Friday, December 30, 2011

It was truly a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I don't know about you guys but we had such a great Christmas! My favorite part of it all is spending time with my family! Each year we spend Christmas Eve at my parents' house and Christmas Day at my inlaws.  The kids have so much fun playing until they're plain tuckered out with all their cousins! It's such an exciting time. 
Matt and I had a lot of fun playing Santa this year - I mean we always do but this year was our funnest so far.  See, we had Christmas all taken care of thanks to Walmart bringing back lay away! Then at the last minute Zade pulls a fast one and asks for a "blue. motor.cycle"  on the preschool Christmas program video.  Well, me? I was fine with him not getting it - I mean, we can't give them EVERYTHING, right? But Matt? Uh, no.  He was a little heartbroken that he couldn't fulfill this request - especially since it was a motorcycle.  But, the money for Christmas was spent and there really wasn't time to come up with a motorcycle.  But- nevertheless, one very kind man happened to have a blue motorcycle brand new in his shop and gave it to us for $30! It was a miracle! Matt was so excited, I thought he was gonna do a cartwheel! He and the guys at the station switched out the stickers and turned it into a police motorcycle - since Zade is a clone of his father!
But another problem arose, what do we get Gracie that is just as exciting to her but not a million dollars? Everytime we asked her what she wanted she'd say new markers.  That's so Gracie.  So we decided to give her a little table/desk where she could do all of her writing, cutting, drawing, and gluing. 
Christmas morning was not a let down! The kids loved all of their things and were just so happy!
Here are some pics of all of our Christmas gatherings, plus a bonus pic that you might want to brace yourself for.  :) Hopefully, you haven't just eaten because you might lose your lunch.
 This is at my parent's on Christmas Eve.  That's my nephew Tristan in front, Zade and Gracie, my sister, Crystal and my Uncle Doug in the back.

 This is Zade and Tyson, my oldest nephew, being sweet!

 These are the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Darter kiddos on Christmas morning!
Before the chaos ensued!

 Gracie just loooooves having her own space to be as creative as she wants to be!
And mommy just loves that all that creative mess stays in her room instead of the kitchen! lol!

 And this is the famous motorcycle!

 This is my inlaws with all of their grandkids. 
Check out the rolls on the table - those suckers didn't last long at all. 
We could just hear them calling to us -"eat me! eat me!"

 In spite of all the fun......there was a little sickness going around.  Me and Gracie both fought our allergies! But - I think we've won!!! Yay!!!!

Okay - brace yourself....................

Are you ready? ......................

I knew you weren't ready! How could you be!? It's pretty disgusting, right!?
So my sister and I talked my mom into buying matching shirts for our husbands.  We thought it'd be so funny! Well, the joke was on us! They thought they'd be funny and take these nauseating pictures in front of the Christmas Tree.  They could barely keep a straight face..........................dorks!

Anywho, we spent the Christmas vacation spending playing outside and having as much fun as we could! We rang in the new year with our church family as we always do.  It's a tradition I couldn't imagine doing without!
And tomorrow.......back to reality! Gracie goes back to school, Matt goes back to work and Zade and I go back to our routines!

Until next time, friends!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas, y'all! We are really getting excited for the big day here at our house! Since having kids Christmas has gotten more fun each year! This year, so far, has topped them all!
I've had a lot of fun creating fun family traditions that I hope in years to come my kids will look back on fondly.  Here are a few of those traditions!
 This is our tree just after we got it put up! We always put our tree up on the Saturday after Thanksgiving! And yes, it is a Texas Longhorn-themed tree because we are still fans no matter how bad they are! Bevo is our tree-topper!
 On top of Bevo, is Taurus, our Elf on the Shelf.  This is our 3rd Christmas with Taurus (Zade named him when he was 2, so.....)
For those who aren't familiar, the Elf on the Shelf is a book that comes with a story.  The story is that this elf needs a family to adopt him.  He shows up each Christmas and keeps an eye on the kids for Santa.  Each evening when they go to sleep he goes back to the North Pole (cause he's magic and can do that) and reports to Santa on how the kids are doing.  The point is to keep the kids from misbehaving during the Christmas season - it doesn't work - but a nice thought. 
On this particular evening Taurus, "landed" on Bevo's head.  We've found him in the oddest spots - like the candy basket with a lollipop in his hand, inside a bird cage, hanging upside down from the ceiling fan, etc.  The kids love waking up in the morning to figure out where he is.  The problem- sometimes Mom and Dad forget to move him - or once he fell from the spot he was in.  That was a dilema since you're not supposed to touch him. 
It's been a lot of fun!
 Every year the kids make applesauce ornaments to put in the stockings of their grandparents and aunts and uncles! It's super easy and fun! They smell GREAT!

 Gracie got to go to see The Nutcracker with her Girl Scouts group!
 She loved seeing all the pretty ballerinas! They even got to go back stage and meet a ferw of them!
Matt was working the Christmas Parade for Irving this year so the kids and I decided to go and watch it while he worked.  He was leading it so he had us park right up front where he was.  When we got out of the truck a man approached him and asked if we wanted to be in the parade with the State Representative.  The kids loved throwing candy to all the kids and riding in the antique fire truck! They had a blast! It was definitely a first for all of us!

Tonight we will be making our Santa cookies and getting ready to go out to the sticks to my Ma and Pa's house on Christmas Eve! We're having fried catfish! (Odd, I know!)

I hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hello, Gracie!

 Well, My  Gracie Mae turned 7! Can you believe it!? I do not know where the time has gone! I still remember the day she was born like it was yesterday! She was such an easy and sweet baby, too! But she has grown up and is such a sweet young lady who works so hard everyday to be her very best! You can search the world over and you'll never find a girl quite as sweet and that smile of hers is just priceless!

We were all about Hello Kitty this year! When she woke up on her b-day the kitchen was decked out in Hello Kitty decorations! She, of course, was the first to get up and seeing the decorations made her day! "Mommy it my birthday!!!" It was so sweet! We ate cinnamon rolls for breakfast then we went to the movies to see "Arthur Christmas"  It was a fun day!

Gracie and Kennedy have birthdays 2 days apart so we celebrated it together while we were out in Johnson County for Thanksgiving.  There was a bounce house, hot dogs, and lots of fun friends to play with!

Then on Sunday evening she got to celebrate her birthday with her other cousins at McDonalds.  She loves being with all her cousins.  They are her best friends!

We are getting ready for Christmas. Next post will be some pics of our family Christmas traditions.  Hope all of you are having a great Holiday season! Stay warm - and dry!