In case you were wondering what 13 months looks like…
Just looking at these pictures makes me sad that it’s over. There is nothing like Christmas with little ones, and I am cherishing this time! We began the day with more fun with Uncle Nate!
Papa made it home just in time for our favorite Christmas breakfast casserole.
Christmas breakfast Casserole:
After breakfast, we had our devotion on “anticipation.” Natalie looked up the word in the dictionary for us. After our discussion, Allison read the Christmas story from Luke 2. They were all anxiously “anticipating” getting to the presents!
The girls were very patient and I was proud of them for that. The best part came at the end, when Grandma “remembered” there were 3 more presents in the car. The girls were given their beloved American Girl dolls!
The afternoon and evening were spent with more family. There is nothing I love more than a house bustling with family, and little ones delighted to be with family.
The girls taught their cousins how to play Yahtzee!
Food was awesome, as always!
Christmas eve morning began with the arrival of Uncle Nate. Every kid should have an uncle Nate; you know, the fun, single uncle…
We played with some foamies…
And, each kid was allowed to open one present. (Don’t tell my kids we got to open all of our presents Christmas Eve when I was a kid!)
Most of the time, having your husband work on Christmas Eve is a bad thing; after all, he’s not at home with the family! But, in the case of my husband where it means we get to visit him at the fire station; it’s an awesome thing!
1. I don’t have to cook.
2. We still get to eat yummy food and spend time with Daniel.
3. What kid doesn’t like playing in the firefighter lounge chairs?
It was a wonderful Christmas Eve, and we were so blessed to all be healthy and together as a family.
1. ‘Tis the season for yummy food! And, I rarely do holiday cooking; either my husband or my brother or both have the privilege! Tonight my husband tried a new recipe, and I think it was the best salmon I’ve ever had!
2. Katherine Marie is pretty much the most amazing photographer/ blogger with the most creative ideas. I love to be inspired by her blog!
3. I look forward to Thursdays just to see the lovely homes featured on Life Made Lovely. It feels a bit like snooping, but provides so much inspiration!
4. You know how it is… when sisters get along, it is precious! When they don’t… well, let’s just stick with the precious for now!
5. Christmas music boxes are the best! I love this little old German one we have.
6. Try as I might, I could not get a good picture with lights blurred in the back. Perhaps it was the wrong time of day. Or perhaps I should stop being lazy and read about how to do it rather than just playing with my camera. But, playing is so fun! Maybe I need better subjects who will actually stay still and smile. 🙂 Nah, this guy is too cute to pass up!
7. Christmas letters are sent. Grocery shopping is done. More family comes tomorrow. Everyone is healthy. It is well with my soul!
I’m not sure how long I can get away with helping my kids choose a theme for their birthdays, but I think I will try for as long as I can! This year I suggested a “Winter wonderland” theme for Natalie located at an ice skating rink, and she took right to it. I chose it for several reasons, including the following: 1. It would be easy to shop for this time of year and 2. Having a party away from home where someone else cleans-up for me 3 days before Christmas would be priceless!
Unfortunately, I was very bad at taking pictures! Wrong lens. Wrong settings. And, hardly any pictures! I didn’t even get a single picture of our hot chocolate bar. But, that was about the only flaw… everything else was wonderful, and we had such a great time! I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
This man is an amazing skater and so much fun for the kids!
I seriously don’t know how people throw birthday parties without grandparents. SO grateful for my parents!
Natalie, you did super-duper! Once again, happy birthday my six-year-old!
Just to warn you… this craft is only for those who are crazy enough to buy far too many frames from Ikea and save all the corner protectors they come with. (Now, who would be that hoardish?)
No, that stack is not even all of them. (Gulp!) This craft is actually another repeat from 2 years ago. You can see the original craft, (which was slightly different) here.
Grab your paints. Let the kids choose some colors.
Grab your brads, frame corners, tp rolls, and hole punch. Poke away! Then, paint!
I think this may be the last Christmas craft of the year! I actually was going to do a new idea. Aren’t these snowmen from Pineterest adorable? But, I gave the girls a choice, and they chose the Christmas trees! Maybe next year…
(And on a side note, I do love the 3-year-old marble painting look! If I recall from my older two, this stage will soon turn into all things painted “brown.”)
Today my second-born turned 6-years-old. SIX! That means she now needs both hands to tell people how old she is. Ha!
We had a wonderful day celebrating. Our morning started off as all birthday mornings do around here… with a present under the bed!
Natalie was thrilled with her gifts; footie jammies, a personalized return address stamp, and an art set from Ikea.
Pancakes with a chocolate chip “six.”
And then it was time to bust out the art set! Notice it’s not Natalie sitting in the birthday chair. A certain 3-year-old was having a lot of trouble not being the birthday girl. Funny how she didn’t want the attention when it was actually her birthday!
The girls probably could have spent the entire day inside doing art, but it was such a beautiful day we just had to get out! Daniel suggested teaching Natalie to ride without her training wheels. I kid you not, in the time it took for me to go inside and find the camera, I came out and found my girl riding!
I was stunned… and so proud! Way to go, Natie! She then went on her first real bike ride without training wheels with her sisters and Papa, while I stayed behind with a sleeping boy.
Is there anything more enticing than a beautiful new box of 100 sharpened color pencils? This was a present from our dear friends, and the girls wasted no time breaking it in!
The afternoon brought baths, and then getting all bundled-up for the evening. It may have been beautiful outside, but it was still cold! We headed to Chick-Fil-A for an early dinner, per Natalie’s request. I can’t go there this time of the year and not order a peppermint chocolate chip milkshake. That’s just not possible. So, I did.
With our bellies full and our hats and mittens on, we finally went to see the famous lighted houses of Thoroughbred. It is no exaggeration to say we have been wanting to do this for 8 years! But, each year just flies by and somehow we miss it. Not this year – hooray! We made it!
There were treats galore, from churros to nachos to hot dogs to corn on the cob. Kids sold hot chocolate, cookies… even Christmas hair bows for girls! Alas, I couldn’t resist the kettle corn. (I know, I know… donuts, Minty Mallows, milkshakes, kettle corn… I think my diet falls under the “naughty” list, lately!)
Natalie was so excited to find her name, which does indeed mean “Christmas.” Her middle name means, “Joy,” and she has indeed brought such joy into our lives over the past 6 years. Thanks for being such a blessing, Miss Natalie! We love you so much! As Frosty would say, “Happy birthday!”