Saturday, December 30, 2017

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Merry Christmas in Chicago

Christmas Day we headed up to the Chicago area to celebrate Christmas with family. Straight to the Marx house for the celebration and met everyone else there. Troy set up camp with Grampa and a good spread of snacks!

The gift exchange proved to be fun, as always. Cassidy LOVED the giant tomato Gramma opened!

After dinner was over, we headed back to Gramma and Grampa's to sleep for the night and the kids were gifted their gifts from Gramma and Grampa. For Troy, an awesome new bike in a bigger size! Nothing like riding through the living room barefoot on Christmas!

And for Cass, her very own Playmobil doll house, which we assembled upon returning back home. My mom offered to assemble it for us. I declined and later regretted that decision, HA!

It got all put together though and is beautiful! She loves it!

Merry Christmas Eve at Home

With a quiet rest of the day planned on Christmas Eve at home, Mike and I decided it was a good idea to give the kids their Christmas gifts with several hours to play with them ahead. So, when we got home from church and changed into comfy clothes it was game on.

This year we decided to give them a stash of new craft supplies. It was a little bit of everything, most things that they would share but definitely things in there that would appeal to one more than another (Jurassic Park coloring and princess tiara making kits anyone?) It was a HIT. And as of May (when I'm writing this post, GASP!) they are still burning through the Christmas stash.

A crayon in the shape of a star folks. All the joy of Christmas for a crayon shaped like a star, folks. #LoveMyKids 

I love our fireplace. Perfect day to fire it up.

This Christmas Eve I spent several hours in sweatpants under a blanket starting at my tree and the fire. I even napped on the couch. It was epic! And amazing!

We had all kinds of deliciousness for our Christmas Eve meal at home, including mushroom ravioli, beef tenderloin and shrimp. YUM!

With a fresh dusting of snow just in time for Christmas, I couldn't help but run outside to admire our house in its freshly snow covered glory this Christmas. Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve at Church

Christmas Eve felt different this year because it landed on a Sunday... so Christmas Eve services were in the morning instead of the evening. This made for a fun and festive morning service!

Photo booth with "falling" snow indoors and all!

When one kid is smiling, the other is not. Such is life.

I found Cassidy in front of this tiny tree (the church was full of large ones) and she said it was JUST her size! She was so proud to have found one!

Plus, you know. Candy canes. A staple. All the falling snow, giant trees, and candy canes aside, it was a wonderful celebration for the birth of Jesus. A great way to kick off our Christmas celebration!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Snow arrives

I know two kids who couldn't be more thrilled to see a mere dusting of snow arrive as they kicked off winter break. Its not winter without snow, right!?

Sigh. Your huge gloves need to stay ON son! His kept falling off though. Maybe one more year and they'll stay on well. I'm not holding my breath though.

The Great Cookie Party of 2017

The first ever cookie decorating party was such a blast that I wanted to make sure to bring it back after missing 2016 while we were in Disney. Our kids look forward to this at Christmastime and they LOVE having all their friends over to create a way. I love hosting people at home and have great memories of decorating cookies as a kid, so it seems like an awesome tradition to put my own spin on each year. 

I make my own icing to put into the squirt bottles but it requires a LOT of powdered sugar. Cass had me covered with ten pounds of it. Yikes.

These two are always cheesing it up when they're together. Cassidy and neighbor Josh.

Love all these friends dearly!

Due to the large number of guests we'd have in attendance this year (25 kids came by!), I set up a craft station in the basement so everyone had room to spread out. You can only decorate so many cookies after all!

The great thing about doing it open house style is that waves of people just keep showing up and it's a nice steady flow of cookie decorators at the main station. Except for my kids who feel as if they have to decorate cookies every time someone new shows up, ha!

Cookie decorating party 2017 a success! Can't wait to do it again! 

Friday, December 22, 2017

New Hair Day

On the first day of winter vacation, Cassidy and I both had haircuts SO Troy got to go along to the hair salon for that adventure. Sorry buddy. Way to kick off your break. But YAY for awesome new hair. Always feels so good!

Yep this is the "after". Check those gorgeous curls out!

How Troy amused himself with an hour to kill at Rod Sickler Salon. Thank goodness for Pokemon!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

First Grade Sing Along and Christmas Party

Cassidy is pretty fortunate in that she gets to hit double the class parties these days. I think she's attended not just all of hers but all of Troy's parties this year too!

Here they are making reindeer food.

Ever wondered what 250 excited first graders looks like? This. This is what that looks like.

Find the Troy!

The gym was pretty stuffy and this girl was spent. I found her laying flat out on the ground at my feet at one point!

While not from the same day, we had so much fun at lunch earlier in the week when Troy's music teacher sat down at the piano for sing along Christmas carols in the cafeteria. It was quite possibly the sweetest thing ever. #LoveOurTown

Preschool Christmas Party

Cassidy's preschool LOVES a good party, so the Christmas party was met with much anticipation. Unlike the first party (in the fall?), which Cass was disappointed to find out I was attending, she was very excited to have me join her for this one.

I frequently hear about how tall Cassidy is compared to her peers. This photo appears to support that statement.

This activity was her favorite! And one we'll have to remember to do with Troy next Christmas. Waffle cone, green frosting, gum drop "star", twizzler pull and peel (I think?) wrapped around and other assorted sprinkles and things.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Homework Gratitude

As Troy has needed to do some more school work at home this year, Mike has been great about reminding him to thank me for all the time I spend working with him to help him do well on his spelling tests/etc. I found this sweet note one night when I went up to bed.

Thank you for doing the math with me. I hope I get them all right.

Edit: I don't remember doing math at all with Troy. But surely I must have done some with him for him to write this note of thanks on his own!

New Things - Snap Circuits

Troy was gifted a new set of snap circuits for his birthday and WOW. Was that spot on for our boy or what?! He loves them and literally spent all weekend working with them that first week. His favorite is the fan that shoots in the air. And while he read the instruction manual for awhile, he quickly got the hang of them and decided to start making his own configurations instead!