Monday, December 30, 2013

More December Fun

Sweeet, shameful Piper - Look at that nose - you think she was out digging in the mud?

An impromptu shower for one of my oldest friends, Shelley and her little boy Daniel.
The girls posing in the Christmas decorations at Church

Santa brought the girls scooters and we have had a blast with them!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Nutcracker ICE

Another fun tradition we try to do each year is visit the Gaylord to see the ICE exhibit.  This year the theme was The Nutcracker and we were lucky enough to get the Sook family there with us, too!

Checking out the Gingerbread houses and trains before ICE!

The cousins ready for the COLD!

Aunt Sandy took Jillian through her first ICE exhibit just like this but tucked inside Sandy's massive coat. 

Our whole group - so much fun with so many people we love!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

This year Christmas was a little different.  And I will admit, I was very sad about all the differences.  First off, my grandma had been in the hospital twice since Thanksgiving day.  After she left the second time, she was sent to rehab with no chance of actually being home for Christmas.  That meant, that although the plan was that we would spend time with her on Christmas Eve, we wouldn't get to spend as much time with her - and not only that, she would be spending a lot of her holiday in rehab and not with us.  Then to top that off, we found out the day before Christmas that Meredith had strep and both girls tested positive for the flu.  This news meant that we could not chance having the girls around my grandma who was still weak nor did we want them around Landon or especially baby Carter.  So suddenly, our typical Christmas Eve that consisted of Christmas Eve service and the evening with the Geurin family, turned into a day at home.  To make it a little easier on me (and my very sad mama) I went, by myself, over to the Geurin celebration on Christmas Eve day, but it just wasn't the same.  We were blessed to have a great time with our family of four and that the girls were actually doing really, really well - hardly acting sick at all (of course that made it hard to stay home, feeling like maybe they were fine after all!) 

While spending time at home on Christmas Eve we had some fun making Gingerbread houses.

After that slightly different Christmas Eve, we got the girls to bed in time for Santa to come for a visit.
Santa must have thought we were pretty good this year!

The girls were super surprised that Santa brought them a Barbie Dream House - he had promised them he had an idea for them that he knew they would like but that wasn't on their list, and boy was he right!
Meredith wrote a note to Santa on Christmas Eve with a special request.  I planned to purchase a new stocking for Piper this year, but was never able to find one that I liked.  I finally decided that she could share Coki's stocking.  The problem: it had Coki's name on it.  No big deal, I would ask Gigi to fix it, since she was the master of stocking names at our house.  But with all the craziness with Grandma and hospitals and everything else, it just didn't happen.  We assured the girls that Santa would still know that the stocking was for Piper.  But in Meredith's Christmas Eve note, she asked Santa to use "his magic" to put Piper's name on the stocking.  Now, without magic, Santa might have been a little overwhelmed by the fact that he did not have any appropriate materials for this request - especially since reusing the piping on Coki would be difficult since it was a shorter name, or that he might have felt that finding this request the night of when he still had an entire Barbie house to assemble might have made this request out of the question.  But Santa came through and Meredith (and Piper) were so excited!

Meredith and the magic stocking!
Piper was maybe a little more excited about what was in the stocking than the name, but I am sure she appreciated Meredith's request!

Piper thinks her first Christmas was pretty great!

Every year, we all wear Christmas PJs and take a self-timed family pic.  This year we tried and tried to get one that included our wiggly puppy.  Then we gave up.  And then....

Puppy Photobomb!  Perfect - it is a framer!

No Piper, but still a cute (sleepy) family shot!

The girls each got new jackets - Meredith's is a green Teen Beach Movie-inspired biker jacket and Jillian's is a Fresh Beat Band Rockstar jacket that I "made" (and by that I mean decorated!)

Meredith fell in love with Toys R Us' version of an American Girl doll because her name was Meredith.  When she started requesting a Meredith doll, Jillian insisted she get a Jillian doll.  Problem: there isn't a Jillian!  Luckily, we have photoshop and I doctored up her name tag in the box and voila! Kendall became Jillian (shhhh!)

After our family time, we headed over to the Hanks house to celebrate with them and eat a yummy brunch.

The girls by the Hanks Tree.

Later in the day, we were able to finally celebrate with my parents.  It was really bitter sweet - of course it was a great time, it was just hard doing it without the rest of the family.  

