Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 in Pictures

Happy New Year, and we love you all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve! Let the parties begin!

Back in October, I started a huge excel spreadsheet list.  On this list, akin to Santa's master list, was a list of every gift, given by me, my husband, and each of my children, to everyone they needed to give to.  (Each other, a cousin, an aunt/uncle/friend, etc).  I typed in what each person was giving in black, and once it was purchased I would change the color to red.  On the next sheet of the master list was a long list of every baked good I planned to make and another list of who those baked goods would be going to (30+ boxes).  Next to that was a shopping list of what I needed to buy to make all those baked goods.  Again, all of this was typed in black.  When I had started, but not completed, a baked good, I changed it to blue, and then when finished, red.  And yet another sheet had a menu of every meal we would eat this week and all the parties and schedule we would be keeping, what potluck items I was bringing, what I had to buy, even when I had to get things out of the freezer.  All of this was black, and when I completed it or bought the items I needed, I would change it to red.

This morning I was able to change the last few black spots to red.  It is SO satisfying to flip through this list that I've been using almost daily for the last 3 months and see this sea of red (in a good way).  It is all done.  I'm not quite as organized as my mom, but I have enough of her in me to take immense satisfaction and joy from completing all my tasks and knowing I did a great job.  You might think I'm crazy, but that's just the way I'm wired.

It's all done.  Every project plus a few bonus projects, every gift wrapped, every goodie baked and delivered, every purchase made and every event prepared.  Now it is time to just relax and breathe in the Holiday Spirit.  Today is Christmas Eve.  It is snowing outside and it is gorgeous.  We had a fun Christmas tree omelet for breakfast with avocado and little drips of ketchup for ornaments.  The kids are playing outside in the snow with Cody, and life simply could not be more perfect--not even I could plan it that way.

Merry Christmas, everyone.  May you have a beautiful, simple, and Christ-centered holiday.  We love you and send you our best wishes and love.

Love, Lisa, Cody, Lee, Annalisa, and Katie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Naughty or nice?

Our kids broke the legs off our Elf on a Shelf.  I told them they killed one of Santa's elves, and that they would have to be extra nice to get out of this hole.  Lee simply replied, "Well, it's okay.  Santa has more elves."  I know I was a bit extreme, but really?  I think my kids are just as destructive as any others, but sometimes it's pretty frustrating. 

But, they are sweet and tenderhearted and eager to please, even when they make messes or dump out an entire bottle of my expensive peppermint essential oil, or rip the nativity advent calendar I spent hours making to shreds... I know they are just trying to make the house smell nice or they want to find Baby Jesus... they have their own reasoning.  My children most certainly are children, but they are definitely on the nice list.  Especially when they look like this:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Life's pretty good, you know?

Like so many others, our hearts are completely broken over the horrific massacre in Connecticut yesterday.  At times like these, sometimes it's hard to remember the good around us--the beauty and the joy--but, it is still there.  This morning, I went outside in the fresh snow and I haven't been that happy in a very long time.  It's the simple joys like a child's voice, a blanket of new snow, a smile and friendly gesture of a neighbor, or homemade pancakes for breakfast that really are what life is about.  And, at least for us, life is full of those simple joys.  It's pretty great.
A few clips of yesterday's Kindergarten Christmas Program: 

And a little video of Annalisa singing:

Our next door neighbor has a 4 wheeler with a plow and was having a blast doing everyone's sidewalks this morning.  He took Anna for a little ride and she said it was "WAY fun."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Some things I love

I love singing Christmas songs with friends.  I love sitting in the living room with no lights on but the Christmas tree.  I love listening to my kids talk themselves to sleep.  I love watching snow fall.  I love nibbling on treats friends bring to the house.  I love waking up to the smell of warm bread coming from my bread machine.  I love when my husband volunteers to do the dishes.  I love working on projects and seeing the final results come together.  I love this time of year!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Foggy Morning

Maybe I'm weird, but I have always loved foggy mornings.  I like going outside and feeling the mist around me.  I don't really like driving in fog because it's scary, but I love being somewhere with hills and mountains and going up out of the fog and seeing it blanket the city, and then diving back down in it like a swimming pool.  It's a bit mysterious, a bit magical, just fun for me. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


'Tis the season to get fat, right? :D  I LOVE baking at this time of year!  I have a stack of recipes that is only made for Christmas.  Because they're only for Christmas, and because I always make them at Christmas, they taste like Christmas to me.  Fudge, homemade caramels, my Great-Aunt's Peanut Butter Cups, peppermint anything/everything, peanut busters... oh yeah.

I'm just getting going on my baking.  Yesterday was fudge and homemade peppermint marshmallows.  Katie loved the marshmallow coated whisks.  A lot.  Proof:

I can't wait to share all these goodies with friends!