Sisters, friends, blessed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas at Home

We spent our first Christmas at home this year, just the four of us, and thoroughly enjoyed every special moment of it together!  It was the beginning of a new era, one of blending the old with the new.  After a lovely service at our own church Christmas Eve, we hurried home to eat a delicious meal of chicken kiev & shrimp scampi (an Anderson Tradition).  Followed by the big reveal of Kyle's handmade, labor of love, gift for the girls.  
Anxiously awaiting dinner and Daddy's gift!

Giddy with excitement!

The Big Reveal: A Fairy Tree House! Complete with little wooden furniture, ladder, fireman's pole, spiral staircase, lookout, swing, and basket pull (the fairies were purchased).  It was a HUGE hit, and has been heartily played with ever since. My husband ROCKS! 
The 'Piper Fairy', dressed appropriately in orange, trying out the lookout.
The 'Hadley Fairy', dressed appropriately in purple & wearing blond braids, trying out the swing.

A New Tradition: A Christmas Eve sleepover in Hadley's room!  I think Christmas may have been a bit of a long day for Piper, as Hadley enthusiastically woke her at 5:45 a.m., but they did thankfully stay in their rooms reading books until we came in more than an hour later. 

I always made a beautiful punch ring with my mom for Chrsitmas day, and the girls happily made one with me this yearThanks for borrowing us the punch ring, Grandma!

On to the gift opening... apparently a pig flashlight that oinks is hilarious!

Wouldn't be Christmas for Kyle if there wasn't some new camo involved.

And finally, on to the playing! Which we preceded to do the whole day long! It was a wonderful first Christmas at home, and we are already anxious to see which new traditions next year brings!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in MN, 2011

We spent a lovely weekend soaking in all of the Christmas cheer & spirit with my side of the family in MN.  It began Friday evening with a special visit from the great-grandparents!
Oma & Opa Steck
Great Grandma &Great Grandpa  Graham
Both Hadley & Piper were mesmerized by Grandma's beautiful tree (and likely the packages too)!
Got in a little snuggle time with Grampie before bed!
We awoke the next morning to a houseful of cousins all very excited to celebrate Christmas together! L-R: Piper 3, Savannah 2, Hadley 5, Kenzie 11mos, Jeremiah 4, Brooklyn 6, & Asher 3mos

Time for a little extra baby love with sweet & oh so content, Asher.
As always, Grandma had the extra special touch with Kenzie.
The 'brothers' were, for the first time, all fathers this year for Christmas!
Time for gifts, and can you tell how happy Piper was about her pillow pet?!

Hadley & Brooklyn peering over their presents together. 
Hadley & Savannah were good little buddies again, and seemingly went just about everywhere together!
It was an unforgettable Christmas in MN.  What a blessing all of the yummy treats, delicious food, special gifts, and hilarious games were.  But, most importantly we were blessed to have spent Christmas with such an incredible & loving family!  Merry Christmas!

Cousin Mischief

While we were in MN for Christmas, you might say that there was a wee bit of cousin mischief that happened over the course of the weekend.  With seven of them, all 6 years and under, its probably just the start of this craziness!
Piper was a bit more reserved when it came to the craziness, and could often be found snuggling or playing with an adult instead!  She did eventually warm up by the end of the weekend though...
This was some kind of robot-spaceship game?  I wonder where Jeremiah's space pants went?

Five little monkeys, really jumping on the bed!  (It was Grandma & Grandpa approved & encouraged - how fun are they!)

Nathan even snuck little Kenzie into the action, after all 5 of the other monkeys really did fall (or jump) off of the bed!

The best part of it all for me, was knowing that this is just the beginning of a very lovely & special friendship between cousins.  Yet another, Christmas blessing!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Program 2011

Once again, we were blessed with a beautiful Christmas program at Hadley's preschool.  Nothing better than hearing the story of Christmas from a group of beautiful children! Hadley has been singing "Angels We Have Heard On High" all around the house for the past few weeks, so it was extra special to see her up on the little stage with her friends praising together.

We left straight from the program to MN to begin celebrating Christmas with my family.  Apparently all that singing, can tire a girl out! 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Busy Preparing

We have been busy preparing to celebrate Jesus's birthday with my family, Kyle's family, and our little four person family as well.  We've done a little baking, because nothing seems to remind me more of my childhood Christmas than decorating sugar cookies with sprinkles.  I don't remember my mom washing the floors six times once we were done, but I am sure she did :) Thanks, Mom! 

Santa made a quick stop to get adjusted at Kyle's office, and the girls were almost brave enough to stand by him themselves.
From there we skipped on over to a special Christmas surprise, and took the girls to their first play!  A darling, kid acted, 'Winnie the Pooh's Christmas Tale.'
And amidst the wrapping, making more ornaments for the tree, and singing 'Away in the Manger' & 'Angels We Have Heard On High" over and over again (both songs are in Hadley's Christmas program tomorrow!), the girls really really wanted to make these gumdrop figures they saw in one of my magazines.  I am not sure which part was the most fun - watching their eyes light up in the candy store, putting the little 'guys' together, or eating the remaining pieces!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Beginning...

to look a lot like Christmas, and are the girls ever loving it!  The trees everywhere we go are perfectly nestled with soft fluffy white snow, as though God painted them in anticipation of His Son's birth.  The Christmas tree is glowing with the warmth of lights and lovingly made ornaments from the girls.  And the excitment of spending time with beloved cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents is almost palable.  We are ready! 
Going to Hadley's school for the annual Angel Breakfast helped us all get into the Christmas spirit.  Hadley is pictured on the left, by Piper, and good buddy Jack.
Piper was very serious about being at the 'big kid' school, and got ready to pray for breakfast before just about anyone else. 
Hadley & Kyle snuck in one more hunt before the season wrapped up.  No deer, but lots of fun to be out in the woods together!

Busily making Christmas projects for friends & family (or more ornaments for the already heavily loaded tree!).

All of that work, makes a little girl pretty tired out. 

And finally on out to eat, I mean play in that fluffy white stuff! 

This is what your hat looks like when you and your sister throw snow up in the air and/or at one another!
Yah, like that!  This just might be one of my top ten favorite photos I have ever captured.