Saturday, December 31, 2011

our Christmas

new pjs for all

twas the night before Christmas

just give me the chocolate,
thank you very much

love at first sight...
the new mountain bike

the new pair of Wallabees..
and there was great joy in the land

new quilt + her new Bible = a happy Ali

a little nerf bball action to
work off those cinnamon rolls

"you'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

giving grandma her gift

warmin my buns with grandpa

"I beat grammie at Candy Land! whoop whoop!"

getting ready for target practice with grampy

our annual trek to see the gingerbread houses
at the Grove Park Inn

Gracie's favorite!

Erin's favorite!

my favorite!

happy trails y'all!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

JOY to the world!

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our sins and fears release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel's strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart

Saturday, December 24, 2011

let every heart prepare Him room!

i love Christmas eve -
soaking in family time &
preparing for our favorite day of the year!

one tradition...
making a birthday cake for Jesus.
Gracie asked me the other night
" He gonnna eat it?"


I told her it will make His heart very happy
to watch us celebrate the day He was born!

merry, merry Christmas eve!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

oh there's no place like...

HOME for the holidays!!

we're moved in.
boxes remain in our bedroom, basement & garage.
(many, many, many, etc.  boxes )
BUT we have a Christmas tree,
beds to sleep in,
and the Christmas shopping is done.

we are beyond grateful for God's provision
of a house that fulfills many dreams for our family...
another family oriented neighborhood.
room to entertain.
a finished basement for the kids
to have friends over.
an amazing back yard that we love-
we're an "outdoor/mountain-y" kind of family,
so it's the perfect place for our kiddos to roam.
(and the sunsets have been beautiful!)
we want to honor Him with this gift.
Thank You Father!!

waiting for santa to ride through the
neighborhood on a firetruck!

notice the not-so happy 3 yr.old
who wanted nothing to do with
jolly old saint nick.
*funny stuff*

the back porch
that makes us happy, happy, happy

the view from our porch
and the piece de resistance?
just behind that tree line is....

a river and over 2 miles of neighborhood
hiking trails was not on our
"new house check list",
and not even a thought w/in our price range,
but we are soooo thankful that our
heavenly Father Who knows our
inmost desires blessed us with this beautiful bonus.

Ephesians 3:20-21
" Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!"

Monday, December 12, 2011

what to do?

what does a family do to pass
the time during their hotel stay
as they await a closing date on their new home?

they check out all the local
free Christmas activities!

last weekend we visited a
"walk through Bethlehem" display
at a local church.
it was done really well - you had to
"pay your taxes" as you entered the city
gate, and the city itself was made to feel so real.

not too sure about that pony...

Gracie couldn't wait to see baby Jesus
she also "weally" wanted to see a camel.
she decided once one was w/in sight she preferred
"pwetend & not weal ones".

we also visited a local family home
that totally makes the Griswold light display
look like slim pickins....

we're talking front & back yard,
walking trails,
blinking lights synchronized to music,
santa himself,
free popcorn...

 "I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action
Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle
with a compass in the stock
and this thing which tells time"

"me? sit on his lap? no way."

wouldn't you love to be his neighbor?!

thank you also to the dear friends who have had
us in their homes the past few weeks.
while it hasn't "felt" much like Christmas
in this hotel, when we are embraced in loving homes
with fabulous holiday food :) we truly
feel loved, and grateful for His provision
through others!
we're scheduled to close this week.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the suite life

 where did November go?!
we shared a wonderful Thanksgiving day with my family.

is my niece's daughter a honey, or what?

so thankful for my nephew Colin's life...literally.
He was hit by a car last month, and is healing
well - God has big plans for him for sure!

seeing my niece w/ baby girls
makes me feel O.L.D.
(notice Colin didn't lose his sense of humor in the
  accident. that family trait is a toughie to shake)

my dad had a little air soft target practice w/ Quinn.

LOVE seeing our kiddos enjoying
 the house I grew up in.

cousin beauties

the lovely hostess - my fabulous sista

now for the reality check...
remember that house closing that was supposed to happen?
as we watched the 2nd pod take our belongings down the street,
we heard that the closing couldn't happen the next day.
after we picked our jaws up off the floor, 
it was time for a little brainstorming.
thinking how nice it would be to save one weeks'
worth of extended stay fees,
we decided to...

camp out!!!

10 days in our empty little house.
between amazing neighbors, family
& church friends, we were outfitted w/
mattresses, bedding, pots & pans, etc.
it was all good.
especially the nights where some really cool families
had pity on us & invited us over for dinner in their homes! :)

we did close on our home this past Monday.

which brings us to our suite little home for now...

500 square feet of family bliss.

Quinn's words after loading up @ the free breakfast...
"this is the life. I could get used to this!"

so as everyone else seems to be scrambling to get  
their Christmas trees and nurse their aching feet 
from black friday, we are just trying to navigate
our new normal until we can close on our new home.
Gracie has had quite a few meltdowns,
which is understandable.
as Brian said, she's just acting out what
we're all feeling on the inside!

I'm contemplating taking Quinn & Gracie to 
the hotel laundry mat for a homeschool field trip of sorts.
then again, it may not be good for their phsyche to 
see Mama curled up in a fetal position on the floor
having flashbacks of the sketchy laundry mat
we had to frequent a few times when I was little.
yep, I can still see myself taking in that little slice
 of society eating cheese nabs while
my mother slaved away.

I am grateful.
grateful for a safe place to land as we transition.
grateful that we're together.
grateful God orchestrated the sale of our home.
grateful for His provision.

and grateful for the dollar spot at Target.

life may be a little upside down right now,
but I swanee, I can't not bring some Christmas
cheer to our home suite home!