Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day!

After a wonderful Christmas mass last night, we woke early this morning....ok, I woke at 4:00 and excitement kept me from going back to sleep so we all got up at about 4:45.  
We've enjoyed opening gifts and playing with our new gadgets and toys throughout the day.  We've also spent the day in our pj's enjoying the yummy treats found in our stockings,  playing games and watching a video of Gracie's first Christmas home.  Oh the memories!  
Gracie has learned some truths of Christmas this year and it has truly deepened our family and faith Christmas experience.  
We know that the greatest gift we have or will ever receive is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  
Blessed Christmas everyone!

She came running.
so excited to see some things from her list
We have certainly been entertained today.  
A new bone...We let Molly get into her stocking first so we could all enjoy the morning. 
Lily Grace has been about to burst for weeks.  She couldn't wait for me to open my gift from her and Matt first thing this morning. I love my new Apple watch!

Matt and I were pretty excited for Gracie to open a gift as well.  We had our own surprise.
She got an Apple watch also!  Her squeal and excitement were adorable. 

Daddy with a new reel...ready for Montana.

Everyone got in on the karaoke today.

I unwrapped a gift from Gracie to find this very sweet message underneath the wrap.  
All in the mix
two excited girls
It didn't take long before Molly was played out.
Apparently Matt played himself into a late morning nap too.

This afternoon Gracie Cakes is trying out her Pottery Wheel.  (after we wrapped the entire island with plastic wrap as I could just see the clay flying)  Her daddy offered to be her assistant.  

Remember the movie Ghost from 1990? (It was the first movie Matt and I saw together.) Well, Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze there are not.

He did put up her hair for her to keep it out of the clay.  I love watching him with her in such a gentle way.  

Can't wait to see her first creation. (and how long she keeps her assistant who's full of suggestions)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas! Christmas Card Out-Takes

Here it is, this year's Christmas card out-takes.  
Needless to say, sitting just wasn't happening.

We tried standing and Gracie got tickled and I'm pretty sure it had something to do with wrangling Molly still. 

Lily Grace made a shoe change and Molly started settling in.  
Merry Christmas!  Peace be with you all!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Last Days Before Christmas Break

Lily Grace only had three days of school this week.  The principal let them have Christmas dress down days.  Lily Grace loved it and it was quite the fun way to end school before the break.  On her last day, Wednesday, she pulled out her favorite Christmas sweater, a pair of reindeer ears and gave herself a red nose.  She was the cutest reindeer I have ever seen.  The last day also brought with it the School Spelling Bee for 5th-8th grade.  She was quite nervous but did a great job for her first year.  She made it longer than a lot of upper grade students and was one of the last fifth graders to get put out.  We were quite proud of her.  

Her first night of Christmas break, she and Molly enjoyed their annual sleep out by the Christmas tree.  I use "their" loosely.  Molly only made it through half of the movie before coming to the bedroom for her usual spot.  

So cute!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Bob's Been Busy

Bob's been quite busy around here as we count down to Christmas day.  

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Holiday Pops!

This year we decided to take a break from the Nutcracker and attended Holiday Pops instead.  We had a great time listening to the Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir perform traditional and contemporary Christmas music.  It was lively and entertaining and the sing along was a lot of fun!

Wasting some time before the show started

Hilarious! Gracie handed me my phone back before the show started with this funny picture she had taken of herself.  

Friday, December 16, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday Molly!

Molly is lazy, she sheds like crazy, she's always hungry, she has selective hearing, loves getting dirty and into the mulch but we love her to pieces.  She is such and good and loyal dog.  She brings a lot of joy to our family.
Happy 6th Birthday Molly!

Bob Elf brought Molly a new toy for her birthday.  He also brought Lily Grace the new 'Best Friends" angel for her Willow Tree Angel collection.  

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Oh! The Excitement!

Living away from family, Lily Grace receives several packages during Christmas.  As they arrive, we allow her to open them.  Last week after school she received a delivery from Honey.  She was thrilled just knowing it was from Honey and what was inside got her even more excited.  
Honey sent her a cute little sewing machine and her first Willow Tree Angel.  Lily Grace is starting a collection and thought it was quite special to receive the first from Honey.  Her big smile says it all!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas.  He is best known as the Patron Saint of Children and for his generosity and assistance to the needy and sick.
Did you remember to put your shoes out last night?  We did and woke this morning to shoes filled with candy canes, oranges and chocolates.  (For the record, Matt was digging through his shoe before anyone else).  What a wonderful way to start the day!

Bob Elf Makes His Return!

Bob, our Christmas elf is back!!  He returned last weekend and things have already been quite busy in the few days he's been back.  
We are having so much fun and the Christmas spirit is in abundance throughout our house.  
Through all of the fun and antics around here, it's Wednesday evenings when we meet as a family in front of the nativity for the rosary, or each night when we sit down to dinner and Gracie lights the advent wreath that means the most to me. It is a special time that we all cherish.  
Thank you Heavenly Father for loving us.  Please be with us and open our hearts during this time of advent as we await the coming of the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ.  
Matt and I woke Saturday morning to giggles and  calls from Lily Grace that she was trapped.  Bob attempted to block the stair platform with a Christmas tree made from plastic cups and crepe paper strewn about.  
Apparently upstairs got a little decorative treatment as well.  Balloons trailed from Lily Grace's room down the stairs.
Like last year, she tried to crawl under the paper to avoid breaking it so it could stay up for the day.
Once downstairs,  she was greeted with Bob Elf and a table full of goodies. 
Reading her letters.  Bob had her break codes and find coins around the house in order to win the goodies he had brought.  
She got right to work cracking the clues. She and daddy searched for coins to fill her pouch. 
Her final clue..she solved it in 32 seconds
Bob brought her favorite donuts for breakfast.
He also brought her a new game called, Codenames.  He got a little crazy with the tape and we had to get out the scissors.
This is where we spent the majority of the day Saturday after waking up to Bob.  We spent the day staying warm and playing Codenames.  We love family games. 
Gracie threw all of those balloons downstairs and these two couldn't resist trying to hit each other.
Molly was afraid of the crepe paper so we spent the day laughing at her trying to get around it.
And in true form, she sprinted through the crepe paper on Saturday night on her way upstairs to bed.  
Sunday morning brought more goodies from Bob.  He left us a new gingerbread house kit and Gracie some much needed new pjs.  

Sunday after church, while the snow fell fast and hard, we all contributed to the gingerbread house. Gracie Cakes did most of the decorating though. 

We think this is our best house yet!
Gracie also spent Sunday afternoon doing some Christmas decorating her in room.  According to her, she had to get the spirit flowing up there.  It is definitely festive.  Matt and I loved watching her decorate and laugh the afternoon away.
Pink Christmas lights and blue sequin fish around the bulletin board..just what every room needs.
Vanity of snow globes and of course her nativity.
I'd say the Christmas spirit is flowing in here now.  She talked her daddy into a pink LED light at Lowe's earlier in the afternoon and oh yes!!! It is certainly colorful and PINK.  So much so that it makes the turquoise walls look purple when her lamp is on.  True Gracie style!  I love it!
It seems that Sunday night Bob had a slumber party in the basement and we woke to this mess on the Ping Pong table along with swirling disco ball lights.  
He also brought Gracie some more pjs and a new robe.  All we could do was really look at this scene.  Too funny!
My two favorite Advent traditions, lighting the Advent wreath to begin our dinners together as a family and...
sitting as a family before the Holy Family for the rosary on Wednesday evenings.