Merry Christmas, Whoville!

Greetings Whos! We have been busy, very very busy around here. First things first....Christmas Cards are out!!



The Twins' Tree is Up

Fun little kids ornaments grace the tree

Raggedy Andy




My Grinch



My Cindy Lou Who


An Old Halloween Picture that REALLY looks like Cindy Lou



My sweet Max

Even our stuffed animals are ready for Santa!


Mary Ellie and Fenley have shopped with Mommy and been really good sports. Yes, I bribed them with a stash of goodies, but they are only 2 and holiday shopping was crazy! Errands have been run, we have shopped until we have dropped, we have used our cuteness to score wrapping paper and cuts in line because others have been so full of holiday cheer, and now Christmas is almost here!


We have seen crazy, crazy Christmas decorations

And now....Twas the Night before Christmas.........presents are wrapped, we have been to Church to celebrate and say "Happy Birthday, Jesus", and now we are all tucked in and waiting for Santa. I will update everyone on all the family visits and celebrations later, but for now all you Whos out there.....Sleep Tight!

Merry Christmas, Whoville!!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

FRIDAY NIGHT
The weekend is here! My timing and sense of time are off because our stay in our hometown threw us off our regularly scheduled events. Big Class Party on Thursday and then bam.....TGIF. The twins were bored so I whipped out a roll of sugar cookie dough and some sprinkles. Mary Ellie and Fenley enjoyed "cooking" and making their own cookies. This was more an attempt to entertain them than actually make anything or use a new recipe. Their sweet teachers did this at school with them and they were so very, very proud of their cookies that were sent home with them. I decided to keep the goods on hand so cold days could be spent recreating their sense of pride and small grasp of cooking with momma in the kitchen.



Baby Bear does not get to really help out and cook. I try to include the little guy as much as possible so he got some Tupperware, a spatula, his sippy cup and his hysterical new Mexican rattle from Mary Madison and Tennyson that he loves. The pretty little rattle inspired our colorful afternoon of cooking and baking cookies. Bear loves to think he is involved so he is thrilled to be "cooking" with us. Ole! Ole!

These are our colorful sprinkles and cookie dough balls. No matter how many times I told Mary Ellie and Fenley DO NOT EAT the raw cookie dough, they managed to lick every ball and eat as many sprinkles as possible. They absolutely love being in the kitchen with their momma and helping. This is great for children and their little spirits but you have to supervise the amount of gross raw food that they sneak!

They were assuring me it was just sprinkles they were sneaking but goodness gracious, I see why cooking at their school is considered science. This looks like a science experiment gone terribly wrong!!

Yes, I actually had to cook the licked little balls for them to complete the process.

Bear's Mexican Rattle. The sprinkles and rattle were so colorful they were a great way to kick off the weekend. A nice change from all the red and green we have been using around here for Christmas.

I could not resist snapping this shot. As I mentioned before I need constant caffeine but this is special caffeine. To stick with the Mexican Colorful Fiesta theme I grabbed one of my Mexican Coca Colas to sip on to keep momma spirited and awake. YUM! If you can locate Mexican cokes, buy them right away. They use sugar cane and not high fructose corn syrup. A total treat for me and hey, I was not licking sprinkles and cookies so the calories were worth it!


SATURDAY MORNING 


A sweet moment between the twins. They LOVE this tradition and were elated to start getting ready to head out the door to pick up Donuts with Daddy.
 

Mary Ellie is a little confused about the shoes, Santa socks, and nightgown. Get them off!!


NO problem with wearing if a coat, in or out of the house, as long as there are donuts involved with it



I guess Joe picked the red sprinkled donuts to go with the childrens' holiday place mats and Pottery Barn Kids plates.

Yum, Yum, Yum. Thank you Shipley's Do-Nuts! Traditions are important and this one is a keeper around our house.


Saturday Mornings...what do you remember as a child? What did you do on Saturday mornings when you were little? Pancakes? Cereal? Cartoons? Around here we get up (waaayyy too early for me) and Daddy takes the twins to Shipley's Donuts. They love it. Mary Ellie and Fenley go in their jammies and crocs and run out the door (the enthusiasm builds Friday night when we promise with goodnight kisses that when they wake up it will be donut time). Daddy buys them donut holes and the crazy colored sprinkle donuts. They come back thrilled and share with Mommy and Bear their loot. I have to say it is adorable (good for the family and memories but probably not the healthiest breakfast but hey! it is all about the memories and fun!), and I hope they are creating memories to last them a lifetime about their Saturday morning donut runs with Daddy. We love the little ritual and we enjoy creating new family traditions with our little crew. And the donuts are delicious!!

