Monday, December 19, 2011

our biggest, "bestest" christmas tree yet...

it seems that we were behind in "all things christmas" this year...i mean, we had plenty of warning that it was 364 days and all...but still, it snuck up on me! judging by the amount of christmas cards that we received after seems maybe we weren't the only ones!!!!

for ten years, jeffrey and i have always gone to cut down our christmas tree...and about 6 years ago, we decided to start tagging our tree early. just talking about it makes me kinda fidgety. picking out our tree STRESSES. ME. OUT!!!!!! i wish that i could explain it...i just want to pick that lonely little tree that wants to be ours...and not make a mistake! i's certifiable!

anywho, not only does it make actually "cutting down the tree day" so much less stressful, it gives me double the opportunity to run amuck the happiness that is the tree farm photographing my children. let's face it, my husband probably views it as a double dose of torture...but it's a traditionally fabulous time for me!

well, this year...the time for us to tag our tree early...came...and...went...


i cannot tell you how disappointed i was. i was convinced that we were going to have to choose from amongst the left overs...because we were going THREE days after thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!

we arrived at "santa's woods"...and i may have been a bit pale...from first glance, the big ones were gone...

just as i was about to start tearing up, madeline proceeded to burn her fingers with hot chocolate...which brought me back to reality! (a word to the wise...DO NOT - i repeat DO NOT allow your 4 year old and 2 year old to drink hot chocolate at the beginning of said photography session tree will be disappointed!!!!) after we made sure that her skin was not melting & reminded ourselves that sweet maddie could hurt herself in a room full of cotton balls, we got our game face on. people, there were brown trees and lots of stumps where christmas trees used to be...and probably BIG trees used to be!


we like huge trees...griswold style trees...the kind where you have to saw off the top kind of trees...

and in my moment of near defeat, an angel appeared! the owner of the farm, whom we have come to know in the last few years, came up to me and told me that there was probably a tree that we would love on the very corner of the field. i looked around to see if any other customers heard her...realizing we were the only ones there...and proceeded to scream at my family to R.U.N (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration...but fairly close!!!!)

bless ava's little heart...her tiny little legs could hardly keep up with us...which is why i'm pretty sure she and maddie wore more of their hot chocolate than they drank!

when we arrived at "our tree"...i couldn't believe my eyes. it was absolutely may have even been glowing. folks, not only was this tree was perfectly shaped...and lasted us until january 7th. most definitely our best tree to date.

i'm sure there is a life lesson that is a HUGE as our tree was this least a little bit suggesting that i "don't need to sweat the small stuff"...which is easier said than done for me!

it was a fun day...and way less stressful than i ever would have imagined! decorating it with the big girls gets more fun every year...they are so helpful and i love hearing all of their "oohs & ahs" as they unwrap their favorites - something that i vividly remember brooke and me doing when we were their age!

we were all sad when yesterday came...and we knew it was time to take her down. she was a beauty...and set the bar really high...but until then, we will begin the countdown the most wonderful time of the year!!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

three gifts...

no need to ask for gifts this year...i've already received three...

three of the most precious kind there is...

Friday, December 16, 2011

partying & style!!!!

"JOY TO THE WORLD"...(sung in my best clark griswold voice!!!)...i am oh. so. thankful that school is out and we can begin to truly enjoy our holidays!!!!!! this momma bit off a tad much & my sleeping habits have been paying for it!!! i would do it all over again though...i'm twisted like that!!!!! :)

we started off last week with an absolutely precious performance by ella in the FBCS christmas program! talk about melting this mommy's heart! ella tried out and got a solo this year...& i am fairly confident that i was waaaaay more nervous than she was!!!!! she sounded like an angel...i wish i could share it here. i sat in awe of so many things while she was on awe of her confidence at such a young age, in awe of the spirit of christmas, & in awe that that sweet little girl is mine. she's such a doll face!
next on the agenda was maddie's class christmas party! another mommy & i were in we had our work cut out for us! i decided since i am in "LUV" with all things reindeer this year, that we would go with that "theme"! turned out wonderfully and the kiddos had lots of fun!

we try to avoid cupcakes at the parties simply because they are so i adapted an idea that i had seen last year! i turned krispy kreme chocolate donuts into rudolph the red nosed reindeer! they were adorable...and oh so delicious!!!!!
we had a book exchange with the "friendly frogs" and then played pin the nose on rudolph! great fun & a perfect way to end the year until 2012!

the prize (that everyone received) for playing the game...was a bag of reindeer food! we can't have santa missing our neighborhood!!!!!! these were definitely a labor of love (that my husband questioned about every 5 minutes...seeing as he was put to work too!!!!)...but definitely worth every second! i love their glittery noses...and i love the bows on the "girlie" reindeer!!!
today came the tricky part! jeffrey was out of town...& i needed to be in two places at once! maddie also had a special performance of "away in a manger" at her christmas program & ella had her party, that as co-room mom, i was in charge of!!!!! so since i couldn't figure out last minute how to cut myself in half, i ended up going to maddie's performance first...and thanks to my mom & brooke, i was able to dash away when it was over to get to ella. mrs. keen said that ella kept saying "but my mom isn't here yet..." broke my heart! maybe i need to ask santa for a clone this year!!!!!!!

maddie did wonderfully...she is such a little song bird! her mouth while she sings is the. most. precious. thing. EVER!!!! i was so proud of her! again...amazed at her confidence...i definitely could learn a thing or two from these little people! ava thoroughly enjoyed watching her sister perform...and licking on a bout 5 dumdums at once!!!!
this pic was when she saw maddie on stage...
...and this is when she heard a song she knew...such a little "sassafrass"!!!! i laughed out loud when i saw this picture!!!!! she'll have her turn on stage before we know it!!!
ella's party (the part i actually made) was adorable! the other room mother is a reincarnation of martha stewart so i knew everything would be top notch! my only contribution was the "take away" reindeer ornament (i told you...i'm addicted to rudolph this year!!!) that the kiddos made! they painted clay pots and turned them into rudolph jingle bell ornaments! after a book exchange and a snack, they played a cute game...of decorating a christmas tree...or a friend! they split into groups and decorated each other! lots of holiday happiness!!!

ella was getting her daily dose of "teacher hugs"! i asked mrs. keen what she was going to do without "ella hugs" during the break...she gets lots every day!
we love this teacher SO. VERY. MUCH! what a precious soul!

ella & her best pal, kendal

i am so excited about spending the next 2 weeks with these three little people! we have a BIG surprise planned for them next week with their cousins...but other than that, i am looking forward to spending time in our jammies, decorating cookies, watching christmas shows, & just enjoying being together!!!!!

this time of year is so special to me for so many reasons. i have much to be thankful for...& blessings abound! i hope your christmas season is filled with just as much!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

our little colorful rainbow...

every year, the k4 classes at st. paul's attend a harvest festival. it is absolutely the most precious thing in the world! they each come up with their indian name...maddie's this year was "colorful rainbow"...and then they decorate t-shirts to wear on the special day! we got to experience many of the things that the indians was bitter cold on this day...but we all had so much fun!

they got to "pop corn" over an open fire...

hammer copper...
make butter...
look adorable...oh wait...:)
color teepees...
& paint teepees...
they also go to make candles...but i didn't get a good picture of that!
maddie & james

maddie & her friend reeves (aka "weeves)
maddie & her bestie...mary linnea (aka "mary banaella)
maddie & her biggest fan!

thank you, maddie, for such a fun, fun day! i'll hang with "colorful rainbow" any day of the year!