Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas

So much done in so little time! Christmas is always so busy. I love the excitement and the hustle and bustle and I also love the relaxation afterward. That is just setting in for us today. It's about noon and I have accomplished nothing and that is sort of glorious.
So, down to business, I've got a lot to catch you up on. After Isaac's birthday, we buckled down to finish a lot of work before Christmas vacation. Bella and Hannah completed a unit on Israel which included some time learning about Hanukkah. We made Latkes and they were delicious and a big hit w/ the kids. I think they may make a regular appearance at TLC meal time. You have to shred onions to make them and the kids were all concerned that their eyes would burn. Somehow in the midst of all of our messes they scrounged up a pair of sunglasses for each of them to protect their precious little eyes. They all looked so cute making Latkes in their shades lol!

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is decorating. I love all of the lights and how the house looks all pretty and full. My mom's house is particularly stunning. She has a room w/ snowmen on the mantle and a red white and blue hallway w/ nutcrackers going up the staircase.
My dad puts the lights up outside, in proper cable guy style, using his bucket truck. This year my boys got to help. Ian loved being up in the bucket w/ Papa. Isaac preferred being the ground man and he did a great job. I love watching them do stuff with my dad. I am so glad the Lord blessed him w/ grandsons (and me with sons of course). He really needed that after so many years with all us girls lol!

Of course we decorated at our own house too. A few years ago Jason's Aunt Sheri and Grandma gave us some beautiful decorations that they weren't using anymore and I am so grateful when I pull them out every year. We took a family trip to get a Walmart lol! No traditional trudge through the snow w/ a saw but it was still a hilarious adventure. After unsuccessfully trying to tie the tree to the top of the minivan we all got a good laugh about shoving it in the van for the ride home. The kids were very impressed with dad's super strength as he through the tree over his shoulder and trudge across the parking lot. It was a Charlie Brown tree for sure (what do you expect from Walmart) but graced with all of our special ornaments it was strikingly beautiful in my opinion. The kids did a great job decorating it. I had many plans of handmade gifts this year for Christmas. It would have been good to start in August but true to my character I started (and finished surprisingly) in December. Before the Christmas gift making rush we made my cousin Jacob a cake for his 13th birthday. The TLC kids made candles out of our old crayons and boxes of love to give as gifts. We also made candy cane ornaments and cookies to go w/ our Legend of the Candy Cane lapbooks. I had planned a few other things but time got the best of us.

Of course I had to give a gift to each of my students. I had to be frugal and wanted it to be practical so I made them aprons. You might have noticed we do a lot of cooking so I think they will get some good use. Not being much of a seamstress, I decided to use pillowcases because that gave me some already finished edges. I borrowed Seven's sewing machine and away I went (not really knowing what I am doing). They came out pretty cute and I was very proud of myself. I became ambitious and even decided to sew some fleece hats and scarves for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. Not a pro by any means...but its the thought that counts. After such a successful sewing endeavor I decided to try to do almost all of my gifts handmade. Again, something I should have decided in August. I made soap, sugar scrubs, lip balm, jewelry, crocheted hats, a recipe box, a journal and pen set, and repainted a children's table that has been in the family for a long time. I think I'm going to start a homemade gift business. Isabella (who is my excellent helper) decided we should call it Misabella. So all of our gifts came w/ Misabella Handcrafted Gifts on the label.

We had a big snowstorm (two actually) and they were very helpful in that they kept me home and cozy making all of my gifts. It was delightful but that's enough for me. It's almost melted now and I hope we don't get anymore until next December.

We started some new traditions this year. Aside from stockings, we decided to only get one family gift for the kids and one special gift from Daddy. Daddy couldn't wait to give his gifts so the kids got them two days before Christmas. He got the boys nerf guns and Bella the book Anne of Green Gables. About 15 minutes after the guns were opened it was decided that Bella and Daddy also needed their own nerf guns and they went to Walmart lol. They have been a big hit. We've had to lay down lots of ground rules (such as no shooting mommy w/o permission) but so far it's been fun for everyone. The boys love them so much they decided to pose with their nerf guns in their Christmas Eve duds. I don't know where Ian learned to pose like this but I had to laugh. He looks like a little mobster in his fancy Christmas vest.

