Friday, December 31, 2010

"I feel like I've been spinning in a clothes dryer...

for the last several hours!"

Yes, that is how Shane best described our family outing for today--lol.
Honestly, I'd have to say his description was pretty accurate.

Today our little adventure lead us to the place "where a kid can be a kid"
I think it's safe to say that we had the same idea as every other family, daycare, and after school program in south Charlotte. The place was totally packed. So much so, that we had to wait to find an open spot in their large parking lot.

We met our sweet friends, the Jimenez's there for what we thought would be a fun afternoon of just hanging out!

Well, it was a great thought, in theory, but I don't think we exchanged more the two sentences the whole time we were there. Truth be told...I don't think it was possible to even form a complete sentence in that place;)
It was pure CRAZINESS!!!

The kids had a blast though, and they were totally oblivious to the large crowds of people that swirled around them!

I, on the other hand, was a NERVOUS wreck.
I spent the entire time chasing babies around and counting little heads.

Riley was crowned the ski-ball CHAMP of the family!

Although Sophie Lu (with a little help from Daddy) was pretty good too!

Hudson so... wanted to be like the others and play all the BIG KID games.
I was determined to keep him close though.
It wasn't fair that he had to be content sitting on my hip, while everyone else was running crazy!

Meeting Chuck-e-cheese was definitely the high-light of the afternoon!

Sayin' "CHEESE"

Yes, it was quite a chaotic afternoon, but spending some sweet time with Daddy was the goal!
I'd have to say... GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!!!!!

And as an added bonus,
the babies each napped for THREE hours after we got home!
That NEVER happens. I guess all the excitement just wore them flat out too!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our family adventures (on the cheap)--day 1

It's Christmas break, Shane's off for the ENTIRE week (insert squeals and jumping up and down here), and we were looking for some fun/inexpensive things to do as a family. So Shane and I sat down at the beginning of the week and did some brainstorming. We compiled a list of some entertaining-cheap-keep the kids busy- kind of places that we would like to visit this week.

Wednesday was day one in the chronicles of our family adventures---on the CHEAP!
So what did we do today?

Get ready, grab your bathing suit, and pack you towel because we're going SWIMMING!

Yes, our adventures today lead us to our neighborhood YMCA for some great energy burning fun in the water.

We spent our entire afternoon splishing, splashing, jumping, sliding, giggling, and laughing!

We weren't too sure how the babies would do in the pool since they haven't been swimming since the summer time.

Well, judging from their ear to ear grins and constant squeals of delight, you would have thought they were born little fish!

They must have jumped off the side of the pool a thousand times each, and every time they came up begging for more!

The big boys had a blast too!

Jumping contests kept them busy for hours.

Needless to say, day ONE was a "SPLASHIN' success!!!;)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A "homemade" Christmas

This year we gave away a lot of homemade gifts. On the days leading up to Christmas our kitchen looked more like Santa' s workshop than anything else. I did more sewing these last few weeks than I did all year. Every spare moment I could find, my machine and I were humming away together! Many-a-nights we were up, burning the midnight oil!

And here's a little peak at what I made this year...
Three matching knot dresses for my two nieces, and Miss Soph too!

I fell in LOVE with these fabrics.
These are my favorite knot dresses that I've made thus far!

AND from a lot of the same fabrics...

I made my sister B an apron.

This was my first attempt at making an apron, and I was really pleased at how easy it was!
I am DEFINITELY making more of these for the people on our gift list next Christmas!

My boys even tried their hand at a "no sew" project this year too.

They made several sets of sweet smelling sachet's for different family members.

My favorite sewing project though was making these matching pj's for the kids to wear on Christmas Eve.

Literally, these weren't done until Christmas Eve day-like around 4pm!!
Note to year start a little earlier on all these projects;)

Throw in a few monogrammed t-shirts and a set of dish towels (which I failed to take pictures of), and that about covers all my little Christmas projects.

So what about you...did you make anything fun for Christmas?
I'd LOVE some inspiration for next year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A rare Christmas treat...

This morning, we woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland.

When the kids awoke, I called them each over to the window to surprise them. They squealed with delight as they peered out the blinds and a blanket of glistening white snow greeted them!! For us in the south, this is a real treat!!

