Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vintage Decor

Christmas. It's the one holiday each year when someones house can be completely transformed from some festive decorations. We actually didn't put out all of our decorations this year, but I do love the few things that we brought out.

I have a gorgeous white Christmas tree in our family room that I purchased at a garage sale in fall of 2010. For $10. Yes, you read that correctly. Last year we only had black ornaments to put on the tree. This year, I finally got my topper-a black, glittery star. I love it!

You'll notice some paper chains coming off one side of the tree. Preston made those at church. He's supposed to take one chain off per day to countdown to Christmas. Well, he didn't want to mess up the chain so it's been left completely intact.

A friend of ours gave us a little pink tree with some ornaments. It's just what Kaitlyn has always wanted and it looks great in her room.

We also have two other trees that haven't changed from last year. You can read about those here.

I love the vintage, rustic Christmas look. I especially love vintage Santas. They have a classic, traditional look that makes the home feel cozy. Here are a couple of my favorite Santas that I have in my house.

He sits on top of my organ, next to a metal Christmas tree candle.

This Santa is a little smaller and stands on my buffet, next to a sleigh full of ornaments.

I also like rustic, traditional looking reindeer. These 3 metal reindeer sit in a corner of my kitchen counter.

This basket of scented pinecones ($5 at Hobby Lobby) sets on my coffee table in my formal living area. It smells so good as you walk into the house.

This is the top of my buffet. I've never decorated it like this before and I love it. The square plates were given to me as gifts over the years. The reindeer plates and mug on the right I purchased after Christmas at Hobby Lobby one year for just a few dollars. My little vintage Santa, sleigh, and ribbon Christmas tree are in the middle.

The ribbon tree I made in a couple hours last weekend. I really love it and can't wait to make more. I found the tutorial on Pinterest.

My friend gave me a couple of these ornaments last year. They have a black/white design to them. I decided to hang the from the buffet. I may keep them up all year!

Next, is our formal dining room table. The smaller red hurricanes I got on sale at Kirkland's. The taller hurricane I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby (can you tell I love that place?). Craig inherited the Christmas dishes from his grandmother. We have the entire set plus the flatware and serving pieces. We have not used them yet, but are looking forward to next Christmas.

I don't know where Craig's Grammy got the dishes, but they will always stay in our family.

This beautiful Christmas block was made by my mom (that's where I get my skills). It looks great on my long kitchen counter. Thanks Mom!

So that's just a taste of what our home looks like. My taste has definitely evolved over the years, but I think I've finally settled on a theme that we both like. It may not look perfect, but it makes our house feel like a Christmas home.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Badge Time!

We are part of the Assembly of God denomination. There are classes for the children called Royal Rangers (boys) and Mpact Girls (girls). These classes are held weekly during the school year and teaches the children God's Word while earning different badges. The program starts with 2 yr olds called Sonshine Kids. Then 3 and 4 yr olds are part of Rainbows. When the children get into Kindergarten is when they are divided by gender. The program can go all the way through the high school years if desired. I was not part of an A/G church as a child so I never got to experience this program. However, Craig remembers his time in Royal Rangers and is really enjoying the program with our son.

Twice a year are the badge ceremonies. The kids get their badges, certificates, and receive special recognition for all their hard work.

The year started off kind of rough for Preston. All at once he had to go to 'big' school, try football (didn't work out, but that's another story), and then go upstairs in the Children's building to be with the older kids. He is the youngest and smallest boy in the class, actually in all his new classes. Adjusting took a lot of time, especially since Preston was used to his mama being with him ALL THE TIME! Side note: it was hard for Mama too!

Eventually, Preston got used to it and loved having his dad with him in class to help out. We worked very hard on his badges and was the only Ranger Kid to earn 2 badges this semester. He also earned 4 achievement patches that go with his badges.

Mr. Dave does a great job leading the boys every week!

As usual, Preston is stuck to the side of one of his parents!

So proud of my big boy!

Then, it was Kaitlyn's turn. This is her third year as an Mpact Girl (2nd year as a Prim), so it's no big deal for her. From the very first day, she always did great and is very independent. So far she's an Honor Rainbow (so is Preston) and Honor Daisy. This semester she earned 4 more badges. Awesome!

Kaitlyn got to hold the Mpact Girls flag as they said their pledges.

Proudly showing off her certificate.

After the ceremony, she made a snowman craft. Very cute!

I had to fish this out of her church bag.

So proud of all their accomplishments. They earn great badges and prizes while learning about God. Such great discipleship training!

