Monday, December 30, 2013

Rainbows Christmas Party

The Rainbows, Chloe and Evan's Wednesday night church group, recently had their Christmas party!

I didn't take many pictures, but here are a few that I stole from their teacher, Mrs. Dodi. (I liked her pictures better.)

They also made precious Christmas crafts. I didn't think to take pictures as they were making them, but here are a few photos of the crafts from around our home.

Mrs. Dodi and Mr. Jason do a wonderful job of teaching our little ones. It's so nice to have a place that the littles look forward to going to each week where they can grow and learn of God's love for them. Thank you, Mrs. Dodi and Mr. Jason, for our special Christmas celebration and for all that you do.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Chloe's Preschool Christmas Party

Although Chloe missed her preschool program while she was sick, she was better in time for her class Christmas party.

The parents usually set up while the kids are in chapel and we had a little wait time before the kids returned to the classroom. What's a crazy picture-taking momma to do while waiting for the class to return back from chapel? Take pictures, of course! :)

Chloe's Christmas Crafts- I can't get enough of the Christmas cuteness.

The Class Christmas Tree

Chloe's Christmas Stocking- Each of Chloe's classmates brought a small stocking stuffer for the stocking.

We chose Magic Reindeer Food and a candy cane as our stocking stuffer. I actually saw a boutique selling this stuff for $2 a pack...highway robbery! If you'd like the free printable, click HERE.

And, here were a few photos from the party.

The kids played the marshmallow game. I had never heard of the game before, but it was really cute to watch them play. The object of the game was to catch the marshmallow without using their hands.

It was a sweet class party and I love how the class has adopted Evan. God really blessed us with this school and Chloe's teacher...I can't say it enough. It's the right mix of learning and fun in a Christ-centered environment. In a season with so much focus on gift-giving, this is one of the greatest gifts that I have received.

The Capital City Christmas Parade & A Ride on the Snoopy Float

The family recently participated in Montgomery's Capital City Christmas Parade. Our neighborhood association makes a float each year for the parade and invites the neighbors to ride or walk alongside it.

Although we have watched the parade every year since Chloe was two years old and Evan was seven months old, this was the first year that we were actually in the parade.

It was a fun experience. We arrived at the parade gathering area a little early, so we walked around to look at the other floats.

Chloe and Big Mo, the Montgomery Biscuits mascot

Chloe and a Huntingdon Hawk- I don't think that this was the official mascot of Huntingdon College.

Evan has warmed up to Santa, but he still hasn't warmed up to costumed characters. He did take a few pictures with Sissy before the start of the parade, though.

Our neighborhood float

Here were a few photos taken on the "sleigh ride." The adults walked beside the float while the kids threw beads and candy from the float.

I love these photos of the float passing in front of the Capital.

After the parade, Chris asked me if I thought that it was more fun to watch the parade or to be in the parade. I really didn't have an answer because I enjoy aspects of each, so we may alternate between attending and participating each year. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Nutcracker Ballet

Is it just me? Or, did anyone else blink and Christmas came and went?

I'm usually well-prepared for Christmas, but this year, not so much. I'm usually anxiously waiting for the day it's appropriate to mail out Christmas cards (not before Thanksgiving, right?). Presents are all ordered on Cyber Monday or at least a month before the big day because I despise dealing with heavy traffic and Christmas crowds.

However, this year, I was at a loss. I was ordering custom jewelry less than a week before Christmas. Christmas cards went out the Saturday before Christmas. Chris and I were picking up last-minute gifts on Sunday, which is very much a Chris trait. And, I was still waiting on packages to arrive on Christmas Eve! I guess in my head, Christmas wouldn't come until I was ready. It's such a meaningful day, celebrating Christ's birth with the ones I love, so I disliked feeling unprepared.

Needless to say, in the whirlwind of the weeks leading up to Christmas Day, things fell to the wayside, like the old blog...along with rest and my sanity.

Be forwarned, my blog will be in the Christmas spirit over the next week or so while I catch up on posts.

Chloe and I reinstated a Christmas tradition of attending the Montgomery Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker. We attended for the first time when Chloe was only 3 years old and she really enjoyed it. Last year, for one reason or another, it didn't make our Christmas to-do list. It wasn't until this year that I realized that since Chris is a student at Troy University Montgomery, and the University owns the Davis Theatre where the Montgomery Ballet performs, that he could purchase discounted tickets. So, it was added back to the Christmas to-do's:)

Unfortunately, the night we had purchased tickets to attend, Chloe was sick. Since Chloe and Evan woke up sick that morning, I asked Chris to go to the box office earlier in the day to see if he could exchange the tickets for the very last performance, which was a few days later. The lady at the box office was very understanding and even threw in a free Sugar Plum Fairy ticket, which allowed Chloe to go on stage after the performance for a meet and greet with the performers and to receive a special gift. The kindness that we've experienced over the holidays has been immeasurable.

Chloe and I took a picture before leaving the house for our mother-daughter date.

Don't worry. Chris and Evan had a father-son day planned. They went to Bass Pro and Target to window shop and pick out a gift for Chloe from Evan (more on that later).

Look at my handsome men. Evan was thrilled that Daddy let him wear his gold chain. My baby boy and his accessories...

This was the only decent photo that I was able to get of Chloe before the performance.

Afterwards, we met the dancers and Chloe got her program signed.

This last one was my favorite.

Since the crowd had died down by the time that we left the theatre, I was able to get this photo of Chloe under the marquee.

It was such a fun outing. The most enjoyable part of our day was when Chloe met the dancers, which wouldn't have happened if it hadn't been for the kind lady working the box office. It's also nice to have one-on-one time with the littles. I think that this will be a Christmas tradition from now on.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Card 2013

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

As usual, I'm a day late and dollar short, but I hope that you and yours had a blessed and Merry Christmas!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

All Aboard the North Pole Express...Again!

We boarded the North Pole Express again this year.
This year, the weather didn't cooperate. The sky was a little cloudy in Montgomery, Alabama when we started our 60-mile trek to board the North Pole Express in Calera, Alabama. However, as we neared our destination, the weather progressively got worse. It wasn't what we had anticipated. I imagined taking photos of the littles at the train station and excitedly waiting for the train, much like last year's train ride. Instead, we were running to the train station through cold rain and crammed under canopy trying to avoid getting drenched while we waited for the our train to arrive.

We did manage to get a family photo before the train's arrival.

However, once we boarded the train, all was well with the world again;)

A few photos taken before our journey began- We were wet, but happy to be on the heated train.

A little rain never stops Chloe or Evan. They were so excited.
Ooh, the North Pole! I think I see Santa!
We anxiously waited for our turn to see and talk to Santa and Mrs. Claus.
After our meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus, the chef elves brought us a sweet snack, milk and cookies! Chloe was so cute. She couldn't figure out why the elves at the North Pole were so big, but she did decide that they were "good cooks" because they made big cookies.
Chit-chatting with one of Santa's elves

These were Chloe's and Evan's reactions when this elf asked if she could have a bite of their cookies. I don't think that they wanted to share...
She was still sweet enough to bring them a keepsake ornament though.
What started off as a damper, turned out to be an enjoyable trip. I haven't decided if a ride on the North Pole Express will become an annual tradition, but it is certainly something we will do again. I simply want to enjoy this time with my littles while I can, and see the "magic" of the season through their eyes. 
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.