I realized I am behind on some pictures from this month, like pictures of the girl's birthday party with friends, the blizzard, a visit with Santa and the girls in their Christmas outfits that they wore at church for their big performance on the big stage.
M had her first official dental visit on Monday and was a pro! The visit went so well! She has been to the dentist before when S had her cleanings. Also, we had the dentist look at a front tooth that seems to be two teeth joined together.
I think it also helped for this visit to have M watch S get her cleaning done first. But once S was done, M was anxious to get into the dentist chair!
She was so sweet! She opened her mouth wide when directed. She would wave to me as her teeth were getting cleaned. She laughed when the water squirter would rinse her teeth. She said her teeth were crunchy (because of the tooth polish). She did such a good job! I am so proud of her!
One of my childhood Christmas memories is of snacking on Keebler Holiday Jingles and Almond Crescents. It's been a couple years, maybe, since I've had them. But a couple weeks ago, I thought about them and sought them in our local grocery store. None. I almost thought they weren't made anymore but was given some encouragement when I saw a Kebbler ad with a box of Jingles in the picture. I've been looking every time I go shopping and have even kept my eyes open at other stores (like a local mega superstore) but I have not seen them. I know they are a seasonal item so either I am completely missing them or they are just that popular! (And, no, I have not asked management where they are, figuring that maybe my figure and cholesterol don't need those cookies.) Well, today the desire was real strong for Jingles so I was on a mission to find the cookies at my store. I scanned the aisles and pounced on any holiday display I could find at my local grocery store and still NO Jingles! BUT I did come across Salerno Santa's Favorites Anise Flavored Cookies (which look and taste like Jingles). And the company also has Almond Crescents. I decided to give them a try. The Anise Flavored ones were OK. They did remind me of Jingles. But the cookie seems smaller than Jingles. I'll still eat them though. The Almond Crescents were good although I wished they had a touch more powered sugar on them. The good thing is they have 0g trans fat and no cholesterol. So I don't feel totally guilty. :) I still miss the Jingles. But then again, maybe I am not missing anything at all. I just found this blog posted in 2007 about the writers own lament over missing the beloved Holiday Jingles. (I did not realize there was so much history between Salerno and Keebler and the whole story behind the Jingles.) The writer found both the Keebler and Salerno brands at a store, decided to taste test both and concluded that the Keebler Brand was nothing like they remembered. I found another blog with the same kind of frustration over the Keebler brand recipe and how the Salerno brand is THE original. WOW! So much history that I was totally unaware of. So did I eat Keebler or Salerno brand as a kid?? I am pretty sure it was Keebler but maybe not. Sounds like I need to do a taste test as well!
I sent out Christmas cards this year (thanks to all the free or nearly free photo offers out there!) I didn't send out a Christmas letter because I didn't have time to write then. Well, I've got a few moments tonight so here is a short (only because my memory might not be working properly) update:
C: wrapped up with one project late summer and is on to another project. He recently wrapped up with his men's church group. He continues to input sermon notes for church. Through diet and exercise, he has shed quite a few pounds. He remains on blood thinner medications until next month, we hope.
L: A friend and I co-lead the mom's group at church. We have a great group of small group leaders and wonderful participants. I continue to team lead in the three year old class on Sunday mornings. I continue to freelance for local publications. Over the spring I was asked to write a weekly piece on local people doing good things. I really enjoy it. Homeschooling took a break this fall. Not sure why we were so busy but it just never fit and then I just decided to take a break. I hope to resume in January and may even start some things with M. I have a lot of great resources a friend has recommended so that will also be exciting to add to our plans.
S: turned 5 this year. We took a trip to Chicago over the summer and she is all a buzz about one day buying a car, moving to Chicago and being an artist and working with beluga whales at the Shedd Aquarium. She has also enjoyed pretend play as a chef so that has also been an interest. And she really has taken to anything to do with space travel so she hopes to one day go to space and stay on the International Space Station (which we've seen in the night sky a couple times. VERY cool!) She has her life pretty much planned out already.
M: turned 3 this year. She continues to be on the go, go, go! Honestly she is something. So uniquely designed. Sweet one time and sour the other. She is so independent, stubborn and determined when she gets her mind set to it. But then she can disarm you with her smile or laugh. She will be "I Do It!" one moment and then "Mama, I want a hug," the next. This fall she and S attended Patriot Preschool and she loved it! They both graduated from PPS today. I look forward to the spring program, which will be a little longer. And I plan to enroll S as well. I know she really enjoys it.
This year the girls were both in the children's church Christmas program. This was M's first time on the big stage and she did a really good job! We are so proud of the girls! They love singing and this was the best time for them! M wants to go on the big stage again but hopefully Miss Impatience can be patient enough to wait until next year!
