Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

We had such a fun (and busy) Christmas! It all started at mom and dads house on Christmas Eve. The kids were excited about all their gifts....a few more than others.....They have been asking for pillow pets FOREVER!!

 



 
 Gracie also got a mp3 player from Lin and Tim.  She thinks she is hot stuff now!
We pretty much had to make Dawit open his presents.  He found a dog that Ellie got and just wanted to play with it.

 What a cutie!
Of course, we tried to get all the kiddos together for a picture.  It actually went well.  Proof:

 It was such a blessing to watch all the kids on Christmas morning.  I was really excited to see Dawit tear into his presents on his first Christmas home....but he didn't care in the least.  In fact, on Christmas morning while we were looking at all the things Santa brought, he just kept asking to eat!  (I shouldn't be surprised!!)  After he ate breakfast and had time to play, he chose one of Avery's babies over all his boy toys.  Seriously, we made sure to get him only BOY toys since we mainly have pink princess things. 
 I ordered both the girls an Africa necklace from Deena.  They love mine and beg to wear it, so they were really excited when they opened one of their own. 
 The girls also got a barbie house.  Another favorite.
Here is what our living room looked like BEFORE the kids woke up.
And this is what it looked like AFTER....
We rushed around a bit to get ready for our first stop on Christmas Day.  We went to the Armstrong's for lunch.  It is always a fun time.  There are so many grand kids that our kids just love going over there.



It was so sweet.  Lynn sat all the kids down and talked to them about how it was Jesus' birthday, that today was about Him and not about the presents.  She gave each of the kids a cupcake with a candle and they sang happy birthday to Jesus!!  I was praising the Lord at that moment for all He has done in James' family! 

This was the moment I knew Dawit was over all the fun....


He was a trooper though, and so were the girls because after we left the Armstrong's we headed to celebrate with my dad's family.  Oh!  Was that fun.  We did a gift exchange this year that was so much fun!!  We also watched a video that my aunt Rhonda made of family memories.  It was great.  I know she worked really hard on that and did a great job.  It was funny to hear all the little kids say, "was that you mommy?"  :)
 
It was a busy two days, but great to see all our family and celebrate the gift of Jesus! 
Merry Christmas from the Armstrong's!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Days

This week we have had snow and ice that resulted in no school on Monday (snow) and Thursday (ice). PLUS we just found out that school has been canceled tomorrow as well. Truth be told, I am going a little stir crazy. (OK, not a little....MAJOR stir craziness going on over here!)

I have tried to keep the girls busy with different activities. On Monday we made a Christmas scene in a shoebox with some foam stickers I got. The girls thought it was really fun. They pulled apart some cotton balls for snow and decorated their shoe boxes really cute. Here is a picture of Gracie showing off her masterpiece...
Notice the lights strung from the top and the falling snow!  :)  There are even stockings hung on her fireplace.
 See the angel on top of her tree?
 Here is what Avery created.

 Monday night we did venture out to mom and dad's house for dinner.  The kids got to see about 5 deer in the back yard.  They thought this was really neat!
 Here is the big buck.
 We made chex mix on Monday also.  Today I used some more of the cereal to make puppy chow!  I even made it Avery friendly.  I used dairy free chocolate chips and sun butter instead of peanut peanut butter.  All that and she doesn't even like it!! (more for me and Gracie!)
Now I just have to figure out what we are going to do tomorrow!  No way can I stay home all day again.  And I definitely don't need to being cooking or baking something else for me to eat!  So much for the 4 pounds I lost.  :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dawit's First Haircut

This morning I loaded Dawit into the car and the two of us headed to the barber shop down the street.  I know... I gave in!  I said I wasn't going to cut it, but this week his hair got a little wild.

We went to the same barber our friend Tedi used.  We walked in and there were lots of people waiting...I bet we waiting over an hour!  Thankfully Dawit was a trooper and did great. 

His barber, David, was great.  He gave me some tips on how to care for it and what products to use.  His hair turned out shorter than I was hoping, but David assured me that it would come in healthier after this cut.  Plus he said it was really hard to cut long hair on a baby that wiggles around a lot.  I ended up having to hold Dawit in my lap, so unfortunately I don't have any pictures.  :(
I was surprised when he said that I would need to bring him every 2 weeks!  I told James he was going to have to start getting his hair cut there too!

So, here is my baby with his new do.....
 I think I miss his curly fro.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dawit's Ornament

Several people have asked me about Dawit's ornament.  Kory gave it to us last year for Christmas, right before Dawit came home.  She ordered it from Mandy's Moon, which specializes in multicultural gifts.
My blogger won't let me post a picture at the moment, so just scroll down to my last post and check out his ornament on our tree. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Today was full of Christmas preparation.  This morning, we headed to Lindsay's house to bake cookies.  What cookies, you ask?  Only one of the best cookies EVER!  The problem is we only get them at Christmas and usually we only get one.  (mom gets a bag each year...I get one, Lin gets one, and mom gets a couple= bag empty)  Yesterday when I was talking to Kory, she told me that she made a family recipe for cookies..."spring something"  she said.  "SPRINGERLEE??"  I yelled.  I was so excited!  They are so yummy....licorice flavored....even better after they sit for a week or two....yummy!  So this morning Kory came over and we made a couple of batches.  I can't wait to cook them tomorrow.  (they will go great with some Ethiopian coffee!)

