Monday, December 28, 2009

White Christmas 2009

To all of our surprise, it started SNOWING on Christmas Eve day. We were all at my dad's house celebrating our Christmas, opening presents and eating turkey and ham when we looked out the window and saw huge snowflakes falling. Luke, Niki, Linda, Leo...I'm not sure who was more excited. The kids, Leo and Niki all ran outside to catch snowflakes in their mouths! After dinner was over, we all came home to give the baby a nap. We couldn't believe that it kept snowing...all evening in fact! Even though the sun came out and it warmed up in the morning, the snow was the perfect ending to Christmas Eve and the perfect start to Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve at Dad's

This year since both Jeremy and I have kids, there was a lot more planning and sharing of our time between all the grandparents and in-law grandparents. We ended up deciding to spend Christmas Eve Day at Dad's opening presents and eating lunch. It was especially nice because Niki and Linda were there...extended family (to my dad) that are considered part of our immediate family.

Luke was very eager to be helpful in passing out the presents. Memaw read the names to him and he made sure they got to the right place. Noah even got in on the action, showing us how strong he was by carrying a gift or two.

Once the opening began it was a free-for-all with the boys. Luke's favorite presents, by far, were the toolbox with real tools and Buzz Lightyear action figure. Noah's favorite gift was definitely the "box of balls"...we're talking big balls, little balls, soccer balls, footballs, tennis balls and more!

My favorite part was getting to hold my new nephew. Graham is 7 months old and gets cuter and cuter everyday. He actually makes me want to have another baby!! I could just eat him up!

We ended our day eating a lunch of smoked turkey and ham. As usual, everyone ate so much we were miserable. Around 2:00 we left to come home, give Noah a nap and rest ourselves. It was a great day visiting with the family and celebrating the birth of Christ!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nice Sisters

Niki and I couldn't resist posing for a picture in our "nice" shirts over the Christmas holiday. I picked them up at Target a few weeks earlier and knew we'd have fun wearing them. Nana got one too, but she wasn't wearing it this day. So, Niki and I tease about being the "nice" sisters now. I love my little sister and miss her already! Can't wait for summer break when I'll see her again!!

Holiday Tea

On December 22, Niki and I went to Holiday Tea at the Dallas Arboretum. It's such a girlie thing to do and something we both enjoy...a's actually become kind of a tradition...something we do a couple of times a year when she is here. Fortunately, there is a "tea" almost all year round...Spring tea, Harvest tea, Holiday tea...we like them all! Mostly, I'm just grateful to see her. After growing up with her when she was a baby, then living in the same apartment complex, and then the same condo complex, I really miss her! I'm sad that the next time I'll get to see her will probably be six months from now. Until then, we have the memories of cramming everyday she was here with fun "sister" activities like Holiday tea.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Best Buddies at Ms. Christy's

Ever since Luke was about 10 months old, he has been going to Ms. Chrity's house a couple of days each week so that I can get some work done for my job at Waterstreet. Her little boy, also named Luke, is one of our Luke's best buddies! They are affectionately known as Big Luke and Lil' Luke.

Now that Luke is in pre-K four days a week, he only gets to see Ms. Christy on Friday. However, she takes care of Noah for me in the mornings M-F. She also watching our dear friends and neighbor's kids from up the street, Emma and Cooper.

All and all it's a great group of kids that have know each other since they were born and have grown up together over these last 4-5 years. We all feel so blessed to have such a loving caregiver and support system in Ms. Christy.

These are a few pics of the "gang" at Ms. Christy's house this week.

Silly Pajamas

I know that Luke is WAY too big to be wearing PJ's with the feet in them, but believe it or not, they do make them in his size. A neighbor gave him a pair last year, but I could never bring myself to make him wear them...I don't know, I just envision that scene from A Christmas Story where messy Marvin comes out dressed in that horrible bunny costume!

Anyway, it's been really cold here and Noah has been wearing his zip up jammies and Luke wanted to wear his. So, I gave in and let him.

