Thursday, January 7, 2016

Merry & Bright

Things started getting merry & bright here the second week in November. I did manage to hold off on getting our Christmas tree until the weekend before Thanksgiving {may or may not be because that's the earliest tree farms open for the season}. But either way...we were excited to get in the Christmas spirit for sure. And since that includes almost 2 months of celebrating, here's a look at all the fun we had leading up to the week of Christmas. I'll save that fun for the next post. 

And what better way to get in the Christmas spirit than with coordinating Christmas pjs?!?! 
This only lasted for a few short minutes...but it sure was sweet while it lasted! 
We visited Stone Mountain Christmas {and brought along Mammy & Pappy}...and we loved it!!! We had plans to do Snow Mountain this season too, but the day we were scheduled to go was in the mid 70s and it got cancelled. Maybe we'll still get a chance to go sometime this month, but if not...we will certainly try again next year. Okay, back to Stone Mountain was perfect. There are just so many fun things to do there already. And then when they add just a little bit of Christmas cheer to each part, it was perfection. 

This view was even better in person, but look at that awesome city skyline with the sunset right behind it. Two of my favorite things together. We'll be back. 
Train ride with sing-a-long Christmas carols....yessss! 
4D Christmas movie?!?!...yessss. 
kisses under the mistletoe...yesss. 
And a precious little parade to end the night?!?...yes, yes, yessss. 
Teagan wrapped baby Jesus up in her blankt. Yes, all that is left is that tiny shred. And yes, it used to be white...but either way, this is love. 
We headed to Kinsey Family Farm to pick out a Christmas tree. We bought one of their pre-cut ones, but ran around through the other trees playing hide & seek. I wasn't willing to give up my traditional fraser fir for a fresh-cut (non fraser fir) one...but we're thinking next year we'll come back and let the kids pick a small one to cut down and put some other place in the house. 
hot chocolate!! 
...and tractor rides! 
Ahhh, makes my Christmas-lovin' heart happy. 
Joe came in town for Thanksgiving and most of us were excited to see him! ;) 
and this sweet little girl loved having him help us decorate the tree! 
Happy Thanksgiving!!! 
{because when you start celebrating Christmas really early, Thanksgiving gets put in the same post.} The day was filled with lots of family & traveling. We have so, so much to be thankful for. So blessed. So thankful.
This girl loves to help out in the kitchen. And she has her little traditions of what she makes with each family. Cookies (and anything else) with Mommy, pancakes with her Pappy, and muffins with her Papa. Love that sweet bonding time we each get to share with her. 
A whole bunch of tiger fans and one gamecock watching the game together....and because the tigers won, we'll still consider this part of things that are merry & bright. And I don't know if you've heard or not, but we kind of haven't lost a game this season. And there's a kind of big game on Monday. Here's to hoping we're still undefeated after Monday too! 
sweet little "tailgaters"
And then it was back to the Lake for another night before we headed home. And we got there just in time for Reynolds' first smore! 
pancakes with Pappy...and this time with another new little helper! 
We also got to squeeze in a little time with my cousin Mandy while she was in town....and these kids love her! 

This year Josephine, our elf on the shelf, returned on December 1st. And instead of doing crazy or elaborate things around the house, this year she decided to hide somewhere and deliver a card with a Christmas activity for the day. This was our way of celebrating the Advent season a little bit each day {and we also did nightly reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible}. Some events were fun outings, some were simple things we could do at home, and some were charitable things. 
So in December, we....
...decorated the small tree we put up in Teagan's room.
...decided to get one for Reynolds room too. He loved it! 
...had family dance parties! 
...went on a Christmas date to see Elf at the Fox! 
{and for maybe the first time ever someone else put Reynolds down for the night! Up until now we would only leave after he was down.}
...watched a Christmas movie before bed.  
...attended Teagan's ballet class to see all she had learned before the holiday break. 
...decorated a Gingerbread house together! 
...picked up this little Rudolph from school. 
{red nose because she, along with her friends, love to smell the scented stamps they get on their hands. And this one transferred to her nose.}
...had our second annual outing to look at Christmas lights in our pjs. 
...ran errands on a warm December day to realize that we were going to be there for storytime with Santa. And then at the end, all the kids got to line up and sit on his lap. So we traded our originally planned fancy visit to see Santa for this...I think it turned out great! ha
...saw Santa's reaction when Teagan told him she wanted a diamond necklace this year. 
...visited a live nativity with friends. 
...volunteered for Teagan's class Christmas party! 
...made goodies to share with others! 
...had our 2nd annual Christmas pj play date! And this time, all in matching pjs. 
...went to the Garden Lights at the Botanical {and loved it! so much magic and wonder in the kids eyes with that many lights surrounding you!}
{yeah, we're in the phase now of getting this when we ask for a smile}
...had our ninth annual dinner with the grade level I first started teaching with.
...enjoyed bubble baths with Christmas music
...went to a tacky sweater party with Patrick's work. 
...and ohhhhh what fun it all was! 

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