Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Our Holiday :)

We had a nice holiday with family, great food and so much excitement from Z and Lil' C :)  Our family time was cut short with S's family due to the Blizzard of 2010 but other than that everything went well.  We all had our difficult moments (especially on Christmas Day at S's parents house) but we got through it and really enjoyed watching the kids.  They had a great 3 days and Z was so sad to have to leave Mimi and Grandpa's house early. 

I am also very pleased with the kids gifts.  They did receive a lot but most everything was carefully thought out and is something that they really enjoy.  Z is loving his new telescope and scooter/skateboard from Santa and his mp3 player from my mom but also loves Lil C's kitchen from Santa and shopping cart from my sister.  We scaled back even more this year but you can't really tell :)  All in all, it was a nice three days.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

Here are some photos from our holiday fun.

 The Snow Fall that Gave us a White Christmas :)
 Ho Ho Ho :)  Christmas Eve at my mother's house :)

 My Niece G LOVES her pillow pet we got her :)
 Z got this mp3 boom box from my parents, his FAVORITE toy!
 "T'was the Night Before Christmas....."
 Santa came!!!!  He doesn't wrap at our house ;)
 The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Care....
 Z checks out his scoot to skate, skateboard
 Lil' C checks out her Kitchen (second hand from my BF La) and Z checks out her Tag Jr
 Love this kitchen!  Best part is that it was FREE ;)
 C's gifts from the big guy :)
 Christmas Day at S's Parents House
Z got Flo's Cafe from his Auntie and Uncle

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas-A Card for You :)

Wishing you and your family a wonderful and magical Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 24--The Angels of Christmas Past

If you would like to learn more about my personal project called "Advent Letters", please click here :)

Day 24

I felt the best people to celebrate today, my final Advent Letter of the season, would be four of the most special angels who I use to spend Christmas with every year as a child.  These angels are my Noni, Pops, Grandma and Grandpa.  They are now up in heaven shining down on me and I miss them so very much.

Every Christmas would start off with a festive party at my house on Christmas Eve.  My Noni, Pops, uncles, aunts, cousins and some close friends would come over for an evening of good food and games.  The mood was very festive and my sisters and I were oozing with anticipation for the night ahead!  At the end of the party, we would curl up on the couch with my Pops and he would read "Twas the Night Before Christmas".  I can still remember his smell, his rough hands as he turned the pages and the wheezing noises he would make as he read the story.  It was years after he passed away before any of us could pick up that book.  In fact, Jimmy Buffett was the first person to read it in our house after my Pops passed away.  The story is at the end of his holiday CD and I remember my sisters and I frozen in our tracks as Mr. Buffett recited the story.

Christmas morning was a whirlwind at my house as we flew down the stairs to see what Santa brought (Santa does not wrap in our house) and then we opened gifts from mom and dad, then stockings and then breakfast.  Later in the day we would head over to Noni and Pop's for a big family dinner and more gifts :) What I remember most about this occasion was the food :)  Noni always made Shrimpy things for an appetizer (a shrimpy, cheesey spread baked on an english muffin)....yum!  Then the cranberry jello mold and my favorite tray of pickles would appear at dinner and then for dessert there were pineapple cream puffs and this delicious mini cheese cakes!  This year in honor of Noni, I will be making the shrimpy things, jello mold and the cheese cakes ;)  After dinner it was game time (Trivia Pursuit, Pictionary and later Balderdash) and the competition was cut throat.  I remember watching the game as a young child and being thrilled when I was finally invited to participate!

The next day we would pack up our belongings and make the long drive to see my father's parents.  It was a five hour drive and with three girls in the backseat...it was a LONG trip :)  There were car games, snacks, dad's explores (he was really lost trying to find short cuts), pit stops and then finally we would arrive at Grandma and Grandpa's.  The house was more of a museum than a home and as small children, we were often afraid to breathe.  My grandfather had all sorts of collections of different items from history (it is now in my dad's study) and my grandmother had so many nick nacks...many of them valuable.  My grandmother did an amazing job of decorating for Christmas.  She had a very extensive angel collection and she loved to tell you about where each and everyone came from.  I loved to listen to this tutorial every year and if I let her, she would talk for hours and hours about this prized collection.  I now am honored to have two of the angels from the collection (and one santa) and they mean the world to me!  My grandfather was very proud of his tree.  It was always an artificial and if my grandmother would let him, I think he would keep it up until Easter.  I remember one year, he wanted a smaller tree and so he cut the metal base down so his 6 foot tree became a 3 1/2 foot tree.....too funny!