Of course they wanted to suit up and head out immediately! Shane and I convinced them to wait until after breakfast though;) Getting everyone properly dressed is always a major feat. Because snow is a rarity, we don't really have the proper snow gear.

Somehow we were able dig up enough stuff in several different sizes.

They usually are a hodgepodge of accessories, but staying warm and dry is the only goal.

The kids had so much fun sledding, jumping, and running through the snow.

The snow wasn't quite snowman building material yet, but maybe if it sticks around, we'll have a frosty in the front yard tomorrow!

The babies only lasted an hour out in the elements, but Shane and the big boys were out for several hours.

Even sweet Molly thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas snow fall of 2010!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cherished Christmas Moments

There was something so magical about Christmas this year. Maybe it's the ages of my kids (7, 5, 2 and 20 months), or their innocent child-like belief, or maybe it's just the wonders the season holds. Whatever it was, Christmas at our home this year was so sweet!

Christmas Eve day was a whirlwind of activity. Shopping, baking, cooking, sewing and wrapping filled each hour of the day. That evening though, we attended the candle light Christmas Eve service at our church. It's one of the most beautiful services of the year and I was so grateful to be there. I, for one, needed an opportunity to quiet my soul and re-focus my heart on the true reason for this season! I left there feeling truly refreshed and encouraged-- ready to celebrate my precious Saviors birthday!

Corban actually participated in the services this year.

He played one of the wise men in the children's nativity.

He was very excited to be involved and took his role VERY seriously!

He made one ADORABLE wise man--don't ya think!?!?

After the service, we headed over to my parents house where the celebrating commenced!

We had such a FUN time!

Appetizers and desserts were on the menu for the night.

Everything was DELICIOUS!

We ate way too much, tore into lots of brightly wrapped packages, and laughed until it hurt!

It was simply wonderful.

Riley kept track on the computer, and gave us hourly updates as to where Santa was on his route around the world.
He was so excited about Santa's upcoming arrival!

Before long it was time to get into our cozy Christmas pj's and head home!

Wait- but first a pic of all the precious grand-babies in their Christmas attire!
Look at all those sweet toes!

When we got home, everyone was quickly in bed, dreaming about the surprises that awaited them under the tree in the morning!

Corban woke up around 4am, took a peek downstairs, and then came into our room exclaiming that Santa HAD indeed come. He insisted on waking everyone up, but we vetoed that idea. We were able to convince him to climb back into bed with us and go back to sleep for a few more hours.
Thankfully, he obliged!
Finally, seven o'clock rolled around, and everyone was up!
It was present time!
The first one to find the pickle hiding on the tree is the first one to open a gift.

This year Corban found it first!

The kids seriously couldn't tear into their gifts fast enough!
We tried to bring order to the chaos, but it just wasn't happening.

Paper, bows, and toy packaging were flying everywhere.

Shane and I sat back and watched, trying to soak in the moment!!

Corban made Shane and I this adorable Panther plate at school!
He was so excited for us to open it!

Sophie, by far, was the most animated as she opened her gifts.

She was full of WOWS and OOHS and AAHS as she tore into each presents.
After each gift was opened, she immediately wanted to play with her new toy.
Her tiara and earrings were one of the first gifts she tore into.

She proudly adorned those new accessories the rest of the day. Santa also brought her a princess baby doll.

It was true love at first sight!
Oh, how I adore this girl!!!

The kids were entertained with their new toys, while Shane and I made breakfast.
Cinnamon french toast, eggs, bacon, and fruit were on our morning menu.

Before digging in, we lit a candle and sang "Happy Birthday" to baby Jesus!

Another sweet moment I want to cherish!

After a major cleaning up was ordered, the kids spent the rest of the day attempting to try out ALL their Christmas loot!

Christmas evening, we hosted Shane's mom, step-dad, brother, and sister-in-law for dinner. Of course, much to my kids amazement, there were more gifts to tear into, more wrapping paper flying, more insane toy packaging to try and open, and YES...more mess to clean up.

But, more importantly, there were more smiles of joy, more giggles of delight, and more sweet memories for us to cherish!

My heart is so full!
What a wonderful Christmas!