Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas: Part 2

Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve Gigi headed home before lunch. We were so bummed to hear that he ended up with the flu! He is over it and better now. It seems many received the flu bug for Christmas this year. So far we are all fine...I need to go knock on some wood!
Christmas Eve
Dobbie and Papa arrived in the late afternoon and found our two munchkins very excited and still wearing their pjs. They opened a couple of presents one of which was a children's sewing machine for Peanut. She and Dobbie tried to get it going but Dobbie realized it only did a chain stitch and was worried Peanut might get frustrated with it. She decided to take it back and get her one that really does stitch so she can slowly begin learning to sew. Peanut is very excited about this.
Christmas Eve
(Do you see Pumpkin there with her belly hanging out? This is how she likes to wear her zippered jammies now. Nice, isn't it? Really nice when it is 20 degrees outside.)

The girls got to open their Christmas Eve present which is always new jammies. They were excited to get them on. Pumpkin on the other-hand was not so excited about getting her picture taken with her sister in their new jammies. Oh well!
Christmas Eve
We had a surprise bedtime adventure for the girls, though. We quickly put them to bed and a couple minutes after they were in their beds (crying because bedtime was too fast), Daddy and I went in with our winter gear on and said, "All Aboard the Polar Express!" They were dumbfounded! They were shocked! We pulled out a ticket that had both of their names on and got them out of bed. We bundled them up, gave them sippy cups full of warm hot cocoa, and loaded up in the van to go look at Christmas lights all over town. They were excited as were the adults. It was a fun surprise.
Christmas Eve
We all enjoyed seeing the Christmas lights and were all ready for bed once we got home. What a fun Christmas Eve starting with Gigi and ending with Dobbie and Papa!

Christmas: Part 1

Christmas with Gigi
This year for Christmas we asked Dobbie, Papa and Gigi if they would be willing to come to us over Christmas. Gigi came the day before Christmas Eve and spent the night. We had a great time together unfortunately I have no pictures of him with the girls. We were too busy taking pictures of the girls. This will be righted in a few days.
Christmas with Gigi
The girls received many wonderful things and had a ball unwrapping presents.
Christmas with Gigi

Christmas with Gigi
Peanut is really getting into playing dress-up so this Cinderella dress and tiara were a hit! In fact she wore it most of the next day over her footie fleece pajamas.
Christmas with Gigi
More to Christmas to come...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dobbie and Papa's

Dobbie and Papa are back at their cabin which is very near Gig's house so we got to spend a night and day with them too. Peanut and Pumpkin had fun exploring, playing with their cats and dog, and just spending time with Dobbie and Papa. They even provided them with story time and songs which is what is going on in this picture. It was a hoot!
Storytime
Papa taught Peanut how to play a fun game.
Papa Games
Of course we got some cute pics of Dobbie and Papa with Pumpkin and Peanut by their beautiful fireplace.
Dobbie and Papa

Dobbie and Papa

We ended our trip north by going to hear Gigi sing in his church's cantata. Thank you to Daddy who took Pumpkin to the nursery to play after she tested her boundaries on how loud she could be. We had alot of fun listening to Gigi's choir perform the Christmas music. Dobbie and Papa went with us which made it even better.
Cantata
(Sorry for the blurry picture.)

After the cantata and some cookies we headed back home but ended up spending the night not quite halfway in a hotel. The weather took a quick turn and it started to ice. Daddy had a hard time keeping the van from sliding and everyone slowed down to a snail's pace so we decided not to risk it and just stayed in the hotel. We made it home safe and sound the next day.

Winter Play

After our trip to the zoo and checking out our friend's super cute new house, we headed northward arriving at 12:45 a.m. at Gigi's house. We stayed up even later chatting and watching the girls play...well, Pumpkin. Peanut was pooped.

The next day the girls braved the cold temps again and headed outside to play in the snow.
Winter Play

Winter Play

Winter Play
Gigi obliged their love for the snow and hooked the sleds to the tractor to pull them around. Peanut has done this for the past few years and loved it. This was Pumpkin's first go at it and she had a ball!
Winter Play

Winter Play

Winter Play

Winter Play

Christmas at the Zoo

Catching up. We did alot this past weekend and I haven't blogged about it yet. I thought I better get caught up before Christmas is here. I guess technically it is here but you know what I mean.

