Hi there! I hope you are having a wonderful week. I can’t believe we are already halfway through – the weekend is coming! This year I am trying my very best to get ahead when it comes to Christmas stuff. The Christmas cards went out in the mail on Monday. We have all the kids’ presents ordered. Giving Tree gifts for church are here (just need to be wrapped). And I am hoping to finalize all the teacher gifts this week (we have 8 to buy for!!) My hope is that getting the stressful stuff out of the way will allow me to enjoy the season more. We shall see.
So let’s start this thing out with traditions! My mom and I made the trek down to West Virginia last weekend for our annual trip. My grandmother grew up down there, and my grandparents are both buried in a cemetery just minutes from the house she lived in. After my grandmother died in 1993, my mom, grandfather, and I started going down to visit her grave at Christmastime. After my grandfather passed away in 2001, it became just my mom and I making the trip (my sister would join us occasionally). Graham and Reagan have both been down there, but now that they are older they stay home with Nathan so my mom and I can go solo. We always have so much fun, and there is so much history for our family down there. After putting the grave blanket down, we drove around and saw a lot of the sites we see every year (my grandmother’s house, my great-great grandfather’s house, my grandmother’s cousin’s house, etc).
This year we also drove over to Boonsboro, which is a small town nearby. Nora Roberts is one of my favorite authors, and she wrote a trilogy that was based on the Inn Boonsboro. So many places in the book are actually in the town! So my mom and I had to eat lunch as Vesta (and I made sure to get a picture). Talk about a cool town! I am now lobbying to see if Nathan will take me to the Inn Boonsboro for a weekend stay.
I love the memories that pop up on Facebook. So fun to remember certain things! The other day this picture popped up, and it’s crazy to remember 4 years ago when the boys were working on our property before we even owned it. So cute!
Nathan finished Reagan’s bed! He has been working on this for awhile, and he finally finished it right before Thanksgiving. My mom made her this amazing quilt, and I was so excited to surprise her with it all setup after her mattress got delivered. We still have some work to do in there, but this is the first step to making it a true big-girl room. I got her those great princess prints, we are painting a night stand I got from a coworker, and Nathan has grand plans to make her a matching bookcase. Oh, and she has requested flower stencils around the ceiling 🙂
And I have to admit, I get pretty emotional seeing this tiny girl in this big bed. Packing away her crib seems like the end of an era (Graham also slept in that crib). But she is loving it for sure. Last night when I was putting her to bed she told me it was circle time. So she sat up and lined up all her animals and dolls (including Baby in her carrier). She said “tonight our story is going to be about Baby Jesus.” She told me Baby was going to be Jesus, Hershey was going to be Mary. When asked about Joseph – “we’re not doing Joseph tonight.” This girl kills me.
This guy is officially done with “pajamas,” and has graduated to sweats and cozy shirts. At least he’ll still wear cute themed shirts (for now). I told him I’m going to stop feeding him if he keeps growing so fast…
Dinners lately have been a bit redundant (tacos, spaghetti, chili) but Sunday night we got wild and crazy and pulled tomatoes and corn out of our freezer that we preserved in August. Added to that some dried oregano from our garden, and we had a *hint* of summer. Nathan also baked a whole chicken in the oven, and after pouring some of the juices over it we have decided we will never eat chicken another way.
I know I have said this on here a million times, but our kids being so close in age are super competitive with each other. I mean All.The.Time. But for some reason last week they seem to have started getting along better. They may drive each other crazy, but they would be lost without each other. Yesterday when I picked Reagan up at school she was totally out of sorts. Crying, but couldn’t actually tell me what was wrong. I was worried she was sick. But when Graham got off the bus she went into his arms and let him hold her for a good solid minute. Then all was right in the world. And her school craft about what she is thankful for? “My Graham.” Here he is helping her with her “homework” last night.
Monday morning shadow puppets on the ceiling.
Not the best picture, but I love seeing the “deer parade” out our kitchen window every morning. We also have a turkey parade, but that doesn’t happen on the regular. And a resident fox that we love watching too.
Seat drop fun! Our kids are definitely outside kids, and have the most fun when they are breathing fresh air. So last weekend we dressed them in their Carharts (what, your kids don’t have Carharts?) and they spent at least an hour jumping off our wood chip pile (what, you don’t have a wood chip pile either?) Nothing better than seat drops if you are a kid…
Admiring our Christmas tree. And for the record, we get a real tree every year and always will. I guess you can say it’s in my blood. And Mr. Christmas (aka Nathan) is lobbying for a 2nd tree next year.
I decided to surprise the kids with a hot breakfast this morning, so I made french toast, grilled bananas, and sausage. Happy campers for sure. I feel like getting in a solid breakfast sets them up for a great day at school.
While I was away in West Virginia last weekend Nathan decided to surprise me by installing the exterior lighting for the walkway and house. So he stayed up until midnight on Friday, then spent another few hours on Saturday putting the kids to work. Our kids LOVE helping outside, and Nathan is always so good about including them and coming up with things they can do. I feel like a strong work ethic is one of the most important things you can give your kids.
And the result….couldn’t be more thrilled with the result!
And with that, I’m going to sign off. I hope you guys are enjoying the Christmas season so far. Such a magical time of year!