Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas!  I hope that your day has been full of joy, laughter, and thanksgiving.  I know ours has.

This year marks the first Christmas that the Steorts family did not travel.  And as much as I love traveling, I have to say that it was wonderful staying home.  We slept in.  We relaxed.  We spent quality time together as a family.  And we enjoyed making the day ours.

Surprisingly, many of our friends also stayed in town for the holidays, so a bunch of us gathered together on Christmas Eve.  The kids played, the adults chatted, and everyone ate really delicious food.  We had a great time!


When we got home, everyone got dressed for bed and then we finished out the last of the Christmas preparations: cookies and milk for Santa, a final Christmas story time,  and placing gifts under the tree.  The kids were SO excited to finally bring their carefully wrapped presents out of hiding.


Christmas morning was so wonderful.  Everyone slept in {including the dog} and the kids couldn't wait to see what Santa had brought them.


 Here is a peek at some of the treasures we unwrapped today:

                                      An Amazon Fire tablet                                            New clothes

A snow globe, which is extra special to a certain 6-year-old.
 

A Mickey Mouse apron for a little boy who loves to help out in the kitchen
 

 A guitar {don't worry, the broken string was fixed before it was given}

 And my personal favorite: a digital copy of all of my recipes.

Josh spent weeks gathering all of my hard copies of recipes, typing them, finding pictures for them, and compiling everything into OneNote.  Now all of my recipes are in one place and accessible from any device.  I enjoy cooking and I love adding to my recipe collection so this was a super thoughtful gift :)

The reveal of this particular gift was also fun.  I opened a box for an iPad mini {which we already own} to find this note:


Then this one:


And finally, the recipes, all organized in neat little tabs.  My man knows me well.


And then there were the pleasant surprises: Christmas cards from dear family and friends...


And an Amazon gift card from a super kind anonymous family!  We have no idea who sent this to us but we are so very grateful!


Christmas is my favorite time of year: the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people.  But the very best part is celebrating the birth of our Savior.  Our family was privileged to participate in our church's Christmas program and the Spirit could be felt in such a big way.  The girls did a lovely job singing their parts and Josh did an amazing job creating a program and leading the choir.  Being involved in that performance made Christmas that much more special.

I have so much more to document, hopefully in the next day or two, but until then I hope you all continue to enjoy the magic of this Christmas season!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Life lately

 The first snow is always magical, don't you think?


Especially when it's your first snow ever.


Jackson LOVES the snow.  No matter how cold it is outside, he's in heaven playing in the white stuff.



As cumbersome as it is to dress him in winter gear several times a day, the effort might be worth it.  Because when he's cooped up inside he gets bored, and when he gets bored he gets clever.  He has officially outsmarted the child locks.  Why?!?!?!


I'm doing my best to keep him interested in less destructive activities, like color-sorting.


We're going strong with our Christmas book reading.  Summer is especially into it this year, probably because she is beginning to read them on her own.


Summer lost her first tooth the other night.  She is incredibly happy about that!



Sometimes she's so cute I just have to squish her :)  Those little pink glasses are my favorite.  Although, she figured out the other day why it's not a good idea to wear them in the snow.


Kylie worked really hard on a project about sound.  She's a smart one, that girl.  The other night she started looking through an encyclopedia and making a list of colleges she's interested in.  I hope she doesn't plan on leaving anytime soon! 

 
 

The girls dressed up for Career Day at school.  Summer wants to be a singer and Kylie a fashion designer. 

 

On Christmas Day the girls will be singing the first verse of Silent Night with some of their cute friends.  

 

While the kids enjoy reading Christmas books each night before bed, the mornings are also an exciting time as they search for Pixie, our elf.  She's been in some pretty interesting spots.


This time of year is just my favorite.  The music, the traditions, the child-like excitement-- I love it all.  But the food is also pretty high on my list.  Last week I got together with some of my friends from church for a potluck lunch and it. was. amazing.  We know what we're doing.



I tried the curbside service at Meijer and I think it changed my life.  My groceries were collected and loaded into my car minus the hour of pushing a cart and bribing my 3-year-old with suckers and gum.


Josh and I got to attend a super fun ugly Christmas sweater party.  It was also a white elephant gift exchange, which was hilarious.  It was hard not to laugh when one of my closest friends opened Josh's gift: a Richard Simmons VHS tape.  

Don't you love the holidays?


Sunday, December 4, 2016

November wrap up / Bring on Christmas

For some, the day after Thanksgiving is all about the shopping.  For us, it's about decorating.  Out with the pumpkins, in with the evergreens.

 

Since we'll be home for Christmas this year we decided to take a stab at hanging Christmas lights.  And by "we" I mean Josh.  I think he did a great job!



The girls are still loving gymnastics.  And sometimes if I'm feeling generous I'll let Jack come too.


The puppy training has its highs and lows.  One day this week I finally got Roscoe into his Gentle Leader harness, which one of us loved.  And another day Roscoe jumped up and ate a sandwich right out of my hand.  It's very clear that he has more respect for Josh than he does for me, but regardless of his disobedience we're still buds.


Summer had an assignment as school where she had to disguise a gingerbread man so it wouldn't get eaten.  I gave her several suggestions but she had her heart set on Harley Quinn.  I think it's so funny that she and Kylie have such an interest in her when they've never seen Suicide Squad {or Batman for that matter}.  But Summer had a great time making her little gingerbread person and I guess that's all that matters.


The baking has begun!


Last week at work Josh received tickets for the Indianapolis Zoo Lights.  It was fun walking around looking at all of the Christmas light displays and checking out the animals.  

Reindeer

Sharks

Tropical fish

Sea lions


They even had cookie decorating, which the girls thoroughly enjoyed.




 OK, Christmas, we're ready for you!