Did you all have a wonderful Christmas & A Happy New Year? We had a very Kansas Christmas and it was a joy from the beginning to the end, when the final cookie crumb was brushed off the countertops.
First up, my BFF and her crew came for dinner and games. So fun!
We also got to keep Kamilyn, my best friends daughter and Avery's BFF, overnight and take her to Wednesday church with us for the kids Christmas party.
With no school in session, we spent the days playing games and reading books, hanging out and having fun. We also cleaned house and cooked lots of yummy food in prepration for Christmas gatherings.
I feel so honored and SO grown up getting to host all the family Christmases at our place this year. Tiny in size, but big in heart.....and cheerful colors are fun too! ;)
First up, my Momma's side of the family:
We ate until we were stuffed and laughed until our sides hurt. The favorite game is quickly becoming Telestrations and 5 Crowns at our house!
Look who found her sister's old fancy Christmas dress and decided to get all dolled up for church Sunday. Avery my fashionista! ;)
Our Christmas tradition includes a night of watching ELF and having Spaghetti, first how momma wants.....with sauce and salad. Then, for seconds, just like Elf.....with candy and pop tarts. The kids love it and it is such a fun tradition! This year we invited Nana to join us after church, which was Christmas Eve EVE.
Games and a tricky gift first, then dinner and our movie. Nana wrapped the kids adventure in Odyssey CD, in SO MANY BOXES, all neatly wrapped in wrapping paper. She said what took her 2 hours was undone in 15 minutes! LOL
Actual Christmas eve was spent at church, then over to Grandma's for dinner....
I will share food recipes in the next blog post, but before church we had prepped some egg casserole and monkey bread to sit overnight so we could bake it easily in the morning. We also made meatballs and cooked them so we could just do sauce and crockpot the next afternoon. Potatoes mashed and in the fridge to bake and jello fluffy salad to chill.
When we got home from Grandma's, the little's wanted to sleep out in front of the tree, so we set up some sleeping bags. Of course, they were up too late and woke WAY too early, but hey, tis the season! ;)
Good morning! It's CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! YAAAAAY!
Kids woke us up at 7am, it felt too early because of how late we went to bed, LOL, but it was fine.
While the casseroles baked, we got Papa Clay's bible off the shelf to read the Christmas Story. We want Christmas to be about Jesus and the GIFT he was to the world, not presents and santa. It's sweetly simple and dear to my heart.
It made me sad, yet comforted, to see his familiar penmanship, filling those pages. Made daddy feel close by....
Dale read the familiar story of the birth of our King, and passed around Frankincense and Myrrh for the kids to drop and smell....
Safe to say, Destiny is not a morning person. ;) The blob on the couch is her.
Time to eat and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus!
It was so nice to have the whole day stretched out in front of us, with nowhere to be.....
Kids opened some new movies and games, and then dug into a fun game called Kings Crown, amaaaazing and fun for all ages.
We sent the kids outside to jump off some energy on the trampoline and while they were out, set up a surprise!
SUGAR COOKIES! From a local bakery called Coneflower Sundry. She was selling cookie decorating kits. Yum and still homemade! Win win.
Most of the kids did 4 cookies, and once we saw they were done, Dale and I did a couple too! SO fun!
Dale ate his before I got to snap a pic, but here is Destiny's instagram pic and my 4 cookies I got to decorate!
We had a nosy neighbor come say hi......
We had prepped a lot of our Christmas dinner the day before, but it still had to bake, so we distracted the kids with some arts and crafts. Dale showed them how to make paper SNOWFLAKES! Avery immediately declared we'd decorate the whole house with them.
Mmm, dinner turned out lovely! Meatballs with special sauce, Nana's famous gourmet mashed potatoes, steamed green beans and a fluffy raspberry salad. I will share recipes in our upcoming Kids In the Kitchen post! :)
Dale was so proud to conquer his rubix cube! I was just glad for my husband back. Hahahaha!
We ended the day with Christmas Carols by the fire, before you saw awww, it was awful. Hahahah! We you tubed christmas karaoke carols and they were cheesy and our singing was probably quite terrible, but hey we had fun! ;)
Then, as bedtime approached and everyone settled down, we started talking about Papa and what we missed about him. Then the tears began. Not just little tears, but full on sobs. Poor loves. I held them close, as we talked about Papa and watched this slideshow from his service last year.
The words to this song are so very precious and my heart clings to them.....
"You're with the Son of God
You're with the Prince of Peace
You're with the one we're celebrating
And that thought amazes me
Sometimes I still break down
Grieving that we're apart
But the sweetest gift is knowing where you are....you're with the Son of God."
Got everyone's tears wiped, extra hugs and extra prayers were said, and off to bed they went. I am thankful for another layer of healing for them.
Time for bed, tomorrow is another fun family get together with Dale's immediate family. I will share the Pizza Dip and Brie recipe soon....
For New Year's night we had Destiny over at her cousins, Ty and Pax went to ring in the New Year with Gigi and Nana, and we had an extra girlie here with us, Avery's best friend, Kamilyn.
