Happy New Year (and a Blogiversary)!

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Happy Happy New year to you all! Last year was a good one. It had its challenges, but it also had its amazing high points! And here is to a new year filled with much of the same!  And here is to another year of blogging! Can you believe that it has been three years? Three years of sharing, of learning, of memories, and of really amazing friends from around the world! Thank you so very much for reading my thoughts, sharing my dreams, and popping by here to leave comments! All of it means the world to me as I have said before, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart!

Now that we are officially into a new year, it always make me (and most other people) start thinking about what this year is going to be. What are we going to change? What are we going to keep doing? Where do we want to be? How can we make things better? Well that depends on each person, but for me, I think that this year is bit different. I know that I need to loose weight, and I know that we can always use less technology, but honestly, those are the small things. The things that really matter are love, peace, joy, happiness….not my waist line. While I was at mass the other day we talked about being the light of Jesus. This is not a new thought, but it is one that still seemed to really make me think. Light. Light makes us feel safe, confident, happy. The light of the sun can perk up your whole attitude. The light of day makes doing things easier. And light is something that literally filters through everything making everything look clearer. So the question is, can the light of God be seen in me? Are my kids feeling safe, happy, confident, and at peace with me? Is my husband? So this a goal of mine this year. To be light to the people around me!

Another goal, that is slightly less deep, is to start Project Life. I have been scrapbooking since I was really young and it is something that means lot to me. However, keeping up is hard. I still have to finish 2012, all of 2013, and now we are heading in to 2014! Ahhhh!!!!! Project Life is a simple way to scrap as you go through the year. Basically, each week you create a page or a spread of the pictures from the week. Maybe they are the simple ones of the girls playing together or the big moments like vacation. It can have anything that shows your week! Plus you all a little journaling to remember what was going on. Simple….in theory! We shall see. Hopefully I will have a page or two a week for you to see!

Finally, my goal, as always is to encourage happy, creative learning. I love that we have a strong base of work for Bunny, but now I want to be sure that there is some good project work of her choosing to do as well. Pup needs to have a strong base and we need to make her a plan! Learning is fun and it needs to have a great place in our life. That means we are going to make it a bigger priority!

So there you have it! These are a few of my plans for this new year! Now it is your turn. What are your plans, hopes, or dreams for the new year?  It is my hope and prayer that this year is amazing for you in every way too! Happy 2014!

Merry Christmas

DSCN9440Merry Christmas to all of you! I hope and pray that the Baby Jesus fills your life with joy and happiness! Our day was fill with joy, excitement, and of course lots of gifts! We started with checking the stockings to see if Santa made it to our house (which he did) and then it was off to Mass to celebrate the true gift of this day! Then we got to spend the rest of our day with our family! There was lots of playtime with cousins and laughter of silliness! Here are a few pictures of our day!

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So there you have it! We are all really tired after all this fun and tomorrow we are going to sit around and just be! Bunny has plans to build the Lego Friends High School that she got from Grandma and Grandpa! And Pup is ready to ride her new scooter outside! Frankly, I will be reevaluating our school plan and making it ready for the new year!  What about you? Did you have a good holiday? What are your plans to relax after all the fun?

Christmas Eve Happiness

DSCN9257 DSCN9273 DSCN9266As per our usual traditions, we spent the day at my mom’s house! It was a day of wonderful gifts, happy playtime, and yummy food! 🙂 I really don’t know what else to say about it! There was teasing, laughing, good times, a few fireworks, and family.  It is such a blessing to have everyone together for the holiday, and I thank God that I am that lucky.

DSCN9252 DSCN9255 DSCN9281 DSCN9283 DSCN9286 DSCN9290 DSCN9294 DSCN9295 DSCN9311 DSCN9318 DSCN9321 DSCN9328 DSCN9338 DSCN9341 DSCN9345 DSCN9350 DSCN9357 DSCN9369 DSCN9377DSCN9384 DSCN9386 DSCN9404  So there you have it! Lots of fun and Christmas happiness! When we got home it was time to put our cookies for Santa. The girls are sleeping in their beds right now awaiting sleigh bells! I hope that you are all having a fabulous holiday too! Merry (early) Christmas!

