Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Christmas

Is it really over? I am sad and relieved all at the same time. We had a very merry Christmas with lots of food, fun, family...and presents. Anna Claire and Mallory are really blessed to be growing up with such a large, close family on both sides.
 Here are just a few highlights...I didn't take a ton of pics this year and we got hardly any video...too crazy and too fun to be bothered with a camera!!!
The holidays started with gingerbread houses. I remembered this year to get the preassembled house.

Christmas party at Granny and Papa's house with aunts, uncles, and cousins...and Merida's archery set...times two!
Best present ever.

On Christmas Eve we made our traditional Rudolph cookies for Santa.
Christmas Eve at GiGi's house...

We might have started a new tradition this year. Ernie delivered a special Christmas Eve bedtime story for the girls...with a note from Santa himself about getting in bed...and staying in bed. 
Ready to go to sleep so Santa doesn't skip our house... 
Santa was very good to the girls...

Christmas morning at Granny and Papa's house...guess who got iPad minis???!!!???!!!
Christmas day at Grandmom's...

Christmas exhausting but so worth it!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Greatest Gift of All

Here's Anna Claire sharing a special Christmas song from her program at school. She will melt your heart. We tried to get Mallory to sing along, as well, but she's been a little camera shy. I think she's finding the holidays a bit overwhelming this year{listen for her in the background}.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I'll be back soon with way too many picutures, I'm sure, of all our Christmas fun.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Little Drummer Girls

Mallory hasn't been in the mood for pictures lately, so here's one of my little drummer girls before school yesterday.
Both Anna Claire and Mallory did so well in the program and sang their hearts out. Their big number was, of course, "Little Drummer Boy

After the program, we celebrated Jesus's birthday with a party back in their classroom...too many cupcakes!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Countdown

Is Christmas really in ONE WEEK? We've been counting down over here for weeks now, and Anna Claire and Mallory are getting SO excited!

The girls cannot settle down and fall asleep at night. They call me in and out of their room with silly questions and comments. Every morning Mallory asks me if it's the night Santa is coming and begs to open presents.

I was finally able to get some holiday sewing finished for the girls. Sunday, I appliqued this cute Christmas tree onto T-shirts and they were able to wear them to school today.

 Monday, I made "dancing gingerbread" hair bows for Friday's dance class.
And tonight I made treat bags for the girls' to give to their classmates tomorrow. I found a cute little M&M Christmas poem printable online...this was really too easy!
Tomorrow is Anna Claire and Mallory's Christmas program and class party. I'll be sure share pictures soon of my "little drummer girls" ~ easiest costume I've made to date!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday we had breakfast with Santa. Anna Claire and Mallory got to sit on Santa's lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Mallory told Santa she wanted a Disney Princess Dream Castle, but apparently Anna Claire got nervous {I heard her shattering on about an episode of Dora} and forgot to tell Santa she wanted the Disney Princess dress-up collection. It's a good thing they also got to talk to Santa on the Polar Express. I reminded her that Santa already knew exactly what she wanted!

Friday, December 14, 2012

I Like Big Bows and I Cannot Lie

Actually, I don't really love ginormous bows on little girls; I am a sucker for a simple, classic boutique bow. I've made a million of them for Anna Claire and Mallory because I refuse to pay boutique prices.
Recently, I decided the girls needed a fancy Christmas bow for their little dance performance next week, so I went online to my favorite ribbon vendor, Ribbon Retreat, because they sell cute themed ribbon mixes for next to nothing. I did buy Christmas ribbon, but I also saw this cute ballet mix, so I thought I might make a fancy bow for ballet class as a Christmas present for the girls. We have clothes rules for the girls in our house, and "no black" is one of them. Of course, we make an exception for dance class because they have to have a black leotard, so I thought the black in the ribbon would be OK.
Ribbon Retreat has tons of tutorials, but I also found one on YouTube that I really liked. Two hours later...
...I had two inside out bows...

...not loving the solid hot pink...
...three layers of ribbon to stack...
...and I finally had two ginormous hair bows for Anna Claire and Mallory that I'm not even sure I love. I think my bows are pouffier {yes, it's a our house} than the one on YouTube and I did the pinwheel layer differently. Also, I am used to whipping out two complete boutique bows in under ten minutes, and this is a very different look for us. I think what actually took so long wasn't making the actual bows but watching all the YouTube videos.
I think I might take the bow apart and make the bottom layer smaller and see if I like it any better. And I'll probably try a different tutorial for the Christmas bow just to see if there's another "fancy bow" style out there that doesn't turn out quite so...busy. ;-)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Signed, Sealed,...

...and ready to be delivered.
Our Christmas cards went out in the mail today. Hooray! for one more thing crossed off the never~ending Christmas to~do list. Be sure to check your mailbox later this week! ;-)
Anna Claire, Mallory and I had such a fun time taking these pictures. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I took them in to town a few weeks ago to a church we pass all the time with red doors. I thought it would be a cute backdrop, and I actually envisioned capturing more of "the little white church with red doors" in the photo. That didn't happen, but I think the pictures turned out cute anyway.


We wish YOU a very merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our Advent Calendar

Anna Claire and Mallory love their new advent calendar. Grandmom surprised them with it Sunday evening. Now it's our morning tradition, after finding the spot where Ernie has landed, to see what surprise awaits them in that day's pocket.

So far, every afternoon when we get home they have tried to convince me that we need to check the next pocket...sneaky girls.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Polar Express

This weekend, Anna Claire and Mallory got a very special Christmas surprise ~ a ride on the Polar Express!

We have been keeping this secret from them for weeks. They've known we were going to the mountains, but we didn't tell them we were going to ride on the Polar Express until just before we left for the train ride {not an easy secret to keep!}.

The train ride was a cross between the book and the movie and was wonderful. The conductor punched their tickets and we even had a visit from the hobo. Just look at Anna Claire and Mallory keeping their distance.
We had a sweet waitress who served us the most amazing hot chocolate and muffins, read us the story, helped us search for the North Pole out the windows, and led us in singing Christmas carols.

After arriving at the North Pole, Santa actually got on the train. Look at those smiles as the girls get their first glimpse of Santa. Anna Claire almost jumped out her seat!

 Receiving the "first gift of Christmas"...

 Excited doesn't even begin to describe how they were feeling!

They haven't stopped ringing those bells asking everyone if they can hear them ringing. This is definitely something they will remember for a long, long time. What a great weekend to officially kick off the month of December and the countdown to Christmas!