Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Our Christmas has been good - how about y'alls? It has been special this year - seeing Kennedy "truly experience" the holiday. She now knows what it is about and watching her sing "Happy Birthday Jesus" today before blowing out the candle and licking every last ounce of cream cheese icing off of her red velvet cupcake just melted my heart. I thought it would be fun to share some pictures and videos of Christmas...through a 3 year old's eyes.

So many presents.....so little time....that's why we had 4 different opening sessions here at the Taylor house - NO JOKE! Look at all those. Man, she's loved!
 Aunt Janine and Uncle Joshie bought here these rockin' converse - can't wait to see these on!
 Her Aunt, Uncle and Cousin gave her this game called Take the Cake and we had big fun playing - she won the first round! =)
 Nana and Pawpaw bought her this musical ballerina jewelry box and she was totally enamored with it from the get go. So sweet! She kept trying to figure out how she could hold her hands and dance with her.

 Christmas communion at Tim's parents church was last night. I love Christmas Eve services. They just "get your mind right" if you know what I mean. I am thankful this is always part of our holiday when we are here.
 My grandmother gave these little red coats to Kennedy and her cousin. I am happy that we've had a couple years now of getting to wear it because I think it's so sweet. Luckily I was able to get one picture of her in it because she was ready for more present opening at this point!
 Nana and Pawpaw gave her Hungry Hungry Hippos. Who doesn't love that game? It never gets old! She loves it.
This morning we woke up to a wonderful white Christmas as did a lot of you I feel sure. Thanks for the new snow boots Honey and Big Jim - they came none too soon. =) Kennedy has never gone sledding before but the combination of the snow and Nana and Pawpaws hilly yard made it possible and she has now officially gone sledding. I don't know who had more fun - those watching her sled or her actually doing it.



Last but certainly not least - she learned this song for part of her Christmas program at school. She decided she'd share it with the family today after lunch and I am so glad she did. What could be sweeter?

~Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!~

Thursday, December 23, 2010

28 weeks and some Christmas Cheer

This past Thursday I reached my 28th week of pregnancy and tomorrow is 29 which means I am almost only 10 short weeks away from meeting this little one and I am officially in the 3rd trimester. Yay! I had an ultrasound this week at my appointment and the baby is in what is called "frank breech presentation". The visual they gave me helped me to understand why I am running to the bathroom more times than I can count every hour! See for yourself:

My midwife says there is still time for the baby to turn into correct position and I am just hoping and praying that happens. She says it isn't a huge concern until we reach @ 37 weeks so my fingers are crossed! 

Here's the ole' 28 week pictures:

First, with Kennedy and then after church Sun. It was so icy outside we opted for an indoor pic.

Last weekend Chelsea was in to visit and we mostly planned to just hang out and soak up each others company but we also had my annual "bake off" planned for Saturday and we definitely got our bake on!

First up...sugar cookies.
I helped Kennedy cut the cookies out and Chelsea helped her decorate them while I started on our other items. For those of you who don't know - perfectionism is OUT the window when it comes to decorating sugar cookies with a toddler. See for yourself:

 video
You did an amazing job Chelsea! Look at those finished products!
Kennedy approved after a taste test. =)
Sadly I don't have pictures of the rest of what we made but we made two batches of wintry white clusters (delicious and oh so easy), 8 round cake pans of Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls, a batch of Like Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, and a few days later I finished of my holiday baking with 5 loaves of pumpkin bread. Yum!

Despite all our baking, Chelsea and I were able to get out and finish up some much needed shopping and grab a bite to eat at one of my new favorite local places - Smashburger. We were sad when she left to go home but luckily we knew we'd see her again soon. As in...this coming weekend soon. =) More on that to come but thanks for braving the poor driving weather to come see us Chels!
We had fun giving out all of our baked goodies to loved ones this week. Abby and Jonathan were one of the recipients of the yummy cinnamon rolls and they brought a present for Kennedy over when they stopped by.
 Oh my - lets just say she's a happy girl. I had to convince her to leave Cinderella at home because we'd have so much to bring back already. She loves her. Thanks Aunt Abby and Uncle Jonathan! Wonderful selection!
 One of our last deliveries was to our local fire department. My Mom always did this with us when I was little and I always thought it was really cool so I definitely want to carry on this tradition with her. The firemen are so good with kids - they put her up in the truck, let her see the lights and gave her a little fireman hat. They were happy about their pumpkin bread too.