Last Friday we packed about as much fun as we could into our day. Some very good friends of ours were in town so we got to hang out with them for lunch. It was so good to catch up and just be together even if it was for a few hours. We are so grateful for their friendship! Our kids like each other too so that makes it even better. Alas, I didn't take any pictures. I can't believe it. We'll get to see them one more time before they head overseas again so then I will snap pictures.
Christmas at the Zoo
After our time with them, we headed home and packed up the van to head north. We made a stop to meet some other friends for pizza and to go see the Christmas lights at the zoo.
Christmas at the Zoo
It was incredible. They literally had lights on EVERYTHING. (The polar bear wasn't too excited about those twinkling lights strapped on him...ok...the animals didn't have lights on them but I thought for sure they would have at least Santa hats.)
Christmas at the Zoo
It was beautiful and OH SO COLD! We bundled up and forged ahead, thankful for the different animal houses to sneak into to escape the chilly temps. Pumpkin was less than thrilled with us by the end our walk in the wintery weather. She did super though as did Peanut!
Christmas at the Zoo
We ended in the butterfly pavilion which was completely decked out. They even had reindeer inside. We got to do a fun scavenger hunt looking for Christmas things hidden all over. It was a nice ending to our cold walk.
Christmas at the Zoo
I think our favorite part of this trip was watching the walrus who was literally pressed up to the glass licking it. Peanut had her face right up to his and attempted to lick the glass too but thankfully Daddy stopped her. He was bellowing away. It was quite a face to face experience.

We had so much with these special friends. We are very thankful that we have gotten to see quite a bit of them this past year now that they live relatively close. Any friend who will brave those temps with us is quite a friend. ;)
Christmas at the Zoo
(She came down to our town this fall and took some amazing family pictures of us. I have waited to blog about it because I am using them for Christmas presents. Shhh! I will be posting some of the pics soon! They are awesome! I couldn't be happier. She is very talented!)

More weekend fun to come.....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pajamborie

Tonight a Pajamborie was held downtown. What is a Pajamborie, you ask? Well, it is of course, a party where one wears their pajamas, writes a letter to Santa, makes a craft, has cookies and milk, sings Christmas songs with a clown, watches bits and pieces of Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer, and MEETS SANTA! Yes siree, that's what it is and we did it.

The girls letters consisted of asking for baby dolls for Christmas. Both letters were decorated beautifully and worked on with great anticipation of meeting Santa. (Ok, so Pumpkin had no idea who Santa was but she knew we were having fun!)
Pajamborie
One girl ate her cookie bit by bit, saving 3/4 of it for later. One girl gobbled her cookie down in 1 minute flat. Do you know which one did what?
Pajamborie
My favorite part of the night was when many of the kids were gathered around Polka-Dot the Clown singing Christmas songs and one kid caught of glimpse of Santa in the hallway and ALL of the kids turned around and ran to him. It was magical, innocent, and awesome!
Pajamborie
(Peanut is in the back with the brown pants with hearts and long hair.)
I wish I had a picture of her face when she realized Santa was there. It was priceless. Again Pumpkin had no idea who the big guy in the red suit with the furry face who was "Ho, ho, ho"-ing was but he looked like alot of fun.
Pajamborie
Keeping up with daily advent activities got a little away from me this week. It's ok though. The girls are having fun, learning about the real meaning of Christmas (Peanut has been asking tons of questions about Jesus this week which has been totally awesome!) and just plain capturing that whole magic of Christmas thing. Seeing Christmas through a child's eyes is so, so, so awesome. Pumpkin gets excited when she Christmas lights nearly busting at the seams, screaming, "BEE!" (We think this means "pretty".) And anytime she sees snow, she yells, "Bubu." (This translates to "bubble." For some reason to her the snow reminds her of bubbles.)

