Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas prep -part 2

the windows were sprinkled with snow flakes..... (all courtesy of Mr. Brig)....

the house showed signs of the season........

and the tree goes up.. finally! it only was a 3 day process.. lol

and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

only see 4 up there? don't worry, Beckham's stocking arrived 2 days in the Nick of time.

my good friend Meredith made the mom and dad ones for us as wedding presents.. and she's been adding to our collection as needed. she is super talented, and they are just adorable, unique stockings! wonder if she'll be making us anymore?? lol

but we're going to have to get a bigger mantel first! ha!

and these little guys showed up again..

Our elf friends , Frank and Charlie magically show up as to Santa's request, five days prior to Christmas Eve.. they are sent to watch over the little ones.. and make sure they're staying on the "nice" list ....

we found them amongst all my baking stuff.....

and they are known to be found hanging from chandeliers, driving around the Tonka trucks, playing candy land.. or whatever else, elves do....

they are fed crackers and water each night, and apparently that makes them come alive while we are sleeping.

we may just have to set up the camera to catch them in action next year!! LOL

We attempted another candy house... and after lots of laughs and a few tears... we finally got the walls up..

and then the roof caved in! !!!

we did manage to salvage it somewhat.. but I forgot to take a pic.. of course I'll have to before it gets tossed... b/c I have to do the annual scrap page!! lol

and we were busy filling these bags with treats for our neighbors/friends...

we were a tad busy in the kitchen this year... lol

and we are still eating our way out of all the sweets a top the counters..

Luckily , come Jan 1st, they are all hitting the trash can...

except for maybe these little guys.. this is the second year I have made these, and the kids just love them!

I always love cut outs.. and they are Andrew's favorite.. with my special butter cream icing..

these are the 'pretty' ones..

many of them are edible, but with an entire jar of sprinkles per angel (courtesy of Tatum), they are a bit much.

we also made choco pretzels, mint cookies, fudge, and of course chex mix.

um, YEAH.. I was not kidding, when I said we baked.. we baked our hineys off...

luckily after eating said baked goods, our hineys are keeping well rounded. and then some.


and these are yummy wreath cookies from my childhood. always made them with my dad.

we tried that tradition last year. it did not carry on to this year. so they are now made with mommy. lol

and more of those heaven in a ball , that I shared before.

(oops, realized that some some of you asked for the recipe, and I have forgotten to post it.)

will do that. promise.

we made our way to a tiny little town and found ourselves at a RailRoad Museum.
we looked at the trains... they had tons of antique stuff, and 4 tracks of diff kind of trains running..

and of course Thomas was there.. lol

and look who else was there?
Brigham talked his ear off,

Beckham didn't care whose lap he was sitting on.....

and Tatum? well, she wanted no part. She talked the big talk all the way there.. how she was going to see HoHo and say Merry Kismas...
we even saw some reign deer that got away off in a cornfield.. lol
we got up to the door and opened it up, and there sat her LEAST favorite person in the world.
I have never seen a little girl move so fast. She was outa there!
though, she claims to everyone, that "I wave at HoHo!"

so that is pretty much a recap up to Christmas Eve..
we're off to party ourselves silly..

so I will recap our Christmas morning NEXT year!!!

Be Safe everyone!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

a look back.. Christmas prep part 1

ETA: I had to laugh that at the bottom of this post where there are fun suggestions on other posts that I just know you will love.. is the post (clever-ally titled) "Christmas prep recap"
from last year
check it out, and see what we did in 2008 !!!

since we were a tad bit busy over the last 28 days, I sort of put the ol' blogging on the back burner... so here is a bit of a recap into some of what we did to celebrate the season... our traditional trip to the Purdue Memorial Union to see the big candy house and the great, BIG Christmas tree. the kids love the house... this was the first year we didn't go with friends, and don't think it made a difference... even though the house is not supposed to be edible... my kids ended up on a sugar high, and laughed and played and had a grand ol' time.
and here is the BIG tree.. they claim it was the biggest one. (but , pretty sure, they say that every year.. lol)
seriously, this was a ginormous tree.. it was standing nicely at a 72 degree it had some serious ropes tying it down...

awe..... I know I looked like a crazy mamarazzi jumping around trying to just get ONE good pic of 2/3 of my kids.. lol
this will do, I guess. Its all about filling their scrapbooks... ha.

