Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas in February?

I realized I never put up any of our Christmas photos. Get ready for a picture heavy post. 

This is actually from Thanksgiving. Adam is always so nice to stand-out-in-the-cold for half the day and fry a turkey or 3. Fried turkey is so so good.

After dinner my 5-year-old nephew and daughter played a game of chess while the adults relaxed with some smart phone word games and perused the black Friday ad's.

Kiley found a deal on a 12 foot trampoline in one of the BF ad's and so we trekked out to Target for their 12am opening and she bought her trampoline with some of her savings and birthday money. It took us about 3 days to assemble this thing, but it's a lot of fun and all the kids love it.

Every year for Christmas we give each of our girls brand new pajamas. This year though I changed it up on them. I sewed each of them a stocking. They each picked out their own fabric without knowing what I was planning on making for them. I had to sew in my room so they couldn't peek. These were very easy to sew as well. The free pattern and instructions can be found here at Fabric Worm. Traditionally we let the girls open one gift the night before we celebrate our Christmas morning, it's always pajamas. That is what they were expecting. I wrapped all of the stockings in one huge box which made them very confused when we gave them their, night before gift. They were so excited and happy with the stockings. I was relieved. I had wondered if it was the best idea or not. As you can see, I didn't make stockings for Adam or myself, next year hopefully. 

This was the calm before the storm on our Christmas Eve morning. We open gifts with our children on Christmas Eve morning instead of Christmas Day morning. Haley is always with us on the Eve so we push back our celebrations a day earlier. We have a big family dinner with Adam's family and my Mom that evening and then the next day we spend with Dad's family. 

We kept the gifts and spending very simple this year each girl received 2 gifts and a few things in their stockings. Also, each of the girls bought something for the others, so they had a bunch of little dollar items to open. They are so sweet. They each came to me on a separate occasion and asked me to take them shopping for their sisters. 

August has been getting into quilting, so she received a quilting starter kit with a rotary cutter, ruler board and instruction book. 

I wanted to share the basket liner. I was looking everywhere for a basket for her cruiser bike and could only find expensive-cheaply-made ones. I came across this basket on sale at Hobby Lobby for only $6.00, Score! It really needed a basket liner, I searched on you tube and found this excellent video to make one for any size basket. It worked great and looked so cute. 

Haley has been anxious for me to teach her to crochet. She is always using my hooks and yarn to practice, so we got her a crochet starter kit with hooks and the instruction booklet, and of course, yarn too.

Julia loves taking pictures. Up until this, she has had a pretend camera and had been wanting a real camera. She was very excited when she opened her very own "real" digital camera. It's made for a child so it's tough and can stand being dropped, I can attest to that now. haha 

Kiley had been saying she wanted a pocket knife. I'm not sure what sparked that but we decided that a Swiss Army Knife would probably be better for her than just a regular pocket knife. This one is so neat it has 31 different functions and even has a ball point pen. She was pleasantly surprised because Daddy had previously said "no" to the knife idea.

And of course, we can't forget Emily. This child LOVES LOVES LOVES to sing. She loves music and is always wanting to listen to it, louder. This is her gift, a Perry the Platypus cd player with a microphone attached so she can sing to her hearts content. She loves this thing. I can her her hymns cd blasting now in her room when she is up there making her bed in the morning. She's such a sweetie.

We hosted Christmas Eve dinner at our house this year. It was my first time. It was quite a bit of work, but I loved being able to cook for our family. This was the adults table. We had just the right amount of room. I saw some cute table setting ideas about using old clear wine bottles for water on the table, so I tired it out. 

 Our dining room isn't big enough for everyone so the kids table was put out in the living room. They prefer that I think, it gives them the opportunity to be somewhat silly without parents telling them to, knock-it-off.

All of the adults participated in a gift exchange, sort of like the White Elephant game, but we bought new/useful gifts. We've done this before in the past, but this year was by far the most fun. We decided on unlimited steals for each item and only put a steal limit on each person. Each person could only steal a particular gift twice. I really think this made the game so much more fun. 

The sugar wore off at the end of the evening, and everyone was exhausted!

A friend of mine mailed me this Christmas apron and a matching spatula. It was pretty cute. This is before church on Christmas Day morning. We were all having left over apple pie for breakfast. Yum!

And, finally I have to add this picture because it's so funny. Emily and Julia got these Lalaloopsy wigs from their auntie and cousin. They are so cute.

Thanks for reading. I know that was a lot of pictures, I appreciate you sticking through it all. I am hoping to blog some more tomorrow. I will try my very best. 

Best wishes!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Can you spend 30 days away from social networking?

By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.
Ecclesiastes 10:18

I'm sure there are a lot of us out there who have the best of intentions when using social networks like Facebook and other forums. We want to share our lives with our families and friends. It starts off small and then eventually can spiral  into a huge time sucker. I have done it myself, I'll sit down for a minute to check my email, my "friends" updates and read a blog or two; suddenly it's been an hour or more, the kids have messed up the area that was just clean, I haven't showered yet and have to leave for music lessons in 30 minutes. ARGH!! 

I decided to take a 30 day social network fast. I started yesterday the 31st and will continue through February 29th. I will try to blog as I go, but I'm not promising anything. ;) 

I noticed yesterday I reached for my phone a few times without thinking to "check on my friends". I never made it onto the websites because I remembered I'm on a break. Seriously, has it become that much of a habit to want to know what a bunch of people had for lunch? How much can this be affecting my job as a mother, wife, teacher, homemaker?!? I have justified it in the past as needed some type of adult conversations during the day, but are these real conversations? Are they real interactions? It's void of much stimulation because there is no real relationship being built there, yet I can tell you what everyone had for dinner last night. Wouldn't it be better for me to prepare my home for my husband to return and then get my adult conversations from him? Or perhaps actually call someone on the phone? Who does that anymore? 

I'm fairly sure most of my "friends" from Facebook don't read my blog here when it's not posted to Facebook. I  guess that it's a good thing, so I can continue with my break. I've got to get off of the computer now, before I get sucked in. 
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