Meredith got one of her big asks - a Flutterbye Fairy

And Jillian's most requested item - A Tinkerbell "Rolling House" (aka camper)

We finished up the evening with a Cookie Cake celebrating Jesus' birthday!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Bumblebee Christmas

What fun to get to celebrate Christmas with Jillian and her class!  They enjoyed a yummy lunch, fun crafts and great games!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Big Day for Meredith Ann

Earlier this Fall, Meredith began asking us lots and lots of questions about what it meant to be a Christian.  She has come to us with these kinds of questions several times over the past few years and we answered them but didn't push too much, being cautious that she might be on the young side for such a big, big decision.  But as those questions ramped up, we decided to sign her up for a class our church does for kids for several weeks.  They go through lots of the same kinds of questions she had been asking, talk to them about baptism and communion, and teach them about prayer and scripture.  Immediately after the first meeting, she started telling us she was ready to be a Christian.  Again, we were a little hesitant and told her to keep praying and going to her class.  That night, I went to the grocery store after putting the girls to bed.  When I got home, Neal showed me this note that she had written.  I immediately cried and prayed, asking God to forgive me for doubting this sweet girl.  I went in immediately to pray with her, but she was already asleep.  Again, I prayed throughout the night and the next day.  At bed time that next night, November 4th, Neal and I held her hand as she prayed to ask Jesus in her heart.  I am not sure I have had a better moment as a mom.  This moment was the single most important mothering moment of my life (with Meredith anyway).  
Note written on November 3, 2013 translated - "Mom and Dad I want to be a Christina now.  I want my sins forgiven"

After her prayer, we set up time to talk to the Children's Minister, Mr. David.  He talked to her about what all of this meant to her, he shared his testimony with her and asked me to share mine as well. The next step at our church is to make a public profession of faith.  We had to "plan" this to make sure that we would be in town as well as Bubbie who wanted to watch her granddaughter go down to the front.  So on December 15th, the three of us walked to the front of the church where she shared her decision with Dr. Wiles and the rest of the church.  Such a sweet, sweet day.
Dr. Wiles presenting Meredith to the church

Sending my little girl off to Sunday School on her big day!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

All Aboard!

What a fun Saturday Morning!  We caravanned with Meredith's Girl Scout Troop to the Omni in PJs to watch the Polar Express.
Posing with her friends, Mirabel and Hannah

All the girls after the show!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fielder Road Christmas Program

Not sure what I am going to do next Christmas without getting to see this sweet program!  Jillian did a great job (despite not being thrilled with what mama chose for her to wear - mostly the shoes.  She insisted that she should wear her purple fleece-lined boots.  Finally we compromised....she wore my shoes for the program and as long as she smiled and didn't complain, she got to wear her boots after the program.  I think that is a win for me?)

Love all the animation and smiles from this little girl!

Proof she wore the shoes!

Posing with her Bumblebee friends after their program!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Iced in!

Winter weather in Texas is always fun!  This year has started off without exception.  A crazy, crazy ice storm that had the whole metroplex shut down for basically 5 days!  People think Texans are crazy - but really all that white you see in the pictures is NOT throw snowballs and make snowmen snow.  This is ice.  But we still got out to play in it - especially since we were going a little stir crazy.

Bundled up and ready to check out the "snow"

Piper thought it was pretty great too!

We did lots of ice skating on our drive way.

So we did make 2 snowmen after lots and lots of effort squishing chunks of ice together.  

We also raided the cabinets to keep us busy baking! We made pizza, donuts, and cookies!

And there was lots of cuddling!

We also took a tub out to the driveway for some fun, fun sledding!

Cabin Fever didn't affect me or the girls too badly, but Daddy was itching to get out.  He concocted a plan to WALK to a Campo Verde, a Mexican Restaurant that he thought was less than a mile from our house.  Game for adventure, we all bundled up to go get some warm food!

Daddy had kind of questioned why the world had shut down until we actual got out on the streets and sidewalks - it was a slippery nightmare.  I really was worried that we were all going to fall about 100 times on the trip!

Finally!  We could see Campo in the distance - it was a little further than he thought and we were frozen, but we were rewarded with queso!

Walking to Campo in the Ice Selfie

The girls posing with the crazy Campo decorations, ready to head home

The trip home was a lot more daunting.  But it was fun!

Taking a break from sliding for a pic.

Later on, we warmed up by the fire with smores - yumm!