We are looking forward to Christmas Day at home. And we get to go to our church on Christmas Day! After that, we will be making various travels to visit family. I am praying for good weather, unlike last year.
We pray everyone is doing well! Please keep in touch or send us updates, addresses and the like!
Many Christmas blessings to you! As you open your gifts, remember the greatest gift of all is not in a box but the one sent from heaven above!
Blizzard Allison has long past but now bitter cold is entering the area. So maybe we'll be home again tomorrow. We'll see. I am scheduled to take a meal to a new mom. But maybe that can wait. I wouldn't mind another day at home, especially if it means staying out of the bitter cold. We did get outside for a little bit today. It had stopped snowing at one point in the morning but it was windy. M's cheeks each had a big red welt/spot but they went away. She may need a ski mask for outside play this winter. That and longer mittens. Why don't they make longer mittens for kids? Or if anyone knows where to find some, let me know ASAP! M's issue (and S had the same issue a couple years ago) was that her mittens didn't stay in the coat sleeves so when she played in the snow, it would get on her wrists, making those red as well. (Her wrists had evidence of welts, just not red, more like an outline.) C stayed home today. He spent a lot of time outside clearing our driveway and helping neighbors. The driveway was pretty clear of snow by dinnertime. I hear the wind though so I imagine there is a nice drift in the driveway. We didn't get to the sugar cookie cut-outs. Maybe tomorrow or this weekend. But I was in the kitchen a lot today. I made pancakes for breakfast; put together a chicken chili for dinner; made fudge and toffee bars; made grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for lunch; and made an Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie for my new mom friend. The girls played nicely inside. I made their tutu's and we watched a couple holiday movies. It was a busy day. I am ready for bed!
The blizzard warning is out! We may get 8 to 14 inches tomorrow! WOW! I think a lot of long time WI residents are trying to remember the last time there was a blizzard warning. I am glad I was able to get out and about today (although it felt like EVERYONE was out!) and yesterday so I could get essentials we will need for a couple days at home. Tomorrow would be a perfect jammie/laid back day. I bought some sugar cookie dough so maybe we can get to those cookie cut-outs. Also, the girls got a make-you-own-tutu kit so that will be a project as well. And I've DVR'd several holiday movies so maybe we'll snuggle on the couch with popcorn and hot cocoa and watch some flicks. Sounds perfect! And hopefully by Thursday the winds will have died down some so we can play in the snow. If you're in WI, take it easy! Stay home! If you need to venture out, BE SAFE!!!
OK. I see the commercials for those Snuggie blanket things and laugh. But here I sit, swaddled in a blanket because it's freezing cold in the house, wrapped in the same fashion as the Snuggie. Maybe they are on to something...... But, seriously, would you wear one at a tail gate party or sporting event? Maybe I shouldn't laugh over that either!
We put our trees up last weekend, along with the outdoor decorations.
I love our trees. They are so pretty.
The one in the family room is our newest tree. We got it at the end of the season last year. It's about 7 ft. and C put lights in it. M got to put the star on the top. S says it is full of ornaments. I say it is full of memories.
I love ornaments, especially the ones that represent memories. I always pick out an ornament for each family member. On the tree this year is an angel of peace and two Star Trek ornaments (a communicator and Captain Kirk surrounded by tribbles.)
Also for this new tree, I bought traditional glass balls: red, gold, frosted white and red and gold. They look beautiful in the tree!
Our old tree, the one we've had since S was little, went into the playroom for the girl's ornaments, like Sesame Street characters, ballet shoes, a ballerina and more. Today for an Advent activity, the girls got to add candy canes to their tree.
The tree is a pre-lit one. Unfortunately over the summer the box must have fallen, destroying the tree base which held the fiber optic feature of the tree. But C created a new base, which fits the tree perfectly! And the regular lights still work.
Also for our holiday decorations are several Nativity scenes. The girls have a Veggie Tales Nativity scene in the play room. The first Nativity set is under the tree in the family room. The set came with Mary, Joseph, a cow and a sheep; all dolls so children can play with it. Mary and Joseph are not in the stable now because they are still making the journey. They were in the girl's bathroom this morning. :)
The other Nativity scene is a Willow Tree set, which is on the fireplace mantle. The stable we use was a find at a local resale shop. One day I hope to get the Wise Men to complete the set.
I love looking at the Nativity sets. I think about Mary and Joseph and wonder what they were thinking when the events started to unfold before them. What a wonder to think that you are going to carry and raise God's child! He loves us so much! It amazes me to think about how Jesus came into this world like every other earthly child. And then to be the parents to hold that precious bundle in your arms......! Living, breathing, flesh of God! What a reason to celebrate!