Our Merry Christmas

If you have been following me for the last few years, you know that we do our own little family Christmas on the day before Christmas Eve. Why? Well because thenw e have some relaxed time to play together, eat together, and just be! Tomorrow we are at my moms and the next day we are at my in laws! Everyone gets lots of time and happiness together! Today we were able to start our day early ( I really thought Pup would explode into a million pieces if we didn’t)! The girls were so excited to open their gifts! So once breakfast was over, and kitchen was cleaned, we jumped into opening gifts! This year we got Bunny Olivia’s House from the Lego Friends collection. She was over the moon excited! The only thing Pup asked for was a pink scooter. So she got it and boy was she happy! She also got some Duplos. The girls got daddy some tickets to go to the movies together, and I got him a few pre-planed date nights through the year. Finally I got some books to read, some coffee, and beautiful copper earrings!

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After that it was play time! Bunny built her whole house and Pup rode her scooter all over the house! Pup and I also built some houses out of her duplos. It was a great time. The play was interrupted only by a surprise box of happiness from our friends in Puetro Rico! Karen and her Princesses from Mi Esculita Montessori sent some amazing gifts for the girls. Big Princess sent Bunny a new lego set that she didn’t have and a lego picture frame! She SOOOO happy! Pup got an animal version of Guess Who, and next to her scooter it was her favorite gift! Karen got me a sweet monthly planner! It is like she knew I was planning on organizing my time after Christmas!

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Every year we also head out to a fancy family dinner together! So out came Christmas dresses, the curling iron, and high heeled shoes. Bunny got an updo that she loved. She looked so pretty! Pup got curls and asked if this is how princesses got dressed! Then off we went! Yes, I really did make the girls stand for a picture! 😉 They looked so pretty I had to!

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We ended our evening with a trip to the new frozen yogurt place! You fill your cup with frozen yogurt, and add your toppings! Fun and yummy….and now so close to home! Then we drove out to see a house that has singing lights!!  This house has lights everywhere and they blink to music that they broadcast on their own radio station! It is amazing and so much fun to watch! After that though, it was home to bed! There is more fun for the morning! Be sure to stop by and see!

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So there you have it! I hope you are ready for all the holiday fun of the season! Sorry for the blurry pictures! Honestly, they were so excited they wouldn’t stay still enough to get clear pictures! 😉 Merry Early Christmas Everyone!

 

Christmas Cookie

Today was our annual Chirstmas cookie baking day at my moms house! We made lots of different kinds and lots of different sizes! 🙂 Everyone was able to be there, even my brother who lives in San Diego. We made Spritz, Gingerbread, Snowballs, Double Chocolate Chip, Nutterbutter Santas, Sugar Cookie cut outs, Turtle Cookies, and Lemon Shortbread. Whew! It was a lot, but boys are they going to be good to eat on Christmas! Another bit of fun we had was giving my mom her gift early! We bought her a new Kitchen Aid mixer. The big professional grade one! So it was decided that she had to have it for cookie day of course! My sister created a Clue like game to make her find it before she unwrapped it. Everyone had a great time with that too!

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Tomorrow is our own mini Christmas! The girls are SOOOO excited because they get to open gifts and go to a fancy dinner with mom and dad! I hope you are all ready and excited about the holidays at your house too! I cant wait!!!!! 🙂

Jesse Tree Tea Party

If you remember, we are doing a Jesse Tree this year for Advent. The girls have been loving it. Well we desided that we would host a tea party that highlights the different parts of the Jesse Tree using food! We started with creation and moved all the way through the bible to Jesus’ birth! The kids love all the foods and preparing all of it is an amazing reflection on the season for the moms! My mom was so creative working out what the food should be! I wanted to share this with you in case you were looking for one last way to share the true meaning of the season with your kids! Here are the foods we used!

