Family Fun: December

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December was SO FULL (clearly since it’s taken me this long to blog about it ha!) and I decided to do a combo post rather than having a summary post for each kid I’m just doing a big family post to cover it all. Including what our Elf on the Shelf was up to this year! I usually do a solo post of our Elf fun but, again, just tossing it all together this year. So here it goes!

Our Elf is Hermey and he brought his sister, Snowflake, a couple years ago so now we have two elves. Here is what they were up to this year in our home:

Every year they arrive on Thanksgiving morning with yummy muffins!

He’s back!

I love Kye writing notes to Hermey 😉

Britt lost her first tooth on Thanksgiving day and left the Tooth Fairy a note!

Hermey and Snowflake turned the Tooth Fairy fun into their own game for Britt and the other kids. They made a scavenger hunt to find her money!

I love the last clue 😉

Found it!!!

Britt sharing about her tooth!

 Making their “to do” lists like Mommy and Daddy were as we waited for baby!

The kids really wanted a “Elf Pet” and Santa delivered!

I LOVE Kye’s excitement over it!

Santa sent us the Reindeer Elf Pet! 

The kids were kinda disappointed with it because it turns out this one you can touch and play with so it’s not really part of the whole Elf magic thing with doing fun things while they sleep. 

I know, super original name 😉

More Elf Fun!

The elves brought us Trolls Holiday which was pretty cute but def not as cute as the original movie in my opinion! 

The Christmas Lego kits are super cute and fun!

Always such a fun Elf Game!

I love when the Elves bring new Christmas stories for our family to enjoy!

Santa’s Underwear (so appropriate for Kye who LIVES in his underwear), The Little Reindeer, A Christmas for Bear, and Disney Baby My First Christmas 

On Dec 24th our Elves always leave something extra special as they head home to the North Pole that night! They wrote a sweet note to the kids and left a fun school set as the older three all love to play school!

Of course the BIG EVENT of this month was adding sweet Spear to our family! Most of our month was spent just soaking up those sweet snuggles and being so thankful to have him in our arms forever 🙂 

While I was away for half the month with Spear in Florida life continued on without me. I totally missed book club! I didn’t finish our book for the month (Before We Were Yours) but was sad I couldn’t be with everyone to discuss it!

Zach had a work dinner where family was invited and he went solo with the kids! He rocks at the whole solo Daddy thing and I think he enjoys showing off those skills a bit. Tessie’s friend from school (Asher) even sat with them the whole time so Zach had a table full!

And he dresses them so cute too 🙂 

Even with a new baby and the craziness of being in separate states for half the month we still did ALL of our regular Christmas traditions! 

We met Santa 

We did our Christmas baking!

Every year I make my mom’s Christmas cookies for us to decorate together on our Core Crew Christmas

We went to the Dollar Store for our annual stocking shopping!

And we took Spear to church for the first time on Christmas Eve!

Every year we always have a LOT of down time after Christmas morning and this year was no different. I think this year’s down time was even more welcomed than usual because I was just SO eager for CHILL MODE with our new family of 6 rather than the rush rush and distance of the first three weeks of the month. 

Dec 26th is our annual PLAY ALL DAY event! We let the house be a disaster and spend the day opening all the new toys and just letting the kids have total freedom to play all day with whatever they want. It’s always super fun but by the end of the day I’m always super ready for the next day which is our Clean All Day event ; )

First thing Tessie wanted to play with was her new paints from Grandpa and Grammie!

Ugh I don’t do itty bitty pieces and crafting together. So frustrating!

Happy girl with her new “American Girl” stuff!

Another yearly tradition we have is a BIG Feast on the 26th. Zach always cooks and we always use my Christmas china. It’s a fun tradition that we all enjoy! 

YUM!

Together time is the best time!

Ready for the clean all day event! Kye is my collector…he has SO MUCH stuff in his room and it felt so good to clean it OUT! 

As their reward for working hard all day they got to have a sibling sleep over!

