December 30, 2013

2013 Christmas Day

Our Christmas Day was fun filled!

We had to wake up Abby about 7:30 because her Mimi was almost here and we didn't want her to miss out. We have minimized Santa in our house, so there were no new presents under the tree from overnight. We had left her a note from Holly (our Elf on the Shelf) that she was gone until next Christmas and she had fun and will miss Abby. She also praised her to all the times she saw her share, encourage and give grace to others. 

Before Mimi arrived, we sat on the floor and opened our stockings. Lots of great little things packed into those big plaid socks this year!

Mimi arrived about 7:45 and it gave me just enough time to put this beauty in the oven. I love Cinnamon Roll French Toast casserole on Christmas morning. We also had sausage balls and fruit salad. 

Abby opened new Little Mermaid legos and had fun impressing us with how well she can assemble them by herself. The directions on those were all pictures, so she did great!

Mimi opened a new tablet and had fun learning all the bells and whistles. She has an older laptop and flip phone so the world is apps is all new and exciting.

We assembled pizza balls (recipe coming soon!) and our Jesus birthday cake before heading to my Dad's house for a late lunch.

We played a new game- on the blog here- and had the most fun! The adults were into it as much as the kids and Abby was the big winner! She got a Target gift card. The rest of the prizes were little fun things- like Peppermint Oreos.

Cohen opened a new airsoft gun and the guys and kids had fun shooting in the country. We also played mafia together and learned quickly who is a good liar and who stinks! Cohen and Kyleigh could not fool their parents!

We were home by dark and brought Kyleigh home for a few days. It was a wonderful day!

December 27, 2013

2013 Christmas Eve and Eve Eve

I am going to break Christmas up into two posts....

On Monday, the 23rd we joined our friends in Cedar Park to walk through Chianti Court. They live within walking distance, so it is wonderful to grab a drink, bundle up, and walk over to the most well lit and decorated street in our area. 

Every house goes ALL OUT and in the middle of the cul de sac, they have food, drinks, Santa and even had Monday night football on a big screen. They are serious and we love going!

We started a new tradition this year.... opening wise men gifts on Christmas Eve. It is three gifts in the vein of the gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold that the wise men brought to their king. We talk about Jesus being born, how He still is our King and what gifts we would bring.

Gold is something of high value and therefore it was something Abby really valued this year. She opened a baby doll that you can dress, fits in a stroller, etc. It is the Target version of an American Girl and she has not left her side since. We named her Goldie and then Kia Luca Cora. Who knows what will stick!

The gift of myrrh was given as a perfume- it made you smell good. So, we did Disney Princess bath toys. There are the five major Princesses. These were bought on the cruise in September and she loves them. We had to balance out the Star Wars. They will be great at the pool this summer.

Frankincense was an emblem or prayer and a perfume in sanctuaries, so we viewed it as something spiritual. Abby received a new Veggies Tales DVD and CD to represent frankincense. In future years, I imagine a devotional for the new year.

After our wise men gifts, we drove to my sister's house for Christmas with her and my Mom. We had a yummy BBQ lunch and my aunt and her boyfriend joined us. We did gifts to and from Mom and with the kids.

My Mom and the grandkids.... age 12, 9 and almost 5.

After spending the day with my sister, we came home, changed clothes and went to Christmas Eve service. It is always wonderful to stop with "santa", light a candle and sing Silent Night with other believers. I love Christmas Eve service.

Christmas Day coming soon.... it involved shooting guns and playing mafia!

December 19, 2013

Christmas Program

Abby had her Christmas program at school on Wednesday night. It is always fun to see the kids sing and dance an entire song since we've been hearing bits and pieces for weeks now!

Nana came into town to see Abby's program. Abby was so excited to have Nana there that she called out to her from stage two times. Oh the lack of shame a kid can have!

They did a great job singing a handful of songs and doing sign language and dance moves with each. Her school does a great job with the kids.

Abby has become smitten with this sweet boy, Micah. I understand from the teachers that all the little girls like him. They bring him gifts, want to sit with him, etc. He is sweet as can be!

Abby has two little friends at school with her, just in other classes. Lila was all decked out for the program in the most beautiful dress! She was so sweet to give Abby Lu some of her roses.

Abby's other friend is Lilia that we met in dance class more than 2 years ago. She turned five the day after the Kindergarten cut off, so she is in the Fab Fives class with a bunch of boys that were held back! Abby is always so excited to play with Abby on the playground, during music and at chapel. Abby shared a rose with Lilia. :)

One more day of school and we are out for two weeks. We have a low-key, but super fun holiday break planned!

December 16, 2013

Busy Times

Here are a few snapshots from our past two weeks....

I am busy prepping for Abby's 5th birthday party with a candyland theme. There will be lots of candy and fun bright colors!

