Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ben's Kindergarten Christmas Musical

Ben's Kindergarten Christmas Musical

There aren't many things cuter than kindergartners singing their hearts out.  Ben is usually our bashful child who doesn't like to talk to people he doesn't know very well.  His performance in the musical was a big surprise to all of us because he was quite the entertainer.  He was front and center and he sang his little heart out.  We could hear him clearly the entire time and we loved it!

Ben was Comet the reindeer.

Look at this cutie singing loud and clear.

This was during "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" where they were playing reindeer games. 

Here comes Santa

Up on the house top

Ben and his sweet teacher.
I'm thankful for all of the sweet teachers who worked so hard to make the musical a success.  I know a lot of work goes in to making a 30 minute production go smoothly.  It's can't be an easy task with 5 and 6 year olds, but they had the patience and love to make it happen.  What a joy for our family and all of the other families to see!

 It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

One more of Ben's fans.  We were so proud of Ben.

Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Days Until Christmas

It's 10 days until Christmas! 

How is it already December 15th?!?
This month just flies by.  The first 15 days have been full of festive fun.  I like to use the word festive any chance I get. 

The boys are merry/jolly/cheerful or let's just say happy that Christmas is so close.  Ben has let us know several times today that it's only 10 days away.  I think he's just a little excited, ha!  Will is loving Christmas, too.  Will loves Christmas music as much as I do.  He likes to play a game where we hum Christmas songs to each other and then we guess what the other one is humming. 

Here's a recap of the beginning of December.

For the first time ever we have had a magical elf visit our home.  His name is Bill.  Will selected the name because it's a combination of Ben + Will.  Ben agreed on the name (with a little persuasion) so now Bill has been with us for almost two weeks.  He was a little late showing up to the house, but he left the boys note explaining that Siri gave him the wrong directions to our house (family joke).  

Our small town's Christmas parade was earlier this month.

Ben wrote his first letter to Santa.  He really wants a Nintendo 3ds and games.

Christmas cards are arriving in the mail.

Christmas cards are being sent in the mail.
I couldn't decide which card I liked better so I ordered a card from Minted (on the left) and one from Shutterfly (on the right).

We celebrated Papaw Jerry's 75th birthday!

Silly photos in the photo booth at the junior high Christmas dance that I help chaperone.  The boys were funny with all the different props.  On Instagram, I wrote "Ben is both naughty and nice and Will is neither according to their signs."

Look out for the elf in the mistletoe zone!

Reindeer crossing...better watch out!

Love, Love, Love these two fun boys!

Christmas shopping on 
Get it!  12-13-14 is a really cool date.
This is what happens when you are married to a math teacher.  You learn to get excited about dates and numbers and patterns.  Too bad I didn't know Mark when I was in college.  I could have used some help in the math department back then.  Oh well, at least our boys are good at math like him. 

This little corner in my kitchen brings me much joy during this time of year.  It's full of sentimental Christmas decorations.

One last random thing.  These Trader Joe's Peppermint Pretzel Slims are so good!
This bag didn't last 24 hours.  Mark and I aren't allowed near them anymore.  They are addictive!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our First Gingerbread House

We decorated our first gingerbread house last week.  The boys had a good time decorating the house and ice cream cone trees.  Their cousin Maggie came over to help out and join in the fun.  I'd seen people on Instagram recommend the Trader Joe's gingerbread house kit so that's the one we bought.  The view of our house is blocked by the trees, but I've added a closeup of the house at the very end.  (Because I know your day wouldn't be complete without seeing our masterpiece!)

Maggie's really good at decorating cakes and cupcakes so she was our go-to person putting the house together and attaching the candy pieces.  Also, she's really patient and nice to Will and Ben so they love having her over.  She makes it more fun!

It's looking more and more like a real gingerbread house. 

I bought some small waffle cones and we covered them in icing.  We used food coloring to turn some of the icing green.  Once the icing was applied we used all sorts of sprinkles to make our trees look festive.   It was messy but fun.

The boys always surprise me at how much they concentrate and work hard.

Our first gingerbread house

Monday, December 1, 2014

It's December!

It's December!

