Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas At Our House!

We hosted another holiday at our house this year. Instead of driving to my parents house in Abilene, most of my family came to our house.  It was the four of us plus my parents, one of my sisters and her two kids, one of my brothers, and my niece, who flew in from Nashville.

Everyone did a great job on Christmas Eve helping out in the kitchen, whether it was preparing the food or washing/drying the dishes.

Unfortunately, poor Kaitlyn came down with a terrible ear infection from a cold she was just getting over.  She was in pain and tried her best to enjoy the festivities when she could.

My sister, Dominique, was in pain after cutting and taking out the seeds from a bunch of jalapenos to make some poppers.  Her hand is trying to cool off in some cold water.  I said it was worth the pain because the poppers were soooo good (stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped with bacon).  I don't know if she agreed with me!

When Kaitlyn was feeling better, she enjoyed time with one of her cousins and their American Girl dolls.

Here are my parents snuggling on the couch.

I was able to get a picture with Kaitlyn before she ran off to play.

Of course, it's just not Christmas Eve without 24 hours of A Christmas Story playing on TV.  Love that movie!!!  (When Dominique and I were little, we re-enacted the "show Mommy how the little piggies eat" part.  My mom got sooo mad and still can't stand that movie to this day!)

My brother brought me some beautiful flowers!!!

We had a traditional Mexican Christmas Eve meal of homemade tamales and homemade posole.  We had these yummy foods growing up, so I love that we are passing on the tradition.  

We like to open gifts on Christmas Eve so it was time to head to the formal area and pass out the gifts.  Santa was generous.

We are a blessed family.

The grandparents even brought something for their granddog-Paul Mitchell dog shampoo.

I don't think Princess was too impressed.

Santa joined with Craig and I and got Preston and Kaitlyn their own iPod Touch.  They were ecstatic!!!

Soon, it was time to head to bed and we set out some sweet tea and Mexican Wedding Cookies for Santa (his fave at our house).

Christmas morning came quickly and we headed downstairs to see Santa's goodies devoured.

The kids headed straight to their stockings and found iTunes gift cards to use for their iPods.  Santa is so smart!!!

Surprisingly, something was left on my stocking and it wasn't from Santa.

It was a small gift from my hubby of 13 years since we were celebrating our anniversary that day (yes, we got married on Christmas).  He got a long stem rose box from his floral department and filled it with my favorite coffee pods and dark chocolates.  I absolutely loved it!!!  He says it was all his idea and there was no research done on Pinterest.  It's definitely pin worthy though!  We will celebrate our anniversary some more on a later date.

As tradition, Craig made biscuit donuts for Christmas breakfast.

It wasn't too long before it started snowing...and snowing...and snowing.  I usually have a huge aversion to snow from previous experiences of driving in it.  However, since we stayed home all day, it was very nice and pretty to have a White Christmas!

We ate dinner around 5 pm and had so much food.  We had turkey breast, spiral ham, and all the yummy sides to go with it.

We stayed up until almost 1 am playing Pictionary Man and charades with the Taboo cards.  We laughed sooo hard!

The next morning, we woke up to this beautiful, peaceful blanket of snow.

Everyone left that day and I took time to reflect on the holiday and all the fun that was had.  It was a relaxing, peaceful Christmas that I look forward to again and again.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fall Badge Ceremonies

It's badge time once again for Kaitlyn and Preston.  Preston's ceremony for Royal Rangers came first.  He got to hold the Christian flag during the ceremony.

He did a great job reciting all the pledges.

Preston sat so patiently while watching the other boys receive their badges.  Check out the ones he already has on his vest!

Then it was time for the Rangers Kids, Preston's group.

He was very proud of the 6 badges he earned this fall.

The week after Preston's ceremony, Kaitlyn had hers with the Mpact Girls Club.  She also got to hold a flag during the ceremony.

Kaitlyn is in the Stars group and these are all things she has to know about her group.

Kaitlyn earned 4 badges this fall and a star for reciting the Books of the Bible in order.