*The clip above is from our old blog. I copied it because the tradition and feelings remain. If you have read this quote before, refresh your memory and if you are new, I think this sweetly explains our little tradition.
SATURDAY LATER MORNING AND AFTERNOON
So, the donut high only lasts so long. We had to get moving and get on with the day. Big morning trip: Walmart. We needed some basics and we decided to drag the whole crew there and get our errands done. The children go bonkers in Walmart. BONKERS.
Santa Claus cookie jar enjoying his perch and soooo thankful I did NOT put those licked cookies in the jar!

Ready to walk out the door in their jammies, coats, hats, and gloves. They are that excited to get donuts with Daddy they are willing to don this apparel to get out the door. This is a feat when you live in a HUMID & HOT city.

My baby Bear and I eat and drink coffee until the crew arrives with donut holes and sprinkled donuts. Baby Bear has for MONTHS wanted to feed himself. I gave up. I just let the little guy go for it lately. Messy but more coffee for me while he tries to do it!! This sounds mean but since he was a baby we have had to feed him with two spoons: one for him and one for me. He won this battle. And he is quite good at it.

Finally, donut holes shared by his generous sissy.

The twins' breakfast table.

What are you lookin' at?

"Yum. Yum. Yum" in his own words and direct quote


We get pretty silly over donut holes and sprinkle donuts. Have you ever seen such a silly boy in jammies, donut holes, and sneakers?!

Fast forward to Saturday night....met Lauren and her hubby for cocktails before our friends' fabulous Christmas party. Lauren has triplet boys. She completely gets me, my insanity, my life, and how awesome yet crazy it is to raise sooo many babies all at once. I love you, Lauren! God bless you and our precious friendship.


Our supportive hubbies

My Walmart shopping crew



Saturday afternoon (yes,this is out of order but it has been that kind of day) we loaded up our choochoo and delivered some Christmas presents to friends. The children were really into the holiday spirit. They smashed a few presents along the way, but I am sure our friends did not mind. Sorry if yours were smashed. I promise to get the darn cards off tomorrow and homemade goodies made tomorrow too and delivered (recipes posted too!) by Wednesday. We are delivering goods in small batches. Just accept us for who we are and realize our dream of delivering a whole batch of homemade goodies and gifts just did not pan out this year.
Again, this post has taken me since Saturday to finish and write. In the midst of my holiday madness, I was told to slow down and do a few things, not pretend, write about being a Christian, or create a perfect mom/friend/craft persona online. I put everything on hold and listened to God as soon as I got back from our big trip. I got to my friend's house on Friday and spent a few precious hours with her while she rested on bedrest. Anyone that knows me or of our family, knows how very, very hard it was for us to get our lambs and bear. It took years, tears, sweat, blood, and pain and months & months of bed rest, drama and prayers to deliver these children into our life. God heard our prayers and answered. I RUN, drop to my knees and lift anyone that is struggling with infertility, pregnancy, families, and complications during pregnancy. I have been there, and my journey has made me feel deep, deep empathy for the struggles of others.
My amazing, beautiful, sweet, kind, thoughtful, and WONDERFUL friend has been fighting for her baby on bed rest lately. I stopped the holiday silliness and got to her and just spent time with her on Friday. Today, God decided that today was the day he brought her sweet baby home to him. I watched someone I love and deeply care about, have her heart broken and wrestle with emotions no one should have to embrace. Please keep her and her family in their prayers. She fought hard to keep the baby, but our Good Lord had other plans for him. This is hard as mere humans to understand and we just do not know why ,but the pain and suffering on Earth is real. Please lift her and her family up in your prayers as you pause for a moment during the holidays, Christmas and birth of our Lord and Savior. This is not really how I intended this post to end but I think the sentiment is important. Holidays and traditions are fun, but let us not lose sight of the importance of this Christmas season. It is not about homemade treats, recipes, gifts, or Santa, but the birth of our Lord and Savior through all things are possible and our sins are forgiven. Let us remember those less fortunate and those struggling this Christmas with not just words but deeds. Much love to our amazing friend and her sweet family, and I do not have permission to name her or anything but just lift her up in your prayers tonight. Create your own memories and traditions but above everything be prayerful in all that you do. Sweet dreams!  

Back In The Saddle Again

We arrived back at our little casa late Wednesday night and parting is such sweet sorrow. The morning we were leaving town my two old, sweet friends, Lillian and Samantha, stopped by to see us off and let my children play with their lovely daughters. Joe and I do not get back to our hometown too too often and seeing friends while we are there and balancing our families is tough. It was AWESOME these friends took the time to come over and say goodbye.
Samantha is lucky because she got to move back to our hometown with her husband and lives there with her hubby and adorable daughter, Blake Sophia. I still do not see Samantha and Blake Sophia enough!  Lillian lives in Paris. She married a handsome and sweet French boy, Guillaume, and had her sweet baby girl, Willamina, in Paris, and they live a really neat life there. Seeing Lillian and Willamina is extra special since it takes them a 13 hour flight just to land back on the good ol' USA soil.
Lillian and Samantha are old friends who were in my wedding and I have known for a long, long time. There are so many fun memories that spring to life in my mind when I see them and it is awesome to grow through life's different stages with friends from your past. Seeing us grown-up, married, and getting our children together is really awesome to watch and very, very special. It was a quick visit and we are trying to plan another trip to get back home to see them ALL again soon. Thank you so much for our awesome send off! Au revoir, Lillian and Willamina! Adios, Samantha and Blake Sophia!