Our tree struggled to live this year. Usually I’m allllll about leaving it up until New Years and even then I am sad to see it go but this year I was OVER IT. It was shedding needles like crazy and just looked sad and like it was dying. I wanted it gone on the 27th which is so not typically like me!

Every year Zach’s family has a football game on the 24th called The Cat Creek Classic. It’s been a different sort of year this year and with Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday it just didn’t work out to have the game. So they switched things up and did a golf outing together instead and had a great time! Of course I prefer the football game because I think it’s fun to ALL participate and be able to watch and I know for Zach it’s his only chance to play competitively with the sport he loves but this was a good compromise for this year!

While Daddy golfed…G-Mama asked to stop by to see Spear for a bit so I ran the big three up to the donut shop for a little Mommy Time 🙂 They cracked me up with their attire choices!

We took them home to eat because I didn’t want G-Mama feeling like she was babysitting!

My hair yall. I’m so hardcore about getting it done and it was SO NEEDING it but with Spear’s birth and then being gone it took until after Christmas for me to finally get it cut and colored. The girls came with me because they needed cuts too!

The Before Shots…

After!

Hair Day is the best day!

Kye stepped right back into the big brother role with ease this month. He always makes me proud and I love seeing him with his little brother! 

He was ALL about the legos he got for Christmas. I had hoped they’d last him awhile but instead he was on a mission to get them ALL put together within just a couple of days!

Kye enjoys golf but likes it to be JUST him and Daddy so they took the time to do that together this month and enjoyed it!

Kye is so funny…he literally made a list of “naughty and nice” children for Santa 😉

First thing he wanted to do when Mommy got home from Florida…beat me in checkers 😉

I love his concentration faces!

Winn Dixie gave out Star Wars trading cards and both G-Mama and Aunt Katie gave him some and he loved them! He was all about making up his own Star Wars game to play!

This cracked me up!

PJ Day for the last day of school!

We love game nights together 🙂

Kye and Britt got Tess a recordable storybook for Christmas and it was adorable seeing them record the story together!

First day after Mommy and Spear came home we had snuggle couch time!

Britt was ALL about some dressing up this month. She practically lived in the Star Wars costume we gave her!

This face is classic Britt haha I swear she does enjoy cooking haha

A fond memory I have whenever we have a new baby is sleeping in my bed while the older children watch a movie on the tv. Now with apps Britt could play while I napped 🙂

The day Spear and I were coming home from Florida Zach drove down to help us and Mrs Charlotte kept the older three. They were all running around (which is the norm here) and Britt and Tess collided. I had a BAD feeling when I saw Britt’s teeth…

Sure enough over the next couple of weeks they looked worse and worse

I ended up taking her to the dentist in Jan…

Britt opened her first bank account this month with the money she’s been saving!

This girl keeps us smiling!

I was so proud of her for her reading! She loves to read and soaks up every book she can find!

Fierce. 

Doesn’t she look JUST like Jyn?

Tessie LOVES being a big sister! She was by my side all month wanting to see Spear and love on him! I was so glad that there were no jealousy issues at all!

Here are some cute videos of her this month:

While I was gone Daddy dressed her like Elsa for school, complete with braid 😉

She missed her mama and our snuggles 🙂

Things you find in your bed when you have a toddler haha!

 Britt and Tess LOVE doing makeup and they are so proud at how pretty they look 😉

Helping Daddy at work while Mommy was gone!

In other news a place we have visited many times as a family and one that I grew up visiting shut down this month. Yellow River Game Ranch was really needing to close and was super bad last time we visited but it’s still the end of an era!

I was mostly in yoga pants and comfy clothes this month but did want to share a few of my favorites that I wore!

This top was SO flattering for the hospital photos when Spear officially became ours and met his siblings for the first time. I’m wearing a small and it’s the perfect fit! You can see it for yourself here (and it comes in tons of colors too!)

This is my FAVORITE flannel shirt and I own it in multiple patterns. I was nervous to pack it for ICPC as my suitcase was CRAMMED but yall I pulled it out and it was still wrinkle free and ready to wear! Super comfortable and flattering! 

