Friday, December 30, 2022

Christmas Break Highlights

Happy Friday!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and have fun plans to ring in the new year this weekend.  We had birthdays, Christmas gatherings and lots of cozy time at home.  I'm excited to tell you about the highlights of our Christmas!

1 // Snow!  We had temperatures in the negatives for days before Christmas so this first round of snow was so cold.  The kids lasted for about 7 seconds.

2 // Charcuterie board dinner - I love making big dinner boards.

3 // Candle light Christmas Eve Service - We got to go to our first candle light Christmas Eve service at our church.  Honestly, it was kind of stressful - we got separated trying to park and find seats, it was really crowded and then kids + real candles.  Plus our service was an hour and 15 minutes long.  Wowza.  I'm glad we went, but we'll probably plan to do things a little different next year :)

4 // Christmas Eve with Kevin's family - We had a yummy dinner and got lots of fun Christmas gifts.

5 // Christmas Morning - The kids woke up around 7am ready for presents.  They loved their gifts.  And I'll never get over being able to wake up at home on Christmas morning.  We traveled on Christmas for 17ish years so this is a big treat.  Slow morning at home in our pjs playing with all of our new toys.

6 // Happy Birthday Jesus - The big kids helped me make a Happy Birthday Jesus breakfast Christmas morning.  Olive did the cinnamon roll Christmas trees and Fletch helped set the table.  We did a meal of our favorites - bacon, eggs, cinnamon rolls and coffee.

7 // Naps - We squeezed in an early nap for Leo and then headed to see family on Christmas Day.

8 // Christmas lunch at Nana's house. - She is in her 80s and still hosts the nicest gatherings.  Look at all these treats she made with a tiny bit of help from me.  We always love her big decorations (dancing Santa) and tinsel covered tree.

9 // Cousins!  We did a big cousin gift exchange with our cousin crew at dinner time0.  It was fun to see them enjoy gifts they'd all picked out for each other.  My mom fixed tacos for us and we had fun.

10 // Favorite gifts - this balance board has been in high demand with everyone, Olive loves her Lego Friends and Fletcher loves his new games, robots and remote control things.

11 // More Snow - We got a second, bigger round of snow on the 26th.  It was so pretty!

Then we headed to a birthday dinner to celebrate Austin.  The kids loved the games.

And Leo loved the cake!!

12 // Jordan Bakery Box - I had a huge order this week for 12 treat boxes!  I prepped and planned and then spent one late night baking while watching Emily in Paris.  I love that show so much and was thrilled to be baking for a big order.

13 // Plant Kids - These 2 requested I take them plant shopping with their Christmas money.  Our Target is newly remodeled with a really fun plant section.  Olive and Fletcher each picked out the perfect plant, named them (Jordan & Gordon) and then we customized their pots with pom poms.  I'm hoping we can work together to help their plants thrive in their rooms!

14 // The kids loved having all this extra time at home to build and play!  We transformed our office into a Lego room, too.

15 // Animals on the Loose!  The kids LOVE riding these animals at the mall.  We visited one day and let them ride.  It's hilarious and adorable.  They take turns driving around Leo and Fletcher only ran into a trashcan or two.  No shoppers were run over.

16 // Fletcher surprised me by making my coffee for me one morning.  He said, "Good morning, Mom! Your coffee is ready and waiting for you in the fridge!" When I walked out to say good morning to him.  Big kids are so fun!

 Linking up with Momfessionals

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Elf Business: Week 3

I'm sneaking in one last Elf on the Shelf post for this year.  We had a blast adding Holly, Jolly & Chris to our Christmas traditions this year.  And all the kids agreed.  The elves were so much fun!  They looked forward to finding them every morning and would love for them to come back next year.

My plan to do sweet, helpful, fun elves worked out great.  I've got some fun ideas for next year.

The last week of our elf visits looked like this:

Our elves borrowed Barbie cars and did a Donut Delivery!  The kids loved these individual packages of powdered donuts.

We tried to bring you snowmen from The North Pole, but something went wrong.  The kids LOVED this one.

You've got an appointment to see Santa today!

Letters from Santa.  I had a little help pulling this one off - the letters were mailed from Santa Claus, Indiana, personalized for each kid and confirmed all the kids were on the nice list.

Let's play some reindeer games!  We had fun playing a new game and their favorite games.

