Cousins came to visit for a whole week after Christmas. Oh what fun. Here they are rockin' their new "matchy matchys" as we like to call them. Sewing for boys is tricky business but I think I might have finally landed on an accessory so Jackson can join in the fun. Not to mention the ties are fun and fairly easy to sew. Bonus.

The ladies...

The ladies' man....

As Justin always comments after pictures like these..."we sure are losing money not hiring these kids out as baby models".
Posted by Picasa


Favorites Pictures, the actual pictures

Too bad these didn't load in the original post a week ago.

Here are the pictures that go along with that text..

oh the excitement...

the ring pops...

grayson loves the playdoh cake making station and finley loves juice...

the picture i am saving for her rehearsal dinner years to come...proudly showing off her new boots (she is saying "shoes" here and pointing)
Posted by Picasa


Christmas Eve all wrapped up

It was fun to spend the day playing together, then to get dressed up for church to sing and continue the celebration of Jesus' birth. As a side note, we did our Jesse tree again this year, which I highly recommend for celebrating Advent with little people.

So one of the projects I worked on while Shu Shu was here was sewing up these dresses for the girls. Grayson's ended up being way too big, so I added the sash and flower to make it all work.

I am glad we have these pictures to prove that Finley did wear this dress for at least an hour and a half. Because after church, on the way to MayMay and Peeps' house to enjoy a nice Christmas Eve dinner with family and friends, she promptly threw up all over the dress, the carseat, and the car. And I forgot to mention that we realized she had pink eye while we were sitting at church. Oh the joys. Apparently though, the barfies were either flukey or she is allergic to almonds. It's a long story, but she was perfectly fine, not even a fuss, and no one else ever got sick. We did all get pink eye (except Justin so far), but I would take pink eye any day over the throw ups. So for that, I am thankful.
Posted by Picasa

Christmas Eve continued

We decided that some years we might do a "share" gift instead of the "wear". Not sure how long that will last, but at least in these little years we think it will work. We found this swing at Ikea on our last trip there when we were gathering things for the bonus room. We decided to wait until Christmas to install it. Finley is finally warming up to it a week later but Grayson thinks it is the best thing ever. She asks to swing on it multiple times a day (it can be hung on the ceiling to get it out of the way).

First moments seeing it...

Pure joy....

Not so sure but will sit on it and smile for the camera...

This one cracks me up. Click on the pic and look closely at my face. She just about crashed into the edge of the desk. After this we made the rule to stop and start again if you start to swing crooked.

Justin posted this one from his phone already but it deserves a second post because it's just so stinkin cute and fun.

And yes, we felt like cool parents after this one was installed and ready to see for Christmas (Eve) morning.
Posted by Picasa

Christmas Eve: Favorite Pictures

Justin and I realized that if we let the girls open their gifts Christmas Eve morning, we would have more time that day to play and not be so rushed. So the stage was set...
Stocking's stuffed with new coloring books, ring pops, juice boxes, fruit snacks, and frosted animal crackers.
Following some advice of a friend with older children to keep the gift giving simple, each child gets a want, a need, a wear, and a read. We simplified it even a little more than that this year since they are a little too young to get that whole system yet. We also started giving each of them an ornament so when they leave home years to come, they will have their own set of ornaments for their own trees.

Look at that excitement. Finley's "want" was a Melissa and Doug latchboard.

Who doesn't love a ring pop.

Grayson was very excited about her new cake making playdoh station (her "want"). Finley was excited about juice.

Finley's "wear and need" combined were new rain boots just her size. She is pointing to them in this picture and saying "shoes". She was insistent that she try them on but they wouldn't fit over her footed pjs. This one is getting bookmarked for her rehearsal dinner when she gets married.

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

On December 1st we hosted a Christmas party for some of our Young Life college friends at the house. Note to self: do this again because it makes us get our Christmas decorations up early to enjoy them all month. It was still sad, but not as sad, when it was time to take them down before New Year's Day. The 16 or so Lighted Christmas Balls in the yard are the only decoration still standing. They are really tricky to photograph, but I'll give it a whirl before we take them down to put on official record that we switched to colored lights this year. White ones seemed to fit the 100+ year old historical home we left. Multicolored lights seemed more fitting for the current 1970s house.
Posted by Picasa

Christmas with Shu Shu

Shu Shu came to town a few days before Christmas to celebrate. We opened gifts, played with gifts, and I was able to finish up my sewing and wrapping. New matchy matchy dresses, new baby dolls from Mamaw, new books and stickers and markers, and the best new outdoor toy that I somehow don't have any pictures of. It's one of those "turtle scooters" that I totally had as a kid, even though mom says she doesn't remember it. It's a triangle that sits on the ground with the handlebars in front that you swing back and forth to make it go. Justin and I promptly took our own turns on it. You know, just to 'demonstrate' for the kids. Good times. Thank you Shu Shu!

Posted by Picasa


December Recap: Visit from Friends

Before their visit, I was explaining to Grayson how I was friends with Kelly when we were little girls. I told her how we played Barbies and "restaurant" and "school" and baby dolls. Grayson smiled, still with a slight sense of confusion. Now we are 31 and have our own real life babies and little girls and boys who play their own versions of pretend. Its hard to believe. That was a whole bunch of cuteness cuddled up on the red couch. Now I just wish we lived closer so we could visit more often.
Posted by Picasa


December Recap: Small Group Family

We love our small group. It started through our church, but now has six families who represent three different churches. Between all of us, there are eleven children ages 4 and under, plus four more on the way in the spring. Yes, us adults are totally outnumbered.

We see each other here and there throughout most weeks, but we officially meet for adult small group time twice a month at 8pm. There are two families (plus ours) who have grandparents in town who can help with babysitting for this. Three families don't have this luxury, so we started this new tradition of a sleepover when we moved into the new house. Each of the three families takes a room (our master bedroom, guest room, and bonus room), we put up pack n plays and monitors, they put their kids to bed at 8, we meet for small group, and then around 11, they take their kids home and tuck them into their own beds for the night. Babysitting money can now be saved for date nights.

On our last meeting in December, those who could join us came for BYODinner, then we headed to the den for rounds of Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger, and Frosty the Snowman (we missed you Sassers!). These pictures crack me up. You should be able to click on the collage to enlarge it. It pretty much sums up the organized chaos of all these little ones running around. It can be crazy but we sure do love it. It is a joy to walk alongside families who are trying to love Jesus and love each other well.
Posted by Picasa

December Recap: Ice Skating

Justin scored 2 free tickets to the outdoor ice skating rink, so we headed there one Saturday morning. We decided that Grayson and Justin would skate, and Finley and I would watch. Grayson was about to jump out of her skin from excitement.

After a few trips around the rink she started to get the hang of it. Justin pretty much held her hand most of the time, but she loved every second of it.

Oh the excitement!

Finley did smile for this picture, barely, but was not so excited about being on the sidelines. A snack held her off for a while, but she kept fussing and pointing to the rink. Maybe next year little one.
Posted by Picasa

December Recap: Last Day of Dance Class

Correction on the last two posts...Justin is not the one blogging with the sinus infection or spray painting on a sunny afternoon...he is the one holding down the fort with the kids and taking care of everyone while mama is sick in bed. I was accidentally blogging under his username.

Grayson took dance again this year (aka Creative Movement II) but this time three of her good friends joined her. This was their last day of dance for the semester, so friends and family could come into class and take pictures of their mad creative movement skillz. Really, it just doesn't get much cuter than four year olds dancing. Little sister watched patiently from the stroller and then had to run around at the end to be a part of it all.
Posted by Picasa