Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Charming Holly Wreath Christmas
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 17

Lots of driving was involved today.  My kids are almost always good on a long drive.  Maybe it has something to do with lots of practice when Hannah used to be a competitive gymnast and we traveled a lot to meets.

We got out the door almost on time to drive over three hours to my mom's family Christmas reunion.  I only get to see most of them once a year but I hope to change that in 2012.  It is so much more fun to hang out with family more often.  This year we added a Dirty Santa gift exchange which in my opinion added so much more to our time together.

We found Gundy hanging onto the rear view mirror and he rode there the whole way.


Since the kids are going to my parents until Wednesday, they decided that Gundy could have a few days off and go relax so he came home with me.  My dad has the kids convinced that there are hidden cameras in the ceiling vents that are connected to Santa at the North Pole.
I also sent today's books with the kids to read tonight before bed.  They ended up getting to stay in a hotel with grandma and grandpa the first night.  They went and looked at a huge, local light display and then swam in the hotel pool.

The rest of the time will be filled with tree decorating and cooking making.  This is Hallie Jo's first year to get to do it and she has been talking about it since the other three got back last year.  My dad traces their hands in the cookie dough so Hallie Jo was anxious to make her hand cookies.
While they are gone, Jimmy and I are getting so great alone time.  During the day while he is working, I will be doing a major cleaning on the house.  I know it doesn't sound relaxing but my mom is coming Wednesday so it needs to be done and it is the best time to declutter toys the kids never touch and they think they need to keep forever.

I will be taking a break from this blog until Wednesday.
Even though I am not blogging for a few days, please do not forget to check out what Charley is doing at The 4-Crow's.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 16

Today was another difficult search for Gundy.  He was getting his teeth sparkly with Hallie Jo's toothbrush.  

Harlee, Jordan and Hallie Jo sang with our homeschool co-op for senior citizens at the local YMCA.  Everyone did a great job but Hallie Jo was a ham!  She was dancing and wiggling and just having a great time.

We kept ourselves busy after the choir performance getting ready for our annual McKinney Family reunion as well as getting all four kids packed and ready to go to my parents for a few days.  They will decorate their tree, go see Christmas lights and make sugar cookies.  This will be Hallie Jo's first year and she has been excited since last year when the other three got back from the fun.

We read two books again but one of them is my favorite, non-Christian Christmas books, Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear.  The original book has always been a classic in our home so when I came across this one, I knew we had to have it.

Don't forget to link-up with me and ShaRonda over at The 4-Crow's and let us know what your Elf on the Shelf is up to.

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 15

We had a harder time finding Gundy today.  Hannah finally spotted him on her bookshelves listening to her music.  I guess he was getting tired of all the noise around here.

Gundy's buddy, Charley has been monkeying around.  Go see what he is up to over at The 4-Crow's and link up with us.

The kids did a Christmas activity with Jimmy tonight.  They watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

While they did that, I was at a Mom's Night Out Cookie Exchange.  I took a new recipe called Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.  Another mom made two different kind of cookies and the third mom made a chocolate/peppermint cookie.

While we enjoyed appetizers and cookies, we moms watched Christmas With The Kranks.  This movie is based on John Grisham's book, Skipping Christmas and can always be counted on to bring a good laugh or two.

Finally, we read two more books tonight.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 14

We worked on Christmas crafts today.  I found some cute reindeer and snowmen in the Dollar Spot at Target.  We have to finish them tomorrow then I will post pictures.

Tonight was our last Wednesday at church for 2011.  I am glad that Hannah was feeling so much better.  She hates to miss any opportunity to be at church!  Harlee and Hallie Jo like going too but Jordan is on a "I don't want to go" streak right now.  I made him go to the children's department and of course, he had a good time like always.
We read two cute books tonight.

And we did find Gundy pretty easily this morning.  He was fishing for a snack.

Are you wondering what other elves do while we are all sleeping?  Join me at The 4-Crow's so see what happens at their house.

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 13

Yeah!  Most of us are back to normal.  Hannah is still feeling under the weather so another sick day for her.  The other kids are just so excited for school work.  Can you hear the sarcasm?

It took us awhile to find Gundy today.  We think he must have had a rough flight back last night because we found him in the medicine cabinet with band-aids all over him.

The 4-Crow's had to look pretty high to find their elf, Charley.  Why don't you join us over at their blog.

Harlee had her last dance class for the 2011 year.  She helped me make pumpkin muffins to take to her teachers.

We did not do any specific Christmas activity today because we were playing catch-up from yesterday.
We did read two books right before bedtime though.

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 12

We are laying low today because Hannah is still feeling yucky and I was sick overnight.  Jimmy now says he is feeling under the weather.  The only one left to get sick is Jordan.  I pray it passes over him because he is my biggest baby.

If the virus does pick Jordan, I need it to be soon so he can recover before our big family event Saturday and then onto to my parents' house for a few days.
I guess Gundy was bored with all of us being sick so he entertained himself playing the Wii.

