Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Family Photos

Thanks so much for all of the kind words and compliments on our Christmas card.

Now that I’ve shown it off, I thought I’d show off some more of the photos from our family photo session.

Family Photos

We had a mini-session with Bobbi of Two Twirls Photography at the end of October. Thirty minutes was the perfect amount of time for my kids.  We all know that kids can get cranky in a short amount of time.

Family Photos

We had such a wonderful experience with Bobbi.  Trenton and Charlotte were absolutely in love with her.  When we left our session, Trenton asked if he could invite Ms. Bobbi to his birthday party.  Then last week he asked when Ms. Bobbi was going to take our pictures again.  He thought she should take them once a month!

I love the memories that she captured, and I will cherish them forever.

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Thanks again, Bobbi!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Magic: A Festival of Lights

Okay y’all – I’m kind of getting used to this PA weather.  So much so that when faced with the decision of where to go to look at Christmas lights, I chose a walk-thru display.  On a mountain.  Where it was cold enough for a little snow to still be on the ground.

Friday night we went to Christmas Magic: A Festival of Lights at a county park about 45 minutes from us. 

Evelyn fell asleep just as we got there, so unfortunately she didn’t get to see any of the lights, but the rest of us had fun! 

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The trail was a quarter of a mile long with five buildings to walk through too.

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We’ve done drive-thru displays before and have enjoyed them, but I really liked that the kids were able to walk around and see the lights up close rather than from their carseats.

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Maybe next year Evelyn will stay awake so that she can see them too!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Creatively Blooming 2014 Christmas Card

I love sending out Christmas cards every year.  My only wish is that I could send out more.

Since I can’t, I thought I’d share our 2014 card here.

Enjoy!  And I hope you are all having a very Merry Christmas season!

Two-sided Christmas Card from Pear Tree GreetingsTwo-sided Christmas Card from Pear Tree Greetings

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Watch Me Grow: 11 Months

I’m not sure how we’re here already, but we’re one month away from having a one year old!

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I’m not sure how time has gone by so fast.

Evelyn has graduated up to a full crawl this month.  She rarely does her army crawl anymore.

She’s also taken her first steps – just two so far.  Anything for a bottle!  She’s still got a ways to go before she’s full on walking, but she’s moving in the right direction.

Evelyn slept through the night two times this month.  That’s better than zero, right?  But she’s also had quite a few nights where she wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to play.  Not cool, girlfriend.  Mommy and Daddy need their sleep!

Evelyn loves being heard.  She gave up the paci four months ago, so her love of babbling can be a bit problematic at times.  Like at church…  Hopefully her cuteness makes up for it? 

Dada is still Evelyn’s only word.  I work with her on saying Mama, and she defiantly replies with Dada.  Charlotte thinks this is the funniest thing in the world, so I’m sure Evelyn will keep doing it to get laughs!

I’ve also been working with Evelyn on clapping.  When I tell her to clap, she grabs my hands and claps them together.  At least she understands what I’m saying, right?

Evelyn also loves giving slobbery open mouthed kisses anytime someone tells her that they love her.  She’s an affectionate gal!

So here’s to eleven months!  It’s been fun!

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Weight: Around 22-23 pounds
Height: About 29 inches
Drinking: 20-25 ounces of formula a day and 10ish ounces of water
Eating:  Two meals of table food a day and one meal of baby food.  She loves any kind of meat I put in front of her.  We’ve let her try shrimp too, and she devoured it!  She is also a broccoli fan!
Napping: She naps for about an hour in the mornings and then takes a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon.
Nighttime Sleeping: Goes down for the night between 7:00 and 8:00.  Wakes up once during the night for a 4 ounce bottle.  Sometimes she goes right back down after the bottle and sometimes she wants to stay up for 2 hours!  Ahhhhh!
Clothes: A few 6-9 month pieces still fit, but she’s primarily in 9-12 month clothes.
Shoes: Size 3.  She kicks off pretty much any shoes I put on her feet except for boots.  Gotta love velcro!
Diapers:  Huggies Little Snugglers size 3
Words: Dada
Teeth: Three – the two bottom ones and a random side one up top. She looks like a little vampire baby!
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First Thanksgiving:
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We didn’t want her to mess up her Thanksgiving dress, so we left her in her PJs until after she ate!


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First Time on Santa’s Lap:
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Monday, December 8, 2014

A Festively Busy Weekend

We had a busy weekend chock-full of festive activities.

Jarrod and I left the kids with a sitter Saturday afternoon to attend a walking Advent tour of churches in downtown Carlisle.  It was cold and rainy, but we had a really good time.  We went to four churches, sang songs, learned about their Advent customs, and enjoyed refreshments.  I hope that we are able to go again next year!

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We came home after the tour to do a quick change of clothes for a party on base.  The power went out right after we walked in the door, so we were left getting ready for the party in the dark.  The kids were plenty happy with the babysitter though and couldn’t wait for us to leave again!