So our activities may not have happened everyday this week but we did make some Christmas crafts (with more to come).
Christmas Crafts
Christmas Crafts
Tomorrow we will be baking away making all sorts of treats for our neighbors and a few others. We are currently getting snowed in (if it continues all night) so we will bake cookies which will help warm our kitchen up! When I heard about the winter storm coming our way, I decided we better run to the grocery to get baking supplies so we could just be home tomorrow and bake (pajama day????). The grocery store was a NUT HOUSE! It was as if they said we were going to get 5 feet of snow instead of 5 inches. There was not ONE single cart inside the store and the cart boy said there were none out in the lot! I had both girls and a list of things to get so I turned to chase someone with a grocery cart in the parking lot when a sweet, sweet, sweet woman was heading my way saying, "Here! You take this one. I can get another one." How awesome was that? So tomorrow is BAKING DAY. We are armed with 4 types of chocolate chips, peppermint extract, sugar, flour, andes chocolate mints (for chopping) and all other supplies needed.

I have a sneak peek of a Christmas gift that I have to share! DON'T TELL PUMPKIN because it's for her! This is the little girl doll that I made for her. (Peanut's is super close to being done too.) I am so, so, so happy with how she turned out and she was really pretty easy thanks to a great book with easy to understand patterns called Wee Wonderfuls. I can't say enough good things about this book. I'm going to be checking it out from the library over and over!
The Girl Doll
Daddy takes his last final for this semester tomorrow afternoon. YEAH! I have been a semester exam widow for awhile now. Next week we will be able to do some really fun things together and just enjoy being home with no papers due, assignments to be done, or tests to study for. I am pretty sure that one of our advent activities next week is for the girls to have a Daddy day at home...that translates to MOMMY'S DAY OUT ALONE! (We'll see!)

OK, I think that is all for tonight. I'm going to go see how much more snow we have. WooHoo!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More Advent

It has been a beautiful winter day here. It has snowed all day long. The girls are all tucked into their beds with their warm fleece footy pjs. I am snuggled under my favorite blanket with The Nutcracker playing on PBS. I wanted to share with you what our past few Advent activities have been.

On Friday Daddy took Peanut out for some one-on-one time and to do her Advent activity for the day. The university's art museum was doing a special 1 hour exhibition on the Story of the Nativity including various art forms displaying the nativity. Daddy said it was a small display but perfect for Peanut. She told me all about the angles, the star, Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus that she got to see.
Art Museum
They were also able to take in some other displays in the museum. At one point Peanut asked him, "Do you think someday I will paint a picture and somebody will hang it on a wall so somebody can look at it?" I thought that was so neat!

Later that night she received a very special phone call. Santa Claus called her. I wish, wish, wish you could have seen her reaction the moment she realized it was Santa and he was talking to her. It was priceless! (You can go HERE to do your own phone call for someone special.) This is the best picture I got from the conversation.
Santa's Phone Call
Afterwards she was grinning from ear to ear. She kept saying that he told her, "Be a good little girl!"

I have been wanting to make pillowcase dresses for the girls for so long and finally did it. I made them matching Christmas outfits. I didn't have a Christmas pillowcases so I just used Christmasy fabric. I am so happy with how they turned out. They will definitely have to have some made to wear in the warmer weather this summer.
Christmas Sisters
They got to wear them last night for our Advent calendar activity which was going to a local church's Christmas sing-along which was FANTASTIC. Today's activity was the university's children's choir Christmas concert. Peanut decided she wanted to do that too when she gets big!

We are certainly enjoying taking in all that our community is offering this Christmas season. It has been fun for all of us!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Feisty

Pumpkin, oh Pumpkin! She is the fire cracker in the family. She is the spice. We joke that God took the spiciest genes from Daddy and I and created this one. But how she can melt your heart with her grin and those eyes that just twinkle and shine with orneriness.
Sneaky
She is 20 months old now. She is an expert walker, runner, climber. She gets into everything that she shouldn't. She runs and hides when she has her hands on something she shouldn't. This hiding spot is typically the corner in our kitchen behind her high chair.

She is a screamer. She squeals in delight when she is happy. She screams in frustration when she has been ticked off.

She has a temper like no other. She has been known to throw her toys when she is upset with them. She also is really good at throwing herself to the floor and pitching a royal fit.

She loves to cuddle up on our shoulder with her favorite pink and brown polka dot blanket. (Note to self: Search high and low for a back up blanket like this one!)

She says:
Mommy, Daddy, Gigi, Mimi, Bobby (for Dobbie), Papa, SisSis (for Peanut), ball, ruff ruff (for dog), meow (for cat), ow oo (for love you), byeeeeee, Nigh Nigh (for good night), baby, uh-oh, no no, Momo (for Elmo) and when asked to say lion, she ROARS!
She also mimics everything we say. She is a chatter box.

She shrieks when she sees the playground and knows we are stopping to play. She loves to be roughed up and tickled. She is a picky eater.

She is stubborn. She is determined. She is strong-willed.
All of which will get her far in life when she is all grown up. (I remind myself of this frequently throughout the day.)

We love her alot!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Cookie Decorating Day

I should be sewing those Christmas projects I have up my sleeve, but here I sit, uploading pictures to Snapfish and blogging. I am too tired to even think about seam allowances and winding bobbins. The flu bug hit Pumpkin today. Ninety percent of my day was spent just holding her and snuggling but that 10% when I was up, I was running around like a mad woman making the most of those minutes. So far she is the only victim. We are hoping no one else gets it and that she'll feel better in the morning.
Cookie Day
Yesterday we had a fun cookie decorating party with a few of Pumpkin and Peanut's friends and the obviously uninvited guest, "The Bug." So far two party attendees have been struck down with sickness. Needless to say, those beautifully decorated cookies whose frosting was spread with knives that had been licked and fingered by the littles...yeah, those cookies....they were promptly thrown away this morning after Pumpkin starting throwing up. We do not take those kind of chances! There will be more cookies made in the next few weeks so the girls will certainly get their fair amount of sugar intake. Do not worry about that, folks!
Cookie Day
But....the party! We had a ball with our friends. A couple weren't able to come due to already being sick or maybe they heard that there was going to be that ruthless, uninvited guest and opted out.
Cookie Day
On Tuesday the girls and I made the cookie dough, cut out the cookies and baked them so they would be ready for decorating on Wednesday. After our guests arrived we gathered in our cozy kitchen around the table and slathered butter cream frosting on those cookies. The kids were on frosting and sprinkle OVERLOAD! I think they all had fun. I did. I had a blessed time hanging out with one of my sweet new friends. She has been such a blessing to me here in our new town. She also has some of the cutest little guys around.
Cookie Day
One of the cookie decorators had more fun just sitting in her high chair eating the cookies her mama gave her so she wouldn't slather that frosting all through the house.
Cookie Day
So far our advent activities this week have been:
December 7 - Read the Christmas story from the Bible then act it out with our Little People Nativity.
December 8 - Have a cookie decorating party with a few friends.
December 9- Today we were supposed to make a Christmas craft. That didn't happen due to "The Bug" so if we're all healthy tomorrow we'll add that to tomorrow's activity.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

SNOW!

Snowy Day
Peanut and I spent some time outside this past Saturday during Pumpkin's nap playing in the snow. We built a small snowman, threw many snowballs at each other, and walked down to the pond to see if the geese were there. It was a lot of fun but why is it that the "more mature" I get, the less time I want to be out in the cold? I think she could have stayed out all afternoon.
Snowy Day
We warmed up inside with some Mexican hot cocoa and watched "The Snowman" together which is a really sweet Christmas movie. Even Daddy liked it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Family Evening

Downtown Christmas
On Saturday evening we went out as a family to take in some Christmas activities. There is an historical home in town that was lit by candlelight with people in period clothing for the evening. It was a step back in time as were lulled into the cozy, candle lit home. Peanut especially thought it was interesting. She wondered where the bathroom was and the refrigerator. All of the guests gathered around a piano forte to sing Christmas carols. We enjoyed cookies and apple cider together as we learned about the family of 14 that grew up within the walls of the beautiful home that was once a farm of 20 acres but is now right at the edge of downtown. The father of the home was the first president of the university and his brother who also held residence in the home in later years was the second president.
Downtown Christmas

Downtown Christmas
After stepping back in time we went downtown to take in the spectacularly lit square and eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant. It was super cold outside so we didn't get to walk around the lit up square like we had hoped especially after Peanut fell in the snow while wearing a dress and tights. We did manage some pictures albeit not great ones. Pictures do no justice to how beautifully lit up it is this time of year.
Downtown Christmas