Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our Day in Pictures

I heart these tushies! 

Using their new owl towels from Nana! 

Ready for church 

Wearing their dresses from Auntie Kaylee

Silly Girls

A crazy afternoon of wearing pantyhose on our heads and singing under the kitchen table. 

Sushi night!

We've now learned Kiki is part Asian.  Over the last few days she's devoured fried rice, pad thai, lo mein, fortune cookies, sushi and of all things kimchi.  Kimchi is pickled cabbage and it looks alive.  Not super appetizing to most people.  Kiki isn't like most people.   

Friday, December 28, 2012

Welcome to the World!

I got the most adorable Christmas card in the mail this week.  It's from my lovely friend, Ashley.  It was such a special card because it doubled as a birth announcement for her new little precious, Charlotte Emerson.  I totally forgot to blog about her being born, because it was during my blogging hiatus back in November, but I couldn't be happier for Ashley and Eric.   I now have two little Charlottes in my life to love.

Seriously, could this baby be any cuter!!!  I just love her!

Here are a few pictures I took on my phone today... 

Rosie begged to watch the Veggie Tales movie she got for Christmas today.  I put it on in the office and came back a little later to find Kiki perched on Rosie's lap.  I am really enjoying all of the sisterly love lately!  

The Keekster

Love these two!  Rosie and I both sported the side pony today.  I miss the 80's.  

Naughty Monroe 

Nice Monroe 

Back to our normal

Well, Christmas is over.  It sure was nice, wasn't it?  We had so much fun with my mom and dad and were so sad to see them leave.  As sad as I am to have Christmas over, I'm a little bit excited about getting back to a normal schedule, again.  I'm also hoping to get us all back to good health.  We just can't seem to beat the various illnesses going around.  Right now, we all have colds.  It's definitely been the mildest of all of the ailments, but I can't wait until we are back to our old selves.  It's exhausting!

So how was your Christmas?  Ours looked a little bit like this...

On Christmas eve, we went to a special service at our Church then came home for Chili, which my parents made.  It was so good.  I use the exact same recipe, but mine just isn't as good.  There's something about not having to cook something that makes it extra yummy.  We ended up skipping the hot chocolate tradition I was hoping to start, because both of the girls had a cold, but hopefully we can do that one next year.  They opened their pajamas and one book and it was time to snuggle down for a good sleep.

I don't know how they did it, but they were up with the sun...actually before the sun.  We made waffles and read the Christmas Story, then it was time to open gifts!  To say the girls loved it, would be an understatement.  Rosie couldn't get enough of all of her new toys/clothes and Kiki was an A+ gift unwrapper.  Seriously, she was a pro.  Everyone seemed to be on the "good list" this year, because there was an abundance of gifts for everyone.  We had a great time.  Some of Rosie's favs were her basketball goal, her pink guitar, a build-a-bear penguin and Mrs. Potato head.  Kiki seemed equally excited about everything, but REALLY loves her remote control puppy.  It was a big hit.

Eating Christmas Waffles on special Christmas plates 

The first gift! 

Kiki takes unwrapping very seriously.

Sometimes you have to put your whole body into it.  

Papa opening presents! 

Mark's new KU hat.  

We had a big Christmas lunch/dinner (that I'm still full from) and finished the night off with a walk and a Hallmark Christmas movie.  It was a great day!

Here are a few other pictures from the last few days...

Our recent photo shoots have not been turning out.  I hate to point any fingers, but the kid on the left is to blame.

They sure love each other!


And hugs! 

and more hugs! 

Our family #1 

Our family #2...Yes, your eyes haven't failed you.  Mark is wearing a wooden bowtie.  It's settled, the guy can pull off anything! 

I love all of the smiles even though it's pretty blurry!

Kiki thinks Papa is tops.  She would run, arms open to him, when he entered a room.  This is rare.  

I love these two!  

Photo attempt #1
Gotta love Rosie's face!  

This is actually attempt number 18.  There were many tears before this one got captured.   

Another cute one.  

With all of the celebrating, came lots of eating.  Food was aplenty the last few weeks and that definitely showed up on the scale.  Today, I had to do a health assessment for our health insurance, and needless to say, I'm starting a pretty hardcore eating plan on Monday...maybe Tuesday.  Today, I bought the grocery store out of vegetables and I fully intend on making the healthiest, most nutritious food around. I'm even getting a little adventurous.  I've never cooked a spaghetti squash before, but that's on the menu for next week.  I'll let you know how it goes.

I also started back to Zumba on Wednesday.  I was the ONLY ONE in class.  Luckily, I know the teacher pretty well, so it wasn't completely awkward.  She pushed me pretty hard, so I got a good workout.  I'm excited to get an exercise program going again.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I can't wait to get back to normal around here!  Well, as normal as we can be:)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! So thankful for the blessings God has bestowed on our little family. Hope your day is filled with love, laughter and time spent remembering the reason why we celebrate.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Nana and Papa are Here!

Nana and Papa arrived late last night!  The girls were pretty excited to show off their "Nana" and "Papa" shirts today.  I couldn't believe I found them at Old Navy!  How perfect!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Season of Giving

I know I don't want to overdo it with traditions, because I want Christmas to be as relaxing as possible, but we really want to instill in the girls the whole reason for Christmas!  We don't want the season to be about getting, but rather, giving.  As a teenager, our family would spend a day making sack lunches.  We would then pack them up, along with hot chocolate/coffee, gloves and hats and take them downtown to the homeless shelter, and areas around there, to pass out.  It was always so eye opening and will always be something I remember.  I would love to do that when the girls get older, but it definitely wouldn't be age appropriate.  I've been wracking my brain, trying to think of simple ways to help the girls embrace the attitude of gratitude.