They set up the RV as an apartment all to themselves, so cute. We had them do a toast at 9pm in hopes that they would go to sleep at a decent time, but alas, that didn't even work. They still were awake until midnight. ;)
OH WELL, we tried!
Here are some pics:
Hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year! Thanks for letting me share mine with you.
Here is to a great 2019.......so glad to have you along for the ride. :)
We are in Kansas for a few months, hanging around for Christmas and something FUN!!!! More details later. ;)
Because we are home so short, and because majority of the things the kids want cannot come to Florida with us for the rest of the winter, Dale declared a very Merry EARLY Christmas at our house, so the kids have time to use, wear or play before we take off.
We don't like to give a lot of toys and stuff, we like experiences better, but if they need items, Christmas is a perfect time! So we did some shopping :)
Destiny wanted a one piece fuzzy jammie, a soft robe and some nail polish.
Avery wanted non toxic nail polish, so mommy would let her polish again, ;) and even got a nail dryer to go with.
Paxton has a track he needed more pieces to, to make a huge track upstairs, so he got a pack of track and some new cars to drive on it.
He and Ty also got some lazer guns to play with together in the apartment. (bye bye nerf darts, hello lazers!)
Tylan watched everyone open in curiosity. We pretended his second gift hadn't arrived yet but it really had, stay tuned......
So we clean up wrapping paper and Dale hollers from the front porch, that the UPS man had arrived with Ty's final gift. (We had purchased it a few days before and hid it away actually)
A new AWESOME NEW BIKE!!!! (his old one was literally falling to pieces)
He was thrilled and immediately took it around the block.
And the kiddos that had outgrown their roller blades got new ones, but those WILL go along with us to Florida. It was such a cold, snowy day we decided to let them blade in the house since the wheels were so clean and new! And yes, momma skated too, until the tight circle made me DIZZZZZY! ;)
Now, on Christmas day we can focus on Jesus Birthday party and make it a great day, even without all those gifts under the tree. (I did save a few family fun things back for that day!)
Destiny got invited to her first Winter Formal with a group of friends from 9 to 11 pm this past weekend.
Before we decided to go dress shopping or not, we dug through my formals from high school and work parties. Velvet is BACK baby, so she was particularly interested in those.
1998 throw back! (MINUS the straps I had to add to be in school dress code) I was thrilled she wanted to wear it. We made plans for hair, nails and make up and all the fun girlie stuff to happen that day.
Nana brought over the old photo albums with the velvet dress pics and we laughed and laughed as we looked through my highschool days!
Sadly, at the last minute things fell apart, a fight happened, and the group going to the dance dissolved. As did sweet Destiny, in tears! Ugh, I hate that.
We made chocolate, planned a movie night, gave lots of hugs....
At 9:10, she gets a text from the friend she was going with, Hey, can you please still come? Even if the other girls don't?
We leapt into action, and without any hair or makeup help as planned, and had her ready in 30 minutes. We had to skip hair, but she made it in time to still enjoy the evening with her friend, Dominic.
I leave you with THIS. Oh my. What a treasure in time, tucked into that album! LOL
My very bestest friend was going through beauty college and wanted to practice on my mane of hair, just adding a "few" blonde highlights. LOL! Needless to say, after the tears, it grew on me and I had a blonde summer before dying it all brown again.
You are welcome for the chuckle.
Until next time! :)
We are getting antsy to get back on the road again, but have decided to have our first Christmas here in the apartment! YAY! What can I say, the fire is SO cozy and there is just something so exciting to think about Christmas in our new place!
Sophie thinks its TOO COLD. Hahahah!
I just have to show you this because it made me laugh and laugh...
We have a no shoes in the house rule. I am so happy to see that Avery's baby, Alivia, is also obeying those rules .
Cutest. Thing. Ever.
While we are here, we decided to go ahead and lay concrete out back while it was nice and cool. The kids could hardly stand to do school, they kept migrating back to that big window to watch.
If you can't beat them, join 'em.
We did a study on concrete and how its made instead! ;) And then on to regular school once they were done pouring......
They begged and begged to make hand prints. Seemed like a good idea to me!
They decided Sophie was part of the family too and needed her print:
So I have been thinking and thinking about how I am going to pull off Christmas in the midst of a very colorful retro apartment. I think green, brown, red and my normal tree colors will look awful!
I started searching for orange, blue and white decor instead, and because we are planning to leave for a few weeks to go to Georgia for Thanksgiving with my family, I thought I'd cheat this year and put up the tree BEFORE Thanksgiving to we can enjoy it a week now, and 2 weeks before Christmas.
There is nothing I love more than designing new Christmas tree themes!!!! After that I get bored of them, and that is why I saran wrap them all decorated, and store in the barn, so I just fluff and dust after this first year. BAHAHAHA!!!!!!
I had great helpers shopping at Hobby Lobby and decorating back at home:
I am SUPER happy with how fun it turned out!!!!
And its so cozy at night when the lights are off. I think that's my FAVORITE part of Christmas decorations. Cozy nights and mornings without other lights one......
I still feel a little guilty for decorating before Thanksgiving, but I am thankful for a new apartment to get to decorate, so that counts RIGHT!? ;)