Friday, December 18, 2015

'Tis the Season

I cleaned off my phone and I'm posting lots of random pictures from the past month and I'm not organizing them because I have no time!!

But also, I wanted to make note of a few things that are awesome about this Christmas season:
1.  William singing Jingle Bells at the top of his lungs.  With his speech difficulties, it's particularly adorable.  And he just gets the itch and sings -- today in the middle of Hobby Lobby.  It was awesome.
2.  Three kids yelling at me -- did you see those lights?  Did you see the ones on my side?  Mom look at those lights! -- when we go out at night.  Yes, I have eyes and a REALLY big window at the front of the car.  And yes, I can listen to music/talk to my husband/look at lights at the SAME TIME!  I am amazing.  The kids don't get it.
3.  My shopping and creating is done and I am really excited about Christmas morning.
4.  William is really excited about EVERYTHING and has no concept of time so I have to explain to him several times a day that no, you can't open presents yet, no it's not time to go to Grandma's, yes it's a school/church/nap day, yes I SAW THE LIGHTS!!!
5.  Santa in a fire truck.  Yes it happens every year and yes, it was just as awesome as it is every year.
6.  The Little Elm Christmas parade featured the band and 10 vehicles.  This is growth people.
7.  Stuffing my own stocking.  Because I do them all.  Christmas season is very dependent on mom and I'm ok with that.  I used to get annoyed about stuffing my own stocking.  Now I get excited because I get exactly what I want!

Ok random pictures.
Abby's Thanksgiving performance

In the secret garden at the Arboretum of course

Pumpkin jail

Hmmm I'll have to fix this one because it's a good one!

Megan took this one!

Playing in leaves.  Christmas is leaf season, not snow season.

Megan didn't want to hold still OR smile

Watching movies

Dresses at the 12 Days of Christmas

Monday, December 14, 2015

Whirlwind Weekend

I've been spending all my nap time and night time sewing sewing sewing.  In addition to Christmas presents that I need to finish, we've had the business of the Christmas season AND I threw a surprise Harry Potter party for a friend because it was her 40th birthday and it HAD to be done.  With that done, I've got more sewing to do this week and then Christmas is practically here!!
We decorated right after Thanksgiving -- I love our house for Christmas!  Chopper and I (although mostly I) painted the entire house in the month of November.  It has a fresh clean look to it and is a lot lighter and brighter.  I love it!

The Harry Potter party.  Oh my.  This was sooo much fun and the decorations turned out fantastically!!  The big impact areas were the floating candles in the "Great Hall" and the entry. 
My flash lit the room so you just can't see how cool this was but the lights were very dim and we hung 2 types of candles using thread and pushpins from the ceiling.  I found single, battery-operated candles at the Dollar Tree that had gold bases that popped right off.  I'm actually going to go back this week and buy more -- even though the party is over -- because I think they would be so useful for all kinds of events!!  The rest I made using toilet paper rolls, hot glue for dripping wax, white paint, and a tea light glued in the top.  It was very cool looking!! 
Chopper went as Professor Quirrell and ran through the house at the beginning of the party yelling, "there's a troll in the dungeons!"

We had a table of owl post for birthday notes and Chopper and Megan drew owls on the balloons.

My sorting hat!!!  It's actually made of paper and I think it turned out pretty good!

One of the games was to earn house points.  We sorted everyone when the party started and then they could earn points by coming in costume, speaking in a British accent, writing owl post, and finding a golden snitch -- Lindor truffles.  I had colored stones to put in tall vases (the Dollar Tree made SOOOO much money off of me this month) and borrowed the House shields from a friend.

My brick wall at the entry way was a sheet painted with a sponge dipped in brick red paint and slit up the middle.  It turned out really well!!  And then William's train from Halloween.  It actually does say Hogwarts Express on the front but it's starting to get pretty beat up so I think this was it's final outing.


 I only took pictures of these few foods because they turned out really good.  I got the recipe for pumpkin pasties from an Unofficial Harry Potter cookbook and they literally tasted like mini pumpkin pies.  They were really good!!  A friend of mine gave me the idea for the Mandrake cupcakes by gluing greenery onto little babies.

We've all learned by now that I am NOT a cake decorator.  Thank goodness Hagrid isn't either!!!  And my friend Anna loved that it was like Harry's cake!

That's Anna getting sorted.

I dressed up as Dobby the elf, mainly because by the time the party happened, I felt like a house elf.

That was Friday night.  Saturday morning I ran the Frisco Frosty 5K and did really well!!
I've really been trying to keep up with my running since September but I am not super motivated so I decided it was time for another race.  I've been taking short runs while William is in speech therapy twice a week (which has been really nice!) and my goal was to break 30 minutes.  I came in at 27:23 which I was VERY happy about.  It's my fastest race time to date.  What was really impressive though is that there was a 75-year old woman who came in at 29 minutes.  I've decided that's the main reason I need to keep this up.  I want to be old and moving like that!!!

Saturday afternoon we went out to Aaron's grave.  We were blessed to have some friends there earlier in the day working as part of the group who place wreaths on the graves.  They just take the wreaths that people have donated for and place them pretty randomly, but they grabbed one and placed it specifically for Aaron.  We got up there later and took a family picture. 

Chopper took this picture of Megan but she moved from the position that he was trying to get.  When he asked her what she was doing, she responded that she was talking to Aaron.  I love that this is a normal thing for our children to have him a regular part of our lives.  Or as regular as it can be!  I think that someday that will make our bond as a family stronger. 

I forgot about this from November.  We were flocked!!!  There's a band fundraiser where they flock your yard with flamingoes and you have to pay to have them removed.  The kids thought it was fantastic.

And put them in their beds before we went to church.  The band member who flocked us almost didn't get their flamingoes back . . .  

Oh and a sweet picture of our boy and his dog.  No, it's not our dog.  It's our neighbors that we see very day after school when we pick up the girls.  Dakota is the sweetest dog I think I've ever met and William loves her.  It still doesn't really make me want to have one ourselves though.  But we can enjoy loving others.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thanksgiving plus some

I think in the New Year that my goal will be to update the blog every Sunday.  That way I'm not playing catch up with these massive posts.

We were very fortunate to have Chopper's mom come and visit us for about 10 days at Thanksgiving!!  She's currently splitting her time between the families of two of Chopper's brothers but we were excited to have her!  On the day that we picked her up from the airport, we were able to get to the school in the afternoon to see Abby's kindergarten performance of Thanksgiving songs.
Look hard -- she's in the middle behind the teacher!!

We also took Grandma to the Arboretum of course but we had a lot of rainy weather over Thanksgiving so we stayed put a lot too.  It was our smallest Thanksgiving in a few years (which Chopper liked) -- us and Grandma and our good friends the Seals (who are really more like family anyway).  Chopper smoked the turkey again and we had a great meal.

I took a little time to update Grandma's family tree quilt.  Each leaf is a child, their spouse, and grandchildren.  We talked a lot about the great-grandchildren that are starting to happen in the Whittacre family and ultimately decided to leave them off -- mainly for space reasons.   

There's our boy finally added on!

We bought a new camera (yay!) and set it up in the backyard to take our family pictures for Christmas.  We had a few that are really good but we're sending funny ones in the mail! 


Chopper and I celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary on December 7th!!  We still look good together!  I'm blessed to share my life with this man and I love our children.  Thirteen years has gone faster and I swear things are speeding up even more.  It seems like last week was Halloween!!!