Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Books

I love to find a pretty book. This advent book by Ann Voskamp is wonderful!
The pictures and words in this book are beautiful.  
 My plan was for our family to read one everyday, but that hasn't happened. I've been reading them, and as my children get older, I hope to work this in as a new Christmas tradition. 
 At the end of each reading is a suggested activity for the family (which we aren't doing, but it's nice that it's there). There are also ornaments that can be ordered or downloaded (or you could make them), to go along with each story. We aren't doing this part yet either. Maybe next year we can have a beautiful Jesse tree.

I also got each of my children their own Christmas book from our church's bookstore. This is what I chose. 
Sally Lloyd-Jones also wrote The Jesus Storybook Bible. 
 I love how the shepherds and wise men are rushing to see baby Jesus, their Savior.  It's a beautiful picture of how we should be rushing to Him everyday.
Then we have this classic.
 My brother gave it to me back in 2001.
 I'm glad my children like to read. James could sit in my lap all day and look at books. At one point in my life, I collected pretty children's books (that's why my brother gave me that last book as a gift). Now that I have children, it is fun to pick out books for them to enjoy. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Decorations

My Christmas decorations are out! This year I did less than normal because of the small children that live with me. I've been fortunate to be handed down most of my decorations. I do like to buy a new wreath and poinsettias every year from our local farmer's market. 

Our tree was decorated by our children. I didn't even unwrap one breakable ornament. The ornaments around the bottom half of the tree are moved around (pulled off) daily, and the tree skirt and presents are never in place.
I also like the idea of Christmas crafts, but I don't want one that is too labor intensive or messy. So one day while James napped, Millie and I made these cute little Christmas trees.
 We went strolling around the neighborhood to find good pine cones. Millie doesn't love to stroll, so this was a good excuse to get a good walk in. We found some good cones right down the street, towards the end of our walk (this was before J's nap).
I found the colored dots at Hobby Lobby, but I'm sure they are at any craft store. I would put a dot of Elmer's glue on the pine cone, and Millie would pick her colored dot of choice to place on there. If one fell too far in the cone, I used a toothpick to help guide it to the right spot. 

My mom made both of these stockings. We will get J's name on his for next Christmas! 
Millie made this at our church's preschool cookie bake. Her baked cookies disappeared quickly. 

This year we started our own snow village. We are starting with two pieces, and we hope to add one every Christmas. We chose a church that looks a little like our own church and Nick's Tree Farm.

Next I'll be sharing some of the Christmas books we've been enjoying this season!

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Favorites From Thanksgiving


We had a good week with family!
Laurie and Millie were some dancing fools.
I decided not to send Christmas cards, so these pictures will have to do.
Christmas things coming up next on the blog!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Beach

Nick had a conference at The Grand in Fairhope back in October. I've only stayed one night in April when we went down to plan for this conference. So this was the first time I could really enjoy all the luxuries at The Grand.

If you haven't been, then you must go now! I LOVE THE GRAND!!

Nick was busy with the conference, and I had a few obligations with the spouses' program (which is more fun than it sounds). I actually won $100 playing bingo! It was wonderful of my parents to come with us to babysit. They actually came to the The Grand on their honeymoon over 30 years ago. They were able to get a copy of the page where they signed the guest book! The front desk said the honeymoon books are one of the first things they secure when a hurricane is coming.

The first couple of days were very warm, and we were able to do a lot of swimming! The staff was so friendly and helpful. It was a beautiful time of year to be there. I hate I didn't get a picture of the pool because it is awesome and very kid friendly. My parents and children also enjoyed going to downtown Fairhope to eat a few times.

One of my favorite parts was the spa! On our last morning I enjoyed the best 50 minute massage! Just sitting in the dark quiet room was relaxing. My body was relaxed for the rest of the day!

From The Grand we went on to Fort Morgan. My parents took my children a day early, and my sister and her family joined us too. We had two condos next door to each other on the ground floor. I think this is the best set up for going to the beach, especially with children. It was easier to go in and out of the condos, and the kids had the grassy area to play and ride bikes.

We had a wonderful time! Doc cooked up some fantastic dinners, and we could not have asked for better weather. And the week ended with my birthday!
 Nick bought a big shovel and built this hill on the first day. It was a big hit!
  Millie never wants to get in a picture unless you are trying to photograph someone else. In this case, I was trying to take a picture of Lovie and Doc. She did this more than once on this trip. 
 Me and James on my 29th birthday! 

We tried with all five! I think my sister got a better one.

Thanks Lovie and Doc for a great trip! Millie is still asking about going back!