Random but when we had our first weekend as a family we went to Disney Springs and bought an ornament from the movie Coco because it was our first outing as a complete family and I just liked the idea of having an ornament on our tree to always remember that special time. It plays music and yall we spent the entire MONTH with this song in our heads!!!

I was SO excited about my Christmas gift this year for Dad and Audrey. I’ve been wanting to have a pet portrait done for them by Captured by Colson and I finally was able to see Pearl in person on our visit to get some good shots of her on my camera so Lindsay could use them to create this personal, perfect gift for them! If you’d like to have a pet portrait done for yourself or as a gift you can email Lindsay for more details: lindsay@capturedbycolson.com

We had a wonderful December as a family and are so blessed to enter 2018 WHOLE!

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Family Fun: December

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We got home from Disney on Dec 2nd. Kicking off the month with a Disney hangover was not the best. Whew, reality is NOT fun after a full week at DISNEY!!!

Naps help 😉

Yes, I took over 2,000 pics on our trip and that didn’t even include all the Memory Maker ones that Disney took!

The night we got home from Disney I was invited to an earring exchange party at Lindsay’s! It was a GREAT chance to meet some NEW friends. Christian friends are tough to find and it was great mingling with these girls! It was so sweet of Lindsay to invite me and I had a wonderful time 🙂

The big goal for Dec was to get cracking on the healthier lifestyle train for Zach. Thankfully we’re already pretty healthy eaters in our house, but we need to do better for him! I’m eager to learn if there are certain things to eat/avoid but for now we’re just doing our best about it. My main goal this month was to nail down healthy breakfast and lunch options for him. It was tough at Publix. It was overwhelming and I even got a bit emotional (it was my first time telling a complete stranger what is going on and seeing her reaction upset me!). But we had a good solid start and Zach has been killing some pb&j and smoothies! I’ve been trying super hard to do a better job of sharing recipes as I cook them so be sure to follow me on IG and keep up with my stories if you’re looking to add to your recipe box (everything I make is EASY!)

I do a lot of crock pot meals and that means a lot of canned soup. I want to try to learn new things that are still easy but can help us avoid canned soups (aren’t they bad? I think they are bad?). I found this bagged chicken and roasted it up! It was a FABULOUS dinner and then it made for great sandwiches. The BIGGEST thing I’ve found so far is to completely cut out lunch meat. Y’all it’s BAD STUFF. And I had NO CLUE and was giving it to Kye on the regular. He and Zach both are much preferring the shredded chicken anyway!

I was so proud of myself for using the bones of the chicken to make our own chicken broth. I’ve read it has a TON of health benefits so I froze it in smaller amounts and when I cook vegetables I toss it in with the water!


New recipe to try!

Not healthy but SO YUMMY

I had my yearly check up this month. Blah. It was SO CRAZY though to be there and NOT be pregnant! It was a first for me! It did also make me a little sad and seeing Tess’s baby announcement in the room didn’t help those emotions much. It’s a stage of life that’s over for me…but I’m thankful the baby stage isn’t quite gone yet 😉

Movie night snuggles!

Shopping with Mama

This year we expanded our Disney Christmas Village and Kye was SO funny because he did NOT like the addition of more pieces. He said it looked too crowded haha I guess he’s like his mama and likes to keep things simple 😉

Britt loved it though!

(and yes, this is with the additional pieces…like it’s not too crowded AT ALL right?)

Whew. This was a day I’ll never forget. Ever. 

my little princesses!

I know everyone is obsessed with This Is Us but isn’t it awesome? DUH I love the adoption storyline too 😉

This year I was WAY behind on wrapping gifts but Zach was AMAZING with helping! We also had a good system where the kids would put all the bows on 🙂 

I bought this to start reading through the entire Bible. I’ve never read through the Bible so I’m really excited about it but also not putting any stress on it. I know I won’t knock it all out in one year and that’s ok! I got The One Year Through the Bible guide and love it!

I also picked up this DVD as a gift for the kids. It’s pretty cheesy and very early 90s feeling? But hey it gets some great messages across in a new, fun way so I’m all about it!

