Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of Christmas 2011

Just a few Christmas highlights:

A new tradition for us this year - baking a birthday cake for Jesus

This girl was excited about the cake.  As you can see, she snuck a taste of it before it was even mixed. 

Stirring away

baking is fun!

We ran out of time, so decorations happened the next day.  And yes, I do actually get my child out of her pajamas and dress her in real clothes sometimes.  On special occasions, of course.

having fun with the sprinkles

I was a good mommy and gave her full creative control of the decorations. Confession: it took everything I had not to move those three candles she clumped in the corner.

so proud of her work

We took her to visit Lily's gravesite, and she helped us decorate it for Christmas.  We tried to explain (in very simple terms) about her big sister and that she is in heaven with Jesus.  I actually thought it was sinking in until I asked her, "So, where is Lily?" and she replied, "At Costco."  Clearly, we still have some work to do. 

The obligatory Santa picture.  She was actually happy to see him, but refused to smile for the picture.  The only thing she asked for was Emmy Ems (M&Ms).  Easy enough.

Pinterest fail - I tried this recipe out at our family baking day.  Pinterest doesn't always get it right, folks.

Taking Izzy and Lane to the Omni to see Polar Express was so much fun.  I think sis and I are gonna have to make it a tradition!

Izzy loves crafts, so she had a blast making handprint snowmen ornaments for grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

My sweet friend Janean teaches kindergarten and did this project with her class. 
She shared the idea with me, and I just love how they turned out.  

another one on gold

I made goodie bags for the neighbors again this year.  Don't worry, that is my second batch of the hershey kiss thumprints, and they weren't burnt. 

dipped s'mores!

Opening up gifts at Meme and Papa's house with all the cousins

Mom and Dad got her a trunk filled with dress-up clothes and shoes, fancy jewelry, a tiara, etc...pretty much everything a princess needs!

She loved dressing Papa up in her jewels

Happy to open gifts at Nanna and Pop-Pop's house!

Tangled was a hit with the girls

Christmas morning at our house

Look at that face!  Not sure what she was walking into.

She warmed up when she saw her new bike

I think she likes it!
That was our Christmas in a nutshell.  We had such a great year, and I have a sneaking suspicion 2012 is going to be even better!  Happy New Year, friends!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

12 Days of Christmas - Day 12: Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas shared with family and friends, and a Happy New Year full of blessings!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

12 Days of Christmas - Day 11: Advent Calendars

I'm on the lookout for a cute advent calendar.  I found one at Target yesterday, and it was on sale, but it was all nicked up, and I'm not in the mood to remodel an advent calendar house.  I'm hoping to find one on sale next week.  These are my favorites.
Hallmark Countdown to Christmas Magnetic Countdown Calendar with 24 Magnets
This magnetic calendar from Hallmark is available at

Home® Wood Cabinet Advent Calendar
This one is from Target, but I didn't see it in the store.  Cute!

Holiday Countdown Advent Calendar
LOVE this one from Ballard Designs

How cute is this train from

And, if I don't have any luck finding one on sale, I may have to consider one of these DIY ideas 
(all pics from Pinterest)
Advent Calendar

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Friday, December 23, 2011

12 Days of Christmas - Day 10: Crafts for Kids

Okay, let's talk crafts.  There are so many cute ideas that I just didn't get to this year.  That's okay though, Izzy and I have several crafty years ahead of us.

Here are some of this year's masterpieces.
Our Pinterest inspired marshmallow snowman

This girl loves crafts that double as snacks

adorable, yes?

Another Pinterest idea - cut strips of paper, have the kids put them in order from longest to shortest, glue them on construction paper to make a tree.  She and her daddy worked on this one together.

All done.  Love that face!
 Warning - these next few pics are from my phone, so they are less than stellar.
Her teacher sent this stocking home so we could decorate it as a family and send it back. 

As you can see from these next pictures, I am a fan of foam shapes and stickers.  
Simple and mess-free = my kind of craft.

Yet another Pinterest find.  I made these cute little ornaments for Izzy's class.  

The goodie bags - a foam ornament craft to make (in the ziploc), the Rudolph ornament, candy cane, crazy straw, and a cookie cutter for playdough.

This is Izzy's present from our sweet friend, Katie (Auntie K).  In this cute little book, the little girls make a birthday cake for Jesus, so the book came with a box full of everything you need to make your own cake.  Such a cute idea!

This is what was inside the box.  Cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, candles, and directions.  Looks like we'll be baking a cake tomorrow.  So fun!

And these precious ideas will just have to wait until next year.  All from Pinterest, of course.

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