Christmas Eve we went to Jason's mom's house. We hadn't spent Christmas Eve with them in years so it was really nice to be with everyone. It was a night filled with all of the traditional Christmas memories/ The kids had a blast with their cousins and I ate way way too much. Wrapping paper was flying everywhere and we could barely fit the kids in the car with all of the presents. We took a great picture of all of the grandchildren and great grandchildren in Jason's family. His Grandma is in the middle of the picture. She certainly has a lot to be thankful for and she definitely doesn't look old enough to have that many grandkids and great grandkids!!! There is also a picture below of Bella and her Auntie Mary. Everyone always says that Bella looks just like me but that's just because you don't know Mary!

We spent the night at my mom's house on Christmas Eve and had a lovely Christmas morning. I wasn't the only busy bee getting thoughtful handmade gifts ready. My sisters were also very creative. It was such a great morning full of love and laughter. Angela and Kimmy made the boys a big box of dress up clothes and accessories...policeman, postman, zookeeper, doctor, pilot etc. They love pretend play and they have been on many adventures already! Angela gave Bella a beautiful puppet theater that will make a wonderful choice time activity for the TLC and Kimmy is treating her little Princess (Bella) to a night in the castle (A really cool castle like hotel that her boyfriend Joe works at). Everyone was so blessed! Our gift to the kids is a trip to Boston to go to the Aquarium and the Science Museum. It was creatively presented with a poem and lots of other little gifts that went along w/ the poem and the theme of the gift. We won't go until the spring so it's something to look forward too! My mom and dad got everyone thoughtful gifts too. Isabella's favorite seems to be the little 1/2 gloves that came on top her her regular gloves. They are so 80's! She loves them and hasn't taken them off. Ian was enamored with his barrel of cheese balls and Isaac loves the new Hot Wheels track. Madi looked adorable in the little hat I made her, I was so happy it fit! She also loved the table that I refinished for her. It was my mom's when she was little, her dad made it for her. We had it when we were little and My kids had it for the past few years. They have pretty much outgrown it now though :( so it was Madi's turn! I painted it to match her new kitchen set.

We came home and had a very relaxing afternoon and a wonderful meal that Amira prepared. The kids had won a coloring contest through Serve New England, a food co-0p we recently rejoined, and the prize was a holiday meal basket. It came w/ a turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, veggies etc! It was such a great blessing...and to have Amira prepare it was an even greater blessing!

Last night we went back to Mom's to have a Christmas celebration with my mom's side of the family. My mother, again, prepared an incredible meal and the kids were so excited to see their cousins Camrynn and also Angelique, who lives in New York. It wasn't a great quantity of time but filled with quality time. We can't wait to see them again soon.

So that's it for now. The rest of the week will be filled w/ cleaning, re-organizing, and getting ready for school to start again...and plenty of playing and relaxing too I'm sure!



Anonymous said...

It sounds like you all had a wonderful Christmas! I love the nerf gun picture! Have a Happy New Years!

Anonymous said...


I'm glad you had such a wonderful Christmas. I'm not to pleased with the snow comment though, and wish you lots of snow for the rest of the winter and on into the spring, lol. I think the the homemade gifts business is a great idea and would be glad to help in any way. I still think Bella looks more like you than her aunt, but that's just my personal opinion. Have a great and blessed New Year. And see you Sunday.

Ben Wibby

Gishtu said...

that nerf picture made me laugh so hard i had to call my dad in to look at it. i saved it too. haha..

Jenn Y said...

The table looks great! Glad you all had such a nice Christmas!