The elves are in charge of dinner tonight!  A Christmas themed board made with the help of the elves.

Snow day!

Fletcher surprised us by losing a front tooth midweek so the elves became tooth fairies in training.  Fletcher LOVED that the elves helped with the tooth fairy delivery.

Last one - Find your JOY in Jesus!  Thanks for a great Christmas season :)

If you did elves this year, I hope you had a great time with them!

Friday, December 23, 2022

Christmas Favorites

Happy Friday!  We are ready (minus some unpredictable snow arriving soon) for Christmas.  I still have presents to wrap and food to make, but I think I'm done running errands and gathering things.  It's been a fun week off for the kids.  We packed in lots of Christmas fun and lots of Christmas around the house.  They have enjoyed the break from school and we are all excited for Christmas.

1 // Holly, Jolly & Chris Elf Business

Our elves have been busy.  The kids still love them and I mostly do, too.  This elf sized charcuterie board was probably my favorite day of the week.

I made a really yummy Christmas charcuterie board for dinner.  My family loved it!  It's not over the top Christmasy - just some cranberry cheeses, berries and red and green foods.  The soft pretzels are always the highlight. 

2 // Santa Visit

We headed to the mall to see Santa.  The big kids were looking forward to it and Leo talked about Ho Ho all day.  He was perfectly fine with him until we got close.  Then he said, "No like Ho Ho."  So we snapped a picture or two with him and let the big kids enjoy a chat with Santa.  The best part of the whole thing for Leo was the reindeer antlers he got to bring home.

3 // Christmas Tree Tour

I finally got around to snapping pictures of all of our trees.  We do a real one in the family room.  A travel tree in our bedroom.  Then a playroom, big kid and Leo tree upstairs.  They all turned out really cute and it felt great to decorate fully this year.  We did the bare minimum last year since we moved in 12 days before Christmas.

Our real tree is covered with kid and sentimental ornaments.

I've been collecting green trees for years so it's fun to have a spot to display them.  I'm still on the hunt for an entryway mirror that I love.

Our silver playroom tree.  This tree has kid ornaments and ornaments from my childhood. 

Big kid bedroom tree.  I love these quirky and cute ornaments so much.

Leo's tree.  It's full of vehicles, animals and lion ornaments.

Our travel tree!  This tree is new and I love having a spot to display all of the ornaments that we've been collecting when we travel for the last 18 years.

Mississippi shaped Santa, Cake Bake swan, Mt Rushmore, Wisconsin Deer Park, Florida, Ole Miss,  Wyoming,  Naples, Disney, Mexico and more.  It brought me so much joy to get out these ornaments.

4 // Christmas movies!

I watched The Noel Diary (and loved it!) and A Castle for Christmas (enjoyed it).  The kids love all the Netflix and Disney Plus Christmas movie options.

4 // Helpful Sidekick

Olive has been so helpful this Christmas.  She's wrapping gifts for me, helped me with our Christmas cards and helped me decorate.  It was so nice!  And she really loves when I ask her to do important jobs.

5 // Christmas Breakfast with Friends

We ate a yummy breakfast and exchanged gifts with our buddies this week.  The kids had the best time and nothing got broken.  That feels like a win when you've got a gathering with kids :)

6 // Christmas jammies

I love holiday jammies so much.  Almost as much as Leo loves those reindeer antlers from Santa.

7 // Jordan Bakery Box

I've had a busy month of baking cookies!  Hooray!  I nearly ran out of chocolate chips and had to send my parents on an emergency grocery run.

8 // 2 Year Olds

Leo cracked me up all week with these glasses.  He loved wearing them.

9 // Date Night

I planned a fun date night to celebrate Kevin hitting some big milestones at work.  We ate at Longhorn, stopped in the mall to try on sports jackets and finished up a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.  It was so much fun!  We had to change plans last minute because of snow.  I'm really glad we didn't have to cancel.

10 // Zoo Day

We bundled up and headed to the zoo this week.  The kids love the playground and I knew it would not be crowded.  We had the best time - free candy canes & free carousel rides - and we basically had the place to ourselves.  Some animals seem to love the cold temps so it was fun to see them shine.

Here's my encouragement to you if you're home with littles over break: Get outside!  Bundle up and go for a walk, visit a playground or go for a little hike.  The fresh air and sunshine will be good for you.

Merry Christmas to you!!  I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend with the people you love.