Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  Our house sprung to life about 5:30 this morning. Gracie was beyond excited to get downstairs and we have all had a wonderful morning.  
We've had so much fun watching Lily Grace!  Hearing hear play and seeing the delight on her face is truly something special.  
We thank everyone for your beautiful Christmas cards, warm wishes and gifts.  
While we have exchanged and unwrapped gifts this morning, we know that the greatest gift isn't under the tree.  Our greatest gift is and always will be the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.  Thank you Jesus for loving us so very much!  
May the peace of our Lord be with you today and always!  
Santa made his way to our house.  No matter how old she gets, it's always those first moments that capture my heart.  

LG loves mysteries and this detective kit is sure to get a work out.
LG and Maryellen

Matt and Lily Grace commissioned Ashley to do this beautiful church piece for me.  I have been so excited to unwrap this thing.  I can't begin to describe how beautiful it is in person and this photo doesn't do it justice.  I wanted a new piece for the upstairs hall and LG and I fell in love with Ashley's churches.  Once opened, I looked on the back to see she had titled it, "Blessed Beyond Measure."  Needless to say I teared right up.  I say this often and feel it even  more.  Thank you Ashely for this beautiful piece.  Your love for God truly shows through it. I love having your work hang in our home.

Lily Grace has really been hoping for the Grace's American Girl Patisserie.  She's looked at this large box sit by the tree for days.  I simply told her that it held gifts for her from the family.  This year, instead of several gifts under the tree, her gran, grandma, grandpa and Matt and I went together to give her this very special gift.  She knew getting it was more likely not to happen.  I can't begin to tell you her excitement and how much play this thing has already seen this morning.  She wasted no time getting out one of her American Girl catalogs to see how they had set it up.  Thank you so very much to both sets of grandparents for making her wish come true.  I know this is something she will remember and  cherish.   
This is the priceless look on her face when she finally realized what was in this box.  She looked at me as if for reassurance that it truly was what she thought. 
Wasting no time setting up shop
All in the mix of course

About mid-morning, Molly finally started to wear down.
Beautiful!!  Thank you Matt for going out yesterday and getting the hardware to hang this.  You know me so well and knew that I would want to see it up right away.  I love you!

And on to fashion designing and another nap for Molly.  Side note:  Molly isn't the only one asleep in this picture. (Matt)

Oh What Fun!

Gracie and has been out of school the whole week, Matt's been off work and Bob has been keeping us entertained.  
We've so enjoyed all of this family time and had fun baking, playing games, bowling and hanging out.  What a blessing to have this extra time together this special time of year. 
Bob left us a gingerbread kit.  Gracie did a great job and declared this her favorite house to date. 

LG and I did some baking and made one of our favorites, Red Velvet Cake.  Jessica sent her this new adorable apron for Christmas which made cooking a little extra special.  

Gracie camped out in the living room by the Christmas tree one night.  
Bob made his way to Matt's office upstairs and photocopied himself and left little friend behind...
a snowman built with toilet paper and a pair of Lg's socks.
The snowman themed continued when we woke Christmas Eve to find Bob in the kitchen chandelier, a large snowman on your door and presents left behind with a goodbye note for Gracie Cakes. He left us two games which we enjoyed playing all morning Christmas Eve.

Bob certainly does keep her laughing during his stay.
Putting our her goodies for Santa before going upstairs to bed
This year Santa was treated to Macaroons with his milk.  Lily Grace also left a goodbye thank you note for Bob.  It's always hard on her heart when it's time to say goodbye on Christmas Eve.   Until next year....

Christmas Card Out-takes

It's always fun to go back and look at all the  pictures we took to get that one that will eventually grace the yearly Christmas Card.  Going back and looking at the our-takes has become one of my favorite things to do.  Now, throw in a dog and well.... that's probably enough said.  
This year proved to be no different.  We raced a camera timer, changed positions a few times, got lost in the moment, laughed a lot, got frustrated some and found out that a glass of water set right down in front of Molly is interesting enough to hold her attention.  It even brought a smile to her face for our final picture. 

From our family to yours,

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas fun at School

The last week of school before Christmas break was one of my favorite weeks when I was teaching.  There's tons of excitement, lots of laughter and a few casual days mixed in.  Well, things haven't changed and Lily Grace is having a fun and exciting last week of school.
She got two dress down days this week.  On Wednesday, she shined nice and bright in her festive Christmas colored outfit.  On Friday her class was allowed to wear pajamas for a cozy day filled with cocoa, sugar cookies, Polar Express and laid back FUN!
She loved wearing this bright and colorful outfit to school and while this picture doesn't do the brightness of those pants justice, she was as always, cute as a button.

I had to go in and get cocoa simmering for her class party and caught her and her good friend Lily relaxing in their PJ's with a book on my way out. How fun and cute!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bob and his Crazy Antics: A Guest Post by LG

Hey! This is LG. My elf, Bob, has arrived! Of course, he is very crazy. We've all had a very fun time with him. I don't really want to type all of the days, so I'll just tell you the important days. On December 5th, he went bowling at Candy Cane Lane on our island. Mom had to move the pins and the stand that he put up. He also gave me 3 envelopes. The first one was labeled "To Lily Grace." It was from Santa Claus! He sent me a reminder to send him my letter. Then I opened the one that was labeled "1." It said that there was 6 candy canes hidden around the house. If I found all 6, I could open the envelope that was labeled "2." I found them, and I opened the last envelope. It had a Crazy Pinz gift card in there! I LOVE bowling! Another day he was up in the light fixture in the kitchen. Underneath were 2 red jars, 1 red and white striped bag, and a letter. It said that inside the jars was North Pole sugar, and inside the bag may look like pink jelly beans, but they were actually magic Christmas beans. The letter told me to get a rectangular dish, to pour 1 jar of the North Pole sugar in, then put the beans in, but do not drop them because the magic would be lost.  Then pour the other jar of sugar in and place in the refrigerator, then check in the morning! I couldn't wait to check it. In the morning, guess what it turned out to be? 4 raspberry macaroons! Dad had 2, and I had 2. Another time he was doing pull-ups on Dad's TRX. He scattered pipe cleaners and some of my Jinga blocks on the floor. He put my dolls and horses on the table along with my stuffed rabbit and fake elf. He spelled out "Funny" with my Jinga blocks and used pipe cleaners to make a funny face. Ha Ha Ha. On Molly's birthday (or today) he gave Molly 2 balls and some dog treats. Apparently he thought the treats were gingerbread cookies because they were shaped like them. He left a note saying "BEWARE!!!! Lily Grace, these gingerbread cookies are disgusting!!!!! DON'T EAT THEM!!!!!! Happy birthday to Molly. Hope she enjoys the balls. But do not eat the cookies!!!!!!!!!" Crazy huh? Well he really did try a cookie. There were crumbs in his mouth and he was smiling a lot less. Bob is a nut, right? I think this year, his antics are a lot crazier than usual. We've all had an amazing (and crazy) time with Bob this year.
Bob looks like a mummy wrapped up in tape!
This is the day when Bob gave me the North Pole sugar and the magic Christmas beans.
Planting the beans!
Sorry, I ate a macaroon before I took the pic.

Bob went to Hawaii while we were at Chicago. Lucky elf!

Exercising while also being fashionable.
Yes it is funny even though you made a gigantic mess Bob.

Yes, eating a dog treat is probably gross. But still, Happy Birthday Molly!