Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Cookies

The other day we had our friends Becky and Ashlyne come over to decorate Christmas cookies! The girls had a blast decorating and eating them together! I worked with Becky at Focus on the Family, so Avery and Ashlyne have been friends since they were born. It's so amazing to watch both of them grow up. Sophie liked decorating, but preferred eating the frosting off the spoon!

I'm very thankful for such sweet friends!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Program!

Avery had her very first Christmas program last week with her preschool. Her three-year old class sang two songs, "Jingle Bells" and "We wish you a Merry Christmas". It was a joy to watch her in the program, but even more fun to hear her singing these songs throughout the day the two weeks leading up to the program. One day in particular she sprinted around the kitchen singing "We wish you a Merry Christmas"! That memory will forever be with me! I think she has a lot of my personality. Besides being a fellow type A, she is very loud and outgoing at home, but once she got on stage she was very reserved yet her beautiful smile remained! She was a joy to watch!

Waiting with her class for the program to start

 Singing with her three year old class

All of the kids (3 and 4 year old's) back on stage to sing a final song


With her sweet friend, Mia

If you want to hear about the most humorous part of the program, head over to Gabe's blog
Here's a little hint...

We are so proud of you, Avery! 
 And Sophie, we're proud of you for supporting your big sister!

Monday, December 10, 2012

It Snowed!

It finally snowed! I have actually enjoyed the warmer weather, but the snow definitely makes it feel more like the Christmas season! The girls, especially Avery, have been patiently waiting for it to snow so of course we had to play in it when it finally arrived! It was 14 degrees out, so it was a quick play time in the snow! They both loved it!

 Hot chocolate is a must after playing in the snow!

We took the girls to the Gleneagle festival of lights on Saturday night. Thankfully it hadn't snowed yet, so we were still able to go. It's a fun hayride through Gleneagle Golf Course/neighborhood and they provide cookies and hot cocoa. We all got bundled up and the girls really enjoyed it. Such a fun family memory!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

O Christmas Tree!

First of all, head over to my husband's blog to read the story about our lovely Christmas tree!  He originally wrote the post about our tree in 2011, but just re-posted it because we once again experienced the joy of restoring this tree. I say joy loosely, at least on my part.

When Gabe writes about the first sight of our tree, he is right...it was mangled! But I love taking on challenges such as this and was very excited about our new, "old" tree. After all, we didn't have a tree so it was our very first tree to own as a married couple.

Now fast forward to this year.  Once again we were ramming our tree up the basement stairs. Every year it gets completely mangled all over again when we go through this process of bringing it upstairs. 

Let me show you a few photos... 

This is what it looks like in two piece dangling together by lights after bringing it up from the basement...

After putting it together...mangled much?

We spent hours taking off the attached lights off the top since they were burnt out. When we first got the tree off the curb, I had to do this with the lower lights. It takes hours because they're attached by plastic pieces. I recruited some help this year. Sweet Gabe and Avery both got in on the "fun"! 
Finally we got all the old lights off. I ended up taking all the lights off and starting off fresh!

So, back to the story. As I was trying to get rid of the mangled look and restore this tree once again ( this is our 4th year with this tree), I became very frustrated and told Gabe I'm done with this tree. I groaned and complained and said that I want to sell this tree on Craigslist so we can get a nicer one. One that doesn't take so much effort and time to make it look pretty every year. And over and over, I proclaimed, "I'm DONE with this tree"! Gabe was so gracious and simply reminded me many times that this tree has a story! And it's the perfect example of what Christmas is all about. More importantly, that we can't give up on this tree because of the story it has! 

It was such a good,gentle reminder to my heart. As messy and mangled as my life has been at times, the Lord never gave up on me. He continued to restore my life and make me new. 

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ; the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!"
2 Corinthians 5:17

I'm so thankful Jesus didn't lose his patience with me and decide he was DONE! 

As Gabe said in his blog post, "There’s nothing in your life that’s too dark or ugly for God’s redemptive hand to touch". Such a powerful truth!

And for the final product...
Here is our beautiful Christmas tree in all it's restored glory!

Gabe's right...we can't get rid of this beautiful reminder of how good and faithful Jesus is!