The Flack Children and Miss Willamina. Mary Ellie and Bear were obsessed with her. Mary Ellie was doting and entertaining. Bear was flirting and loving on her. There is nothing that warms your heart like loving your dear friend and watching your beloved children be so affectionate to their little ones.


Bear took a quick liking to Lillian as well. He was not deterred by Willamina in her mommy's lap. He decided to move on over and join the cuddle.


Hugs and Kisses to our sweet Parisian friends


Lunch date between Bear and Willamina. It looked pretty romantic!


Blake Sophia is fashionable and a hoot! She had on jeggings, leopard and a bow to make Blair Waldorf green with envy. So cute! Her momma is quite stylish too so I love to see these two fabulous ladies and their fun frocks.


This is what it looks like when you feed 5 children under 2 years old. The twins were born November 2008. Blake Sophia was born August 2009. Bear was born November 2009 and Willamina was born March 2010. Thank goodness my Dad and Tammy were good sports because it goes without saying that the children were crazy and messy! They had a wonderful time running around together.


I got to cuddle little Willamina. Awww....sooooo precious. It was hard to say goodbye to my dear friends and their adorable daughters. We got on the road right after lunch and a nap. My poor, poor father rode back with us and it was awful. Bear hates to be strapped down and the twins talked in twin language and were nuts the entire ride back. But, we had to get back because Mary Ellie and Fenley had their last day of school until January and their class Christmas Party.
I was supposed to bring cookies. Um, I have not gone to the store in a long time. I was fixated on my chocolate ball recipe and not making class cookies. Joe dashed out and bought us milk for our fridge and cookies for the class party. I am a terrible mother, I know. Store bought cookies for my childrens' first Christmas while I was making other treats for the neighbors. The good news was the class loved the cookies and they LOOKED homemade. I, of course, told everyone the truth that I did not make them but no one seemed to be too mad and gobbled them up! The twins had fun at the party and that is what really counts.
Mary Ellie enjoying the party treats. See the cookie with the candy cane, they look pretty homemade, huh?

Mommy and Mamie. A very nice other mother offered to take our picture and seeing as I have zero pictures with my children, I leapt at the chance. If only Mamie would have been as excited at her 100th picture in 10 minutes, it could have been a real keeper!

My little man, Fenley, enjoying the not-so-homemade cookie with enthusiam

So enthusiastic about the cookie he decided to not take the hand nor cookie out of his mouth for the once in a lifetime photo opportunity with his mother

In my MAD DASH to get back in the saddle again, I had 12 hours from the home arrival to school departure time to remember and assemble the teacher Christmas gifts. We love Miss Allie and Miss Elli but we were told to keep their gifts "small and humble" from the head of school. Mommy decided cranberry and orange biscotti and cute holiday mugs in faux paint cans with holiday tinsel would be a good way to package Starbucks gift cards and instant Starbucks coffee. I figured I keep a constant stream of caffeine going all day with my 3 little ones, I cannot even imagine 12 little ones under my care. Merry Christmas, Miss Allie and Miss Ellie. We love you! See you in January.

The little stickers we attach on everything to make them personal. Emily makes these for me and she did a lot of my party items as well. I need to give her proper credit and make sure everyone knows how to order from her website and get in touch with her. She is fabulous, great to work with and has some cute, cute stuff. We give lots of gifts from her, use her all the time for our personal stash, she made Christmas Cards for us AND she made our gifts for friends this year that I need to drive around and deliver. Look her up!
http://www.prettypaperprettyribbons.com/

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. The twins LOVE to see their "artwork" displayed. They are so very proud, and I love to display their latest work. Their Christmas present to me at school was salt dough clay with their hands and names on it. Sadly, since we missed a day to go to our hometown, their gifts were not ready to take home yet, and I will get them when we get back to school in January. Their teachers do the neatest projects with them, and I cannot thank Miss Allie and Miss Elli enough for taking the time to foster their creativity and love of art, school, and music. Plus, I mean, how stinkin' cute are these trees with little presents! Thanks, twins!

Back in the Saddle means I should probably finish the Christmas Cards. I dragged all my stuff back home again and have more to do. This is the project that will never end!!


I am off to cut more ribbon, tie more bows, and glue more pictures!