For the next few days we had more celebrations with aunts, uncles and cousins and ate lots of great food.  My grandmother always had a collection of soda (every kind you can imagine) and this was one occasion where we were allowed to indulge in this forbidden drink......it was amazing! ;)  It was always a fun couple of days and unfortunately one of the few times we saw my dad's parents each year.

Christmas is filled with wonderful memories of the past and my four special angels were a huge part of those memories.  I miss them so much but know that they are always with me.  This year, my sisters and I are going to toast them all by drinking madras' on Christmas Eve (my Noni's favorite drink).  It is the perfect way to pay tribute to them and let them know that we are thinking about them.  Merry Christmas Noni, Pops, Grandma and Grandpa!

Special Christmas Fundraising Project

Click here to learn more about my husband's special fundraising effort to raise money for Make A Wish.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 23--A few more pictures :)

If you would like to learn more about my personal project called "Advent Letters", please click here :)

Day 23

Today's letter goes out to the love of my life :)  S and I have been together for 13 years (we have been married for 6 1/2 of those years) and I can't imagine my life with out him.  S is my best friend and an amazing father.  I am so blessed to have him in my life and thank God for him everyday :)

S and I first started dating during our senior year of college.  I knew pretty early on that he was the man I was going to marry and even shared this with my best friend La.  Whenever I was with him it felt so natural and comfortable and I could easily picture us getting married, having a family and growing old together.   His entire family welcomed me with open arms and after only one Easter Sunday, it felt like I had known them all of my lives. 

S is one of a kind.  He loves his family so very much and always puts us first.  He is a hard worker (puts so much of himself into his work) but tries so hard to make as much time for his family as he can.  He is a true partner with child rearing and I am so blessed for this.  He does their baths, puts Z to bed every night that he his home and helps out as much as he can around the house.  He is an amazing cook and so on the weekends he puts together the most delicious meals.  One of my favorite evenings is enjoying a glass of wine, one of S's yummy dinners and then a movie cuddled up on the couch once the kids have gone to bed.  It doesn't happen often (we are soooo busy) but when it does, it is wonderful!

I am so blessed to have S as my husband, best friend and the father of my children.  He is so creative and talented and we are so proud of him.  It takes a brave person to start a business in this crazy economy and despite all of the long hours he is putting in (he works 7 days a week), he still makes time for us.  We are so lucky and hope that he knows how much we love him.  Merry Christmas S!

A Few More Holiday Photos

 Z picked the most complicated gingerbread kit they make this year :)

We had to call in S as our construction foreman
 It took almost an hour to construct the houses
Then Z said that the houses looked like the cottages at the lake and so we made a lake and beach ;)
 Here are the rest of the cottages (please ignore the messy table)
Our Reindeer "Pigs"....as Z calls them ;)
 Z's crazy set up for Park and Molly (he wants to make sure they have a fun night!)
Park and Molly hanging out on the new gate around our tree
Z and S made this Santa for me :)
 Z made this AWESOME snowman frame :)
Lil C' takes Park the Elf for a "stroll"
Lil' C gets a little more comfortable with Santa at the Senior Center
Lil' C chatting with one of the seniors :)
Z's dog biscuits for our furry loved ones :) 
 Park and Molly sneak some snacks in the pantry!
 Their last day at our house, hanging in the tree....we will miss these silly elves!
Reindeer pots we made at Auntie La's house today!  
 Cookies we made at Auntie La's house, I forgot to take more pictures :(
 I think we will have a white Christmas after all!!!
Z and Mommy coloring while watching the Grinch :)

Special Christmas Fundraising Project

Click here to learn more about my husband's special fundraising effort to raise money for Make A Wish.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 22-Z's Video Tour of our Holiday Decorations

If you would like to learn more about my personal project called "Advent Letters", please click here :)

Day 22

Today's letter celebrates my sweet little girl.  Lil' C blasted (I consider a labor of one push a "blast" ;)) into this world a little over a year ago.  Since that time she has filled our home with so much joy and love.  I always pictured me as a mom to boys (I am not a girly, girl) and have to admit I was very nervous when the doctor called out, "It's a Girl!".  Those nerves quickly melted away when I held her for the first time and I have been in love ever since.

