Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Cheer

We maxed out the Christmas festivities this year! We went on a horse drawn carriage and enjoyed some hot chocolate and cookies. The girls requested decorating a gingerbread house for FHE. Addison took the decorating very seriously and Avery just enjoyed picking everything off and eating it. The evening ended with Dave and the girls seeing who could put more frosting in their mouths...gross! Addison wanted to put together treat bags for her preschool class. She sorted and counted everything and then I tied a ribbon on. I loved watching her get really excited about giving to her little school friends. We met Grammie at the Festival of Lights on a warm evening. We stood in line to see the ice queen herself. Addison and Avery were both too shy to go and say hello. We had to put them in the stroller and wheel them over to see her. Elsa and Anna started to sing and talk to them and they warmed up a little bit for a smile. We ended our festivities with a trip to see Santa at Bass Pro Shop. The girls each wrote letters and handed them to Santa. No one wanted to go sit on his lap so it was a whole family affair to take a picture. Earlier in the month I talked Dave into putting out some lights. This was the first time we have ever joined in on the outside lights display. It was small, but Addison loved plugging them in everyday. I love the month of December and all of the special opportunities that we get to talk about the birth of our Savior. We had a candy countdown and a spiritual one. Each morning they got an M&M and then they pulled out what activity we would do. Most of them included reading a scripture or doing an act of kindness. We focused our FHE on the birth of Jesus and his coming into the world. The girls LOVED the play nativity set that we kept out in the playroom. I thought that the favorite piece was going to be baby Jesus, but it was the camels. Avery toted around two of them ALL month long. This was a great month of holiday celebrations and I love that both girls got into the magic!

Always Behind!

It's almost the end of the year and I am rushing to play catch up! I love dressing the girls in matching Sunday clothes. Addison wasn't thrilled about taking a photo that day, but it's usually her that wants to dress alike. I've been taking Avery to a library story time while Addison is in preschool. It's the perfect time for her to shine on her own. Her favorite class period was the parachute day. Most of the time she would sing loud and through in that she wanted her kitty binky. 
This Fall Addison and I continued the tradition of going to Disney On Ice. Grammie was out of town so we invited our friend Karen who loves to play grandma to the girls. Addison talked her into buying a giant thing of cotton candy with a crown. She of course was on cloud nine and loved the whole evening. Next year Avery will be old enough to go with us! 
Avery bit a hole in her beloved kitty binky a few weeks ago. We thought it was going to be a very rough go after that, but it went well. Avery looked at it and put it in the garbage. I have a small sliver of hope that one day she will do that to all of them!
Avery is WILD at the grocery store. I honestly can't even contain her there. The girls want to ride in the giant car shopping cart and it never goes well. Avery always ends up in a creative position and kicks Addison out of the cart. I'm slowing learning to go when Dave is home to stay with the girls.  

Joy to the World

December is almost over and I am happy to kiss it goodbye! December has been an extremely busy month with one large activity after another. At the beginning of the month the relief society was in charge of the ward christmas party. I was the chair for it and I told the bishop that it was my grand finale! As always it is an incredible amount of work, but this year was very rewarding. Each member of the presidency was over preparing and cooking certain items on the menu. It was crazy for a few hours, but it was really nice not to send around sign ups. I was given a nice floral arrangement to say thank you from the bishopric. 
Next up I had my last relief society activity of 2015! It was the 9th activity of the year and it was a nice one to end on. We went caroling to a few sisters who are in nursing homes. Beforehand we had appetizers and a christmas message. I had made a small christmas present for each sister of mittens and a quote. I feel very happy with how this year went with activities. 
I took on the ward's Angel Tree this year. I collected a total of 44 gifts for 7 families. It was a wonderful experience and it helped to bring the christmas spirit into our home. We collected gifts for children and youth and it was humbling at the simple requests that they had. The girls were very interested in all of the gifts collecting in the basement. I explained to them how lucky they are to have so much and that a lot of children don't have as much. Addison helped me bag and tag the gifts and it was a fun experience to do together. 
This was a month of service and giving of time. As the month went on and each activity came to a close I felt more and more grateful for my Savior. I am grateful for a supportive family who put up with all the running around that I had to do. The girls never cried or threw fits that we had to go into one more store. Dave helped with the girls with all the late meetings and planning that went on. My parents watched the girls for me several times so I could spend a full day gathering supplies. I truly couldn't have accomplished all that I did this month without their support. I feel very blessed and I am happy every time I look at this photo that was taken at the ward party. I love my little family and hope that they grow to realize how much I do!