and here is one of baby.... he is so easy.. just smiles. ALL the time. if only life could stay so simple.. just sayin'

a view of the tree.

and then we went here for lunch. its not great food. in fact you pretty much want to throw up after eating the pure greasiness and fattening malts.. but.. hey.. its tradition.
the sweet shop, when I was in college.. and they returned it to this 192o's style diner a few years ago. the kids love it.
(and I do admit I love the malts. )
the 4.5 ginormous onion rings were a bit hard to stomach...

the kids love to sit at the counter til' our order was called.

always a gem for the camera.. lol.

so here it was as the sweet shop, later turned into present day Pappy's.

and the weekend before last ( I think.. its all a blur to me at this point) we went out to see the lights.
friends had told us about this for some time, and we finally were able to get out and visit.
they were pretty cool. its just this guy in a subdivision that sets it all up. and it is all set to music.
the kids loved it.
I loved it.
Andrew won't admit that he loved it.
(he did not love the 45 minutes that it took while we waited to watch them.)

and you can view more of it Here.

well, that was a glimpse into a few days of our festivities.. I'll be back to post more later.. trying to get you all caught up (and myself , so that I can BLURB this year) and then we'll move onto Christmas Eve/ Christmas Day!
I hope you all had a fantastic celebration!!
we are on Christmas detox... and trying to climb out from under the toy bomb explosion!

Friday, December 25, 2009

To unto us a Child is Born....

from my family to yours , wishing you.....

and we have *lots* to blog about.. stay tuned...
(photo credits to farrahjoblingphotography)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

a little december recap!

so things have just been a tad bit busy around here.. I am still doing photo sessions... have my 3rd one for this week, tomorrow... and placing orders, and feeling just a bit like Santa as I deliver orders of prints and cards.. I am having SO much fun.. really... I can't believe how busy I have been in the last two months... but it is so much fun and I have met some really great people and played with some super adorable little ones =)..... more to come on the photography side.... but you'll have to wait on that...
lets get thru next weekend first.. lol
Besides my picture taking business, we have been doing fun festive things as we prepare for the day that the coolest baby was born!!
I wrapped up my Christmas Party for Lafayette Transitional Housing... it was amazing. I really felt blessed and I think my team of volunteer worker bees felt it too. We threw a fabulous party for 15 families... 29 kids.. gave bags full of groceries, and hats and scarves and mittens, and we played games, made an adorable little picture frame, sang songs, had a visit from Santa himself as he brought each kid some warm jammies and a toy off their wish list.
I was telling someone it was kinda like planning my wedding.... I worked so hard for many many weeks in advance, getting things in place just so, and then in a blink of a few hours, it was gone.
Well I know that the kids had a fantastic time, and I so appreciated all the folks from my amazing church community coming together to make it happen.
I really haven't seen a church community like this before.. its not about writing a check...
its about gettin down and dirty.. participating.. Italicand doing what it takes.. and one might just find out that doing this kind of thing really, makes not only those who are the recipients, but those who are giving..helping, serving.. etc. feel blessed in an incredible way.
so THANK YOU !!!
(sorry for that little tangent.. lol)

We have had some play dates with our friends, cookie baking , girls nights out, a bit of shopping(but we have a LONG way to go)... driving around looking at lights, counting down the days til Christmas... lighting our advent candle, picking out toys for our adopt a kid, and a whole bunch of other stuff... here are some of the highlights of the last couple weeks-

we had our FIRSt real snow! I didn't even know it was supposed to.. it had been yucky rainy for the couple days previous.. and well, I drove Brigham down to the bus stop and came back in... ready to start the day by staying warm inside with my mug o' joe and checking emails... watching super why.... typical morning activities.. LOL, when I looked outside and saw these HUGE , amazing, GORGEOUS flakes coming down. it was so magical... nothing was really sticking yet, but I grabbed Tatum, threw clothes on her, tossed on her hat and coat (which is totally cute don't ya think?) and drug her outside in the (oh I forgot to mention that there were 55 mph freezing cold winds) ...
Well, there is nothing that this photographer mama won't do... (as long as it won't really put my kid in harms way..) and so I snapped about 10 pics super fast, all the while my poor baby is saying "mommy , its too whinny"..... and the other phrase " can I have froo snax?"..... and after this shot, I am pretty sure she deserved her "froo snax" Love this !!!
Our little Beckham turned 5 months old!! I totally re created this shot.. we have the same one taken by Picture People's studio of Brigham at this age.. same outfit.. blue background.. it . is. eery. how much they look alike. Beck is just a chubbier version of his big brother =)

