Sunday, December 20, 2015

December little things

I can't believe that we're at the tail end of December already!  The Christmas shopping is done, the kids are officially on winter break, and we're {mostly} prepared for our upcoming trip to Texas.

Here's what else we've been up to...

We had a number of repairs and maintenance work done on our van.  Yuck.

I was having pain in my left foot that only worsened over time.  I scheduled an appointment to meet with a podiatrist-- which they cancelled-- and my regular doctor couldn't get me in for at least 2 weeks.  So I visited the MedCheck around the corner and Summer was sweet enough to tag along to keep me company during the hour and a half long wait.  Diagnosis: inflammation.  Lame.
In case you're wondering why anyone would bother to put a "zero" on the pain scale hanging up in the doctor's office, it's reserved for the perfectly healthy 5-year-old who is happy to be spending time with their mom.

Some days technology is my worst enemy.  I'm trying to limit the kids' screen time but it's easier said than done.  Technology is everywhere.  When we go to the library for storytime, the kids would rather play games on the iPads than sit and listen to books.  In the grocery store there are kid's movies being played on the big display TVs.  I feel a sense of satisfaction when the kids play quietly on their own...until they ask to listen to music on my phone, then throw a fit when I say no.  I realize these scenarios are not life or death, but they are relentless and exhausting.  The world we live in is so different from the one I experienced as a kid.

Although it's frustrating trying to constantly keep my phone out of the hands of my two-year-old, there are a few perks.  Jackson has managed to capture a few little things of his own.

For instance, the day I got to catch up with an old friend and snuggle her sweet baby girl.

Or the day I surprised Kylie at her school to have lunch with her.
Kylie must have taken this one... 

And there are approximately 73 pictures just like this one on my phone at the end of each day.

Jackson sure loves his older sisters.  It warms my heart to watch him blow kisses through the window at preschool each morning.

Summer got to go to a fun birthday party at a pottery painting shop.  She had such a blast. 

Josh's college buddy and his 3 sons stayed with us for a weekend.  I love that they make time to see us whenever they're passing through.  It's fun to watch the kids play so well together.
P.S. I'm amazed that Josh has known this friend for 18 years and they're still super close.  That's pretty awesome.

The kids played a few Christmas Minute-to-Win-it games.  I don't know who had more fun, the kids or me!

Josh got to see the new Star Wars movie on opening day for a company outing.  Kylie was a little jealous {why, I'll never know...} but she seemed content to play with the light saber on the back of her go-gurt.

 And the Christmas activities are coming to a close.  Five more sleeps until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Well, not outside.  We're still having 50-60 degree weather.  CRAZY! {but lovely}

Our elf, Pixie, has been showing up in some strange places.  The girls practically sprint out of bed each morning to see where she's hidden next.

I made a Christmas wreath for our front door.  Sadly, it doesn't even begin to compare to our neighbor's Christmas lights.  Oh well.  There's always next year.

Each day the kids and I do one small Christmas activity together.  One day we made gingerbread play dough.  Another day we had an indoor snowball fight using socks.  We baked Christmas cookies and wrote letters to Santa.  These activities are awesome because a) they're very simple, b) they build anticipation for Christmas, and c) they keep my kids away from the TV!

Summer had a cute little Christmas program the other night at her preschool.  Her class learned American Sign Language to the song "Away in a Manger."  She's a natural performer.

Our church put on a Christmas brunch earlier this month.  I was skeptical because in the past we've always had a fancy dinner but it was actually really awesome.  Kylie was in heaven coloring on the butcher paper table cloth, and Summer enjoyed dressing up Olaf the snowman.  And whoever thought of having a cereal table in addition to the breakfast casserole, fruit, and donut tables was a genius!

And {not pictured} is the super fun Christmas get-together we hosted with a bunch of our neighbors.  While the kids played happily in the basement, the adults chatted and ate too many Christmas cookies :)  We really lucked out in the neighbor department!  Except when they make our house look like the dud on the block because of their gorgeous light displays.  Ha!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Lights

Just a few minutes from our house is a pretty sweet display of Christmas lights.  A local tractor company sets them up every year and people come from near and far to see them.  The best part is that you don't even have to leave the comfort of your car!
 There are displays that pay tribute to good ole Indiana.

And some that are just for fun.

But my favorite ones were those that reminded us of the reason for the season.
That huge cross is lit up every single night, all year 'round.  I love it.

"I hope you will take time this Christmas season to sit for a few quiet moments and let the Savior's Spirit warm you and reassure you of the worthiness of your service, of your offering, of your life.  Sit quietly with that little baby and come away spiritually strengthened and better prepared for all that is going to come later.  Let that moment be one of rest and refreshing and reassurance and renewal." -Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Giving Thanks

We decided to head up to Michigan this year for Thanksgiving.  But first, some of our dearest friends paid us a visit on their way to see family.  They are some of my very favorite people.

As soon as our friends took off, so did we.  It made for a later-than-usual arrival but it was worth it so we could avoid having to travel on Thanksgiving day.  This is what Thanksgiving with the Jefferson side looks like:

The girls had been fighting sickness for a few days leading up to our trip, and unfortunately it caught up with Jackson.  He probably got the worst of it.  I hate seeing him sick, but man, I love those cuddles!

Regretfully, we had to cut our stay a teeny bit short but the time we were able to spend together was so worth it!
 'Til next time {ha!}