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Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas 2016

I am so, so thankful for cameras...both the regular kind AND the cell phone kind.
As I sit and reflect on the month of December and all that we did, 
I'm amazed at how quickly I forget the little things.
I love December.
I love the decorations, 
the lights,
the gift buying,
the gift wrapping,
the family time,
and the anticipation of Christmas--the celebration of the King!

Stringing up the lights
Mr. isn't always happy with me on light day.
This year was no different.
We waited until a windy day to tackle the job.  
I removed his picture so that I could save my marriage.
So, here's Courtney working on the front window
being supervised by her Daddy.

Getting the family together for a Christmas card picture wasn't really that easy this year.
Corbin made a special trip home on a COLD Sunday afternoon in order for our only attempt to 
get a picture for our Christmas cards.
These are the best shots...

Okay..just a little bit of humor please.  

Courtney did an excellent job of hitting the timer button.
...kind of.
It was worth it.
She made us laugh.

Here's the final product...
Our 2016 Christmas Card

I've always wanted pretty Christmas bedding.
This year I broke down and bought it!
It's really pretty, and I love it.
I need to update the rest of the room now.  
(Maybe during spring break)

We had our annual Truckloads of Treasures shopping night
 with CFI and the Salvation Army.
We look forward to this shopping night each year.
It is a treat to shop for other families.
Our kids are great at helping, 
and we hope that they are learning the value of helping others.

Grandma's house decorated for Christmas!

My Daddy loved these cherries!
We bought boxes of them every year before he passed away.
Now, I buy one box each year for my little family.
None of us really like them.
We just eat them because we would have stolen them from Papa.
He's been gone for 10 Christmases now.
I still buy Momma's jewelry,
and my sister still buys her slippers.
Those were two things Daddy bought her each year.

Breakfast with Santa is also a tradition!
Each year Santa comes to school
and we have breakfast with families!
That's a LOT of kids who got to see Santa at school!!

We took the kids to Dry Gulch, Oklahoma to see 
The Christmas Train.
We had a terrific night.
The weather couldn't have been better!
It was about 45 degrees when we arrived,
but they had fire pits throughout the park
and many stores and restaurants so we could stay warm.

We ate dinner from the Chuckwagon!
They had sausage and potatoes, BBQ burgers,
or Brats to choose from.  
You could also have hot chocolate or coffee.
We ate in a barn under gas heaters.

We got to see Santa!
This was a special treat. 
We couldn't get inside to see him 
because his schedule was booked
for the night.

These ladies caroled throughout the park. 
We saw them several times. 

It was beautiful!

I got a very special Christmas treat from one of my students and his family.
Aren't they so pretty?
They smelled amazing!
I just took out the roses yesterday.
The greenery is still looking good.
I might buy some white flowers to put with them today.

This Santa was in Mr's Grandpa Roy's store window many years ago.
The kids have had their picture taken with this Vintage Santa many times.
Poor thing has seen better days.
It's really hard to keep the two parts together these days.
We love the tradition of getting it out and taking their pictures with him, though!

Almost Christmas!

This little Santa was Grandma Ruby's.
It sat under her Christmas tree on South Kansas Street every year.
When she moved from her home, we were lucky to get this Santa.
It is a treasured decoration at our house.

This is a cute NEW decoration!  
This guy was a gift from one of my students and her family.
I love his long stripey legs.
He is such a happy snowman to be sitting among the presents!

I love it when the gifts are wrapped and there's nothing more to do but wait.
And when you think about it, there's a lot of waiting to be done.
We wait to put up our decorations.
We wait for lists and ideas for Christmas gifts.
We wait in line to get into stores.
We wait in line to pay for gift items!
We wait for the arrival of Christmas Day.
We wait for the birthday party for our Lord, Jesus.

Be still my heart!
I love these two kids!!
I'm thankful that they play along with me and my picture requests! 

Visiting Great Grandma Ruby on Christmas.
She is 101 years old. 
She will be 102 in April.
We are blessed to be able to visit with her still.

These are the "Really Mom?" faces...

Great Grandpa Roy made these baby food jar trees.  Grandma Ruby's is still intact.
Ours is in the attic in several pieces because the glue got too hot and didn't hold.
That's certainly a project for another day.
Isn't it cute?

We made our annual trip around the Butler square to see their lights.
The kids don't always enjoy the trip down memory lane like we do.
Someday they'll understand.

Sister is nearly finished with her orthodontist work.
She is getting so much closer!
By the end of January, she should be finished.
Fingers crossed.
Prayers being prayed.
It's been tough lately.

While doing some cleaning in her room, we came across this gem.
She loved this binkie.
...well... until someone laughed at her.
Then she wouldn't take it.
It was fun while it lasted!

We took advantage of the beautiful weather two days after Christmas!!
The kids helped take down all the Christmas decorations and did some yard work.
They are the best!!!

We painted Courtney's room this week.
It went from Tiffany Blue to Worldly Gray.
It is brighter and more neutral now.
We are still working on getting things on the walls and picking an accent color.

Corbin received an invitation into an Honor Society at PSU.
We are very proud of him for accomplishing this during his first semester!
(Keep it up Brother!!)

We spent some time on New Year's Day at the pond.
Cory and Corbin played with the new drone.
Courtney got to be lazy and read for a while.
I sat by the fire to stay warm.
It was a great afternoon hanging out as a family. 

As the winter vacation draws to a close, I love that we've had this time together.
Corbin's been very busy at school, and he hasn't been around much since August.
I've enjoyed having him home.  
There's nothing better than everyone being back in the nest.
...playing together
working together
eating meals together
laughing together...
These are the things I will remember most.

Sometimes it makes me sad to think that we don't have traditions at our house.
We have plenty of traditions.
They're just not traditional traditions!
I am thankful for the time we have together.
I'm thankful for the fun we have.
I cannot even begin to describe the thankfulness in my heart.
We've had a terrific season together.

it's what it's all about.

Christmas 2016
It was Delicious!!

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Living the Dream

Living the Dream
I love Christmas Eve when the house is quiet and there is nothing left to do but wait for Santa and Christmas morning to arrive!