Just for giggles I wanted to stroll down memory lane a tad - look how big my girl is getting. This is our firehouse outing from last Christmas:


We have officially started our Christmas vacation now. We drove to WV last night to be with Tim's parents. Kennedy is in hog heaven. I don't think she's stopped talking to Nana and Pawpaw since we arrived. Whew - she will wear you out but it's precious and I don't think they mind at all thank heavens.

I'm sure I'll have more holiday pics to share soon! Until then, I hope you are all gearing up for a wonderful holiday with loved ones!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An inexpensive Christmas gift idea and a visit with Santa Claus

Last year I read this blog post and thought it was a really neat gift idea. Unfortunately, by the time I decided to act said idea - the necessary supplies were no where to be found in our local craft stores. This year I decided to act a bit earlier and am happy to say it has been a success, so I though I would share it with you all.

Supplies needed for this craft are as follows:

Clear glass ornaments - they come in several different sizes.
Shredded paper in your color of preference...or any other "filler" you think would be cute. I'll tell you, if I still had my paper shredder I would have just purchased some card stock and done this part myself to save a bit of $$ but it's not real expensive so it's no biggie.
Nylon ribbon in the color of your choice and then I purchased bells from the craft department to tie on the top because I feel everything is a bit more "holiday-ish" when a bell is involved. Don't you agree?

 A black paint pen or as in the link above letter stickers for the monogram.
 I did a Google image search for Curlz font and then did my best to paint on the letters  in that font - it makes it pretty easy with the paint pen.
 Once the letters were dry I went over them with a clear coat of nail polish. According to the Hobby Lobby craft guru - it will make them last much longer - resisting "scratch off" damage. I then used a circular craft sponge & acrylic paint to paint on lime green polka dots. Once the dots were on I hung them to dry then clear coated the circles as well and voila ~ cute, personalized gifts!
 These are some others I did with beaded garland and green ribbon only - didn't they turn out cute?
I then wrapped each ornament with fun tissue and a cello bag. Now...the holiday cello bags were tempting but about 2-3 x's as much so these clear ones are with the other party supplies in most craft stores.

The ornaments have been quite the hit so far so if you need an inexpensive gift that's still personal and cute as a button, I highly recommend these! They do take a little time but I just did each task in a shift and then worked around the house or whatever. Tim helped a lot too (thanks honey!)

Now...if you are detail oriented like me I'm sure you want to know how much they cost and don't you worry ~ I've calculated that out.

36 glass ornaments $8.98
1 package of red shredded paper $2.49
1 tube of silver beaded garland (66') $3.00
5 rolls Nylon ribbon $4.98
multi pack of jingle bells $2.00 for 60 (craft section - not Christmas section)
1 black paint pen $2.09
1 bottle green acrylic paint $0.69
multi pack of craft sponges $3.00
cello bags (pack of 50) $1.99
red and green curling ribbon $3.98 (lots left over for other wrapping projects)
36 gift tags $1.06

Drum roll please - the final cost of each ornament with wrapping included: $1.09 y'all!
You can't beat that with a stick folks.

Now...onto our visit with Santa this past weekend - after all, it was the highlight as far as Kennedy is concerned. =)

Santa was participating in story time at the local bookstore Joseph Beth Booksellers. He read Twas the Night Before Christmas and then allowed all the kids to tell him what they wanted for Christmas. We met Kennedy's bff Matthew there.

A wildlife group was in front of the bookstore entrance with two 8 month old reindeer - how cool!
 SANTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 It took every ounce of restraint these kiddos had to sit through this story.
 Patiently awaiting their turn to see Santa.
 This is Kennedy's first time to really acknowledge Santa - can you tell how excited she was to be sitting with him? Look at that grin! Hilarious!
 She pretty much just smiled the entire time she sat with him. He was talking to her but she was smiling so big that communication was near impossible. So funny.
 One more stop to see the reindeer on our way out.
Trying to get these two to pose for a picture is a chore but they are such buddies that I want to document their little friendship as best as I can. This one turned out pretty cute I thought.