I was REALLY excited about some of the gifts we got for others this year. We did several coated Yeti’s and I worked with aNn Monograms for the perfect decals to personalize them! These were my favorites:

For my step mom, Audrey 

For my dad (and yall this is legit the EXACT blue of his Corvette!)

For Mr Rusty

And, duh, I couldn’t resist one for me too 😉

I was also pumped about this find! These ornaments were 80 cents each b/c they were marked Halloween for some reason! I stocked up and put pics of the kids from our trip in them, they were perfect bonus gifts for the grandparents!

I love love love a tree FILLED with gifts!

This month was ALL about DOLLS! 

I LOVE Christmas break. I know a lot of people get annoyed with their kids being home all day but I stinking LOVE IT. We had a straight up chill time too. We slept in. We slow rolled naps. We stayed up late. It was glorious and so fun having kids old enough to be more flexible! 

Crafts are a fav when the kids are home…an easy one? Christmas cards!

We also spent a lot of time jamming out to some Moana. Y’all the songs are AMAZING!

Since we moved in our house I have had a very hateful relationship with our kitchen light. It’s beautiful. But it’s SO DARK. Our lighting lady just did a terrible job. We have TONS of lights in our bathroom and then our kitchen was like a cave. It was rough. We added under cabinet lighting but that only helps so much. So we decided to release the whole light. I assumed it’d cost hundreds to find a light we liked. Um. How about $88! From Amazon! (direct link!) So cheap, and random, but PERFECT. It’s so, so bright and it’s AMAZING. I wish I’d switched ages ago and we’re actually considering buying more of these to put on our front porch! 

Every Christmas we take on a big project around the house. This year it was transferring all the bedrooms around. Kye stayed put but Britt moved up to the guest bedroom. Her old room will become the nursery. And Tess got a big girl bed! Whew! 

In order to make all the transfers Zach first made me a storage closet off the playroom. This allows me to store all my craft/party supplies that were all in the guest room closet. Thankful for such a handy man!

My magic band for my annual pass arrived!!! I already have a red band so I did yellow this time and I LOVE IT!

The same day I got the exciting annual pass holder mail…I also got this extremely sweet note from our vet regarding Zeke. How thoughtful was that? And seeing his little paw prints? Totally made me cry. I want to frame them and probably put them in Tess’s room 🙂

If you follow me on IG or FB then you’ve probably already seen this pic and heard about Tripp. He’s a little boy in our community who is fighting cancer and recently underwent a full bone marrow transplant. I know his mom as we co-hosted a shower together. They are a precious family and they have a young infant while facing all the struggles that childhood cancer brings. You can follow their updates (I ADORE Kim, Tripp’s mama, and love how she’s handled all of this with raw honesty but also with strong faith and grace) on the Facebook page: Super Prayers for Tripp Lasseter. 

Often I make an entire post about our Christmas Break adventures but I figured our Dec was pretty bland so I’d just stick it all in the monthly summary post 🙂 We chill a LOT over Christmas Break and we also grub out a lot too. Every year Zach goes feast mode beast mode and cooks a big meal on both Dec 26th and the 31st. This year we kept it simple b/c Daddy was BUSY with all the room stuff 😉 But we still ate on our fancy Christmas china and the kids still drank out of “fancy” Aflac glasses and we still had a blast (And Kye still showed up in his underwear haha). 

Our Christmas dinner (on Dec 26th)

Have I mentioned that I have THE BEST MIL? When I was a hot sobbing mess I found a super sweet card and some of my favorite candies on my doorstep 🙂

Britt’s makeup vanity was a HUGE hit for a gift and she was obsessed with putting makeup on Tess 😉

I’m shocked I didn’t gain a million pounds over the break. I WISH I was one of those girls who got stick thin when stressed but instead I’m a hardcore emotional eater. I lived off Christmas cookies. I’ve found that IF you’re emotionally eating and ONLY emotionally eating that you really don’t gain weight b/c you’re on the toilet so much with a messed up stomach haha 

I mean I ate cookies when I was nervous…

and celebrating 😉 

We had strange weather over Christmas too. In 2015 we had record highs (like 88 on Christmas day) and this year we had like a week of super cold and rainy and then a week of super warm and sunny. I prefer the warm and sunny personally! 

