Tuesday, December 31, 2013

And That's a Wrap

It seems as though I have a new method of updating--wait until the end of the month and then pile in everything I can... So here we go:

Birthday season came and went. We celebrated Riley's at a camping trip. Then, beginning November 17 and ending on December 12 we celebrated the other birthdays: Lucy's, Mary's and Cory's.

Lucy and her new doll, Saige

Lucy got to go to the American Girl store for her birthday

Mary invited several friends over for a simple party--This is hot potato nail polish style

You'll shoot your eye out!

At Starbucks with his Birthday Buddy

Thanksgiving--interrupting birthday season just a wee bit.  We headed to Arkansas and enjoyed being with all of our family for the short weekend.

Christmas time! Peppernut baking began in Arkansas over Thanksgiving, and then we made another couple of batches at home.

wine is apparently a new essential ingredient for peppernut baking--and can you see the photo-bomber?

Decorating the house put everyone in the spirit.

We trimmed two trees. One has ornaments that the kids have been given over the years.
The tree on Christmas Eve

Santas and stockings filled the mantle above the fireplace
The second tree is filled with ornaments we've gotten on our travels.

This has beautiful ornaments from lots of beautiful places
It made a very picturesque place for listening to Christmas carols
One of my treasures from Italy hanging on the tree

One of the highlights for the kids is decorating gingerbread houses.   We made these on Mary's birthday.

We began anew the trilogy of Advent stories, rereading Jotham's Journey, which for Lucy was like the first time since she was so small when we read it before. We also had fun doing the devotions in What God Wants For Christmas, and it was very cute to see Lucy's face when she opened the last box just before we ate our Christmas dinner.

Celebrating with some of our family in Kansas was brief but beautiful.

Lucy was scared of all the animals on the walls--you can kind of see one half of some bull horns on this wall.  She didn't feel it was safe to sit or be anywhere

We left this luncheon and saw this winter wonderland...

Bad weather forced us to delay our departure from Kansas, but allowed us extra time to connect with cousins and grandparents.
Being in the hotel pool with our cousins guarantees a splashing good time

Darts and Pool in the community area of Grandma's apartments

We were grateful for that extra time and grateful that the drive home was uneventful.

Christmas Eve is always spent making cookies for Santa.  

After Christmas Eve services, the kids opened up their new pj's, then we set off in Clifford with some hot chocolate and an outdoor decorations scavenger hunt!
We found everything but one item on our list--Santa on a roof eluded us!  Luckily he showed up on our roof while we were sleeping!
Christmas Day was a flurry of opening gifts from each other and family far away.
Checking out our gifts from Santa and what he put in our stockings

Love it

Lucy's still trying to figure out what a "yes or no" question is

yep, she likes it

Pretty cool--nail files made out of Arkansas minerals

Cory got all of his sisters nerf guns so that they could have nerf wars with each other--watch out boy!

Cory was not disappointed in a single gift!
Post Christmas Day we went to the AF Museum, ice skated and shopped. New Year's Eve will be spent quietly ringing in 2014 for some of us--Riley and Mary will be enjoying a lock-in with their youth group tonight. Ted's even agreed to chaperone some of it. Yikes... See you next year!!