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Archive for December, 2010

home sweet home

Well, we made it.

In the past 13 days we’ve packed up our gifts, our dog, our three girls, and crammed our van full then hit the open road as soon as school was out on the 17th.  We drove to WV to spend a few days with my family and enjoy a huge, chaotic, enjoyable time with extended family.  Then we drove for 12 hours (got caught in a two-hour accident scene) to the other grandparent’s house.  Rose, G, and I all fought a nasty cold that kept us up at night and seemed like we’d never breathe normally again.  We thoroughly enjoyed taking Kait to New York City on Christmas Eve, then we laid low at the grandparent’s for a couple more days.  We headed back on Tuesday, and after spending another full day in the car, we rejoiced to be home in our own beds and very thankful that the girls did AMAZING through all the travels.  G figured out that we drove 1,660 miles PLUS about 250 miles to and from NYC.  That’s a LOT of time on the road with little ones in just 12 days.  We really enjoyed our time with family, and we are thankful that we have no planned road trips on the horizon.

We’ve spent the past two days stocking up at the grocery store, doing load after load of laundry, packing away Christmas decorations, enjoying some Pioneer Woman recipes for dinner, and scouring our town for a pair of ice skates for Kait.  Whew!  We need some vacation from our vacation.  We’re still not completely unpacked, but maybe by tomorrow?

We have no big plans for New Year’s Eve.  Too tired.  And, oh yeah, we have little ones who go to bed at 7pm.  We hope to rent a movie to watch with Kait and spend a fun day with friends on New Year’s Day.

Happy 2011, everyone!

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In case you have ever considered doing some last minute, Christmas Eve shopping at the Toys-R-Us in Times Square, let me suggest that you reconsider.  Unless you relish waiting in line for 45 minutes or more and the fear of losing those you are with, never to see them again because it appears as if all of New York City has descended on that store at the same time as you.  Go ahead . . . ask me how I know.

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G and I had a delicious time with our big girl on Christmas Eve in the big city.  Precious memories.

Why is she smiling so?

Here’s a clue.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have more than 300 pictures to sift through.

Hope your Christmas was as beautiful as ours.

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traditions

I was a wee bit late, Ok, really, really late, with our tradition of decorating a gingerbread house and adding it to our my Christmas village display that appears every year for the month of December.  We finally decorated our gingerbread houses on Tuesday, at my  parents’ house, so these beautiful creations will not join the Christmas village this year.

Rose threw her whole self into decorating.

Pendo quickly discovered that eating the decorations was more fun that putting them on the house.

Rose decorated,

and Pendo ate.

Kait decorated her house all by herself this year.

After they finished, they were eager to eat one.   Yum!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

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The girls, especially Kait, are very excited about our snow.   We’ve bundled up a few times and headed out to play.  G has yet to dig out our sled (it’s a little buried under the porch), so the girls had a blast enjoying my parent’s sledding hill a couple of days ago.  This was both Rose’s and Pendo’s first real experience with sledding.

Rose smiles from ear to ear the whole way down.  Every time.

Pendo is a little more cautious, but will not be left out of the fun–even though she and her sweet little cheek met the asphalt up close and personal on her second time down the hill.

Could she smile any bigger?

Here you can see Pendo’s “owie”.  I love how it looks like someone kissed her with lipstick.

G had to get in on the action, too.  Looks like we’ll be playing in the snow all winter long, whether I like it or not.

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it’s coming

Yesterday I realized the Christmas really is almost here.  Today I put the second angel on my beloved, treasured,  Amani Ya Juu advent calendar.  I was able to get it for my birthday and Christmas  last year when we were in Kenya (yes, I’m one of the “lucky” ones whose birthday is close to Christmas).  I particularly like this advent calendar because it combines our love for Africa with the beauty of Christmas, and it is hand-sewn by some beautiful African ladies.

See, here’s the humble hut just waiting for the stars of Christmas.  Won’t be long now until they take their rightful place this year.

I think I’ve been enjoying the Christmas season more this year, in some ways.  A friend of mine introduced me to a blog that is beautiful and deep, and I only “get” about half of it, I’m sure.   But Ann has helped me slow down and really think about the meaning of this special season of the year.  Kait and I are going through her Jesse Tree Advent, and it has really blessed me.  It’s amazing to see God’s plan from the beginning of the world as it culminates in the birth of His Son.  Of course that’s not the end. I look forward to reading what Ann has to say around Easter, but for now, I am slowing down and reflecting more this Christmas.  And I love it.

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a new way to the manger?

Rose has been enamored by our Little People nativity set this year.

We play with it every day, and I love, love, love when she pipes in and tells the Christmas story along with me.  Precious memories, I tell you.

When she’s playing with the nativity on her own, sometimes she adds some creative license.

At least Jesus is driving the bus, right?

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jingle all the way

We can hear Pendo all the time now.

I put jingle bells in her hair for fun this week.  One of our Kenyan friends puts a little jingle bell headband in her daughter’s hair each December, so I thought I’d try a little variation on that.  I don’t know how she sleeps with them in, but she doesn’t seem to mind at all.

We’ve been really busy the past few days.  Kait was in the local holiday parade with her Girl Scout troop, so we all bundled up and went to watch her march down the street.  The little ones explored this nativity before the parade began, and my battery died so I have no good pictures of the actual parade.

We also decorated the tree.  (Yes, our ceiling is too short for our tree to stand all the way up.)

We’ve been busy baking cookies, finishing up shopping, wrapping gifts, and getting ready for the annual Christmas camp out in our living room.  There’s still lots more fun things we have planned before the big day.  I hope you are having as much fun this month as we are!

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