...and we went to Hobby Dobby (as Tatum calls it) for the kids to pick out their ornament...
they went for their first pick. and after we saw them, we decided we could get best out of three... so each got to pick three of their favorites, and then we narrowed it down. I was pleased with their choices....(will debut them later =)

We just got the tree up on Monday, and started the decor last night... silly me, got some new ribbon, b/c the last had been used for the last few years.. so not realizing that I got the most expensive stuff they had.. went to unroll it and found that it was only 12 feet... and that it had lights in it.
yeah.. I am sure its all pretty and stuff, but for $12 a roll , I was going to need a lot of it, and I didn't really care about the lights. I can't believe I grabbed the wrong kind!

and so my wonderful husband went out to Menards and picked up new ribbon, oh, and new lights, b/c of course the ones we had were the wrong kind as well. not the male/female version.. so of course we couldn't get it to work the correct way !
and then we started with the ornaments, and I realized I needed more, so I took the littles today and we picked up some more at Hobby Dobby.
Next I have to get the ribbon up and figure out how in Sam Hill how to make a bow.. I totally
trailer park rigged one for life group tonight.
I am really hoping that if I do a little on the tree each day, it just might be ready for Christmas Eve... lol
Last Saturday my mom and I took Brigham to see the PMO Christmas Show at Purdue. He has gone the last two years with us, and just loves it. He is totally enamored with it. I have to say , this year's show was really terrific. It almost makes me want to get back into the singing sides of things.... we'll see... maybe after Beck turns one... The director had invited us to come down for a visit in the hospitality suite, and so before and after the show we got to enjoy these little chocolate dudes. Brigham couldn't get enough of them. I am so trying to find a mold that will make these. They are so stinkin' cute.

and so here we are hanging out before the show....

my mom and Brigham....

Um, yeah.. took these with my little p/s , so thus the reason you are seeing right up our noses. but I still think they are cute =)

my mom watched the kids last Friday night , so Andrew and I could have a date night... she made these little things with them.

they are heaven in a ball.
seriously, I have the ingredients and we are making them this weekend.
Oreo Snow balls.. melt in your mouth.. if anyone wants the recipe.. let me know. they . are. divine.

and we also attempted to see this guy last weekend. Tatum, was totally psyched for sitting on "ho, ho's lap", but as soon as she actually saw him, she went running as fast as she could. Brigham tried to have a conversation, but was told by the not- so- in -the- holiday- spirit -worker, that there was a minimum purchase order to sit on the big guy's lap.
so we didn't get it. a friend told me of this cool train museum that has Santa visiting every night . for free. So I think we're going to fit that in next week.
I do need pictures after all. Because, although some of you may not remember... I am a scrap booker. and so I have to document every second of every event of my children's life.. and well, I have really been sucking at that lately.
I really am looking forward to New Year's Day... football on.. lots of snacks and a whole day of scrapping.
and then into January.. despite the fact that I already have some sessions on the books, I am going to focus on getting caught back up with my pages.
poor Beckham doesn't have a single page yet. =(

while we were at the mall, we decided to write our letters to Santa. We totally forgot to do that like we did last year.
Our postal workers walk thru our annual Christmas Parade and pick up the letters and then we get a letter back from the North Pole.
Since I was busy prepping for the Outreach party, and Andrew took the kids to the parade, it totally slipped our minds.

so luckily, Macy's was able to help us out.

and I just deleted the cute pic of Tatum mailing her letter.

We also dedicated Beckham at church on Sunday.. I'll get some pictures of that up. He did really well.

and do you remember this list below?
well, we are kinda moving right along... pictures to come...
how are you coming on your list?
it is the eve before one week before the eve before Christmas Eve.

Make a holiday craft
Watch Elf
Assemble/address holiday cards with music and cocoa
Wrap gifts by the tree
Read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Have lunch with Santa
Bake/decorate cookies
Make pinecone elves
Take a drive and look at holiday lights
Donate toys to a family in need
Cut out paper snowflakes
Go ice skating
Deliver baked goods to friends
Make breakfast for dinner and eat in our pajamas
Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage
Write down the 10 best memories from the past year
Attend a holiday concert
Take a family photo
Watch the snow fall
Share your favorite holiday memories with your kids
Go sledding
Have a candlelit dinner
Leave cookies/milk for Santa
Enjoy giving as much as receiving
Hope you are able to slow down a bit and enjoy the season(what is left of it anyway)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

23 days and counting

Geesh ! Where did November go? Seriously, I just barely got my Halloween post up ( and yep, totally never posted from our Halloween trip to the Children's Museum). and then we just blurred past Thanksgiving. and now just 3 weeks left until Christmas!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday and totally indulged in all things fattening. We spent the day with my dad's side of the family at my grandma's farm. Lots of good down home cookin' which unfortunately I was trying so hard 'not' to over eat.. that I hardly ate, and then 5 hours later I was starving.. and really wanting a thanksgiving meal.. and well.. we didn't have any leftovers! We had a great time with aunts and uncles , cousins and little ones.(mine). I LOVE the fact that my grandma gets to interact with my kids. She LOVEs them soo much. Beckham even took his nap in a bassinet that all her kids slept in. So its about 63 years old! she cleaned it up, and got a new Carter's blue blanket for it. She was so happy to have Beck (try) to sleep in it . I took pics, b/c I am so going to scrap this.

(and so I plan on creating our own turkey day meal with all the fixings this weekend). I can't Wait!!

I had a busy weekend of photo sessions. We are not big Black Friday shoppers.. ( I really like my sleep) and so after we met my college room mate and her family for lunch at our downtown candy store.. we headed to Target. I was so surprised but at 2pm, it was not busy, at all. We did stop by a few other stores in town, and had the same experience.. easy to find parking spots.. no lines in the stores... it was so great since we were at the kids' nap times.

It was so fun to see my friend Stephanie and her family. Since she moved to OH, we have not seen each other in about 2 years! The kids all got along great and had so much fun(with the added sugar we dumped into them)laughing and playing.

So I am also in the home stretch of the big Christmas party for my church that I have been heading up.. lots of final details to complete, but it is this Sunday and I know it is going to be tons of fun, and we will bless these kids sooo much!

I have also been busy editing, and filling orders. Totally thought I was done.. (in fact I had publicly announced that I was done) just b/c I knew December was going to busy, and I didn't want to miss out on things with my family.

however, I got 3 calls yesterday and one today for last minute sessions before Christmas. So , what do you think I am doing?

trying to figure out how I can plan sessions around the activities we already have on the calendar.

I may be crazy.. but actually I thrive with a busy schedule. I really feel like I am at my best when I am running around with my head cut off.. (for a while...)

(and then I crash and burn).. but that will be in January.. lol

We got the holiday decor up and we'll go out and get the tree this weekend. I have my lists made of what we want for each of the kids and (for myself) and Andrew.. the grandparents are always hard.... I am hoping that we'll have a date night this Friday and be able to get a lot of our shopping finished.(and of course a peppermint mocha will be a must)
my santa baby... he's bringing sexy back, don't ya think?
(somebody is ready for his first Christmas)... he has no idea what we are going to do to

So as we enter into the greatest month of them all... I am hoping that in the midst of all the hussle and bussle, that we can find time to do some of these things. I love keeping with traditions.. and some of these are. And I love making new traditions and I hope that we are able to.

Leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite tradition is with your family at Christmas time.. and if you need to, you can totally steal something from this list =)

  1. Make a holiday craft

  2. Watch Elf

  3. Assemble/address holiday cards with music and cocoa

  4. Wrap gifts by the tree

  5. Read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

  6. Have lunch with Santa

  7. Bake/decorate cookies

  8. Make pinecone elves

  9. Take a drive and look at holiday lights

  10. Donate toys to a family in need

  11. Cut out paper snowflakes

  12. Go ice skating

  13. Deliver baked goods to friends

  14. Make breakfast for dinner and eat in our pajamas

  15. Take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage

  16. Write down the 10 best memories from the past year

  17. Attend a holiday concert

  18. Take a family photo

  19. Watch the snow fall

  20. Share your favorite holiday memories with your kids

  21. Go sledding

  22. Have a candlelit dinner

  23. Leave cookies/milk for Santa

  24. Enjoy giving as much as receiving


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