I really wanted to take the kids out to Wild Adventures. I tried arranging plans for friends to come with us but it just never worked out so I went solo! I think it’s so funny how people think I’m so brave to take all three of my kids places by myself. Y’all. They are MY kids. I mean more power to you if you have a nanny or a mom who likes to tag along and help or something. But I’ve always been pretty hardcore about being able to fully care for MY kids b/c they are MINE. We really had a BLAST! I think I’m at my coolest as a mom when I’m riding solo 😉 I just can really focus on the kids so much and be all about them when I’m not having adult conversations or getting someone elses opinion on things. I’m still cool when we’re all together as a family, duh, but I feel like I have to be more “hardcore mom.” Anyways we just went out there for a few hours and lived it up! I was proud of Kye because he understood that it wasn’t going to be a roller coaster situation and he still had a great time 🙂 

My beauty queen!

These big kids and the spinning dragons!

I love this haha Kye looks like he’s THE KING

I’m SO GLAD the stinking dinosaurs are LEAVING. They made this huge deal about them and advertised about them and everything and yall it’s like this little tiny walk through with large foam dinosaurs. To their credit I guess, Tess does love them

Kye can’t stand the safari b/c the line is always long so we ride the turtle jeeps instead 😉

And of course we had to stop and see Tess’s favorite monkeys!

We had 30 min left before we had to head home and the kids just wanted to play on the playground. I was a little bit stressed trying to watch all three of them (these parents who just mess with their phones the whole time are beyond me…maybe I worry too much but I have to have eyes on my kids). Someone did come up to me and tell me that we need to have Tess enrolled in gymnastics b/c she is crazy strong. Which is true! She’s JUST like Kye at this age. He always had this crazy strong upper arm strength and Tess is the same. She was climbing up a rope ladder thing and this lady said her older sons couldn’t even do it. 

So much fun!!!

We always get together with Aunt Katie to exchange gifts! I LOVE how much our kids love and adore her. She’s been such a constant in my life these past 12 years and I’m so thankful for our friendship!

Florida State also played in a bowl game over the break. Like a true fan I wore my FSU gear and got my kids all dressed up and everything. But unlike a true fan I then went out to dinner (Keeli, my queso bff!) instead of watching the game haha it was a crazy one though and I did watch the very end!

Britt LOVES to bake! I was SO excited by this little baking set Mrs. Charlotte got for her for Christmas. We had BAD LUCK with the Easy Bake Oven last year and this was a HUGE upgrade. We all loved it and had SO much fun baking a special dessert for our NYE feast (and they were actually YUMMY)!

Ending the year and ending crib life in our home (at least for now)

Last feast of the year! Steaks!!!

As always we talked about the past year. Great memories. Favorite trips. And we talked about the year to come and our hopes for it. For Zach and I 2016 was SO tough on so many levels, but I’m thankful that negative energy wasn’t absorbed by our children. They had a great year and I’m thankful for all the wonderful memories we shared! They bring brightness to even the darkest times!

We usually go to bed and don’t watch the ball drop but we BOTH wanted to stay up and say GOODBYE to the crappy year that was 2016! And we did it in style with yummy gooey brownies and ice cream! We watched X-Files and then watched the ball drop!

I love this quote to describe me and love the hope it gives for the new year!