Kory was so sweet.  She brought each of us a cute apron.  She also brought Christmas CDs to listen to.
Here I am making sure Lindsay is doing it right!  :)
Here is what Lindsay thinks about that!!  I didn't realize she did that until I down loaded these pictures!!
All our hard work.
A big mess.  but worth it!

Tonight after dinner we put the Christmas tree up.  (finally)  Dawit didn't really get it, but the girls had fun putting on the ornaments.  We let them put the unbreakable ornaments on the bottom half and James and I put the others up top and out of reach of little fingers.  Here is the final product.

Upon closer look, you can see the part the girls decorated....
And right beside it....
I guess they just kept going right back to the same spot.  James even turned the tree a bit in hopes they would decorate it somewhat evenly.  Nope.  I left it like that.  It gives it character.  :)

Here is the branch with each kiddos ornament...
And, of course, I tried to get some cute shots in front of the tree.


Now we just have to keep Dawit from breaking all the ornaments. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let It Snow

We woke up on Saturday morning to maybe an inch of snow.  The girls were so stinkin excited and immediately started asking if we could go outside and play.  I put it off and was a party pooper for a while....but I finally gave in.  Boy, am I glad I did!!  Their squeals and laughs were well worth all the wet, dirty clothes and my wet floor.
See, I told you...not much snow!  but enough for them.

To my surprise Dawit LOVED it!  I thought he would want to come right back in, since he HATES his big puff coat I got him.  Once he saw the girls sled down our little hill he was ready to go.  He slid down that hill over and over with the girls.  He did take several face dives at the bottom, but didn't care.  He would laugh and squeal all the way down....then go as fast as his little legs would take him back up the hill.  (which was extra slow since he had on so many layers of clothes!)  :)

 love this laugh!!
 What a cute smile.  Neither of the girls would hardly stop long enough for me to snap a picture. 

 And down he goes!

Daddy and I even took a few turns on the sled!  It was a fun morning.  Since Saturday, I think it has snowed a little every day.  I like to look at the pretty snow, but I don't like to go out in it.  It's just so cold!  I guess that explains why Avery and Dawit never got out of their fleece footie jammies this morning!!  :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I have so much to be thankful for!
A great hubby...
Three sweet children....
A wonderful family...
A picture with all the kids looking and smiling...
The list goes on...

We had a fun Thanksgiving on Thursday.  We started the day with lunch at the Armstrong's.  I ate WAY too much.  I always do.  They cook a lot of dishes that include cheese, which you know I don't get very often.  Aside from my ham, I had mac n cheese, broccoli and cheese casserole, potato casserole....you get the picture.  The kids had LOTS of fun playing with all their cousins.

Next, we headed to Sis' house for dessert with my family.  None of the kids fell asleep on the ride over like we thought they would.  (equals trouble...read on)
Avery and Reese put on a little harmonica concert for us.  How cute are they?  I love how they have their arms around each other.


After our dessert and after this concert, things started to get a little hairy.  The kids were all starting to get fussy, however Lindsay and I were determined to play some family games.  We even woke dad up from a nap so we could have even teams.  (boys vs girls)  All the adults were loud since we were playing, then the kids started getting loud and wild.  At one point there was tears, but we kept playing.  It was comical really. 

Once we had all the kids in bed, I got ready for my Black Friday shopping.  Let me preface this story by saying that Lin and I have never shopped on Black Friday.  This year, we decided to try it.  We mapped out our plan and were going to start at Toys r Us and then head to Old Navy at midnight.  After that we might hit Walmart if Ellie was being good.  (Yes, you read that right, Ellie was going. )

So, Toys r Us opened at 10, we pulled up at 9:45ish.  OH MY GOODNESS!!!  We were so naive!  We couldn't believe the line.  It wrapped around the building TWICE.  (and it was cold and rainy!)  We really couldn't stop laughing and saying "NO WAY!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"  We were so loud exclaiming this, that poor little Ellie woke up screaming!  :)  We turned right around and passed Old Navy and people were in line there also.  It didn't open for 2 more hours!!  We decided that people are CRAZY!  Since Walmart was already opened, we went there next.  It wasn't that bad.  I found one thing that I was looking for, but realized it didn't go on sale until midnight.  Luckily I ran into James' uncle and they already had a cart full so they got it for me. 

Black Friday Lessons Learned:
DON'T GO!!
FIND A FRIEND THAT GOES!!



We had a great Thanksgiving and I hope each of you did also!!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas Card Preview

I did it!  I finished my Christmas cards today and ordered them.  Boy, am I on the ball!  I love the way they turned out.  The pictures that Brandi and Aaron took look great.  I found a design (and deal) that I really like on shutterfly.  I can't wait to send a few to our friends in Ethiopia.  They aren't going to recognize Dawit!


Rejoice Lord King Religious Christmas 5x7 folded card
Shop Shutterfly for elegant custom Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.