Monday, December 19, 2011

Deck the Halls, Traditions Old and New

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Even with three children underfoot we have managed to get the house cheery with holiday spirit.  Right after we had breakfast with Santa, we popped in a local nursery and picked out the perfect Christmas tree.  Everyone got in on the decorating action, even Grace!

Our newest tradition this year has been our sock advent calendar.  Each day I have an activity, project or just something fun to do as a family written in the Christmas sock.  Bradley pulls out the paper, and we work on something new each day.  I lined up the socks on the ABC string in the basement…

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A lot of the activities are little projects I found online, crafts from Michaels, etc.  But, some of them are drinking hot cocoa after dinner, watching “The Grinch that Stole Christmas,”  “The Polar Express,” making Christmas cookies, driving around as a family to see the Christmas lights, making gingerbread houses, and many more.  It has been so fun to spread out all of the holiday activities and do a little something special each day.  Bradley has been SO into the sock activities, and Ellie is learning to do a lot of them along with her big brother.

The first day of December was Christmas tree stickers…

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Chris putting the angel up on our tree

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And of course I was so excited to get this little girl’s stocking in the mail after Thanksgiving.  I still have to take a picture of our mantel with all of the stockings hung up.  I sometimes can’t believe I have that many children, and our house is so full! 

Deck the Halls!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sweet Holiday Memories

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What an amazing Christmas memory…Breakfast with Santa at the Boar’s Head Inn.  Beautiful decorations, sweet children dressed in their holiday best, and a yummy breakfast complete with hot cocoa.  This picture is my favorite of the morning.  There were beautiful nutcrackers lining the hallways and Bradley and Ellie were in awe of them.  The decorations were just plain amazing, I think I was as spell bound as the kiddos.

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Sweet Grace slept away in her car seat during the whole breakfast, so we didn’t take her out for the family photo.  Especially considering this was the best we got, Bradley in tears and Ellie not looking at the camera.  Tis’ the season!

Last year this was Ellie visiting Santa ~

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It is amazing how much can change in one year, a crying toddler, and a whole new member of our family to bring to breakfast with Santa.  I never would have dreamed it in a million years that we would be a family of five this Christmas!

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We went to breakfast with our great friends, Brandi, Kevin, Anna and Grey.  I met Brandi two years ago when we were taking prenatal yoga and both pregnant with our girls.  Anna and Elli are only a few days apart from each other and are best buddies.  She has become such a special friend in my life!

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Then we headed outside for our carriage rides.  Here are the kiddos waiting patiently for the horses to return.

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It was truly a breakfast to remember!  I love this time of year, the spirit, the wonder and seeing it all through my children’s eyes makes it even more special.  Merry Christmas!

 

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Batman Birthday Bash

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My sweet boy turned FIVE last week!! I can hardly believe it!  I feel like we celebrated for days and he was on cloud nine for a week.  It was actually nice to have the focus on him, since everything has been about the new baby.  I keep reminding him that he is so special, he made me a mommy.  He is obsessed with how old he is compared to Ellie and Grace.  He asked Chris in the car recently, “when I am 100, how old will ellie be?”  chris said, 97.  “Yes! I will ALWAYS be older.”  Chris just said that he hoped his children will live to be that old.   

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You can see that we are still obsessed with all things superhero.  I am trying to embrace it, since I see lots of girly parties in the future too!  Batman it is!  I tried to make it somewhat sweet with little Batman masks, and a happy birthday banner that I finished up the week before my c-section.  Literally, this entire party was done before Grace arrived.  We hardly made it to the bounce place on time with our entire crew.  I can’t imagine doing it at our house! 

This was the first year when Bradley and I sat down to really make the guest list together.  He has so many buddies from school, he is quite the little social butterfly. 

Ellie got in on the batman action too! 

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Since life is crazy right now, and I am trying to write this post while I run up and down the stairs dealing with Grace I will give you the play by play of the party in pictures…

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Of course there was a cake, a little bit of coloring, and lots of balloons…

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Sweet friends from our neighborhood, school, family and lovely friends we have collected over the years…

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This little (big) boy that wouldn’t go down one of these slides just a short time ago was on a mission.  Sliding, spinning, chasing friends, and just plain having the time of his life!  I haven’t seen him quite so happy or pumped up!

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Of course little sister wanted to be a part of the party too!  We had quite a week with her leading up to the party, more on that later!  I was trying so hard to catch him coming down the slide…love this one!

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Then of course there were more celebrations during the week.  Here is Bradley with his fifth birthday loot from mom and dad.  Building was the theme…knex, trio blocks, and a batman costume to top it all off.  I hope to put some thoughts together about my littlest first born boy turning five.  What a milestone for him and for Chris and I.  Five years.  If the next 13 go as quickly, I am in trouble when he heads to college. 

He is such a sweet, kind, and special little boy.  I hope he knows just how much he is loved. 

Happy Birthday Bradley-boo!