Videos from This Month:

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Family Fun: December

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Update:::: It’s now okay for me to edit this post to add more info about our AMAZING opportunity in giving this holiday season! Our church had a special service on Dec 6th where each family was given $1400 from an anonymous donor and was simply told to use it to bless others in Jesus’ name. So awesome right?!? With our funds we were able to help a family have Christmas (through a local school), several foster teens have gifts under the tree, and randomly bless strangers with cash (this was our FAV! The kids had a BLAST walking up to people, handing them an envelop and saying “merry christmas!” The response was awesome as well…many tears and lots of hugs), as well as the things mentioned in this post. It was SO inspiring to hear how other families in our church used the funds and it’s really neat to think about how the love of Jesus was really shared with so many people this holiday season. You can read about our church’s act of giving via this local newspaper article. You can also watch the report of how the funds were spent via our church website (and if you watch…yes that’s my man leading Lord’s Supper at the 19 min marker!). So honored to be a small part of such an amazing opportunity and so thankful to be members of such a giving congregation! It’s something that our family will never forget and it will forever change the way we spend our time around the holidays as well as throughout the year 🙂

*****

Every year I usually do a “Christmas Card Roll Call” post which I enjoy! I scan all of our Christmas cards that we received and it’s fun to see how families change over the years. Sadly, that’s not possible this year as my scanner isn’t working (my graphing calculator also quit on me…quite depressing around here ha!) so I can’t scan the cards! I did want to be sure to share our Christmas Card this year though…

My new favorite thing is to get custom postcards made. I found an AMAZING Etsy shop that has SUPER QUICK turnaround (we got these pics taken on Dec 1st so I was in a bit of a rush!) and does the BEST custom designs I’ve seen! DigiGoose is seriously awesome and it made me feel so special that she said she remembered my crew from last year 🙂 

I send the finished design into our local UPS store who prints them off for me! Including the card design, printing, and postage I spent a little under $1 per card which I think is pretty awesome especially for how great they turn out 🙂 And, duh, mega big thanks to Captured by Colson for the incredible images (you can see all the pics from our photo session here!)

This post is all about the random family fun we had during the month of December! December is SUCH a busy time with the holidays and Britt’s birthday but I felt like we really just enjoyed the entire season from start to finish. I LOVE all the time with my sweet family!

We had some pretty awesome timing…I had been thinking a lot about how as we get older and our kids grow up and don’t live at home how sad a lot of the holiday stuff will be without them there to partake in it all with us. I thought about Zach’s parents decorating their tree by themselves and it bugged me and I wanted to make a point next year to go over there to have our kids help…well it worked out that when they came to help us at our family photo session that we went to their house after to hang out and eat dinner together. We NEVER get to randomly stop by like that and it just so happened Mrs. Charlotte had her Christmas tree stuff out so the kids got to help her with her tree! I love when things just work out so perfectly 🙂 

This kid is ALWAYS a happy helper!

On the day of Britt’s party I needed the kids OUT of the house so I could keep it CLEAN (we all know it’s impossible to keep a house clean with kids running around!). Zach was super dad (and scored brownie points with Mom) by taking the kids out to CFA for breakfast. They had a blast playing and eating and I got to get party prep stuff handled without any interruptions. Of course there always has to be some sort of party issue…I sent them all out of the house and completely forgot to ask Zach to get balloons filled for the party so the big kids and I ended up going back out to do that!

The afternoon after Britt’s party the Megow crew stayed over! We got pizza and the kids played and hung out and all the Megow crew spent the night in our playroom and guest room (it’s come in handy having all the random beds we have ha!). It was a great chance for Zach and Seth to hang out too! It’s hard for Seth to get a lot of “friend time” since he’s a single dad! 

When Zach and Seth get together it always involves something RANDOM. I went to McDonald’s to get us all a treat and came home to this…

They made this entire video and it was hilarious. Several times in the final edit you can hear me laughing! I think Zach missed his calling as an actor! You can watch their 80s Dating Video here!

Kye’s first year in public school has meant a lot of fun dress up themed days and they tend to not give a lot of advance notice about it (for example I got a text from the school the day before his 101st day asking the kids to dress up and I totally didn’t have supplies to make a dalmatian type deal in time!). This meant the girls and I made a couple Walgreens stops on our way from dropping Kye off in the mornings to dropping Britt off! We have just enough time between to make one quick errand. The girls LOVED looking at all the Christmas stuff and Tess was seriously so adorable following Britt around everywhere 🙂 

My shopping buddies!

