Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Pre-Christmas Events

Between our neighborhood Christmas party, the kids Christmas parties at school, Avery's Christmas party at dance class and snow the Saturday before Christmas, there was a lot going on before Christmas that I didn't ever get around to sharing that I'd like to have here on the blog to look back on.

So first I'll share our neighborhood Christmas party that our neighbors across the street hosted on Dec. 9th. It was so much fun! We had 15 kids and 1 on the way and we had 13 adults (we were missing 1 as he was out of town for work).

Here are a few pictures!
Avery and her friend Ellie. 

Jackson and his friend Andy. 

Our best attempt at getting a picture of all 15 kids. Ha. 

All of the adults.

The Sunday before Christmas I dressed Avery up in her adorable new Christmas dress that our pastor's wife got for her. She looked absolutely adorable so I had to get a quick picture of her. Jackson dressed nice that day too, but wasn't as eager to get in a picture. Ha.

Later that same Sunday, we went to Six Flags again for Holiday in the Park with my Mother-in-Law. Our main reason for going was to get a picture with Santa, but we had fun writing letters to Santa, riding a few rides and seeing the Nativity Show again so that my MIL could see it. She loved it of course.

That Monday before Christmas, Avery had her Christmas party at dance class. She and I made little gifts for her teachers and she was so excited to give them their gifts. We just bought little sequence stockings in the Dollar Spot at Target and filled them each with a pair of dollar spot Christmas socks and a nail polish. I found the tag here and it says "Thanks for Always Keeping me on my Toes, Merry Christmas." The kids were able to wear Christmas colored dance attire and they each brought a treat for the class. Avery's treat was Christmas fruit snacks. :-)

Then that Wednesday before Christmas was both Jackson and Avery's last day before Winter break and they each had their Christmas parties that day. So I took the day off work and was able to go to Avery's party that morning and Jackson's party that afternoon! It was such a fun day!

Avery's Party!
 Avery with her friend Aubrei. They were so cute in their reindeer shirts and tutus. :-)


Jackson's Party!

For Jackson's party I was in charge of coming up with a craft for his class to make during the party. I found this cute ornament idea on Pinterest and the kids all had fun making one during the party.
Jackson with his teacher, Mrs. Wenz.

The Friday night before Christmas, us and our neighbors across the street drove over to Candy Cane Lane to drive through the lights and then went to have dinner at Mellow Mushroom. In all the years I've lived in St. Louis, we've never driven through Candy Cane Lane, so it was fun to see it finally. The neighbors on this street go all out on Christmas decorations and people come from all over town to see it. We actually had to wait close to an hour to get through it. It was really neat.

Then lastly, the Saturday before Christmas, we woke up to snow!! The kids have never been sledding so we got all bundled up and headed over to the park to do some sledding before going to our first of 4 family Christmas celebrations, (which I'll share in a separate post.)

We had so much fun at all the parties and events leading up to Christmas. It really got us all in the Christmas spirit.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Santa! I know him!

We went and had our annual Santa picture taken this past Sunday and it went pretty well. The last 2 years Jake and I have had to be in the picture so it was nice to not have to be in it this year. Jackson was a champ and did great. Avery, was a little timid and wasn't really having it at first but did eventually warm up and sit on Santa's lap. She didn't say much but they did both tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas this year.

We went to Six Flags to see Santa this year and he was a great Santa! He was really sweet. While we were there we also saw Mrs. Claus and we wrote letters to Santa as well. Of course we rode rides too and saw the Nativity show again because it's just so good.

Jackson has really only asked for one thing this year and it's the Cars 3 Florida Speedway Racetrack. Avery has been asking for 2 dollies, 2 barbies and a toaster. Ha! Between Jake and I and all the family members she gets presents from, she will be getting all of those things. ;-) She's so funny and has been so easy to buy for this year. She gets so excited about even the littlest gifts so anything girly will be so exciting for her to get. Ha.

I'm so excited for Christmas this year. We've got all the presents bought, wrapped and under the tree... all but their gifts from Santa that is. Those are bought but still need to be put together. Jackson's Santa gift is the Cars 3 Racetrack he's been asking for and Avery's gift from Santa is a Disney Frozen Ride-On Sleigh. The kids are at such fun ages for Christmas. They are so excited and make Christmas so much fun! I'm really looking forward to it.

We have a fun and full Christmas weekend planned. Saturday we are spending the day with Jake's immediate family at his brother's house. Sunday (Christmas Eve) we'll be going to my Aunt and Uncle's house in the afternoon and then to church that night for the Christmas Eve service. Then Christmas day we'll spend the whole day at home in our pajamas and then the day after Christmas we'll be hosting my immediate family. It will be such a fun four days of celebrating Christmas! I am really looking forward to it.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Have a holly, jolly Christmas; It's the best time of the year

      I don't know if there'll be snow but have a cup of cheer

      Have a holly, jolly Christmas; and when you walk down the street...

      Say Hello to friends you know and everyone you meet.

     Oh ho the mistletoe

      hung where you can see;

      Somebody waits for you; kiss her once for me.

      Have a holly jolly Christmas, and in case you didn't hear...

      Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas this year!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Our 2017 Frasier Fir and Christmas Decorations

We decided to go somewhere different this year for our tree. When we lived in our old house, there was a family-run stand right down the street that we went to every year. Then last year we went to the Kirkwood Farmer's Market which is not far from our new house. They had a lot of great trees, but they were so crowded!! It was hard to look at trees and then get someone to help you. So this year, we decided to try a little family-run tree stand near our house and it was really nice. They weren't overly crowded and were very nice and willing to help. It was nice to support a family-run business again like we had in the past.

We used to always get a Noble Fir, but for the last few years we haven't been able to find anywhere that's had them around us. They are a tree from the Pacific Northwest and I know there has been a bit of a tree shortage the last few years, so we've gotten a Frasier Fir the last 2 years instead and decided to go that route again. The Frasier Fir is very similar to the Noble Fir so it hasn't been much of a difference.

Here are a few pictures of us at the Home Grown Trees stand last Saturday morning.

After getting our tree home, we always put it in a bucket of water in the garage for the rest of the day and overnight to let it get a good drink of water. Then we typically decorate it the next day. I already had the rest of the house decorated, so all we had left to do was decorate the tree. :-) Every year I take a "before" picture of the tree in the tree stand with the tree skirt on it that Jake's Great Grandmother made for him before we were even married. His grandmother is 93 and still doing well.

And here is the tree all decorated, even with a few presents under it already. I just love getting all the ornaments out and looking at them. They bring back so many memories for me. Some are from my Grammy who passed away 6 years ago. Others are from trips we've taken. I've made a few of them and bought a few that I really liked. Some are hand-made by the kids and others were gifts. Three years ago I started putting a special ornament for each of my kiddos in their stockings from Santa. They are always excited to put their special ornaments on the tree each year. I just love the hodge-podge of sentimental ornaments we have for our tree.

And a few more decorations in our living room and dining room.

The buffet in the dining room.

The chalkboard in our dining room that I need to change to a more Christmassy message.

I'm thinking of doing something similar to this on my chalkboard because the saying is so cute and exactly how I feel these days.

Printable found here.

And I can't forget the favorite decoration for the kids, (and husband) our Christmas Train. :-)

So that's a little peek at our decorations this year. We've decorated the outside as well, which I need to take a few pictures of. Maybe I'll do a little post on that soon.