Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing Jesus a very Happy Birthday today!
Thanks so much for loving me in spite of me.

I hope you're enjoying good times with your friends and family - 
in all its fun and sometimes awkward glory.
Please excuse me while I try to earn a bigger jeans size
and play with all of my children's awesome toys and crafts for a few days.

Love,
Bill and Grace
Esperanza  Gianna  Isabella  and  Evangeline

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Shenanigans



We spent a Merry Christmas Eve with my parents and my sister and her husband:
small breakfast for the girls
gift opening with Bill and the girls
brunch (tocino, eggs, rice, and samporado) at my parent's with Evan and Sarah
home to tidy up the house and cook a few things
my parents, Evan and Sarah come over for dinner and gifts
Mom and Sarah bring ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, palabok, and rolls
I have beverages (try this Wassail recipe!), sweet potato casserole and corn casserole
sweet friends drop by
girls' annual Christmas "performance"
family gift exchange
We can't wait to meet Samantha!
 
1 day 'til Christmas!

BakeFest and Christmas Town


I spent the morning baking, baking, and baking with the girls' "help."
After all that, we headed to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens with our friends (we love them!).
This is the first year we've been able to go, and it was lots of fun.  The weather was perfect, and the crowds weren't bad at all.  We were kind of nervous waiting in line for the Festhaus, especially when

Party All Day Long (and an Apology)

Bill took Isabella and Evangeline for the morning so I got to bring
the girls' teacher gifts to school for them.
Gianna had her Christmas party this morning - it was fun to see her in her kindergarten world.  Most

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yankee Candle Time

My parents and I took the girls here today:
Photo Source

I love love LOVE a Yankee Candle - add in ChristmasTime and our sweet friends, and we had a fantastic combination for a holiday outing.

Cookie Baking and Olive Garden-ing

The girls got to bake and decorate cookies with their Tito and Tita.
They LOVE going over to Evan and Sarah's!
I'm thankful they enjoy having the girls over, too.

In response to my asking if they were good, my sister said:
They were just loud and didn't listen a lot - I think because they were so excited.

Evidence:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gifts, Christmas Specials, and The Best Children's Bible Ever

We finished making the last of the gifts for our teachers and staff
at the big girls' two schools.  Super cute, yes?

 Bill found some Christmas shows for the girls to watch after dinner and baths:

Singing, Lunch, and a Piano Recital


The girls sang at church this morning -
always adorable albeit offkey.
 After church, we had lunch with my honey's family. 
Many thanks to Mom and Dad for keeping our feverish Evy while we ate food!

The Show Will Begin in a Few Minutes...

...that phrase is my FAVORITE when all the kids get together.

All the girls (and the cousins) were super excited because NeNe and PaPa came to visit for the weekend.  Tonight we went over to Uncle Brian and Aunt Jen's house for dinner with everyone
(our family, Bill's sister's family, NeNe and PaPa, Lolo and Lola, and Keith).

If only you could be a fly on a wall during our after-dinner entertainment:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Date Night

We love date night!

Thanks to the girls' PaPa and NeNe
and our awesome Abbey Lamb
(Gianna calls her Abbey Lamb - not Abbey, not Abigail - Abbey Lamb),
Bill and I got to spend some alone time talking and getting fat at this spectacular place:
Photo Source
After we got home and put the girls in bed, we discovered that this was on

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa's Wonderland

Tonight we took the girls to Santa's Wonderland at Bass Pro.
This was the closest we got the four to take a picture with the big guy in red, 
 
but we did get this one of Espy, Gianna, Evangeline and Santa:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Surgery Highly Doubtful...

...my favorite words of the day!

I'm so excited that this girl
 had a fantastic eye doctor's appointment this morning.  Thanks to those of you who were praying for us.  Her chances of having the same surgery that Espy had when she was five years old are getting

A Night with Addie Louise

Addie came over tonight, and it was great fun.

After dinner and lots of playing, reading, coloring, etc. -
all the girls finished up a movie we started the night before:
Photo Source

They LOVE Addie (even though they kept calling her Regan),

Advent and a Movie

I finally finished one of our many advent calendars tonight -
better late than never!

I completely stole this fantastic idea from the girls at eighteen25:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Party Party

Went to a Christmas party tonight -
Lovely girls.
Great food.
Always a good time.

Highlight of my weekend:
This girl making such a smooth basket - her first ever of her first season.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cookie Swapping

 I went to a cookie swap with Abbey tonight,
and it was amazing!

I got to bring home a sampling of this deliciousness:
cowboy cookies

Sickness, Baking, and a Movie

We were supposed to go to Christmas Town tonight,
but I decided to be all weird and flu-like earlier this afternoon and had to reschedule.
Our sweet friends decided to wait for us to go another time (love you guys!)
so we're excited about our eventual trip to Busch Gardens.

Instead, I tried to rest while mom came over for a few hours.
I started feeling somewhat normal and got to bake these beauties:
Photo Source
to. die. for.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Let's Go See Some Lights


Tonight we took the girls to a house that was decorated like nobody's business.
It was crazy, and they loved it!
My favorite part was watching their eyes light up as they found one thing after another

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Checking It Twice

We've narrowed down what we'd like to get
for our girls, our friends, and the rest of our family.
It's not much, and I'm in love with that.
We're scaling the gift madness down before we get ahead of ourselves
and become too focused on the the what instead of the Why of this season.

Our most favorite thing to help out in this:
Photo Source

Oh,  
amazon.com!
We love you - we really, really do.

No lines.

All I Want for Christmas is a Nice Family Picture

We took family pictures tonight for our Christmas card.
Check out these beauties:


Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday To-Do List

Just found this in my Google Reader!
(If you don't have one and love blogs, you must get a Google Reader.  Must.)

I love lists!
I love Christmas!

Imagine my delight when I saw this:
Photo Source
eighteen25 is a fantastic blog,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Elf

Watched this awesome movie tonight with some friends:
Photo Source
It never gets old.  Ever.

21 days 'til Christmas!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Birthday Par-Tay

Today we celebrated Evangeline's first birthday -
don't get me started on how sad I am that she's one year old already.
Excuse me as I indulge in her cuteness:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hollydazzle

We took the girls (minus Evangeline - thanks for watching the baby, Lola!)
to Hollydazzle in City Center tonight.
The girls had a great time getting Hollydazzle tattoos, making crafts, watching shows, eating

Thursday, December 1, 2011

'Tis the Season

Our family is super excited about Christmas!
I wouldn't consider myself a winter girl, but there's something about the fireplace going and
a mug of hot chocolate that makes life warm and cozy.  Bill and the girls seem especially cuddly during this time of year.

We're praying that we'll be able to focus on the awesomeness of Jesus' birth
and the gift He is to us while enjoying our family traditions - both new and old.

The girls are enjoying this little advent calendar I found on one of the bazillion blogs I follow:
Make and Takes
I printed them out last night, and my honey helped cut them out.  We hung one by each of the girls'

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thankful (30)

Extremely thankful to be His.
Free Sky
Photo by: D. Sharon Pruitt
Humbled by His gift.
In awe of His plan.
Amazed by His unconditional love.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful (26)

Thankful for this child who reminds me so much of my boyfriend.
 Most of her looks come from my side, but I can see glimpses of Bill in her.
Personality wise - forget about it:

Thankful (25)

Thanksgiving.


Thankful (24)

Thankful for our most outgoing child of the bunch.
 You will hear her before you see her, and that's if she slows down enough to let you.
Thankful for her strong will, her social personality, and her infectious smile.