Speaking of Tess and Britt…Britt’s gifts for her birthday and Christmas ended up being Tess’s favorite gifts too 😉 Britt got a Fisher Price doll house with all the dolls and such and Tess LOVES them. And they aren’t too little to have to be overly worried about either! Britt does SO WELL sharing with her which is so sweet! 

Tess does an equally good job of sharing her toys too!

Sweet sisters 💞

I can’t really give a lot of details but this was our BEST Christmas ever for a LOT of reasons. One big way that impacted our entire family was the opportunity we were given to bless others in a way we’ve never been able to do before. It was a lot of pressure to make sure we really used our opportunity to show others Jesus and to teach our children the importance of giving to others. We took it very seriously and it really made our holiday even better knowing that we helped to bless others the way we were able to do!

Kye has read to a local nursing home in the past and wanted to go read to them again. Tess helped me pick out fuzzy socks for all the residents and Kye prepared the gift bags and he and Britt stuffed the socks inside. Then our whole family attended their Christmas party. Kye read and Britt sang and we visited with each resident and gave them their gift. Y’all. It was AWESOME. We gave one man his gift and came back around and saw him already wearing his socks. Seeing the JOY on their faces when our children visited with them was so moving for me. Even Tess did great with so many strangers touching and loving on her! I was a proud mama and it was a memory I’ll forever hold close to my heart and something I hope we are able to do on a more regular basis! Here is a video of Kye reading here is one of Britt singing, and here is one of them passing out some of the socks 🙂

We were able to do a lot of really great things this holiday season to truly bless others and it was so awesome to see our children grow from that experience. We decided on several of the things that we’d like to do on a yearly basis! One great thing we did was gather supplies to make “Blessing Bags.” Our church hosts a soup kitchen the first weekend of every month and we helped provide bags to hand out to those in need. Kye and I had a BLAST filling up our buggy with items we thought would help benefit people and then both big kids assembled the bags before Christmas and went with me to the soup kitchen in Jan to help serve as well as help pass out the bags. 

One of our favorite Christmas traditions is going to look at the Christmas lights in our town. We have a house that is set to music and an entire neighborhood that has HUGE Christmas Cards on display. This year, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we didn’t stress about getting everything done in a quick manner. We took our time and really enjoyed things! We had a Sunday night where we didn’t have church services so we went to eat at Steak and Shake (duh kids eat free is our JAM) and then drove and looked at all the lights!

We have a set budget for all of our gift buying throughout the year. I’m a hardcore nerd and keep an excel spreadsheet going to track all of our spending. This year I got some AMAZING deals on the kids Christmas stuff and thought it’d be fun to challenge myself to see how much below budget I could spend 🙂 The extra money? Well it was spent on fun stuff! I was able to buy each big kid a Disney gift card as a birthday present for them to spend on our upcoming trip, I was able to buy several copies of War Room to give to friends (along with a journal), and I had enough left to take the big kids on a special movie date! We got a sitter for Tess and were able to go see The Good Dinosaur and were able to have enough to buy candy at Walgreens prior AND popcorn at the theater! THANK YOU DEALS! 🙂

I had heard mixed things about The Good Dinosaur. It does have sad parts. Kye cried but it wasn’t overly sad or overly emotional. Also it didn’t harp on evolution or anything like that either. The only really concerning part, from a Christian point of view, was the short video prior to the film. It was about Hinduism and we talked about it as a family (as Kye is PASSIONATE about the dangers of idol worship…it’s like his thing haha) and how we could replace their idols in the video with Jesus instead etc. I didn’t find the video offensive nor do I think it’s up to Disney to project solely Christian points of view, as a parent I just do my best to put Jesus into every aspect of my children’s lives!

My favorite part of Christmas break? Having these three home in pjs and playing ALL DAY!

Kye always keeps us entertained with his reading 🙂

We even had a fun CFA playdate with Robyn’s crew before school started back! Love these kids and that they’ve been buddies from the beginning!

We had a simply AMAZING December! It was the perfect ending to a wonderful 2015 and makes me excited for the upcoming year 🙂 

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