Monday, December 11, 2017

SNOW What Fun!!

We had the most amazing, magical experience last week on snowed!!

Now, my blog readers from the North might laugh at this, but it has been since Jackson was a baby (7 years) that we have gotten any kind of snow at all! And even then it was just a dusting that didn't really do much...But this time we ended up with about 4 inches of the most beautiful, powdery snow! In my whole life, I've never seen snow like this outside of a trip to Colorado! What added to the delight is that it was completely unexpected!

On Thursday morning, the weatherman mentioned that if the stars aligned, we may see a few snowflakes later that evening, but the chance was very small. So later that evening, Justin was grilling some steaks for dinner, and still no snow. But when he walked outside around 7:00 to take out the trash, he quickly called out "Come outside right now!" We all ran out to find snowflakes falling and snow beginning to accumulate on the grass and cars and such!

We began scraping snow off of the cars and trash cans and had a little snowball fight!

Look at that! Snow on the ground!

You know who did not like the snow at all? Poor Benjamin...

He did warm up to it intermittently though!

We were ill equipped for snow though, and since the snow at this point was really wet, we quickly got cold and the boys decided they wanted to go inside to warm up. During their bath and getting them ready for bed though, the snow kept coming and turned into big, fat, fluffy flakes...

Once Justin and I got all the boys down for the night, we walked back outside and found this...

What had been a dusting had turned into a full fledged winter wonderland! I must repeat here that this just simply does NOT happen where we live!

Annie was a snow dog!

Actually, the snow went all the way up past her belly and she decided she would rather me carry her around the rest of the time outside.

So Justin and I debated for about a minute before we decided that we had to get the boys out of bed so they could come experience it. I will never regret that choice! Their awe and wonder more than made up for the extra effort to get them back to bed!

So what do you do when there is 4 inches of snow on the ground for the first time in your life? You make a snowman!

I think we did a pretty ok job for amateurs!

We headed back around to the front yard to check things out there. What made the snow even more fun and spectacular were all of the Christmas decorations. Most of our neighbors decorated this year, so everything was just sparkling with the fresh snow. It was simply magical!

Our front yard Christmas tree will never again look this pretty!

So naturally, we next made snow angels! Justin demonstrated and then the boys followed suit!

Cold and tired, but so unbelievably giddy, we went inside and put the boys to bed again. As we did, there were multiple declarations of "this was the best night ever!" and "thank you mommy and daddy for waking us up!" We all commented that it felt like it could just be a dream!

By the next morning before the boys left for school, the snow had already begun to melt. Poor Mr. Snowman!

My beautiful flocked tree by morning light!

I even built a little snowman once I got to work. He had paperclip arms and a rubber band scarf.

By noon, it really felt like it was all just a dream!

We were so grateful for this bit of magic in our Christmas season!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

6th, 7th, and 8th Days of Christmas: Giving to Others, Puzzling and Bethlehem

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Happy sixth day of Christmas Jackson, Andrew & Benjamin! Santa will be here in just 19 days! During Christmas, it is fun to receive gifts, but it is even more fun to give them! After school, go shopping to pick out presents for the whole family!

They made their list, they checked it twice, thankfully everyone on their list is wonderfully nice! They eagerly hit up Dollar Tree to pick out something nice for each person on their list. 

Andrew's selections were a bit more strategic this year.

Jackson may have gotten a bit of his mom's strength of individualization. He was a little frustrated with Dollar Tree's somewhat limited selection and inability to find something that was just right for each person. The struggle is real, buddy. But we finally helped him make some selections that would work for each recipient.

We made it home with time to get everything wrapped. Andrew picked out bags and tissue paper while Jackson wrote all the tags. Next year Andrew can help with that step too!

While digging through the bags, we found the tag Jackson wrote two years ago. His handwriting is much improved but I've been shortened to just "mom". Tear!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Happy seventh day of Christmas Jackson, Andrew & Benjamin! Santa will be here in just 18 days! Open the box under the tree and put your puzzling skills to the test!

I was a bit ambitious with this one, because the new puzzle I ordered had 300 pieces. Jackson and I regularly assemble 300 piece puzzles together, but it's always during nap time when there's no other distractions and no toddlers wandering off with the pieces. And Andrew wasn't at all interesting in doing the puzzle this evening. Alas, maybe we will get the puzzle done eventually!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Happy eighth day of Christmas Jackson, Andrew & Benjamin! Santa will be here in just 17 days! Tonight, we will watch the Christmas story of Jesus come alive! Don't forget your coat and gloves, it will be chilly on the hayride!

This was our now traditional outing to an event put on by a local church that takes you on a narrated hayride of the story of Jesus, from the Garden of Eden to the Resurrection. We all love it! For the third year in a row it's been COLD on the night of the event, so we bundled up! Here they are showing me how they could see their breath in the chilly air!

And Ben's gloves were new and novel too!

We warmed up with some hot chocolate while we waited for the hayride.

While we waited, a live band was playing all the traditional Christmas carols and we were singing and dancing and having a great time!

After the hayride, we warmed up around a campfire with smores!

We ended the night with a craft.
It was a really sweet night!

Friday, December 8, 2017

4th and 5th Day of Christmas: Cards for Teachers and Eric Litwin

December 4, 2017

Happy fourth day of Christmas Jackson, Andrew & Benjamin! Santa will be here in just 21 days! Christmas is a time to thank those who help us all year long. Let’s get out the paints and make Christmas Cards to give to your teachers at school.

Jackson took pictures of the whole operation...mommy paints the hand, daddy stamps it on the paper. Repeat a dozen times per kid. =) Admittedly, this activity may not be the boys' favorite activity, but it's one of the most important!

We will keep working on these cards every day for a couple of weeks until all the details are painted on and each one has been written in!

December 5, 2017

Happy fifth day of Christmas Jackson, Andrew & Benjamin! Santa will be here in just 20 days! Tonight we will meet one of our favorite authors! Eric Litwin wrote the Pete the Cat book, including Pete the Cat Saves Christmas! Bring your book tonight and he might just sign it for you!

So this one was a little tricky to spin to make it Christmasy but it was definitively the activity on the docket, so we had to make it work! With the new Christmas book and fun, quality family time, I think it was perfectly suitable!

Eric Litwin!

The kids had a great time at his show, singing, dancing, clapping, and being thrown up in the air!

What a fun night!