Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I'm not's a White Christmas!

Natalie was so excited to get out in the snow and ride the sled : )

Daddy got in on the action too.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We couldn't have asked for a better Christmas day!

It has been very surprising, this Christmas day.  This Christmas will be the one I was least excited about AND the one I will say is the best I can remember.

I guess the only reason why I wasn't excited about this one was because I had no surprises to open on Christmas morning. Shallow, I know. But I love surprises!

And I guess this is the best I can remember because it wasn't all about what I was getting. It was centered around the birth of Jesus, the love of family and giving. Plus, it was a completely WHITE Christmas!

Joi, our administrator for the Blue Ridge Homeschool Choir, gifted me this nice sugar cookie mix, complete with oven mitt and mini-whisk. So Natalie and I made the Christmas cookies earlier this week. I really, REALLY, don't like help in the kitchen, but I hoped this would make for special memories for Natalie. And she learns as she helps. So we mixed the dough together, rolled it out together, cut the stars out together, (I put them in and out of the oven), then we decorated them together and finally sampled them together.

My reward was the sweet look of delight on her face in this picture!

On Christmas Eve, we set up TV trays and watched "The Nativity Story" while we ate our tacos. Love how they made that movie. The most realistic 'religious' movie I've seen...

So skip ahead to Christmas morning...

We had heard about families who wait to add baby Jesus to the nativity scene until Christmas morning, so we decided we would do that this year, to emphasize what Christmas celebrates. (Natalie needed the emphasis. Everywhere we go it's "Santa this, Santa that") She loved having the privilege of adding baby Jesus to the scene.

I also found this little Advent project online. I wanted a way to have a little reminder about the Christmas story for Natalie and a way for her to count the days until Christmas. These little figures you just print off, color, and cut out. There's a list of when to add what and a picture to show you where to arrange them. She really enjoyed it I think. So she got to add baby Jesus there too.

Here it is. The snow is beginning to stick around 8:00am.

 One of my favorite Christmas traditions: Cinnamon rolls for breakfast! From scratch too : )

8:20 and they're almost ready...

Time to eat breakfast!

Natalie is scraping her bowl : )

Now it's time for presents.

Nathan reads whose it is and Natalie passes it out. They were a very good team.

A BIG one for Nathan!

The one with the most goes first! (We have always taken turns opening presents. Makes it last longer and you can fully appreciate what each person gets.) Natalie got a big MagnaDoodle.

And a magnetic marker board.

And a cradle! Hand made by Daddy. The cushion and blanket were made by me : )

Among other things, Nathan got some new, bio-degradable guitar picks...

And he gave me some fuzzy socks : )

And the snow continues to fall.

Natalie jumps right in.

She is just delighted. I hope she remembers how special this Christmas was!

It's really coming down.

Four inches and counting!

The lion lays down with the lamb...and the bigger one isn't the lion ; )

Once the presents were all unwrapped, it was time to  get on with the Christmas dinner preparations.
We had: Turkey (of course), green beans, squash casserole (delish!), gravy, rosemary mashed potatoes and cranberry salad. (I made the last two things)

Settling in for a fantastic meal! (It's so cute, Natalie is always asking for more gravy!)

After dinner, we decided a walk in the snow was just the thing.

Some gorgeous shots in and around our neighborhood.

Soon, our walk turned into a frolic and we ended up staying out an hour, sledding, building a snowman and throwing snowballs, Natalie right in the middle of it all.

After that, we went inside, got dried off and warmed up by drinking hot chocolate and eating Pumpkin Pound Cake.

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing and enjoying our presents.

The snow continues to pile up. Last I checked it was 6.5 inches. It's probably around 7 by now! Our power is still on and we are warm by the fire.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Natalie-Rose's 3rd Birthday Party

Saturday, the 20th of November, we celebrated Natalie-Rose's 3rd birthday, which is today!

Of course I'm going to say that I can't believe how quickly time has flown. Lately, each day is so full of activity that I haven't had time to reflect on how much she has changed.

I was preparing a little slideshow to play during her party and I got stuck looking through her baby pictures. Seems so long ago and yet not so long ago! She truly has become a full member of our family and I can't imagine our family being complete without her! Thanks for this blessing Heavenly Father : )

Here she is after blowing out her candles. Christiana, one of her favorite friends, is next to her.

I saw this idea on the Betty Crocker website. It was a little time consuming, but you don't need special skills to decorate it : ) 

Minutes before party time!

Taking the baby doll grocery shopping

Maisy and Christiana playing with the doll house

It was nice weather for being out on the porch

Look out!

Maisy loves doing little detailed things.

Present time!

A tiny castle with tiny figures inside from Aunt Karen and Uncle Tony.

Gabby gave Natalie a baby doll and a handmade pillow

A pink van with building blocks inside

Candy Land! I think big sister and big brother might play this with her : )

The Fowlers gave her a coloring set and the game Memory

Maisy gave her a beautiful little jewelry box with a beautiful bracelet inside, handpicked by Maisy.

I gave her a wooden cake set that has different toppings and can be cut apart.

Wow! What a baby doll set. She came with all the accessories.

Time for cake! (wooden cake)

Already trying to balance a baby while serving guests.

Maisy is contemplating how she would like the cake to look.

Christi has her baby strapped on and she's off!

Isn't this the sweetest little picture? They all played so well.

And a fun time was had by all! Thanks everyone for coming and for the wonderful gifts!