Friday, December 23, 2011

merry christmas!!!

From our home to yours, we wish you a very spirit-filled Christmas! May the Spirit of Christ fill your home, warm your hearts and make your day special. I especially love the Christmas story and remembering the birth of our Savior.
I feel especially blessed this year. I am so grateful for all that I have. I love my family and am grateful to have them near me. I love to give and pray that you all receive something special this year to be grateful for. This year, someone left a bag full of gifts on our porch without a note. A 'secret santa', I suppose. Whoever you are, thank you. You made our day and touched our hearts! We will always remember you.
We also wish you a very happy new year! The new year is something I look forward to. I like to set new goals and plan new adventures.
Merry Christmas!!!!!!

today's santa: believable or not?

When I was a little girl, I knew without a doubt that Santa was real. Every year when I sat on his lap he had on his full suit, full curly hair and beard, rosy cheeks, sparkling eyes, and the classic jolly personality with plenty of 'ho, ho, ho's'. He was also very interested in what I wanted for Christmas and I was sure he would remember to bring it for me.
Today, I'm not so sure. Since I have had children of my own, I have noticed a downward spiral in today's santas! They don't wear a full suit, their cheeks are definitely not rosy; and in six years (since Ethnie's been born), I have not heard ONE 'ho, ho, ho' from any santa. To top it all off, a mother told me that she heard Santa is not allowed to say 'Merry Christmas' in some places! He has to say 'Happy Holidays' instead. How sad is that?
We had a frustrating time this year visiting Santa. During our first try to see him, we snaked around in line for an hour to find out that Santa was going on break for a half hour or so. I was not willing to wait another 45 minutes with kids so we left.
A couple days later we decided to try again, this time at the Mall of America. This santa was more believable and we only had to wait for 50 minutes. Even though this santa was very nice and had his own hair and beard, he never smiled once or said 'Merry Christmas'. All in all, Ethnie was very excited and had a good time. Emmett was a very good boy and sat on his lap without crying!

Hope your Santa visit is a good one!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

cinderella and the nutcracker.

The past two days have been especially busy for Ethnie. On Wednesday night, auntie Alison took her out for dinner, then to see Cinderella at the Ordway. They had amazing seats and a lot of fun! She was so tired when she got home so basically collapsed in Matt's arms.
ready for the show! does anyone recognize this dress???

 Today Ethnie had her big performance in the Nutcracker ballet at the O'Shaughnessy. We didn't really tell anyone about it because it was at 10:30 a.m. and figured not too many people would be able to make it. We didn't want to put pressure on anyone. So here is a recap!
Ethnie was a baby mouse again this year and did an amazing job! Her part was a bit bigger this year because her part was with one other girl; just the two of them on stage for a short time! So she felt pretty important. Her partner was Addie Ryan, her friend from class. They get along really well. I volunteered backstage and were in charge of all the mice. I love being backstage with all the dancers and being a part of the action.
The auditorium had very strict rules about photos and videos so I could only snap off a few backstage:

Addie and Ethnie

paws up!

practicing with the cheese.

the mice also had masks and hoods but were only allowed to wear them on stage.

Ethnie, I am so proud of you! You did such a great job. 
The next performance will be in May!

this boy.

dear emmett,

You really love being so mobile now! You are getting close to running and are FINALLY crawling (It only took you 16 months!). Your favorite thing to do is play with cars and trucks. It's so fun to see you drive them around and try to make a 'vroom' sound. You walk around with a little car in your hand most of the day and many times they end up in your crib! You also love talking. Here are some new words/phrases you can say:

this all done
let's go
bye bye
love you (only I can understand that one)

Sometimes, you will wander into the play room and happily play in there for quite awhile. You also love to follow your sister around and play with what she's playing with. Most of the time, she complains about that. She'll come around.

love, mom.

easy frame idea.

Many of you know I have been trying to think of what to do with all the art Ethnie brings home from school. It's all so cute and I hate to just file it away. I have been hanging pieces on the walls in the play room, but don't want to buy frames for every little picture. I decided to do this:

all I used was painter's tape, scissors, a glue gun and grosgrain ribbon.

here is some artwork before...

after! a simple frame.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

our halls are decked.

We had a tradition of putting up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. However, the last few years have ruined the desire for me because of all of the "commercial Christmas" that gets shoved in our faces earlier and earlier each year. Christmas lights hanging next to Halloween costumes in stores?! Gag. So, I wanted to wait until the second week in December to put up our decorations, but I was out-voted by the rest of the family. We decorated our place Sunday night and it looks warm and cozy! Usually, I lean toward pretty traditional holiday decor; wreaths, balls, ribbon, classic colors, etc. This year I added a little glam to my decorations. Just a little.

wreath I made!

countdown-calendar from my grandparents

love pottery barn stockings!

the finished gingerbread house. in all its glory.

christmas activities.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! Now that the first major snowfall has landed, my holiday spirit is rising. Last week we went to papa and grandma's (Matt's parents) house to help them decorate their place. The kids had a blast and their tree looks fabulous! Here are some pictures I snapped off. Excuse the quality of the images; the lighting was a little difficult for me.

setting up the nativity scene.


having fun

great helper

Jackson got to help too.

cute girl

snackin' with papa


gingerbread house the girls made.