I didn’t get any pictures from the Christmas party that we attended, but it was really fun.  I don’t watch much reality TV, but the chef for the party was previously on the show “Chopped”.  The  food was fantastic!   

Sunday morning the Knights of Columbus and the Council of Catholic Women hosted a Saint Nicolas breakfast.

Evelyn is two for two with white-bearded men!

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Trenton and Charlotte each made a card for wounded soldiers while I kept Evelyn occupied.

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Evelyn wanted to get down and walk (with me holding her hands).  As she was walking around, she turned back toward Saint Nicolas.  She walked right up for another round on his lap!

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Yesterday afternoon, we were back on base for the children’s party.  The Admiral’s wife made 80 homemade gingerbread houses for the kids to decorate!  Trenton and Charlotte had a great time, and couldn’t wait to taste their masterpieces last night.

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We capped off our weekend at the tree lighting out at Children’s Lake.  It was cold and crowded, but the lake was pretty.  And the kids thought that Santa coming in on a boat was really funny!

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Whew!  What a whirlwind of a weekend!  But we loved it all!

Friday, December 5, 2014

A New and Improved Snickers

When Snickers made his appearance earlier this week, he left a note for the kids.  Things were going to be a bit different this year.

Elf on the Shelf Acts of Kindness

After three years of mischievous silliness, he was settling down and ready to help the kids spread some Christmas cheer.

Elf on the Shelf Acts of Kindess

So far, Trenton and Charlotte have been really receptive and love telling me what “Christmas Magic” they make.

Stay tuned to see what ideas Snickers has for spreading cheer!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Naughty or Nice?

First time Santa visits haven’t gone too well for our kids.

Santa 2009 - Yankee Candle - Williamsburg, VA[3]

Santa 2010 - Yankee Candle - Williamsburg, VA[3]

And heck, Charlotte wasn’t even happy about sitting on Santa’s lap until last year.

Evelyn is an all-around happy baby and will go to pretty much anyone.  But I thought that the bearded man in red might just set her off.

I was wrong.

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She wasn’t super smiley, but she wasn’t screaming either.

We’ll see Santa at least one more time this season, so we’ll have to see if her reaction changes any.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving in the Smokies

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We spent Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains this year with Jarrod’s mom’s side of the family.  It was a big family reunion with Jarrod’s mom and her three sisters, all but one of the cousins, spouses, and a bunch of kids. 

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The four sisters and the cousins in 1988 and 2014.


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All of the kidlets – aka “The Candycane Gang”

The family started planning this reunion over the summer, and we all went in and booked a cabin outside Gatlinburg for Thanksgiving week.

We had such a great time with all of the family!  Because everyone is spread between Texas, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, I had only met some of Jarrod’s family once – at our wedding nearly nine years ago.  But everyone made me feel so welcomed.  And the kids all became best friends right away.

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It was also Evelyn’s first time to meet everyone.  Including JJ and Aunt Jennifer.

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We spent a lot of time relaxing, playing games, eating, drinking, and having an all around good time at the cabin.

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I sent Charlotte to get dressed for Thanksgiving dinner.  She somehow got her clothes mixed up with Evelyn’s!

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We also did some venturing out.

We spent half a day in the national park.  It was gorgeous!  We spent our time in the park in Cades Cove.  We were short on time and the Cades Cove loop was pretty crowded (the non black friday shopping crowd), but we were able to make a few stops.  One was a primitive church and with a cemetery.  The other stop was the cable mill historic area.  We saw a few deer on our drive and were nearly out of the park on our way back to Gatlinburg when we saw a black bear!  We saw a couple black bears in Yellowstone, but this one was much closer!

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A few of us gals went out on a nature drive through the park Thursday after dinner.  It was snowing hard!


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After we left the park, we went into Gatlinburg for a trolley ride around town to see Christmas lights.  The family bought out the whole trolley!  What fun!

Jarrod thought it was a good time for a nap!

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Holy flash!

Trenton has recently become really into the Titanic.  And Pigeon Forge has a Titanic museum.  Us and a few other family members decided to check the museum out.  The kids were bored with some of the exhibits, but I found them all fascinating.  The kids did really enjoy climbing the replica grand staircase, touching a real iceberg, feeling 28 degree water (the temperature of the water the Titanic went down in), trying their hand at climbing a steeply sloping deck, and trying to steer away from the iceberg in the Tot Titanic.  They also were really interested in the finding of the Titanic on the ocean floor.  When we “boarded” the ship/museum, we were all given boarding passes with real passenger names on them.  At the end of the museum, we looked up our passenger names on the survivor wall to see if we made it off of the ship.  Thankfully we only had one in our party that went down with the ship, and it wasn’t a kid.


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We had such a wonderful time in the Smokies.  I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend Thanksgiving, and I can’t wait to do it again – hopefully soon!