Thursday, December 30, 2010

what a day...

the girls woke up at about 7:30 on christmas morning...but we had already prepared them for the fact that ava would probably need a little bit more sleep!!!! i love that they are so patient about their baby sister's needs...they climbed into our bed and we watched 2 christmas shows waiting for her to finally wake up...

they were really sweet about it and only asked a few hundred times when we could go into the living room!!!!!

the smallest little finally woke up and we had to take our obligatory "top of the stairs" pic...for posterity!
then we do the same things every year...jeffrey goes into the living room with the video camera and makes the girls crazy with all of his "oohing & ahhing"...and then we finally let them bust in to see their haul! this year santa was very practical (which is all this momma could take!)! ella got an art table, some art supplies, and a caboodle with make-up (ok...maybe everything wasn't practical!!!). maddie got a bike and helmet and ava got a wagon and a new baby doll!!!!!

they were so excited! it truly is so much fun watching christmas through their eyes...and i can literally feel exactly what i felt when i was their age! to see that wonder just makes me so happy...

after we did "santa", mom, dayne, and brooke came over to eat a big breakfast with us...and just relax! we stayed in our pajamas and just watched the girls go through their new things over and over again! as you can see in some of the pics, maddie was given a rather vibrant makeover!

it was a super fun day...spent with my favorite three little people...whom i love more than any gift i could ever receive on christmas...

my heart overflows...

and that lasts all year.

ella discovering that santa did in fact leave her some make-up!!!

maddie helping ava love on her baby

sweet sisters

i could eat this face with a million spoons!!!

ella & maddie with grandpa!

all the girls with honey & grandpa...notice maddie's cheeks!!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

christmas eve festivities...

wow...i can't believe that christmas 2010 is in the record books..."history" as ella said.

our tree is already down (which is unheard of for us...but it was either that or risk another story that read more like "price fire of 2010") and all other decorations are packed away in the attic...waiting for next year...that i know all too well will be here before we know it.

i told the girls at dinner tonight, as they were exclaiming how excited they were for christmas to get here AGAIN!, that i can already imagine how much bigger they will seem next year...


but for now, i need to focus on how great christmas was this year!

christmas eve was so much fun! we started off with a fun dinner at carmen's house and then we headed home to make sure we had enough time for all of the "hoopla" that occurs in preparation for the big day!!!!!

all the girls got into their jammies and then we sprinkled our reindeer food on the lawn and front porch to make sure rudolph and his buddies knew just where to find us!
next it was time to prepare the snack for jolly ole' st. nick! i always let the girls decide what we're going to leave...and this year they insisted on angel cookies and milk!
after that the girls get to open one "shared" gift! this year i got them one of those recordable books about the first christmas...and we "listened" to me reading to them! i think they really liked it...and i would like that to be one thing we add to the list of christmas eve rituals!!!!

by this point, the girls were getting antsy that santa was going to pass us by if they weren't asleep yet (and the elves were getting nervous that they were going to get really sleepy!!!) we tucked them in tight and looked forward to spending christmas day our pj's!

to be continued...

the children were nestled all snug in their beds...

ella wrote several letters to "leggy" this year asking if she could touch him...each time he replied that he was still a young elf and needed to keep his magic! however, these little elves showed up in their beds just in time for christmas eve...spent christmas day with us...and could be touched and cuddled all day long!!!!!

the girls thought it was great! any friend of "leggy's" is a friend of theirs...and these were girlies too!!!!

ella named hers "sparkle" and maddie's is named "emily"...ava's elf remains unnamed...until she's old enough to do so!!!!

rudolph the red nosed cupcake!

brooke made these cupcakes for her student workers and i thought they were SO cute! i was desperately trying to find a reason to make them...without having to feel forced to eat all of the finished product! when we found out our sweet friends, the hables, were coming to eat dinner with us...the girls and i got busy!!!!!

they were super yummy...and of course, made even more so by the "adorable cuteness"...and yes, redundancy is needed here!!!!

here is what you'll need for these little guys...a boxed cake mix, chocolate icing, mini vanilla wafers, red m&m's, white candy pieces (we used reeses pieces), black decorator's gel, tootsie roll midgees, pretzels...and a lot of hungry cupcake eaters!

these will definitely be a christmas staple around our house...mostly because i just think reindeer are so darn cute!!!!

our little performers...

yet again this christmas, we got to enjoy our little ones during their holiday performances at each of their schools! we couldn't take pictures at ella's (therefore, i don't have any pictures of her performing)...but they both did such a great job!

