Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas at G-ma's!

I'm not really sure when, but at some recent point my Grandma Ellie has become, G-ma. It's a fun little nickname, and it fits her well.  She's fun like that. :)

We had a wonderful Christmas at G-ma's this year! It was the year of BABIES!!!  Lauren and Will's twins, Jake and Tripp, are 3 months old, and Lane and Josh's baby Christian is 7 weeks old! What fun! We also had Jenny and her family here this year, and of course the rest of us! G-ma's house was busy!

Awesome! What a fun Christmas!

Our Family Christmas

I love traditions. They make me happy, they give me that warm fuzzy feeling inside. One of my favorite traditions in the last few years is Christmas Eve. My parents come down and hang out with us, help us set out the milk and cookies for Santa, and spend the night. The next morning we all gather together, bleary eyed, to watch the kids excitement. It's my favorite part of Christmas! This year we let the kids open some gifts on Christmas Eve...

They loved that, and then had time to play! Ellie made some jewelry while Austin and daddy played with Austin's new train, then Ellie got the cookies for Santa ready, and Annie wrote him a note...

Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Papa Kenny and Grandma Dorothy

Last Christmas we celebrated with Papa Kenny and Grandma Dorothy in a Nursing/Rehab home where Grandpa was recovering. This year... they are home! Yay! It was a long year + for Papa (Grandpa for me). After a massive heart attack in the early summer of 2010, Papa had a long road back. There were many times we weren't sure what the immediate future would hold for him, and it was a very hard and scary time. My sweet/wonderful/giving mother has been by their sides through it all, encouraging them, helping them, and driving them everywhere they've needed to go.  With all that we've been through, this year was extra sweet!

We went over for a visit a few days ago. Papa was in a good mood and it was nice to visit for awhile. Grandma Dorothy gave Ellie a giant book about cats, and then they proceeded to go through it together!

Then we got to celebrate Christmas with Papa Kenny and Grandma Dorothy, and the rest of the family, at the Mary Kay Studio! A little non-traditional in our choice for location, but it was perfect! Enough room for everyone, and no stairs to worry about. Lauren and Lane and their new babies were the hit of the night. My favorite moment was when Papa held all 3 babies at the same time!!! 

Annie holding Jake!

All the kids opened their presents at the same time, so fun! They had a blast! (And so did I, cuddling babies!!!)
It was a great night, full of family, fun, and laughter. Perfection!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nana and Papa's Christmas

We did the Knipp/Knipple Christmas at Nana and Papa's again this year. I can't believe how fast these kids are growing up! It was a great evening with our awesome family!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Dance

The girls danced beautifully for their Christmas dance show again this year. It was Annie's first time to do ballet since she was 3. She's grown a little. :)

Also her first time to tap since preschool...

Then there's clogging! Her favorite!

And Ellie clogging!

The girls with Nana!

 And with Grammie, G-ma, and Aunt Denise!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fancy Friday!

Annie came home a week ago, SO excited to tell me about "Fancy Friday". Her class had read Fancy Nancy books, and studied "Fancy" words, (big vocabulary words), and had earned themselves a Fancy party! With the party a week away, my sweet Annie wanted to plan her outfit RIGHT NOW. Yes, I'd say she was a tad excited. :-)

So last Thursday night we, painted her nails, rolled her hair in curlers, she reminded me, "Don't forget my jewelry mom!", and I tried to calm one very excited girl down so she could get some sleep. Friday morning she donned THE outfit...

Black dressy dress with ivory silk and lace flowers at the neck.
Black sequined trimmed leggings.
Tall shiny black boots.
A sparkly silver necklace.
Gold hoop earrings.
And because it was cold, a long ruffle trimmed sweater.

(unfortunately, none of my pics do justice to how awesome her outfit was!)

She looked beautiful! I had an ohmygoodnesssheisgrowinguptoofast moment, but I held it together.

She had a great party at school, that I got to attend as a helper. And do you see who also got to "help"? He almost looks like he could be a first grader!

Here are my fancy kids with a sweet school friend.

Annie's fancy word she picked to tell her class about was MANICURE. Grammie should be proud. :-) I think this might have been my all time favorite school party EVER. The kids looked adorable, and they were so excited. A simple, but super fun idea!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Adoration Parade, 2011!

Once again, we gathered our friends for the Branson Adoration Parade!

This year was extra special as we gathered in our NEW SHOP!
 It's almost finished! We've been working hard...really hard...to get this old building whipped into shape. It's been a process, that's for sure, but it's almost ready! It made the perfect gathering spot for this years parade, as it's still empty, and the parade goes right in front! We loved huddling with our friends and family and watching our town celebrate Jesus!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Date night!

J and I had a rare night out with just Austin, and decided to make it a date night! Dinner and Ride Makerz!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thirteen!

My 13 favorite highlights from today:

1. Sleeping in!

2. Brunch at our house, us 4 + Chris and Michelle and the girls. Austin stayed with Grammie the night before, which made the whole sleeping in/even number of children/quiet afternoon thing possible. Thanks mom!

3. Ellie only having 2 meltdowns and both before noon!  The rest of the day was good for her, and I am quite thankful for that. :-)

4. Thanksgiving TV: Macy's parade, the dog show, Miracle on 34th street, and Horton Hears a Who!

5. Ellie peeling 10 pounds of potatoes by herself!  

6. Me not freaking out that nothing is decorated for Christmas yet, that the house wasn't perfect, that the turkey took too long, etc...  I was pretty relaxed today! :)   

7. Getting to sit and rest for awhile between gatherings.

8. A calm, quiet house between gatherings today. 

9. Making yummy food: Corn casserole, green bean casserole, Parker house rolls, PW's mashed potatoes, and cream cheese pepper jelly dip.

10. Jason smoking the turkey to perfection.

11. My parents, J's parents, and my Grandma coming over for dinner. We are so blessed to all live so close.  

12. Eating delicious food, all gathered at one big table! 

13. A little Thanksgiving night shopping to work off the big meal, but home by 10!  

It was a good year!  Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

SDC Christmas!

We love SDC at Christmas!

This year we found the gingerbread people!
 Ellie on the carousel!
 Grammie and the girls watching the big tree.
 Austin watching the big tree, with his new hat. :)
 Talking with Santa, there was no rush, so nice!
 Me and Austin, and Ellie and Annie on the swings!
 Grammie with the kids!
 Grammie and the A's on the carousel.
It was a great night!