I almost skipped right over Thanksgiving this year.  I started putting up my Christmas decorations on Monday of last week and it wasn't even December yet.  We had an entire week off for Thanksgiving break, and I decided to get a head start on putting up the tree.  Sometimes the decorating feels like a pain, but it didn't this year. The only part I don't like is dragging all of the boxes down from the attic. (Especially when the attic ladder almost closes on me and I have a Christmas Vacation moment of being stuck there. True story, the ladder partially closed and I was stuck once.  Will heard me yelling and he got Mark to help me get out.)  
Holiday memories!

Here are some photos from last week as we got the house ready for Christmas.

I made the boys pose for this photo with their Santa hats on.  The reality is that the hats only stayed on for about 3 seconds, but it was a cute photo opp. 

Ben is all about Christmas this year.  He was my big helper decorating the tree.  He helped me put lights on the tree, and when I wanted to take care of it without him he said "kids like to help, too."  How could I not let him help then?  He's my very own elf. 

This little tree is in the playroom.  I love the bright multicolored lights.  
The tree skirt was made by my grandma.  She hand quilted it.   
The tree is full of ornaments the boys made in daycare and at school.

New ornaments for our tree--vintage Christmas trucks. 
I bought them from 163 Design Company
I had them personalized with the boys' names and the year they were born. 

Here's the tree the night before we got the ornaments on it.  The next morning the boys helped me finish decorating. 

I found this laser cut village at Crate and Barrel.  It's simple but perfect. 
The animals are so neat.

I'm going to do a separate blog post about our gingerbread house and ice cream cone trees.  It's our first time to decorate one, and we had a fun time.  I think the boys and Maggie did a terrific job!   

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fall Festival 2014

Almost a month ago we had our school's fall festival.  This time of year, I never get things blogged about in a timely manner.  I figured I should go ahead and share these photos even if they are a month old.  It was a fun night full of games and candy. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Morning Encouragement 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

{Monday Morning Encouragement}

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

I'm currently working on a blog post to share at Unexpected Elegance about having a grateful heart.  It only seems appropriate during this time of year.  Believe it or not, these verses go along with those thoughts.  The title is "Finding Gratitude in Unexpected Places."  It's not your typical verses but I think it will all make sense when you read the entire blog post.  As Thanksgiving approaches, I hope and pray you see all of the things in your life that you have to be thankful for.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Will's Outdoor Wilderness Adventure Birthday

Will's Outdoor Wilderness Adventure Birthday

We celebrated Will turning 8 this weekend with an outdoor wilderness adventure birthday party at our land.  The kids went on a nature scavenger hunt, ate hot dogs, and made s'mores around the campfire.  We had perfect weather.  It was a little chilly but just right for this time of year.  It was so much fun that Will and his friends didn't want to leave.  The kids were so cute running around and playing outside.  Our friends and family are awesome and made it a great day!

Here's Will and his friends just before they sang happy birthday.

The boys on the nature scavenger hunt.  They are looking for acorns here.

Jordan, Ben, and Ty on the scavenger hunt.  

Food!  We borrowed the grill from Mark's brother and cooked the hot dogs on it.  We saved the campfire for s'mores at the end of the party.

Ty, Will, and Keaton eating hot dogs.  I love these three boys!  I have big plans for them.  I've already decided that they are all going to Texas A&M together where they'll be part of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2029.  (I think I got the year right!)

It wasn't just a boy party.  The girls had just as much fun exploring the woods.
Here are some of Will's sweet friends.

What a perfect evening!

Everyone loved making s'mores!  It was a sticky mess but worth it.

Will and his best friend Keaton

It got too dark to open presents at the land so we had to bring them home.  Will couldn't wait to open them.  We have such generous friends and family.  He loved everything!  Legos, a circuit maker, Monopoly, birthday money and gift cards.  What more could an 8-year-old want or need! 

Here's a closeup of the invitation.

This is a wrinkled copy of the nature scavenger hunt.  We gave each kid a paper bag with the list stapled to the front and then we turned them loose in the woods to find everything.  Will (or maybe Ben) brought this bag home and checked everything off the list.  I saw some lists on pinterest and modified it to work for our neck of the woods.

Mark and I should be a bonus for the scavenger hunt for finding poison ivy and breaking out in a rash!  Luckily we haven't heard of anyone else getting it.  It was all worth it though!


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