December 31, 2012

Project 365 - Day 366

Today's theme is Celebration!  Tonight we are celebrating the end of 2012 with our good friends.  We had great food, yummy treats and finished the night off before putting the kids to bed with some fireworks (as seen below!).  But tonight I am also celebrating the completion of my Project 365!  I did it and I am feeling very proud of myself as I reflect on the last year!  I have a years worth of amazing memories!  I am looking forward to 2013 and another year of amazing memories!


Day 31: {1 Photo – 32 Days} December Photo Challenge ~ Celebrate!

December 30, 2012

Project 365 - Day 365

It's the time of year when people, myself included, start thinking about things we want to do in 2013, the plans we want to make, the goals we want to reach, the so-called New Years Resolutions. There are many things I'd like to accomplish in 2013 but today I pledge to do more random acts of kindness, as my family did today, helping to shovel out an elderly neighbor. Do something nice for someone because it's right, not because you want to be recognized or because you want to get a pat on the back.

My husband, his Mom, Sister and Aunt did not see me take this photo, and I didn't tell them about it either. They didn't do this so they could post about it on Facebook or tell all their friends that they are such great people for helping someone in need. They did it because it was the right thing to do and so I challenge everyone, as they reflect on the past year, and make those resolutions to add this one to the mix because the world can never have too much kindness in it.

 Day 29: {1 Photo – 32 Days} December Photo Challenge ~ Resolution!

December 29, 2012

Project 365 - Day 364

Daddy, Shaun and Evan get white washed sledding down our hill today!  Evan took the brunt of the blast of snow being in the front!

Day 29: {1 Photo – 32 Days} December Photo Challenge ~ Texture!

December 28, 2012

First Big Snow!

Yesterday we got our first "blizzard" of the winter season. The forecast was for 10-18 inches of snow, but it ended up being about 6 inches, which surprised me because it snowed pretty much all day.  The boys couldn't wait to head out to play so we got all our gear ready and put on and headed out for some sledding fun!

It's snowing!
Winter wonderland!
The boys all ready for some fun in the snow!
Evan had a much easier time getting around this year but this year he's able to get around so much easier!

This is the first time I have seen Shaun so excited about the snow!
This kid was born to play in the snow!
Look at that smile!

After some fun in the snow it was time to get down to business and get the driveway cleared.  The boys were happy to help Daddy, and grabbed their shovels.  

Such good little helpers!
Oh no!  Watch out for flying snow!

And there is nothing like getting a nice cup of hot chocolate after playing out in the cold snow!  With "smarshmallows"!

So we didn't get as much snow as we thought but it was a "winter wonderland" all day long.  It's the kind of snow you love to watch decorate the backyard, with big fluffy flakes falling from the sky.

After getting home from seeing a movie today the boys wanted to go outside before it got dark to have a snowball fight!  

Making snowballs with Daddy!
Evan got Shaun really good!
Daddy taking Evan down the hill a few times.

Project 365 - Day 363

I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have these guys in my life!

 Day 28: {1 Photo – 32 Days} December Photo Challenge ~ Gratitude!

December 27, 2012

Project 365 - Day 362

Nothing like a cup of hot chocolate with "smarshmallows" to warm you right up after playing in the snow!

 Day 27: {1 Photo – 32 Days} December Photo Challenge ~ Favorite Things!

Christmas Day!

Santa came! I love the time of night when it's all quiet, the boys are all snug in their beds, Santa has left us lots of goodies, drank his hot chocolate and noshed on his treats! Everything looks perfect and the Doc and I head off to bed ourselves waiting for the sound of the boys waking up in the morning.

Santa came!
The boys are going to be so excited!
I was anticipating an early wake up call and I was right, I heard the boys about 6:15.  They were all having a sleep over in Shaun's bedroom so that GG and Auntie Kristin could use David and Evan's rooms.  When I heard them I wanted to make sure they knew it was OK to get up and use the potty but that it was too early to go downstairs.  I opened the door and saw the three boys laying in bed just chit chatting about what they thought Santa might have left them.  If I had only thought to grab my camera so that I could capture that moment.  It was so heartwarming!