Gymnastics is going really well. Abby just blends right into her class which is a far cry from earlier in the year when she would cry, throw fits, and refuse to try. Her sweet friends Addison and McKenna are loving gymnastics, too!

Abby brought cookies to a Christmas party last week and took her job of decorating VERY seriously.

We had planned to see Main Street Bethlehem in Burnet Friday night, but it rained all day. So, we had dinner with our friends and then drove through the lights display in nearby Round Rock. It was nice to be warm in the car and see all the lights.

Watching the lights was exhausting!

Wednesday after school I took Abby to get her hair trimmed and we had her ears pierced. We had talked about it numerous times and just did it. She had them pierced at age 1, but an earring fell out, was lost, and the whole closed up quick. So, we waited until she wanted them and did it again. No tears at all. And, among all the sparkly earrings, she chose these simple crosses because "Jesus died on the cross." 

Saturday morning, Abby had breakfast with Santa at the local YMCA. It is our third year and always lots of fun! They do a craft, take a picture, and eat treats with Mrs. Claus.

I just love her Christmas dress this year! It was under $20 on Zulily a few months ago. She'll be wearing it again to church on Sunday and Christmas Eve, plus I am certain it will fit next year!

Our elf Holly has been visiting us each night. One night, she wrote a little note to Abby in candy!

Saturday was Abby Daddy day, so I went to New Braunfels to see my sister and spent the day with Kyleigh. We had fun talking about school, cheerleading, friends, homework and the like. Loved it!

I asked Abby if she wanted to paint her nails red for her Christmas program. She was all excited to have them painted and asked that "they be gold like the bright star when Jesus was born". Girl is rocking the "reason for the season" this year. Thank you church, school, bible study and choir!

One night last week Abby took it upon herself to spray her perfume before bed.... into her right eye. It was awful. She laid down with a wet washcloth on it and eventually let me add some drops. She was super sad and very brave.

We have been baking like crazy. I made over 250 cookies for Marcus' clients and then on Sunday took these pretty cookies to our Sunday school party and cookie contest. They won Prettiest cookies. I think they are quite pretty and tasty, too! 

Hope your busy holiday season is enjoyable, too!

December 09, 2013

Abby's Christmas Choir Concert

When we left our church of 10 years last fall, I was so concerned about Abby's sweet little friendships there. I didn't want her to miss out! After much prayer, we did leave the church but we have made the effort to keep her in church activities there. Our new church doesn't have as many activities during the week for kids, so we've tried to find a balance between both churches.

This year she did choir. Last year, she did AWANAs. And, we both do VBS each summer- she attends and I volunteer. It is my way of giving time back to the church that is shaping my little girl in so many ways.

So, we've attended choir practice each Wednesday night and last night, we saw the results of all that practice! She always wants to visit the Garden of Hope before church.

The church was all decked out for the program. It was choir, orchestra, full band and sweet little kids singing and playing.

 They sang two songs and did wonderful. Abby's last big public performance was her Christmas dance performance two years ago and she was awful (and funny, but don't tell her!) . This time she wasn't still or singing every word, but I loved seeing her progress.

She sang and smiled and lifted her dress and played with her hair. And, I was the proudest Mom.

And, then she did this! God love her. She raised her hands to praise Jesus with her song something her Momma has never done. I sing at church in the audience on Sunday morning, but hate to draw attention to myself and most certainly never raise my arms. Love that she had the confidence to just do it! 

December 06, 2013

Abby Santa

We have taught Abby that anyone can be Santa and give her a day each year to be Santa by purchasing and donating toys to other kids, just like Santa does. This year, we went to the Chuy's Kid Giving to Kids parade downtown for her to donate two baby dolls she had picked out.

Before the parade started, we stepped over the white tape on the street to snag a picture on Congress Avenue. When else can you stand on a street downtown and take a picture with the Capitol behind you?

When we found out our friend Ainsley was going to, we made plans to meet up at the same end of the parade. The girls were so good about watching it all from their strollers! It was a little cold, but overall they did great!

Here are some of our favorites:

These guys drove in circles the whole time. Fun little cars!

I caught him about to do a pop-a-wheelie. The little tire on the back (just behind his thighs) let them go a little crazy!

The big blow ups were super cool. It felt like Macy's NYC parade! :)

This was probably Abby's favorite. She loves this movie!

And, this was Marcus' favorite. She was wearing his R2-D2 beanie hat, so the Star Wars characters pointed and talked to him.

There were also lots of princesses and Snow White brought her dwarfs!

About an hour into the parade, the floats stopped and the designated ones collected toys from all of the viewers. It was cool to see so many toys donated at one time. I loved the parade and hope we make a tradition out of it!

We left after an hour and walked to lunch with our friends. We then walked in a few shops on 2nd street before making our way home for naps.


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