I couldn't resist taking some pictures!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Train Table from Granny & Gramps

The boys were pleasantly surprised to receive a Step Two train table from Granny and Gramps this week. The boys (and I mean all the boys, i.e., Leo) could hardly wait to put it together and have been having a BLAST playing with it!!!

As soon as it arrived all the boys had to "help" put it together. Then, they all had to take turns playing with it....but, that was only after Leo had to "show them how it works'...(that means playing with it first!) LOL!

Noah's favorite thing is that he can climb up on it and sit...or get to other higher surfaces. (Have I mentioned I have a climber on my hands!) Luke's favorite part is that he can use his existing Thomas the trains on it...and the fact that it has a hard surface table to put on top where he can build his own train track with his Thomas pieces. Hours of fun for everyone!

Thanks so much to Granny and Gramps for alwasy sending the BEST gifts!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

"O" is for Ocean

Luke is learning about the letter "O" this week at school. Yesterday, he brought home an art project that he was PSYCHED about!

You can see from the pictures that he is holding a bottle with blue water...and, if you look closely, you'll see sand, sea shells, and fish at the bottom. guessed's an ocean in a bottle!

Thankfully, the teachers thought to hot glue the lid because both Luke and Noah have been playing with it non-stop. Who would have thought some sand and water would be such a big hit!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reindeer Evangelists

Luke and I made the cutest little reindeer candy cane crafts to help share the Good News of Jesus with his friends. We used brown pipe cleaners to make the antlers, googly eyes, red pom poms for the noses and green ribbon in a bow around the neck. We're printing the "candy cane story" (see below)and attaching it to the candy canes.

The candy cane has come a long way since its days as a pacifier! It started out as a simple white stick of sugar that parents gave babies to suck on when they got fussy. Hundreds of years later a candy maker in Indiana decided to improve upon the idea by tying the treats to the real meaning of Christmas.

The large red stripe is a symbol of the blood Jesus shed on the cross. The smaller red stripe represents both the lashes from the soldiers whips across Jesus' back and the promise that "by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). The white color reminds us that Jesus lives a life completely without sin. Peppermint flavoring was added to call to mind hyssop, the Old Testament plant used in sacrifices, because Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. The candy's hardness declares that Jesus is the Rock of our salvation. The bent candy cane also reminds us of the shepherds of Judea - the first people to learn that the Savior had been born. And, if you turn the candy cane upside down it forms the letter "J" for Jesus.

What a simple way to share Jesus with our friends!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Putting up the Christmas Tree

Over Thanksgiving weekend our family put up the Christmas tree. Everyone got involved...even Noah sat right on Leo's back as he crawled under the tree to center it and plug it in. Although it took us two days to actually finish, the final outcome was worth it. Our tree is magnificent...with ornaments all the way through on the inside and out.

Now, the tricky part will be keeping the ornaments on the tree. Noah is 16 months and is SOOOOO tempted to take them off. I can understand why it's so's just hard to imagine why we would have something out that is so pretty, but not for play!!

Putting up the Christmas tree gives us the perfect opportunity to remind Luke about the meaning of Christmas. The evergreen tree symbolizes the everlasting life we have in Christ. The bows of the tree represent the outstretched arms of Jesus. The wood of the tree reminds us that Jesus died on a tree to take away our sins. The shape of the tree points us towards heaven. And the triangular shape represents the holy trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Christmastime gives us so many opportunities to teach the boys about Jesus and his sacrifice for our sins. There is nothing I want more in life than for my boys to accept Jesus as their savior at the earliest possible age.

Countdown to Christmas Advent Kiss Calendar

Yesterday Luke and I made a Countdown to Christmas Advent Kiss Calendar. The idea is simple: lay 25 Hershey Kisses on plastic wrap...fold the wrap over...tie with red and green curling ribbon. Each day Luke exhchanges a kiss to me for a Hershey kiss. When the kisses are all gone, it's Christmas!!! What a fun way to countdown to the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I love Christmastime!!!