At 6:40 Daddy went downstairs to start coffee and start getting everyone up so that the boys could start opening their Santa gifts!  But first we had to get the traditional picture of us on the stairs.  And while we were sitting on the stairs, the boys found a letter that Santa left.  He hid one of their gifts and they were going to need to find it first!

Evan and Mommy waiting to see what Santa brought!
So excited for Christmas morning!
David reads the letter that Santa left that explains the scavenger hunt and where to find the first clue!
The scavenger hunt was started by Santa last year and David must have enjoyed it because he told us many times throughout the month that he was hoping that Santa would do it again!  There were 6 clues all throughout the house and eventually they found their gift and headed back to the tree so they could open them!

David's scavenger gift - a 3DS!  He was so excited!
But not as excited as Shaun was to also open a 3DS - it wasn't on his list but he was so happy to get one too!
Evan got a new leappad, but was very interested to open the rest of his presents!
It's not Christmas without a family picture in front of the tree.  I have been making these pictures into ornaments! It is so fun to look back from year to year to see how much we have all changed!

After the boys opened their gifts from Santa, we took a short break to eat some yummy cinnamon rolls and bagels and have some more coffee before we started on Round 2 - gifts from the family.
Time to play with some toys
Omi and Grampy got the older boys some really cool medieval toys!
Family picture!
Someday Shaun will look at the camera!
And when we do get Shaun to look, the other kid doesn't look!

After the presents were opened, it was time for me to prepare for round 3!  My family was heading up to have dinner and exchange gifts.  My MIL and SIL so nicely helped me clean up a bit so that I could get the food prepped, a whole bone-in Prime Rib.  It was massive and I wasn't going to make the same mistake I made last year with the cooking temperature.  That baby came out of the oven at 125 degrees exactly and it turned out perfect!

Once my family arrived we let the kids open up some more gifts and then we had to get ready to do our Secret Santa.  We pick names on Thanksgiving and I think I am on the 3rd year in a row of getting my sister.  She somehow has the whole thing rigged.

Shaun loves his Captain America mask from Uncle John and Auntie Kim
Evan is a Pirate thanks to Grammy and Papa!
The perfectly seasoned, cooked to perfection Prime Rib!
The gorgeous ornament from my cousin, I love it!
My Dad relaxing after enjoying a feast fit for a king!

December 26, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas...

This really is my favorite time of the year. I love the magic this season brings and the feeling of anticipation I get every Christmas Eve knowing that Santa will be coming and leaving us present under the tree!  We had a great time getting ready for all the festivities.  I love the traditions that we're starting with our boys!

The boys get ready to watch their videos from Santa!
Shaun was so excited to see Santa pull out a book with his name on it.
Evan's turn to see if he is on the Nice list or the Naughty list.
After nap time the IL's came up to spend the night (same as last year!).  I made my homemade sauce and meatballs and added some homemade garlic knots to the mix this year.  YUM!  After dinner we started preparation for the luminaries!

Evan helps to put the candles in the bags
Preparing the bags.
So pretty all lit up!
Such a warm glow...a wonderful tradition carried over from Charlie's childhood!
After the luminaries were all set up it was time to have a little dessert and get ready to open up their one Christmas Eve jammies!  We got them ready for bed and then we logged onto Google Maps to check out where Santa was.  We left reindeer food outside and David wrote a note to Santa while we got his plate of goodies ready.

Getting ready to open their new jammies...a tradition carried over from my childhood!
Traditional Christmas Eve picture in the new jammies!
Shaun can be so sweet to his baby brother sometimes!

A Christmas Eve picture with Omi!
Daddy shows the boys where Santa is on Google Maps!
Getting a treat ready for Santa.
Hot Chocolate, a mint brownie, toffee bar and egg nog fudge.
And no Christmas Eve would be complete without the reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas!
Now it's time for bed, this year we put the boys together.  It didn't go as well as we hoped and at one point we considered moving Evan out, but eventually (at about 10:30pm!!!) they all settled down and fell asleep so Santa could come and deliver all the gifts!