Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Welcome Home Jack! Here's Jack enjoying his bed...until we woke this morning and found his partially destroyed with his chewing it up!
Santa and Jack
Racked-Out Ell at only 715 on Christmas Eve! So much excitement!
Papa & Isaac
Brothers, Chester & Jack
Opening presents from Daddy via Skype. Ellie jumped up and down at her new Trick Set and Saedi is in love with her Curly Joe and Suzy Q dolls.
A little silly string fun!
Saedi so happy
A white Christmas! Almost unheard of here in Clarksville, TN!
El sporting her new trick teeth.
Birthday cupcakes for Jesus
Saedi, Mimi, Ellie, Papa & Isaac
We are so very blessed! Happy Birthday, Jesus! We love you!
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

AND THE WINNER IS.,..

A big Congrats to Uncle Jeff who was the first (and only) to correctly guess which items the girls chose to donate from the Gifts of Compassion Catalog.
Ellie: vaccination
Saedi: water filter
Jeff, today you'll have a chicken donated in your name!
Thank you to all who participated in our silly game! Merry Christmas!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a CONTEST

Continuing along the lines of yesterday's post, we thought we'd promote the Gifts of Compassion Catalog for one more day. So, we're having a CONTEST and whoever wins will get a chicken donated by us in his/her name. Here are the rules:
1. one vote per comment but you can leave as many comments/votes as you want
2. the first person to guess correctly wins

The Contest: The first person to correctly guess what BOTH Ellie and Saedi chose to give from the Gifts of Compassion Catalog
*hint...Ellie's generous first choice was the $5,000 major surgery, but I asked her to choose again. Both girls chose gifts for $100 or less. Good luck!

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Gifts of Compassion

My friend Steph recently posted a humorous blog about You Know Your Family is Cheap When... And I found myself laughing hysterically because our family could relate to all of those except not replacing the colored ink cartridge. And one of the main reasons we're cheap is so that WE CAN GIVE to those in need. Each year Riley and I learn more and more about being wise with our money, and as a result, we were able to give more this Christmas than any year past. Praise God! And our children are noticing. Ellie has picked up a heart of generosity that I saw her display with picking out presents for her Angel Child this year. And while most of you probably already have your Christmas shopping finished, I wanted to encourage you to check out these Gifts of Compassion.
When I was 15 I traveled to Bolivia and was able to a visit orphanages and schools and meet children who were sponsored through Compassion International. I was able to see firsthand the positive difference it makes in these children's' lives. For several years now, our family has been sponsoring two children from Africa though Compassion International. I'm saying all this to confirm that Compassion International is a reputable and honest agency. And while you may not be ready for a monthly commitment to sponsor a child, please check out these Gifts of Compassion!

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Dec 16-17




Dec 16:
Bundled up kids, handed them hot chocolate & cookies and drove around to look at the Christmas lights. We headed to the Riverwalk, where we actually got out of the car and started walking through the gorgeous lights display, but it felt too sketchy out there in the dark with myself & 3 little ones...and a few junked-out cars in the parking lot, a lone man smoking a cig, 3 teenagers in-and-out of the bathroom, and thoughts of a recent downtown stabbing playing through my mind. We were out of there in less than a minute. The kids were bummed, so we'll go back when Mimi & Papa are here.

Dec 17:
Our Christmas Party! We made these adorable Jolly Elf ornaments, decorated cookies, exchanged ornaments & ate lots of yummy food.
*Also is a clip of Ellie practicing her Christmas program songs for her Daddy
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Advent Days 10-15

Day 10:
Watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with popcorn
Day 11:
Created Cinnamon Ornaments
Day 12:
Baled LOTS of baking & cleaned out rooms to give toys/clothes away to Angel Child
Day 13:
Delivered cookies to neighbors
Day 14:
Picked out new toys for Angel Tree children, attended a Christmas party on post & delivered gifts for Angel Tree
Day 15:
Read Christmas books
Ellie wanted to giver her beloved Caboodle box away to her Angel Child. It was sweet for me to see her generous heart. She filled up the box with some of her favorite things...jewelry beads, band-aids, fake nails. Saedi had a harder time with our purging session :)

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

4 Months

Isaac's 4 month stats: 16.4 lbs & 25.8" tall...80% with thighs bigger than his sisters
wanting to stand
Isaac 4 months, Jeremiah Moon 2.5 months, Brody Tindoll 11 days...trouble in the making
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

5th Party Pics

The cake Ellie chose from one of our library books and helped to decorate.
Audry, Abbie, Ellie, Brooke playing with El's new microphone from Grandma & Grandpa Mott. Hit of the party!
Saedi, Reagan, Audry, Brooke, Abbie & B-Day Girl, Ellie
Opening her gift from Brookie
The girls decorating their shirts with JEWELS
Ta-Da!!! Silver stars & pink jewel iron-ons!
Jammie Time
And pedi's, of course
And the night ended with Rudolph & Tinkerbell. Saedi was the first asleep, followed by Reagan. Ellie, Brooke & Abbie were the last ones asleep at 11 and the first one's up at 7!
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Days 5-9 of Christmas Traditions

Dec 5th:
Picked up Angel Tree envelopes at church & began State's Ornament craft

Dec 6th:
Made dough ornaments with Caleb & Joshua



Dec 7th
Christmas tree craft at Natalie's

Dec 8th:
Library visit to pick up Christmas books; Visit to Fieldstone Place Retirement Home where the kids joined the residents for their daily exercise routine, including playtime with the parachute & beach balls

Dec 9th:
Painted dough ornaments & finished States Ornaments...which ended up being country ornaments





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Five

Ellie opening her Beauty & the Beast dvd from Saedi
Getting the 2nd ear done. Her little clenched jaw reminds me of my labor face.
Ta-Da! Turqoise (her birthstone) earrings for the 5 year old!
Nails done...black polish with white flowers on left hand. Black polish with hot pink hearts on the right hand.