Gundy's buddy, Charley has been up to no good also.  Go see what he has been up to at The 4-Crow's.

We read these two books:

 And finally, since the "teacher" was sick, we did not have school work today.  Darn, the kids were so upset, NOT!  We did enjoy watching It's A Very, Merry Muppet's Christmas Movie instead.

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 11

Bad news woke us up this morning.  Hannah spent the night at a friend's house after volunteering and she got sick multiple times.  So the stomach virus thing did not pass her by and now we have infected her family.  Ugh!

Right before we left church, we found that Gundy was in the middle of a battle.  We assume the Lego Star Wars figures must be jealous of all the attention Gundy is receiving because it looks like they have declared war on the elf.

In the meantime, Charley the Elf is having a party.  Go see why he is celebrating over at The 4-Crow's.

While at church, Hallie Jo got to participate in a Happy Birthday, Jesus party in the preschool department.  They made jingle bell ornaments, listen to Mary tell her story about the night Jesus was born, listen to a puppet and sang fun songs.  Then they had birthday cake and other snacks.  Yum!

I slipped out of church a little early along with Harlee to take her to The Nutcracker.  We got to watch some of the dancers warm-up and even ask questions of one of the dancers.  This is the first time either of us have gone to the show and we both enjoyed our ourselves.  I pray we are blessed to make this an annual event.

Meanwhile, Jimmy was home with the other three.  Hannah hadn't been sick to her stomach since early morning so she was resting all she could.

Later that evening we had planned to take the kids to the Baptist Children's Home drive-thru Christmas pageant.  We started this tradition last year.  I felt horrible about leaving Hannah but she said since she volunteered the night before she would not be upset if we left her at home.  When we arrived, the greeters gave us a cd to listen to in our vehicle.  Some of the students living on the campus described each scene as we sat in our vehicle and viewed the "actors."  *Disclamier:  My pictures are not as good as usual do to reflection of windows.*

Star of Bethlehem

The stable where Jesus was born.

The Carpenter's Shop

Jesus calmed the storms & rescued Peter.

The Glorious Entering

Garden of Gethsemane


The Empty Tomb

 The Second Coming

We finished the night out by reading two more books.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 10

Today was another busy day in our house.

We woke to find Gundy had built himself a cruiser out of Legos.  You need to go see who his buddy, Charlie is hanging out with today at The 4-Crow's.

Then off to Hannah's bowling league.  Today was her last day of 2011.  We will be back in January with two tournaments.  Woohoo!

After Hannah got done, we had to beat it back to our home town to meet Jordan and Jimmy at the scout pack meeting or Christmas Party.  Santa Claus came to visit at the end of our party.  This was the first time Hallie Jo had seen a live Santa that close and she was waving at him from down the hall and then screamed across the room telling him what she wanted.

She was not hesitant at all to sit on his lap.  Jordan and Harlee joined in on the fun and we did get one family picture with the jolly old guy.  All the scouts got their pinewood derby cars as gifts to be used in March and the siblings got coloring books and crayons.  Hallie Jo and Harlee opened theirs right away and put them to good use.

Later, we left Harlee, Hallie Jo and Jordan at a local church who offered childcare for the evening and took Hannah to serve with her friends at the local Baptist Children's home.  While we were kid-free, Jimmy and I joined other preschool volunteers from our church at dinner in the same Amish home I ate at last month with my mommy friends.

Again the food didn't disappoint and the company was great!
We finished the night by reading two books with the kids.


Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 Christmas Memories - Day 9

We were jam packed full of fun today.  The older kids had their last day of co-op classes for the fall semester.  Harlee and Jordan were in choir and p.e. classes while Hannah was in a geography class.  Today they were studying Israel and Jerusalem.  Hallie Jo hung out with me away from the rest of the group so we wouldn't pass on any sick germs.  She was SO bummed she could not go to her classes too.

Hallie Jo's booty is worse and she started crying every time she needed to pee.  I made a doctor's appointment to rule out whether it is rash causing the pain or a bacterial infection.  We didn't have success obtaining a sample in the office so now we have to try to do that at home and deliver it to the lab ourselves.  Oh, the joys of parenthood.

After co-op, I took the kids to Shepherd's Cross to visit their live nativity, have a snack during a short film, make bird feeders and listen to a story from "Elizabeth".  We had a pretty good time but Jordan said he was disappointed that the nativity was silent, no talking at all.

We finished off our day at the local Christmas parade.  Jordan's scout pack walked in the parade.  He said, "That was totally wicked!"  He even did a great job of tossing candy and making sure he had enough for the end of the parade to share.  Jimmy got the great job of walking with the other leaders and boys while the girls and I enjoyed it from the sidewalk.

I must have worn out the kids because Jordan and Hallie Jo fell asleep before I could get dinner fixed after the parade.  In the meantime, Harlee and Hannah got to open and read our books and we talked about where we found Gundy earlier today.  He was playing Star Wars Trouble with Optimus Prime.

Join my friend ShaRhonda and her family's elf, Charlie over at The 4-Crow's.