Man....I love Christmas! So many fun things to do.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Christmas Tree Farm and Light Park

Every year, Tim and I get a real Christmas tree. It's something he and I have always agreed on this time of year, even though I never had a real tree growing up. I just love the way they smell and the way they look. Last year we really wanted to go to a tree farm and pick out a tree, but we waited too long to do so and we "missed the boat" so to speak. We both thought it would be a neat experience - especially for Kennedy. Since we missed out last year - this was our year. We started looking last weekend and there were more tree farms here locally than we realized. We chose the closest place (Christmas Memories Tree Farm) and I emailed the owner last week to ensure we were prepared for this first time outing. Turns out all we needed was ourselves - they provide the rest! Now....it would figure that the first open weekend in the season for this particular tree farm, and the date we specifically set aside for this venture - there was about 2-3 inches of accumulated snow before we even left the house and it was still coming down. Ha!
Time for the snow bibs:
All bundled up and ready to go!
We were the first tree-pickers to arrive and the family who owned the tree farm greeted us merrily, despite the frigid temperatures. They told us to just wander around amidst the trees and take our pick - each tree was tagged at the top with a price and they had all different kinds of trees to choose from. Kennedy had other things in mind - who cares about picking trees when you can "make tracks" in all this TOTALLY AWESOME SNOW!

video

After a lot of hollering at Kennedy "come back...what do you think of this tree, stop trying to grab the snow because your gloves are going to get wet, stay where we can see you, etc. etc. etc" and even more trapsing around in the snow amidst tons of wonderful trees - we finally found this beauty to make our own:

Next up - this nice guy cut the tree down for us and although I was trying to get Kennedy and her Daddy in the photo while we prepared to load up our first hand picked Christmas tree - they were plotting......something different than posing for a picture.
To take Mommy and her blasted camera out once and for all! Nice! Too bad she aimed a tad low....and totally missed me all together. Hee hee hee. 1 for Mommy and 0 for team Daddy.
To the car....er....Griswald mobile.
Oh yeah..what's worse than driving in a bunch of ice and snow surrounded by driverrs who appear to have never driven in it before?I'll tell you - driving in a bunch of ice and snow surrounded by drivers who to appear to have never driven in it before WITH a tree tied down to the top of your car.
Family photo with our tree. We madeit home safely I'm happy to report. 
I did take a picture of the finished product but not until today. It didn't occur to me until after we arrived home that it would be hours after this lovely trip that we could actually decorate the tree. It had to dry out first. In the meantime we got out all of our other decorations and amidst them found some of my favorite toys. I've only listened to the song you are about to hear 7,396,243 times since I recorded this video YESTERDAY (Lord, help me and Mom - thanks so much for giving this to Kennedy last year!). She is clearly enjoying it as much now as ever.:


*Tim would like for me to clarify that those stellar dance moves:  She got em' from her Momma.

Since it was such a perfect winter weekend, we decided to go see the Southern Lights display at our local horse park with the Banks family. After the drive through the lights you can enter the facilities for some holiday festivities. We didn't do the whole Santa thing but we did meet Frosty the Snowman. Look how pleased Kennedy and Matthew were with meeting him. Ha!
Baby Tyler - always the happy one. I swear this child has perma-grin. Hopefully my next child does too! He stayed all bundled up in his stroller and didn't make a peep. Sweet boy.
In one of the buildings they had a model train exhibit and the kids loved it. Heck - their parents loved it too. It was really neat. These two are like peas and carrots - they love each other.

It was a really fun filled Christmas preparatory day. Picking a tree was all that we thought it would be and the kids had so much fun last night. They even ended their evening with a little ride on a toy train. Unfortunately I was on the train with them so I didn't get a picture of that.

Here is a picture of Kennedy in front of our decorated tree. I am glad it is up and we can enjoy it for a while. This tree should last longer than ones we've had in the past since we bought it fresh (at least that's what the owner of the tree farm told us). I'll let you know if it does or not. Sadly, a cheesy grin is all I could get out of this munchkin after church today. She's full of herself - clearly!