Tuesday, December 27, 2011


it wasn't a white Christmas (in fact, it was a rather warm mid-40s on Christmas day)...but we were surprised to wake up this morning and find a yard full of snow (that just keeps falling). hooray for snow angels, sleds, and snowmen. :) elizabeth lasted the longest out in the cold...and i think she would have stayed out even longer if she wouldn't have been hungry for lunch. :)

Christmas 2011

this is how pictures typically go...half smiling, half sulking...at least they are all looking in the general direction of the camera ;)

better :)

have i mentioned how much kate LOVES luke...seriuosly...

mike and me...ready to head to Christmas eve service

luke digging China Buffet...our Christmas eve dinner...a fun (and easy!) tradition

home from Christmas eve service and dinner...awaiting their Christmas eve present

he's waiting too! ;) he loves to do this with his bottle lately...goofball!

bathrobes...instead of jammies (which we have in abundance, we did robes for Christmas eve this year)

the calm and serene before the chaos of Christmas morning

kate woke us at 5:45...not so much because it was Christmas, but because that is how she rolls. she got to help cut and fry up the beignets...then we got everyone else up for the morning....and, yes, by early afternoon it was very apparent that someone had woken up way too early ;)

checking it out!

posing for mommy...see jilly munching her beignet...yep, there were lots of tears about that beignet moments after this pic...but we won't go there...just bein' real ;)

excitement over luke checking out his stocking

kate finds her spin-brush in her stocking...she shrieked, jumped, and did a dance afterward...yep, toothbrushes make us happy around here. seriously, the girls don't have a Christmas list (it is blissful, really...people asked them what they wanted and, for the most part, they looked at those people like they had three heads), however, they both REALLY wanted a spinbrush....i mean, really, really, really wanted a spinbrush

jilly and her stocking

luke opening

jilly and her duck whistle from libbers...this thing is HILARIOUS!

libbers and kate...lots of their gifts were matching...so they opened simultaneously

i got a new showerhead :)

pillow pets...if you want to see the video of them opening these let me know, i'll e-mail you the link...it is hilarious....and noisy and chaotic. this was what i was most excited to see them open...and they are definitely excited about them! jilly opened hers up and jumped right on to "ride" it...elizabeth and kate followed suit, and they have dragged them everywhere they go for the past 48 hours. :) kate calls hers hermit (no, that is not a typo...HERMIT) the frog ;)...elizabeth's is elizabeth the unicorn...and jilly just calls hers "elphant"...luke didn't name his ;)...but he got a lion

we had a brief respite (a nap for the littles) and the big girls and i decorated our birthday cake for Jesus...they came up with the idea for the design and i helped them pipe it on.

then grandmommy, poppy, and GG showed up, and round 2 commenced

elizabeth opening her ice skates...now we just need ice!

poppy helping luke

i'm not sure who was more excited about the rumbling truck...luke or poppy...probably poppy right now...luke just wanted to eat the paper ;)

kate helping GG open

poppy found gifts at the last minute and couldn't resist...here they are opening their sock monkeys and frogs :)

luke helping me open

we did play games and wii and eat and visit after all of the unwrapping...but we were too busy to pick up cameras!

waving bye bye at the end of a full, fun day!

winter performance

on the night of elizabeth's winter performance some sweet friends were willing to watch jilly and luke so that we could enjoy some alone time with kate and have a less interrupted viewing of the performance. :) we took kate to dinner while elizabeth had rehearsal at the church...and, oh my, kate ate up all the attention...sweet girl so rarely gets both daddy and mommy all to herself!

then we headed to the church to watch the performance.

here is libs with her friend chelsea...

so grown up!

they sang jingle bells with the 1st graders...elizabeth got to ring the bells, and then they recited the poem they have been memorizing all semester, "The Statue of Liberty for Kids".

afterward we attempted some pics while they were dressed up...attempted is the key word! ;)

december days

december is one of my favorite months...advent, lots of family time, the building of excitement as Christmas day draws near, a festively decorated house, snugly up inside while chilly weather abounds outside. in my dream world everyone is full of joy and love, and peace reigns in our house. in my dreams we calmly enjoy our advent devotional each evening during dinner (a dinner that everyone eats without complaint or tantrum), and then we enjoy some blissful family activity from our muffin tin advent calendar. people, i don't live in a dream-land. truth be told, it was messy december more than often...fighting for joy, struggling to get through dinners and devotionals, tears and tantrums more than occasionally, a mommy and daddy who often longed for one long evening off, many chances to ask for forgiveness, and many chances to extend grace. and yet, in the midst of the reality of life...especially life with 4 kiddos 6 and under....we did snatch so many moments of togetherness, so many snippets of peace and joy, and we did have plenty of loud, noisy, chaotic fun. here are some sneak peeks...in reverse order, since that is how they uploaded, and, well, i just don't have it in me to rearrange.

watching the grinch and eating homemade pizza....while mommy and daddy munched our pizza on the couch and savored a few seconds of quiet

luke is such an eater...oh my goodness...my grocery bill might quadruple if he keeps this up. he loves anything and everything...especially if it is what we are eating AND if he gets to pick it up himself! he chowed down on pizza!

daddy and libbers with her finished graham cracker house...she was sooo excited about this. she drew gingerbread house designs all month long, even making a list of all the supplies i needed to purchase for the making of the real thing. i cannot believe how quickly she is growing and maturing...to think that 6 years ago at this time she was a tiny little almost 3 month old...

kate and daddy with her finished house...kate loved this...but most of all, i think she enjoyed eating it!


jilly and daddy...cheese!

a determined decorator

spreading some frosting

little man and mama

luke, hanging out and snacking on cheerios, while the rest of us do projects :)

my precious, noisy, goofy, beautiful gifts

kate with her pre-K teachers' gifts

finished teacher gifts...sock snowmen

my very favorite december tradition is our trip downtown to see the lights on monument circle...

this year the girls were so excited about hopping on and escalator...it truly is the little things in life that bring so much joy to their little hearts

monument circle

daddy and the crew

mommy and the crew

they are all mostly looking at the camera and smiling...a Christmas miracle ;)

elevator riding! :)

we spent lots of time at our school table crafting...i think we were painting ornaments here

kate modeling their christmas shirts i made

love this one!