She got to make an ornament after her ceremony.

Kaitlyn LOVES crafts so she really enjoyed making simple ornaments.

As usual, we are super proud of all their hard work these past few months.  We know it wasn't easy having to complete all the tasks and memorize lots of Scripture.  But we continue to base our family on this verse:
"Train up a child in the way he should go, 
and when he is old he will not depart from it."
-Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, December 29, 2012

December Birthdays

We celebrated 2 special birthdays in our family this past month.  First, Craig turned another year older.  He actually had his work Christmas party to attend on the night of his bday (we had Mexican food for his bday on another night).  So, we got dressed up, the grandparents came to watch the kids, and we headed out.

It was a formal banquet held at a Marriott in North Dallas.  I didn't really know anybody, but met lots of people and ate some delicious food.

The pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy was the best I've ever had.

Who doesn't love a huge slice of cheesecake?

To Craig's surprise, his associates brought him a huge gift basket with his favorite goodies.  The tag says "Enjoy A Movie Night On Us".  Despicable Me was in the basket with some popcorn and candy.  It was so thoughtful. 

We got home late that evening and Kaitlyn had left a surprise for Craig.  Notice how the chocolate candy cane is half eaten?  I guess she just couldn't resist!

Kaitlyn's birthday fell on a Saturday this year.  It was also the first night of our huge Christmas program at church.  Since she had her birthday party a couple weekends before, it was just going to be a day of small celebrations.  First stop, McDonald's for lunch.

Then, she had a McFlurry for dessert.  It was a special treat since she's usually not allowed to get dessert at McDonald's.

That night was our Christmas Program and she actually had a ballet solo.  I was so proud of her and that she was brave enough to do it!!!  I was the choreographer, but I was not the one that picked her for the solo.  But it did make it easier to work on the dance at home.  Kaitlyn sang with Preston and the other elementary kids as well.  I worked with all of them and was super proud of the job they did.

Afterwards, the Stage Manager surprised Kaitlyn with a huge cupcake cake that she shared with the other ballerinas.  Such a nice treat!

We actually went home to another dozen of cupcakes that I had ordered from my friend, Amy, for Kaitlyn's birthday.  However, we did not eat those until the next night.

Craig also got each of us a dozen roses for all of our work during the program.  He got Preston some candy.  :)

Finally, I was able to bring Kaitlyn her birthday lunch at school on the following Monday.  It felt even more special considering the tragic events that had happened in Connecticut that previous Friday.  We had a great lunch together.

Of course, I brought some food for her brother too.  He was acting so goofy the whole time.

That afternoon, I joined her class for the birthday song and special treats that she brought for everyone.  They make the birthday student stand on a chair in front of the room so they can sing to them.  Kaitlyn was so embarassed.

Since the treats have to be store bought, we just picked up some boxes of Little Debbie's Gingerbread Men and passed them around.

 It's always a little hectic trying to celebrate the two birthdays during the holiday season, but we always find the time.  And we always make it special.

Happy Birthday Craig and Kaitlyn!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kaitlyn's Birthday Letter

Dear Kaitlyn,
It has been 9 wonderful years since you entered our lives.  God gave us everything we had prayed for when He entrusted you to us.  You were a miracle that we continue to be thankful for.

You have become such an independent person and quickly maturing before our eyes.  You love sharing your artistic side whether it is through art, music, or dance.  Your eagerness to try new things shows that your fearfulness is fading.  We love sharing these adventures with you.

You have become a great example to those around you and willing to share a teaching moment with those that may not know better.  You've handled difficult situations with such grace and dignity and it reveals what a great person you are becoming.

More than anything, you love Jesus.  You are eager to attend church and just absorb all you can.  Seeing you worship Him fills our heart with an unspeakable joy. 

We just love seeing you blossom into such a beautiful young lady, yet it is bittersweet.  Thank you for letting us have a glimpse as to what your future could possibly be like. We are extremely proud of you!

We love you, KK!
Dad, Mom, and Preston