ella had a "solo" along with 2 other children...a precious stanza before the beginning of "silent night"! she was a little bit nervous but did very well...we were obviously proud!!!! as usual, i had to force back the ugly cry during "happy birthday, jesus"...all those sweet little voices singing such a sweet little song always proves to be a little much for this mush pot!!!!!!

maddie did a great job too! i was told beforehand by her music teacher and mrs. rose that maddie knew every word...and liked to sing loudly!!!!! i wish i could freeze her tiny little mouth and those pronounced lips...she looks like one of those "caroler" dolls...

our little "singing sparrow"...always and forever a song in her heart!

i love that every little person singing is super special to someone...lots of pride fills these sanctuaries!!!!

our sweet girl #2

even though this one is blurry...i love it

madeline with sweet mrs. ellisor

maddie with one of her favorite peeps...parker!!!

my girls...and their proud mommy

Sunday, December 26, 2010

merry, merry...

SO much to blog about...SOOO little time! i'll get to it though...somehow!

i hope everyone had a blessed christmas...filled with special memories and precious moments!

now the countdown begins...


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

santa, santa, & more santa...

for what it's worth...i do want to make a disclaimer that jeffrey and i make a point to teach our children the true meaning of christmas...that this precious and special holiday is to celebrate the birth of a tiny baby sent to save the world...

we talk about that...a lot...

and i want my children, more than anything else, to develop a heart that desires to serve others...most importantly the Lord...

who don't covet stuff...

and believe with everything they have that it truly is better to give than to receive.

that doesn't happen overnight...and it won't happen by them just listening to us...

it happens by them watching what we do and how we act...and who we serve...most importantly the Lord...

with all that being said...we have made the decision to include santa in our christmas celebration. jeffrey and i don't think there is anything wrong with keeping some childhood traditions long as we don't forget the real meaning of christmas.

i'm awfully glad that we don't have a problem with the jolly man in red...because we sure have seen a lot of him this season! doug and suzie invited us to go to the santa brunch at southern trace after church last sunday and santa was so cute! as we were taking pictures in front of the christmas tree...and i was clicking away...paying no mind to the background...i suddenly see this figure through my view finder...

none other than st. nick himself!

he had come upstairs and was peeking around the tree without my children noticing (thank goodness because ava would have gone into orbit!!!)...or me for that matter! priceless pics that i will cherish!

i love, love, love this time of year...for oh so many reasons!!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

rose center 2010

the varnadores hosted their 2nd annual caravan to the american rose center...and as usual, it was so much fun! (even though our evening had to be cut short because 2 1/2 of the price children began melting) we met (just in the nick of time) the varnadores as they were heading out and drove out to see the lights!

the girls got to run and play in some "fake snow", sit on santa's lap again (well, two out three!), see some beautiful christmas lights, ride the train with daddy, and enjoy time with sweet friends!

i just couldn't help but reminisce about last year...when ava was such a tiny, little, newborn bundle...snuggled up against me in her reindeer sleeper. time doesn't slow down for anyone...and it just makes my heart skip a beat sometimes to think about how fast my children's little lives are going by.

we had had a packed couple of days...and by the end of our time there...the girls had had we had to forgo pizza at the varnadores...but here's to hoping that there's always next year!

thanks, jen for putting this together every year! we love it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

our first santa sighting...

wow...this christmas season seems to have flown by this year!!!! i have to say, though, that we've had fun flying! we started off the festivities with the christmas party at east ridge! santa claus made a visit...and ava was NOT TOO SURE! i have a picture of ella doing the same "arching"...don't worry...she was quickly rescued! the big girls had a great time talking with him however!

after a quick dinner of party food, we got to view one of the best fireworks displays i have ever seen! i kept ava inside while ella & maddie went out on the golf course for a front row seat...jeff went out to check on them and this is what he saw...

i promise this was not staged. what a pair those two...and ava sure is coming up in the ranks!!!

it was such a fun night for our family...and a fun way to kick off the holidays!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

happy holidays...

ok...i was singing that when i titled this post!!!!! what can i say, i'm delirious!

i haven't gone to bed before 1:30 in probably 2 weeks...haven't slept in one time that i can think of...and haven't hardly put down the paintbrush (well, except when i'm holding a fork!!!!)...

but it has been such a happy holiday so far!!!!

we have done lots of wonderful things...which i intend to blog about very soon...but for now...

i must paint!!!!

stay tuned for the run-down of what we've been up to! hope this christmas has been your happiest holiday yet!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

some of my favorites...

from the tree farm this year!!!