For her birthday on the 7th Ellie requested that Isaac go to hourly care and the rest of us spend a girls day out. This is what El's bday looked like:
Opening lots of birthday cards and a present from Mimi & Aunt Jane
Dropping Isaac off at hourly for the day
Talking to Daddy over the phone while opening earrings from him. He got to tell her she was going to get her ears pierced!
Breakfast at Ihop
Getting ears pierced...she didn't cry!
Shopping at Kohls with gift card from cousin Nathan- She picked out Hello Kitty fake nails, lip gloss & she even bought a necklace for Saedi
Chuck E Cheese to spend our 20 free tokens
Toys r Us to spend $3 giftcard
Movie theater to watch Tangled
Fingernails painted
Ms Natalie's for Christmas craft, dinner cupcakes with friends
Baskin Robbins for free bday ice cream
Home to open gift from Gma and Gpa...a microphone!
Lots of phone calls
Charlie Brown's Christmas
BED!
Here's the link for all of our favorite Birthday Freebies:
http://hip2save.com/category/birthday-freebies


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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Jingle Bell Jog

December 4th: Jingle Bell Jog & Christmas Parade
I am extremely proud of these two 4-year olds (soon to be 5) who just finished walking/running an entire 5k. Ellie wasn't too excited about running it but when Caleb agreed to run with her she became motivated (social like her momma). Here's a pic of the happy friends before the start.



Best friends helping one another out. I loved this! They stuck together, held hands & pulled each other when it got tough. They wanted to quit, but persevered through sore feet & tummy aches.


They did it! Tired and proud kiddos. We finished last, but they didn't care. They were so tired at the end...and it was cold & windy & hilly.
Extremely proud of my biggest girl. She finished strong, running to the finish line.
The gang. Saedi & Isaac were troopers...not complaining at all! This nice lady asked if she could walk/run with us, and she ended up being a huge help with undressing & re-dressing coats, hats, & gloves.
And after the race...the parade! We only stayed for a bit because it was so cold & windy once the sun went down. El crawled into bed when we got home without even wanting dinner.
*And a huge shout out to Caleb's momma, Kristen, who finished 3rd overall for the women's division...woo hoo!

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Friday, December 3, 2010

25 Days of Christmas

This year we've decided not to travel for Christmas, and thus, I felt we should begin adding to our family traditions. I've always wanted an Advent calendar and contemplated making one like this, but I just didn't make time for it. Well, on Cyber Monday I found this advent calendar and ordered it for myself (50% off THE SALE plus free shipping!!!). It still hasn't arrived yet (Bummer) but it's got me motivated. I also gathered ideas from friends, and have been working up a plan on how to celebrate each day in December with the kids. So far, this is what we've got:
Dec 1st: Jesus' Present.
We found the cutest box we owned & the girls decorated the inside. We talked about making it Jesus' gift and how each day we would put something in the box for Jesus to open on his birthday. We talked about how Jesus likes obedience, love, thankfulness, etc. So far, Ellie put in change from her biggy bank and & her favorite "gold" ring. We've also written notes about positive things we've each done, "Thank you that we got another Curly Joe & Suzy Q story in the mail from Daddy. We give you our thankfulness" "Ellie laughed a lot today, so we hope that laughter made you smile, Jesus." "Saedi was very patient waiting for Mommy to get her a cheese stick. We know you like it when we're patient. Happy Birthday!." This is also a great way for Daddy to be included!
Dec 2nd: The Manger
My girls love playing with this Fisher Price Manger scene. I told them the Christmas story while acting it out with the little people. It gave the girls a visual of the story and words that they had not association with...manger, glory, goodwill, swaddling, inn, wise men, Bethlehem, stable. (I debated reading them the actual story from the Bible, but I decided to save that for another night & start with simpler story telling.)
(This beautiful manger scene is my favorite Christmas decoration. Riley bought this in Jordan and hit the jackpot with me on a fabulous gift. I love this!)
Dec 3rd: Stockings
I finished sewing together Isaac & Jack's felt stockings, so we were able to hang the stockings! Yes, I even made one for Jack, as he will be joining us for Christmas.
Some other activities we plan on doing are:
Reading Christmas story from the Bible & acting it out together
Visiting a nursing home with friends
Making ornaments of states & countries
Making a hand print wreath
Shopping for our angel tree children
Attending the Christmas Parade & possibly running the Jingle Bell Jog (3 mi)
Stringing together popcorn for the tree
Playing on the computer & see how other children celebrate Christmas
Toy Purge- donating old toys to welcome in the new
Hot Chocolate Run- Driving around in our pj's, drinking hot chocolate looking at lights
Baking Cookies
Delivering cookies to neighbors via our wagon
Hosting a Christmas Party/Playdate
Family game night- no movies, just games, pizza, & juice
Making reindeer food
Baking the Happy Birthday Jesus cake

What traditions do you all do? We'd love more ideas, recipes, crafts, etc!



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