Thursday, December 8, 2016

Letter's From Santa

The little kids got letters from Santa yesterday and they were SOOO excited! They couldn't believe that Santa had written them and even sent along some sticker activities. I read Dakota's letter to her first and it mentioned her being on the nice list. When I finished her letter I saw that Harper looked a little worried. When I asked him what was wrong he said he just hoped Santa said he too was on the nice list! His letter didn't say exactly "nice list" but something similar about him doing a good job at school and home. He was bummed that it didn't say that his name was on the nice list, but I assured him that the letter alluded to the fact that he was. He seemed relieved. Poor kid.

After we read the letters both kids sat at the table working on their stickers scenes. They finished both pages and hung them up on the art wall for Santa to see when he came.




Harper went off to play after he finished his stickers but Dakota decided she wanted to try to draw Santa. It turned out really cute so I grabbed my camera for a picture...only she wasn't done and added Santa's sack of toys! So dang cute!


December Daily, Day 4

I've been working on my pages each evening but been too busy to post about them. I'm really trying to keep up this year because when I fall behind I really struggle to catch up and/or finish.

Day 4 was all about Zoe's 22nd birthday. It's so surreal that my oldest child is 22! And engaged! I wrote about our family birthday celebration here if you missed that post.

Here's the day 4 spread:





Sunday, December 4, 2016

December Daily, Day 3

We took the little kids to a train garden at a local mall yesterday. I blogged about it when we got home and if you're interested, you can read about it here.

That little memory is what I chose to make day 3 about:






Zoe's 22nd Birthday

We finally got to celebrate Zoe's 22nd birthday today.


We pretty much just hung out here doing nothing. It was great! Brandon and I did some cross-stitching, we watched Elf (it was the first time Harper had seen it and he loved it!), Tony finished his exam (woohoo!), and we had delicious burrito's for dinner. Tony made a burrito bar, pretty much like Chipotle, only tastier.

I baked a yellow cake, frosted it with chocolate and put some pretty jeweled sprinkles on top.

Simple and delicious.

Brandon's making a snowman ornament:


I'm working on the same one I started years ago...I'll finish it some day. 


Enjoying Elf and some popcorn. Dakota joined us for the last 15 minutes or so.


I don't know how this all started, but I'm pretty sure all four of my kids had a turn on Brandon's shoulders tonight! He's gonna be sore tomorrow!




When they were done being crazy we sang Happy Birthday and had cake. 



We got her an Instax, some film to go with it and some accessories. 



Happy Birthday, dear Zoe. We sure love you!





Saturday, December 3, 2016

Train Garden



This afternoon Tony and I took the two little kids to the train garden at Marley Station Mall. We haven't been to that mall in ages and I'd forgotten all about that train display until someone mentioned going yesterday. I took Landon and Zoe there many moons ago and wondered if it was still the same.




There were a few buttons on each section that the kids could push to make different things happen. The happily went to each table to discover what they could make move and they both loved watching the train that was running up near the ceiling. 




December Daily, Day 2


I wasn't sure if Peppermint (our elf) was going to hang out with us this year but once the neighbors told my two little's about their elf showing up, I knew she'd be back. 

Harper was the first to spot her sitting in the middle of the Christmas tree and she had a little note with her. The note read: I sure have missed you guys, but I'm back! Love, Peppermint. 

Dakota was thrilled to see her and kept saying "Hi, Peppermint! I'm glad you're back!" 

When I reminded the kids that Peppermint was keeping an eye on things and reported to Santa each evening, Harper wondered if she only reported the poor behavior or also the good behavior. I assured him that Peppermint was more interested in good behavior and would absolutely tell Santa about all the good she saw. He sure look relieved when I told him that. 

I've given Landon the task of elf relocation and I'm hoping that between the two of us we'll remember. 






Friday, December 2, 2016

December Daily, Day 1

I've started every December daily album with a photo of Zoe on her birthday until this year. We didn't get to see her or celebrate yet so I had to choose something else to document the day...that's what happens when your kids grow up and have a life of their own. Cool and sad at the same time.

Anyways, I chose to make day one about the kids and their Lego Advent Calendars:






No School: Parent Teacher Conferences


The kids are out of school today because of parent teacher conferences. I got to meet with Harper's teacher this morning to hear all about how he's doing. He seems to be progressing well and does well in class behaviorally. (He does like to chat though and she has to give him reminders to keep on task now and then.)

Our conference wasn't until 10 am so we had lots of time to hang out at home beforehand. They played with toys for a bit but after about half an hour they both gravitated to the kitchen table to draw/color. While they worked on that I grabbed some supplies for a holiday craft; decorating pine cones to hang on the Christmas trees in their rooms.




Here are the finished products hanging to dry:





When we got home from the conference the kids went down to see if their friends could play. They've all been here playing since about 10:30...it's a mess but they're happy and I've been getting some things done here, so it's a win in my book!

















Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hello, December

The first of December has always been a big deal in our house because it's Zoe's birthday. Girlfriend turned 22 today. Freaking twenty-two. We plan to celebrate with her this weekend because weeknights are too dang hard for everyone but we all made sure to let her know we loved her and were thinking of her on her special day.



A few weeks ago I picked up two Lego advent calendars and Dakota has been asking to start hers since I bought it. It's been a long couple weeks, but finally, the day is here. She was up at 6:05 am and her first Lego figure was built before 7 am. I sure hope she enjoys this little calendar all month as much as she's anticipated it, but I do hope it doesn't mean she'll be up every morning at 6. Harper was excited about his calendar too but he didn't lose sleep over it. They love the surprise character/object each day and it's fun to watch their scene unfold throughout the month.





Dakota and I were playing in the basement this morning when she suddenly requested a few items. She asked me for a clothes hanger, tape, two cups and two pieces of string. For a minute I thought maybe she was a mini MacGyver but after a few questions I realized she'd learned something at school that she wanted to share. 

So, we gathered up her materials and I helped her construct a balance. 


She was very proud of her product and measured all types of toys against one another. I thought it was awesome that she remembered how to build it and what it did, even if she got the terminology a bit wrong. She's one smart little cookie. 

I sure am looking forward to all the great things that December offers, mainly lazy evenings at home with my family, but also all the joy that comes with gift giving and surprise. Here's to a happy December! 





Let There Be WORKING Lights!

We've been having a lot of issues with lights this year. We have a section of lights out on our main tree, a section out on the "wh...