DSCN8922Creation
(Blue Jello with cool whip for water and sky)

DSCN8921Adam and Eve’s apple.
(apples and gummy worms)

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Noah’s Ark
(Rainbows and Animals Crackers)

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DSCN8925Abraham and his Descendants
(His descendants would number the stars. So we had star shaped pasta)


DSCN8927Issac and Jacob
(The the sticks repersent the sticks for the offering of Issac and also for Jacob’s Ladder)

DSCN8928Joseph and the Coat of Colors
(Bread with peanut butter and sprinkles)

DSCN8929Moses
(The Flaming Bush and the 10 commandments {Which are cookies})

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DSCN8931Root of Jesse
(Carrots)

DSCN8933Star of David
(these were filled with chicken salad)

DSCN8935Joanah and the whale
(Goldfish crackers)

DSCN8936The angle
(Chocolate cover pretzles or angle wings)

DSCN8937Mary
(York peppermint m&ms)

DSCN8938Joseph
(Potato Straw for the Stable he found for Jesus to be born in)

DSCN8939Baby Jesus
(Lil’ Smokies with crescent rolls)

DSCN8942Before we ate, we read the stories from the bible and put the symbols on the jesse tree as we went. The everyone got to eat the food we made!  DSCN8946

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This is such a great, fun, and pretty easy way to help kids understand the plan of God through out history! Christmas is after all about the birth of our savior. I hope that you all are having a fun, and blessed season of advent! Let me know if you do or have done anything like this before with your kids! I would LOVE to hear all about it!

Christmas at the Zoo

Yes….the zoo! I know, I know, we are there a lot, but this was something special! They had an event that included dinner, dessert, crafts, and story time with Mrs. Clause! The girls were so excited and so was I! 😉 When we got there, we got a Golden Ticket to get a free picture with Santa. Then we were led to our seats in the banquet hall. We got some cookies and hot cocoa to start the meal (santa style of course). Then we were introduced to Captain Joe the Opossom and Willa the Wallabey. Only Pup was brave enough to pet Captain Joe! Then we had some amazing dinner of Roast beef, green beans, mashed potatos, salad, and pasta. It was so yummy! While we were eating, Mrs. Clause and Ellie the Elf came by and talked with the girls. It turns out, according to Mrs. Cluse’s electronic list database, both girls made the nice lists (Daddy didn’t)! After that, Mrs. Cluse told stories from the north pole and even have a sing along! Bunny and Pup got to do on stage to help! They said it was lots of fun! It was really too cute! Finally, we headed out to see a few of the lights on display and to get a picture with Santa! The girls had an amazing time and I think that we may have to do this another year too! Here are some of the pictures!

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So there you have it! It was a ton of Christmas fun and the girls will be talking about it for a long time! I love this time of year with all the fun and excitement! How about you?

Winter Wonderland!

Well we got some snow! I know we had a bit here and there, but this was the real deal! We got about 8 inches and that meant it was time for sledding!!!!! The girls were super excited and Daddy had a new plan that was definatly more then the average hill full of snow (because honestly the sledding hill was going to be a mad house). Some hot dogs on the grill, hot cocoa with marshmallows, and a tractor to pull the sleds made an amazing afternoon! My family and some friends joined us at our property to play on the hills in the snow. It was cold, it was wet and it was fun! The girls loved it and I think this is something we are going to have to do again!

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Bunny’s Reconciliation

DSCN8677 DSCN8676Saturday, Bunny passed a HUGE milestone in her faith walk with the Good Shepherd. It was the day we chose to make first reconciliation. She was so scared, but when she did it, she felt so much better. She seemed really at peace. I am so proud of her and she is pretty proud of herself! Today we went to the service for all the kids making reconciliation this year. Each child was given a black sheep that was replaced with a white one after they went to confession to show their souls all clean and pure again!  My prayer is that she always maintain her relationship with God knowing he loves her forever! Congratulations Bunny!

Cooking With Books~ Gingerbread Baby

Well today was our last Cooking with Books today and we chose one of the best books ever! Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett is the most adorable gingerbread boy book ever. However I ordered the book and it didn’t come it! Ahhhh…..thankfully on Jan Brett’s website, there is a short video with her reading most of the book to some kids! So we watched that instead! Then it was time to bake! We made dough, rolled it out, cut our ginger boy and girls, and then decorated them! Then it was in to the oven with them! 8 minutes no more or less! We didn’t want our gingerbread babies running around the house! They had fun, we had fun, and there was lots of yummy gingerbread. The best part was that just as we finished our cookies, the book I ordered, finally made it here! So we were able to read it together after all! Here are some pictures!

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So there you have it! It was an amazing end to a great year of fun! Now, we are on to the next plan! What will it be? Hmmmm….don’t know, but it will be awesome!

 

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