Here are a few I've come up with:

1)  A Jesus Bank-  Cleaning out my purses and finding that plethora of change yesterday got me thinking.   Think of what we could collect if we started at the first of the year!  So for next year, we are going to start a collection jar for Jesus.  When the girls get money, we will talk about giving some of it to Jesus.  As a family, we will put all of our loose change in.  In December, we will decide as a family what project we should do that would help someone else.  This year, we will use my purse money and  I'm so excited!  We haven't figured out what to do with it yet, but I'll keep you posted.

2)  Toys for Tots- Rosie has hit the age where anytime we go in the store, she sees toys she wants.  This was kind of shocking to me, because we've never been ones to go down the toy aisle, unless we were there for a purpose.  We've made a conscience effort to not spoil the girls--their grandparents do a good job at that;).  Isn't that what grandparents are for?!  So anyway, I've always said, "We can't get it today, but maybe you might get it for Christmas or your birthday."  This was a big mistake!  Now anytime she sees something she wants, she'll say, "Can I get that for Christmas?!"  The last thing I intended was for Christmas to be about presents!  I've now changed my tune when she asks.  I thought it might be fun to now focus her attention on what we could get for someone else.  I told Rosie about all the kids who won't get any presents or even food for Christmas.  This was very surprising to her.  I told her instead of worrying about presents for her, which she will get, we should think about the little kiddos that won't get any presents and try to find them something special.  So, hopefully, when we are shopping, we can now look for things for them, instead of it being a me-centered activity.  I'll let the girls pick out a few and give them to Toys for Tots, or another toy program.  

3)  Salvation Army- I always enjoy giving to the Salvation Army bell ringers outside of stores, but this year, I thought I would start having Rosie and Kiki give the money instead, so they start to take ownership of the giving.

4) Church Donation-  Our church collects food for food baskets at Christmas time.  I will let the girls pick out some food items to donate and take them to the donation area at church.  

Has your family found ways to make Christmas about giving?  I would love some suggestions!  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up

So, I'm officially done with Christmas shopping and now the huge task of wrapping everything is before me.  I've wrapped a few boxes and put them under the tree, but believe it or not, Kiki finds a way to unwrap them.  I know, you probably didn't see that one coming:).  My parents arrive tomorrow night, so hopefully my mom will tag team the wrapping project with me.   

The last few days have been so fun.  Last Wednesday, we had our book club's "Favorite Things" party.  The food was great and I came home with something I really wanted and needed, a skin brightener "Well-Rested" by BareMinerals.  I LOVE it!  I'm a big believer in BareMinerals, but they really outdid themselves with this product.   If you are looking for a highlighting tool, this is the one! 

Our weekend was a busy one.  We got to see David and Elizabeth, which was a treat!  We hadn't seen them in forever.  We are so excited that they will be adding a forth kiddo in June!  Yay for babies!  The idea of four kids seems so crazy to me, but if anyone can do it and do it well, it's those two!  

Because of our bout with the plague, we hadn't been to church as a whole family in weeks!  It was so nice to be back.  I really feel like we are making strides with Kiki's behavior in Sabbath School.  She actually did really well...knock on wood.  

On Saturday night, we went to the mall with the Nudd's for a little last minute shopping.  It was PACKED to say the least, but it was fun to get out.  On Sunday, Maria, Jackie and I hopped in the car and headed to Greenville, SC for a fun day of shopping.  We exchanged Christmas gifts with each other and ate fun food--a much needed girls' day!  

On Monday, we took the kids to the Play Lodge for the morning and then had lunch at Panera.  That evening, I got my hair done.  I was in dire need of fresh color.  There's nothing like a hair appointment to give a girl a boost! 

Yesterday, we ran way too many errands, but we got a lot accomplished.  Mark had gotten me a massage for my birthday and last night I got to use it.  Sadly, my favorite massage therapist of all time, Nancy, no longer works there.  My massage was good, but nothing compares to Nancy!  I feel like I need to track her down somehow.  She was kind of like my massage soulmate.  

I've been a bit delinquent with picture taking lately, but I did find a few on my phone that I thought I would share...

Yesterday, I cleaned out a few purses and found tons of change!  I counted it this evening and it came to $45!!!  We've decided to use it to do a random act of kindness.  We haven't figured out what it will be though.

Because I can't afford the Willow Tree Nativity quite yet:),  I ordered the Little People one.  The girls absolutely love it and play with the "Tivity" throughout the day!!!  If you look closely you will find a little Disney Princess that has joined the cast.    

The girls loved this piano at the Play Lodge.  

Kiki had a blast!  She was running, jumping and climbing on everything! She's a tiny little thing!  She still hasn't hit 20 pounds! 

Rosie, the mermaid bride.  She wore this the whole time.  She's such a girlie-girl! 

Bryn is a crack-up! 

Rosie-quietly playing dress-up.  Kiki-loudly scaling the window. 

All ready for Church! 

She was super proud of her furry coat!  

Spur-of-the-moment sisterly love!  

Silly Girl 

Rosie to Kiki, "Oh, Kiki!  You are gorgeous!  You look like a Christmas miracle!"  I love these girls!

So I just heard a news report that said there is possible snow in our future!  I couldn't be happier.  Fingers crossed for a white Christmas!