Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

It's taken me all week to get this post up! The stomach flu saga lasted 14 days, and it wasn't until Monday that we woke up feeling better, although we are still struggling with colds.

This week we have tried to take it easy, and I have dived into end-of-the-year projects like updating the finances, totally reorganizing my closet (which is the size of the entire upstairs of our house in Scotland so it is no little job!), and cleaning the windows and blinds downstairs.

Emily is busy doing flowers for a wedding this weekend, and Michael is trying to nurse his voice back to health so he can perform the wedding and preach on Sunday!

Our Christmas was definitely different. Not taking the weeks of sickness into account, December was a much less stressful month than usual, mostly because we needed to stay home with Laura and not do crazy busy things. The kids and I will have some great memories of tree cutting, Frog and Toad production, gingerbread houses, decorating, and a few crafts. I think Christmas day was a bit of a let-down due to sickness, but the kids still had great fun and that's the important part.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Grandma took care of filling the stockings:

Christmas Eve night -- the tree all ready for the morning. I LOVED our tree this year. It's off to decorate the wedding reception now.

For those who could eat, we had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast. It was decided to do away with Christmas dinner and instead eat chicken soup. Different, but easy.

Waiting for the excitement to begin:

Michael taking it easy:

Laura surprised us all and decided to sit on her own. The best Christmas present ever!!!

The little munchkins:

Andrew bought these socks for Laura:

Explaining one of the gifts:

The sisters. Oh, and speaking of sisters, poor Christina woke up with the stomach flu Christmas morning and had to send her husband and baby away by themselves to the in-laws for the planned Christmas celebration. So, we went and picked her up to join the sick house for a few hours and at least feel a little festive.
Laura enjoying herself:

We tried homemade marshmallows for the very first time this year and they are AMAZING!!! I can't wait to make them again.

In the middle of all the fun:

Hanging out with Grandma, who, incidentally, came down with the flu several days later. Poor thing! It was so kind of her to come and be with us.

So here's a bit more of a realistic picture:

The front door:

One of the nicest parts of the day was the walk some of us took outdoors. It was beautiful!

Can you see the cardinal?

Happy kids!

Walking in a winter wonderland:

It was still, peaceful, and beautiful. And we even saw a deer run by.

Then we tried out the sledding:

It was such great fun that I took the kids back two more days.

Mom and I
Down the hill with Grandma:

And back up again.
And now the new year is just about upon us. This past year has been a difficult one for our family. I think we are all ready to put it behind us and begin again. We have no idea what the new year holds, but we look forward to seeing how if unfolds.

Happy New Year to you!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Christmas Eve is finally of my favorite days of the year. And it looks like it will be a white Christmas outside -- we've had snow most of December and are supposed to get several more inches tonight.

Inside, it's a green Christmas. Yup, we're on day 12 of the stomach flu and still going strong! The only option is to laugh and know that in years to come our memories will still bring us laughter!

Not only that, but my husband is giving me the silent treatment this week. Poor guy, he doesn't mean too, really. It's just that he lost his voice Sunday night while away and hasn't been able to speak since. One would think it would be a wife's dream -- a loving, caring husband just to listen and not solve problems. In reality, it's just a little boring. :)

We did make some gingerbread houses just as the flu started. Christmas baking has been a completely different story than normal this year. It's the first year in my married life I haven't made cut out sugar cookies and taken them to our neighbors. While I marvel at that in my head, I'm okay with it, knowing that lots of things are different because of Laura's condition.

Wednesday we started baking and made candy cane cookies and thumbprints, along with a few gluten-free options.

This shirt is so appropriate for Laura, who is "always jolly". What a sweetheart she is!

We tried our hand at marshmallows last night -- wow! Amazing! We'll try them tonight.

Oh, and look who showed up this week on the kitchen floor?! At the end of September, a caterpillar escaped from a jar in the kitchen and never appeared. After a few weeks, I gave up hope. Imagine my surprise at walking in the kitchen and seeing this butterfly!

We're trying to add to the Christmas spirit by dressing Laura in her santa outfit. She's our real "Santa Baby".
Laura's first Christmas cookie baking:

With all that is going on in our lives, I have been thinking about what really matters right now: loving God and loving those around me. Everything flows out of that.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The December Birthdays

Emily and I both celebrated birthdays this past week. Rachel very sweetly made blueberry
muffins for birthday breakfast (including the candles on the top!).

Emily decorated the table with a flower arrangement.

My Dad stopped by with flowers -- my favorite colors:

I decided to set up a card-writing table in my bedroom. Something to maybe get me in the mood to get our cards out.....
On my birthday, we read lots of Christmas stories aloud and worked on making Christmas cards.
Much of my birthday afternoon was spent at Riley with Laura, however, Michael and I did manage to get out for a late dinner afterward. I'm so glad we made it out. We had a lovely Italian meal in a nearby quaint town.

The rest of the celebration continued on the weekend. Emily took us to Midland Antiques where we lost ourselves among the many rooms of junk (er, I mean antiques). It was so much fun!

We were supposed to be finding Emily a birthday present. But we didn't. Oh well.

Then we stopped for lunch on Mass Ave.

We're wearing our "sister necklaces" -- all three of us.

We got the tree decorated between celebrations. I'm really happy with it. I think it looks so pretty.

I also made a beautiful plaid pillow for the living room. Something I've been wanting to do for some time.

Sunday the snow began to come down. After church everyone came here for lunch and the afternoon. We had such a delightful, cozy time. Lots of good food!

And lots of good, fun fellowship.

And homemade, peppermint ice-cream for dessert! Yes, it is really good!

And chocolate fudge brownies too.

And then present opening:

Even Laura was starting to get happy again.

Rachel and Andrew treated us to a performance from the Frog and Toad Broadway Show.

"Merry Almost Christmas, Happy Almost New Year......."

James and David performed as "the birds"

Going crazy.....
And now it's time to focus on getting ready for Christmas.