Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Our Last Christmas

We are all ready for Christmas here. The shopping is done, sweet treats are being enjoyed, and the children are ready for winter break from school. We all know that next year at this time we will be moved into our new home. That's exciting! But I'm a little anxious about what it will feel like. We've had eight wonderful Christmas seasons at this house. Will any of our traditions change because the space will be different? New decor in new rooms. More space for gift giving and sharing in a larger living room. Bigger kitchen for, hopefully, much more cooking and baking of our holiday favorites. This house has hindered us from doing some things as the space has gotten smaller and smaller. I hope we will still feel the coziness, though, in the next one.

Making Reindeer food by mixing oats and glitter together. Oats for the deer to eat and glitter to shine the way in the moonlight to welcome them to the yard!

Bags of Reindeer food, missing the antlers still. 
Lights hanging in the kids hallway using 3M Command Hooks

Our elf with a note to deliver to Santa. Boys were fighting and the older wrote "He Have Been Naughty" about the younger. We have a tattling problem currently :(
Our zip lining elf. Probably our most creative so far, done by the 11-year-old.
Our annual trip to Rhema to see their two million-lights display. We have done this for 14 years and is one of our traditions everyone looks forward to.

Great pic of the older girls, tween and teen.

We were able to take a trip on the Polar Express this year! The older girls had traveled a few years ago with my parents in Branson. This was a first for our area and could become something we do every Christmas. The train was beautiful and the cast members were very into their parts. We enjoyed hot chocolate and cookies while riding through the woods/town.

The train conductor came by and punched the kids tickets with their initial.

He asked them to catch the falling stars.....

And then throw them into the air!

Santa came by and spoke to the boys, by name! That was a surprise!! They each received a bell, just as in the book.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Three Birthdays

The little kids' birthdays are in the months of September, November, and December. We took the easy road (or lazy) this year and combined them into one day of celebration. Of course we had cake and presents on actual day, but no separate parties this time. The boys have asked to go to BounceU for two years so that was the designated spot. I knew the baby could jump and climb so it worked for everyone. 

We had little girl's 2nd birthday later in the afternoon at Papa & Grandmas, completely decked with Minnie Mouse.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Third Time's A Charm, Right?

Summer of 2012

Two long years later, this is starting to happen for our family! We outgrew our current house about two children ago and we are so crammed in here that we're all about to go crazy. A 1600 sq.ft. home is a bit too small for seven people to enjoy, and we are all ready to have room to spread out (and privacy as well). We started our for-real-this-time process in July and already have hit some snags just trying to get started. It's a real test of patience and trusting in God's timing, especially for me being home all day and dealing with the issues of no room for anything. We have broke ground, but that is as far as we've gotten to date. I'm trying to be positive that we can get this thing going before the bad winter weather stays for good. Here are our plans for a 6 bedroom, 4 full/3 half bath, 4-car garage, office, game room, and theater:

1st floor

2nd floor

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Favorite Things Lately

Agadir Argan Oil Hair Treatment. I use this after towel-drying and it helps keep my hair soft.

Erin Condren Life Planner. I've been looking at these for a couple of years and finally decided to try it. Love the designs she has and the layout of the days. Google or YouTube these and you will get sucked in for a while!

Cynthia Rowley pj pants. These are the softest lounge pants I've found. The prints are gorgeous! I lucked upon these at Marshall's for $10 each. They retail for $19-24 elsewhere. These are summer pants and I've recently put them in the back of the drawer and pulled out my fleece. It's 24* today!

My one souvenir from our Disney trip. It's actually a magnet but it's too cute to stick on the fridge. It sits by my computer for now.

Vasanti Brighten Up. LOVE this gentle face scrub and use it in the shower. I received a sample in my Birchbox and it is the best one I've found.

Super Sorting Pie from Learning Resources. I bought this for our almost 5-year-old but it has been enjoyed by the other two little kids. The dog enjoyed chewing a couple of pieces of fruit as well :( Different ways to sort, by color, shape, kind of fruit, etc. Works on fine motor skills.

Yankee has good deals online quite often and I grabbed this fall scent along with Autumn Wreath a few weeks ago. Autumn Leaves has a balsam scent to it so I wait until closer to December to burn it. Lovely!

Dry Heel Eliminator. That time of year when the heavy-duty lotions come out. This has worked the best for me. 

Evalectric/Herstyler ceramic flat iron. I've had a CHI flat iron for almost 10 years and it finally broke this summer. I bought a cheap Conair one at Wal-mart that was okay, but found this one at a kiosk in the mall. We received two for $250.00 and I like it alot! It has a smooth dial temp. setting instead of pre-selected temperatures that I can adjust. I have the deep purple and daughter has the sweet peach. Fun colors!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Disney is Done....Now We Need A Real Vacation!

I knew that our trip was going to be a lot of work, especially because of all the planning months before. While we had a wonderful time, this experience was draining!

Tree of Life ~ Animal Kingdom


Super excited to meet this guy

A favorite shot ~ dinner in "Paris"

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

Their favorite ride, Hollywood Tower of Terror ~ no thanks!

The boys signed up for Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios. It was one of our rain days, so the show was cancelled. Instead, they got a SPECIAL treat! We went behind the scenes of Star Tours and into a secret meet the man himself! We were told it was a very high privilege to meet him face to face. They would not have gotten the opportunity if they had done the class/show. Very excited!!

Known in our house as "Mickey Wizard"

We stayed at Disney's Art of Animation resort. Recommended! It is a value resort, but is the newest one on property. Very nice resort, very friendly staff. Three pools, splash pad, playground, and quick-service restaurant. 

Themes of Little Mermaid, The Lion King, or Cars. We stayed in a Cars family suite:

A fun trip that we waited on for a long time. Our next visit will include this little mess!