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it."-Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Birthdays

We have 2 birthdays to celebrate in December. First, Craig had his bday. We went to Chili's for dinner and I made him a homemade apple pie for dessert. Yummy! In the past, I would always secretly call his Store Manager on his bday and they would do something special at work. Well, I had to think of something different for this year since Craig is THE Store Manager. As soon as he left for work, I called his Customer Service Dept. and talked to them. They said they would take care of it. Sure enough, they did. Craig said when he walked in, there was a bouquet of balloons, a cake, and all the employees yelling 'Happy Birthday'! Great job Kroger employees!!!

One employee decided to get Craig a present-this gigantic box of chocolates. Nomnomnom!

One of the gifts we gave Craig was a mug customized with the kids pictures on it. He loves it. Craig can now drink his hot chocolate (he doesn't drink coffee) and see some cute pics at the same time.

Then, it was Kaitlyn's bday. She turned 8 years old!!!! Where did the time go? Since we already had a joint bday party for her and Preston in the fall, we just did something very low key. She took cupcakes to share with her class. In our district, treats have to be store bought and the ingredients must be on the package. This rule is in place because of allergies. I miss the days of different homemade treats. That was always so much fun!

Every day during announcements, the school office lets the birthday kids say their names over the PA and they get a birthday pencil. Side note: Kaitlyn has on pajamas and pigtails. Her bday fell on the day of her Winter Party (Polar Express theme-another blog to follow) and that is what they got to wear for the day.

Craig took the day off so we took the birthday girl, and her brother, some lunch. She says she has a tater tot tongue in this pic.

After school, Granna and Granddad (Craig's parents) came over and we went to dinner. Kaitlyn chose Pizza Inn. We filled our tummies with pizza and salad and then came back home for a cupcake cake.

Finally, it was time to open gifts. This is a nice card from her great-grandparents in Arizona.

They also wrote her the sweetest letter that she read out loud to us. It's definitely going into the keepsake box. Though Kaitlyn and Preston have never met their great-grandparents, they know all about them and always love the cards, letters, and magazines that they send.

Here is a present from Aunt Kim and Uncle Doug in California. They know Kaitlyn loves Littlest Pet Shop.

She got many other gifts from us and other family members. Kaitlyn loves the Lalalooopsy doll from Wana and Papa (my parents, and yes, I know their nicknames sound different). Her big gift from us was a touch MP3 player. She was super excited and can't wait to download all sorts of music onto it.

The birthdays were great and we enjoyed the low-key celebrations. With Christmas and our anniversary coming up, it seems as if December is full of presents, cake, and treats. However, those are just a few of our activities. Stay tuned for many more blogs to come!

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas-And I'm Tired!!!

It's almost the middle of December and it feels like it's been forever since I've updated our blog. The days have been flying by and we have been so busy. Things are gradually slowing down (not stopping, just slowing down) and I can finally catch up on some posts.

First, I was in the annual Christmas of Lights Parade with my church choir. It's so much fun to be in it every year. I get to hang out with my church family on the float, sing songs, and see lots of people that come out to see the parade.

Hear are Mary and Joseph before the parade.

This is a trolley from another church. Pretty cool!

This float is from one of the electric companies. It was really nice.

Something unusual happened that night of the parade. It was warm! It was 20 degrees warmer than last year. Usually we were all bundled up, but everyone was just wearing light jackets. I saw some parade watchers in shorts. We did get sprinkled on by the rain clouds, but nothing that drenched us.

A couple days after that, we had our first annual Christmas VBS at our church. It was actually something I didn't have to plan! A lady in our church had this on her heart for awhile and said she would organize everything. She did indeed! I answered any questions she had, but really didn't have to do anything else. I really think she could take over my job for the summer VBS and I would have no problem with that! I will really pray about it.

It was a one day event and had stations just like a regular VBS. Here is the Bible station with the angel appearing to Mary.

In the snack station, kids decorated cookies and talked about Jesus being our special gift. Preston enjoyed his cookies.

The games were held indoors. Kids had to compete to see who could unravel toilet paper the fastest.

Finally, the story of the Candy Cane was told in the Craft Station.

Then, the kids decorated the candy canes to look like sheep.

After the closing assembly, all the kids were fed a pizza lunch.

This is our awesome Children's Pastor talking to the kids.

Preston and Kaitlyn had a great time.

Finally, our local house band, DB3, put on a mini concert. I love them!!!

It was a great day and lots of children from the community came to the event. They got to hear the real meaning of Christmas and have fun at the same time.

Stay tuned for more events!!!