Lil' C is a bubble of light :)  Since she was about 5 months old, she would enter a room and try to make everyone in that room smile.  She would capture the attention of even the most grumpy people and not break her gaze until they cracked a smile.  She LOVES people, loves being out in the world and is such a busy little girl (who does not like to sleep).  She never stops, gets into everything, puts everything in her mouth and unlike Z, actually requires a baby proofed environment! 

My little girl is one tough cookie :)  She is not afraid to tackle her brother, climb up on the furniture or stand up for what she wants.  I like to say that she has two moods....super happy and super pissed off!  When she is happy (which is most of the time), she is a joy to be around!  She laughs (hee hee hee), smiles, babbles, uses her baby signs and is so loving and kind.  When she is super mad...watch out!  She stomps her little feet, screams, signs with such frustration and will carry on until her needs are met.  We ignore most of her temper tantrums but there are tantrums over being hungry, thirsty and dirty diapers too.  Sometimes it can be hard to tell which is important and which is just because she did not get her way.  We have found that it is best to just keep her on a schedule and life is usually smooth sailing :)

I can't believe that my sweet baby is 14 months already...however it is also hard to picture our lives before her.  Lil' C is such an amazing little person and S and I are so in love with our little girl.  She is our little angel and we are so blessed to have her and Z to love.  Merry Christmas Lil' C!

Z's Video Tour of our Holiday Decorations

WARNING--If you suffer from motion sickness, you may want to take a Dramamine before viewing ;)

Our good friend over at Mommy's Nest posted a video tour of their holiday decorations the other day and this inspired my young friend Z.  He took out his V-Tech camera (AWESOME toy by the way, this is my own opinion) and made this short film of our decorations.  I hope you like it! 

Special Christmas Fundraising Project

Click here to learn more about my husband's special fundraising effort to raise money for Make A Wish.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 21--Elfcapades

If you would like to learn more about my personal project called "Advent Letters", please click here :)

Day 21

Today I celebrate my little man...Z :)  A little over four years ago this treasure came into my life and my heart has never been the same.  He fills my heart and soul with love and pride and has been an absolute gift. I am so blessed to have him to love!

A few days ago our Advent Calendar of Experiences asked Z to write love letters.  He immediately got to work on a letter to his Auntie A and then asked me to write him one :)  This is what I wrote:

Dear Z,

I love you so very much!  You are so special and filled with love. 
I love that you have so much Christmas spirit.  Thanks for being you 
and for being such a wonderful son.  I am so proud of you!


Reading this simple letter put a huge smile on his face.  I know that if I read him the Advent Letter I wrote today, it will probably not mean as much as this simple love note did.  I will most likely put it in his treasure box so that he can read it when he is old enough to appreciate it.

Z is an amazing little boy!  He is a sensitive soul with a heart of gold.  He has many worries in life (like his momma and papa) and often fixates on things.  He loves to give to others, loves to laugh and has such an enthusiasm for life.  Z is an active little boy but a homebody at heart.  Most days he would rather be playing in his house than out and about in the world.  He loves the lake (his second home) and is devastated every fall when we have to leave for 6 months.  The people at the lake are family as far as Z is concerned and he talks about them all year long.

Z is a smart little guy and has a thirst for learning about new things (especially science).  He loves the solar system, the digestive system, animals, sports and now is obsessed with learning how to write letters :)  He is such a special little guy and I love him so very much.  Z is our own little Christmas Elf and he spreads Christmas cheer wherever he goes.  I am looking forward to a very magical Christmas and want to Z know how much I love and appreciate him.  Merry Christmas Z :)


Park the Elf (our Elf Magic Elf) is back this year for a two week stay :)  This time he had a big surprise.....after about 5 days of being with us, he asked Santa if his kid sister Molly could come to play too!  Z and Lil' C were so excited to meet little Molly.  Two elves can get into way more trouble than one, check out our pictures below :)
playing Yahtzee with crackers and water
reading the new books he brought for them while munching on crackers
cuddling up with friends :)

 Park writing in a new journal :)
 Snowball fight!  This was hours of fun as we then had a snowball fight with the cotton balls :)
Meet Molly!
 Park and Molly get ready for an Adventure
 Here we go....
Park and Molly get caught fishing for our pet Burger! :)
The Marshmallow Snowman Craft the Elves brought :)
They covered our house in candy canes!
 They brought extra candy for the gingerbread house!
 Z sets them up each night with their crackers and water
(the crunch of the crackers reminds them of the snow at the north pole) :)