Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Rest of the Festivities...

I love Christmas time, but I do grow weary after all the celebrations. It is amazing to be able to get together with all of the family and catch up since we aren't able to see my side as often. However, once all the running around is done it is nice to come home and settle back into a routine.
The weekend before Christmas we had two parties- one with my father-in-law's extended family and one with Jason's immediate family.
Reading books with Aunt Jessica
Checking out her new camper for her doll house
Then three of us celebrated Christmas on Christmas eve morning. Once we were done it was time to clean up and get ready for the first of many celebrations to come over the next three days.
Excitement over her new semi, just like Daddy's. Complete with piggies to haul!

Not sure who enjoyed the semi and Lego's more :)
We packed up and headed to my grandma's house in the afternoon to see my mom's side of the family. Each year we have dinner, do our own candle light Christmas program, open presents and then have dessert. It was a little bitter sweet this year without having my Aunt Lydia there to lead us with her beautiful voice, but I know she was there with us.
The annual family photo in front of the tree
Around 9:30 we packed the car up again and headed to my mom's house for the night. With all the busyness I was unable to sleep once we got there, so I stayed up and chatted with my mom until the wee hours of the morning. This has become a tradition for us over the last few years. Typically we are wrapping presents during this time, but this year she was more prepared. So we did some baking instead :)
At 8:00 the next morning the house was bursting with excitement between my little one and my brothers. They could hardly wait to get started on the presents. Once gifts were opened we had a feast for breakfast. We also talked to my grandparents on the phone and opened up the gifts they sent from Arkansas.
Emma surrounded by the gifts to be opened at Grandma's
Around 4:00 we packed up once again to head to my dad's to do Christmas one last time. We opened gifts with him and his girlfriend Brenda before having dinner and settling in for the night. On Monday, we were able to have a visit with my best buddy from high school Teresa before having lunch and heading back to Holland.
Emma and Papa Spence opening presents.
By the time we arrived home around 4:30, this momma was beat! Then comes the unpacking and finding homes for all the new goodies we've received. Let's just say the garage sale pile continues to grow as I purge old things to make way for the new.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Excitement on a Cold Winter's Night

We had quite a bit of excitement around here in the last 24 hours...

The hubby was out working last night on a generator around 9:30 when I heard a loud boom along with some colorful language. I thought, oh crap, he hurt himself and now were going to have to make a trip to the ER. The sight that awaited me caught me off guard.

I walked out into our dinning room to see flames leaping into the air near our garage. We're still not sure how Jason managed to escape the fire without any injuries. He must have had an angel on his side! The first thing he did was run into the garage and back our truck out. He said it was a 'raging inferno of heat' inside.

While I was on the phone with 911, Jason grabbed the hose and tried to contain the flames. He thought the garage was done for, but wanted to keep the fire away from our house and the neighbor's garage. In the end, he was actually able to put most of the flames out before the fire department arrived.

Overall, the damage in the grand scheme of things was pretty minor. We need a new garage door and some siding, along with a few items that were destroyed inside the garage. This summer we had discussed replacing our old garage door anyways, but decided against it since we put the house up for sale.

I am so grateful that God was watching over us that night, protecting us from a situation that could have turned out much differently. It certainly was enough excitement for this momma' and I pray that is the only fire situation I have to experience in my lifetime!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Meet Our Elf Sparkle

We have joined the masses and adopted an Elf on the Shelf. He was actually given to us for Emma's first Christmas by my step-mom Cindy, but I felt like this was the first year Emma could actually understand the concept.
Image Detail
He's been found in lots of funny places, but I think the two favorites thus far have been:

- resting on a stack of packages with a note telling Emma to open one present each night until Christmas. I gathered up all of our Christmas books and wrapped them up so we can read a new story each night. She thinks they are all new, even the one that used to belong to her Grandma Jen :)
-hanging out by our computer with this video on the screen. It got lots of giggles and I can admit it was a bit fun creating the video!

I've been totally slacking and have no pictures to document the life of our elf, but Emma enjoys searching for him every morning. Where are some of the places your elf has been?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Homemade Wrapping Paper

I meant to get pics of this process, but it's pretty self explanatory and a certain little one was less than cooperative towards the end anyways. We simply took a couple of old grocery bags, cut them up and used red and green bingo markers to give them a polka dot look. I know the grandparents will love opening their gifts adorned in paper made just for them by Emma's little hands.
Just a word of caution- the heavier bags can be tricky to wrap with- they need lots of tape to help stay closed. I also added some ribbon to spruce them up and reinforce them.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mrs. Claus is Coming to Town

Every year we have an annual Christmas get together with my mother-in-law's side of the family. Due to the large number of people, we meet in a local school gym for pizza, snacks, games and a visit from someone special. Santa used to grace our group, but has since retired and we now have Mrs. Claus (aka Grandma Klein) visit instead. She reads a story to the kiddos and then passes out a gift for each child.

I know that Emma wouldn't fall for this gig forever, but I figured we'd have at least another year to figure it out. However, shortly after Mrs. Claus came out my daughter looked at her and said, "I thought Mrs. Claus was coming to visit us tonight". When Mrs. Claus responded, "Yes, that's me" Emma looked right at her and said, "No your not, your Brama Klein!" We told her she was wrong, but I'm not sure we convinced her. Guess there will be no fooling her next year!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Let the Holiday Baking Begin!

I had a little helper in the kitchen this week, doing lots of food prep for upcoming parties. It got a bit messy, but we had lots of fun! She gets a kick out of using the mixer, but I think the end result was enjoyed even more: