was me) the bathroom to help clear her nose, used baby Vicks, and given her Motrin because I know with that cough her throat has to hurt. Anyway, we've done everything except take her in to the doctor. But, don't think I didn't call. Three times to be exact. Each time they advised me to keep her home and keep doing the things I'd been doing. 

In the meantime, Lauren got crankier. She got fussier. She got down-right hard to deal with. I just knew we were entering those dreaded terrible two's and my life with my sweet little girl was over. Thursday was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that started with me frustrated at my temper tantrum throwing toddler and ended with me bawling my eyes out to my unsuspecting husband (who had to work late) and cleaning our house in a frenzy because nothing else was going right That night I read from a parenting book and vowed that the next day would be better. I would be more consistent. I would not back down. I would not cry. I would remember to pray and call on God for help. 

Friday was better. Lauren was back to her normal sweetness and we had a really good day, even getting out of the house for a bit. We hadn't been out of the house together in a week. I think it was time! It really did us both a lot of good. We had planned to have our annual Christmas get-together with our friends Tanner and Kelly that night so we decided we'd brave it and get out with Lauren. When we got there she was super cranky again. She also said that her ears were owie. So, we gave her some Motrin and I made a mental note to get her into the doctor as early as possible Saturday morning. 

This morning we made a beeline to her doctor and guess what the verdict is?! Our girl has a double ear infection. No wonder she has been so cranky and hard to deal with! I can't believe that it didn't even cross my mind that she might have an ear infection. Obviously there should be some kind of an award for that. 
Would you think she was dealing with a double ear infection? 
My little cutie waiting for the doctor to check out her ears.

Friday, December 17, 2010

E is For...

Easton Shawn

Easton's ultrasound picture next to his "E" ornament! 
We also have an "L" for Lauren and a frame with her ultrasound picture. I think they are both so neat!

That's right...our little guy has a name. A PERFECT name we think! I absolutely LOVE it and the fact that Shawn picked it out! He made a list of some names he liked and EASTON was at the top of that list. As soon as I read it, I thought that is a really cool name and then I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and I just couldn't get it out of my head. I knew it was the one! Yay, Shawn!!! We are pretty set on the middle name, but that might change. I love the idea of Easton having his daddy's name as a middle name, because I know the kind of honorable and wonderful man his dad is. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Simple and Easy Ornament Craft!

I love the idea of making a homemade ornament each year with Lauren. I also love the idea of making a homemade ornament that doesn't cost a ton of money!!! I am sure I am not original on this idea but I thought I would share what Lauren and I made for this year's ornament. *Warning, if you are a grandparent this post will be a big spoiler!!!*

First I got out some popsicle sticks. I had a ton left over that I had purchased when teaching so they didn't cost me anything! Lauren went to town painting them green. I was super impressed that she wanted to paint the whole stick green. She kept saying, "no white, mama" and it was a proud moment for me! =)

I love how these pictures show how serious she was about painting those sticks. =)

Now, the only thing that cost me anything for these ornaments was to get her picture printed. I have a laminator at home so I laminated them for durability. And, also because I just love to use it and it makes me happy.

While Lauren napped I got out my hot glue gun and glued three sticks together to form a triangle, or a Christmas tree if you will. I fished out some yellow buttons, but you could use glue and glitter, stars cut out of foam, yellow pom pom balls, etc. for the top of the tree. Then, I cut her laminated photos to fit the back of the Christmas tree. I hot glued the picture (which was perfect since they were laminated) right to the back of the tree. I got really fancy with the red pipe cleaner hangers. ;) Those are hot glued to the back of the tree for durability. To finish our simple tree off I wrote the year with gold glitter glue in the bottom right hand corner. You could definitely have your child decorate the tree with glitter or pom pom balls or whatever, but I really wanted to stay true to what Lauren could do. This year, painting those popsicle sticks was a huge accomplishment and the whole thing was SO relaxing and not stressful at all because I wasn't pushing her to do more than she could handle or had the attention span for.

I love that I have ornaments I made when I was a little girl hanging on my grandparent's tree and I hope that Lauren will love looking at this ornament over the years. I am sure I'll cry every year I bring it out because, my goodness, she is growing too fast!