Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Spirit

As a heads up, this is going to be a pretty long post. So if you intend to stick around grab some cocoa and put your feet up.

Greg is picking cotton which means very long hours every day of the week. He leaves at 5:45 every morning and doesn't get home until about 6:30-7pm. It's been hard to make sure he is included in all the festivities. We've adjusted the kids' sleeping schedule so they actually get to see him at night. They have new pickers this year that are much more efficient than the old design. They are the first of the kind in our valley and have caused quite a stir. We are all looking forward to the end of January when cotton harvest will be done.

This month has been full of fun activities so far. We started out the month with a Christmas parade here in town. I somehow lost the first two weeks of December's pictures, which included the parade, but the kids love it and so did I! Our favorite float was a tow truck painted to look like Mater from Cars. They did a great job because it really looked like him. We also decorated our Christmas tree that weekend (pictures also lost). Brayden and Tawny have a tendency to put all the ornaments in one section of the tree, so it looks very unbalance, but I resisted my urge to fix the ornaments. They were so proud of how it looked that I just couldn't.

Even though to most it isn't very cold here, we have really been enjoying a fire in the evening. All the kids crowd as close as they can (don't worry, we watch Ethan really closely). The kids had a little photo op in from of the fire one night. I had to include a few because they are all so cute!

We harvested the corn in our garden the second week of December. This was round two of our corn, planted in about October. Since it was colder, it was small but very sweet. The kids love to help Greg shuck it, always making a huge mess in the process.
Ethan just loves to eat it. Actually he likes to eat pretty much everything!

This is one of his favorite places to hide when he has something he really likes and doesn't want anyone to take it away from him. It's the bottom shelf of the vanity in our bathroom (obviously homemade so the underside isn't stained.)
Ethan faithfully guards his "snacks" (food on the floor under his high chair) every time the vaccuum is turned on. He runs to his corner of the dining room and sits right in my way so I can't vaccuum. He'll alternate between pushing the vaccuum away and putting food in his mouth as quick as he can. Soooo funny!We have an elf this year that reports to Santa nightly on the behavior of the kids. They named her Jingles and she is quite mischievous! One night she spilled sugar in the kitchen and made sugar angels (another lost picture). She packed Brayden a lunch of olives, tuna fish and garlic powder. Another night she was caught in the shower.
One night she took the kid's letters to Santa. The next morning she had written Brayden and Tawny a little note. I think this might have been one of their favorites.Last Thursday Tawny asked what her Christmas dress was going to look like. Somehow I hadn't even thought about a Christmas dress for her. So with a little quick thinking and resourcefulness I altered the flower girl dress I had made her this summer. I took off the lace and blue accents and added red ruffles, bows and a waistband. She loves it so I'm happy. I think it turned out pretty cute.Brayden, Tawny and I made matching Christmas aprons this year. They're from oriental trading, but I got them for free at our church's rummage giveaway this fall. They helped me hot glue all the felt in place (I sewed it on later so I can actually wash them). I think it would be fun if we kept them and pulled them out every year to use during the Christmas season. I'll have to come up with something for Ethan, the baby on the way, and any other future children we have. The kids LOVED that we matched. Greg was a good sport about it, even though I'm sure he didn't really want to wear such a manly apron.We decorated "gingerbread houses" made out of graham crackers, which was a huge hit with the kids. Tawny piled so much candy on her roof that it caved in at one point. But we were able to fix it before she completely fell apart.

Ethan didn't really participate in the building, but he very much liked the eating.

I had to include a picture of my dad's house. For some reason he really struggled with the construction of his house. I t was quite hilarious to everyone but him.

A few days later we also decorated Christmas cookies, which the kids liked even more. They spent almost a hour and a half decorating their cookies. Everyone else was done in about 15 minutes, but I didn't see any reason to rush them.

Ethan's favorite part was again eating them. In this picture he's telling me how yummy they are.

chowing down....

and begging for more.We decorated my mom's tree after that. Since I didn't get any picture of our tree I snapped a few of them decorating my mom's.

I'll finish out with a picture that's a little bit random, but worth including. After baking so much this week, my flour container was pretty low. Tawny decided she would be helpful and fill it up for me. This is what I found when I walked into the kitchen.The mess wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but even if it had been I wouldn't have minded. It was so sweet that she was trying to find ways to help me. And you can tell from the picture, she was so proud of herself!

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