Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Day

We all slept in until 7 a.m. on Christmas morning and then we gave the kids the go ahead to "come on down!!"

A lot of excitement in seeing what Santa had brought for these munchkins during the night!

A new basketball shooting game for Nolan, a pitching net for Landon...

And a huge stuffed caterpillar for Abby!

The kids played with their new toys and stocking gifts while waiting for Maylie to wake up.

We finally woke up our favorite little toddler at 8 a.m. and she was thrilled with her new doll care center that Santa had brought for her!

The rest of the day was spent opening the rest of the presents, playing with all of our gifts, enjoying a yummy breakfast and heading to church for a one hour special Christmas service.

Lots of LEGO building happened too!!

Such a wonderful, magical, and joyful Christmas!


I told Jason that for Christmas this year, I really didn't want anything but would prefer an "experience" instead. Boy, did he deliver!! He ended up getting us tickets to see "Wicked" at the Kennedy Center on December 30th.

Of course I had heard of "Wicked" but didn't know too much about the story or the music. I thought maybe I should spend the week immersing myself in the story/music but instead I decided to just be surprised. It was such a fun experience to go into a Broadway production and not know what was going to happen. We both loved it!

It was a great show and such a nice experience to have together!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a bit of a bummer. Jason had a bad cold and Landon had an upset stomach, but we made the most of it and still managed to do most of our Christmas Eve traditions. We ordered pizza, ate treats, read and acted out the Christmas story from the Bible and then opened up our new Christmas pajamas...

The kids all got matching jammies from "Finding Dory" this year because 1.-I could find all the sizes I needed,... 2.-They were gender neutral and I love finding matching pajamas for everyone...3.-Maylie is obsessed with Dory/Nemo right now...and 4.-We are going on a Disney Cruise in two weeks! 
Getting a picture where all four kids look normal? That was a bit difficult to accomplish, but we did our best!

Then it was time to watch a Christmas movie and then got to bed so that Santa could come visit our house! Lots of excitement in the air as the kids settled in for sleep!

Gingerbread Houses

We spent Christmas Eve afternoon decorating some gingerbread houses. We bought a kit that had four little houses in it which was perfect for each child to make their own gingerbread masterpiece. 

There was much attention to detail in the process...

And they were all very proud of their final creations!

A cute little gingerbread village made by the cuties behind it!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Temple Lights

We tried to go to the Washington D.C. Temple last Saturday with my sister and her family but we had two feverish kids which prevented us from going. Fortunately we were able to make it happen on Friday, December 23rd. We got there just as the lights were coming on and before the crowds got too heavy.

Here are all 7 of our kids who were thrilled when I actually let them climb this tree to get a picture!

I just love this time of year and seeing all of these gorgeous lights in front of the most beautiful building in Washington D.C.!

We ventured inside for a while, toured the world nativities, and then headed back outside again to see the lights when it was darker outside and the crowds inside were beginning to become heavier.

We headed out to dinner with the Ladners afterwards and enjoyed a wonderful evening together. It was the perfect way to celebrate "Christmas Adam" (you know, the day before Christmas Eve!)


We went to TG Designs, a local floral shop to pick out our annual Christmas ornaments today. We go to church with the owner of the shop and he had this beautiful flower arrangement to give us when we got there. Isn't it gorgeous?!?!

Friday, December 23, 2016

School Christmas Fun!

With Christmas just around the corner, there were lots of fun events at school to commemorate the season. Landon had a STEM project to build an "Elves Workshop" one afternoon. I think they had just as much fun eating their finished project as they did working on it!

Thursday, December 22nd was the last day of school before winter break. I was able to go in to help out with all of their school parties that afternoon. Here is Landon's class doing their gift exchange...

He was super excited about his gift!!

Here is Mrs. Crane's 5th grade class...cute girls and crazy boys!!

Between Winter Break, our trip to Texas and the Disney cruise in January, the kids won't be returning to school until January 18th. They are excited about having so much time off and so many fun things to look forward to!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Landon at School

It is fun to get pictures from Landon's teacher of different activities that he is participating in throughout the day. On Monday, December 19th, his class went to the planetarium in Hagerstown. Here they are doing some star mapping... 

And watching the planetarium show...

Landon told me the field trip was kind of boring but then told me all the things he did and learned while he was there. I guess it wasn't a total loss!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Santa on a Firetruck!

We love this tradition every year when the local volunteer fire department some driving through our neighborhood, handing out candy canes, and greeting us with the sights and sounds of Christmas!

This year it happened on Sunday, December 18th and as soon as we heard the fire engines whirring and the music blaring, we got our coats on and headed outside to see the jolly old man himself!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Library Dinosaur Dig

On Saturday, December 10th, I took Nolan and Landon to a Learning Activity at the public library downtown. This week was all about dinosaurs and they both had a great time learning and making different things about dinosaurs.

They started off reading some books about dinosaurs and then we looked at some real dinosaur fossils.

Then they had a chance to make their own fossils using some clay and some small dinosaur bones.

The last rotation was digging out some dinosaur fossils with some little picks and brushes.

I am really grateful for a great library that offers so many different fun things for kids to learn about!

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Nutcracker

Abby and I got to see the City Ballet and their production of "The Nutcracker" at the Maryland Theater in Hagerstown on Saturday, December 10th. We knew several people performing in this production and it was really well done.

It was so fun to share this special holiday event with my sweet girl. We both loved it!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hagerstown Ward Christmas Party

On Saturday, December 3rd, we attended our ward's Christmas party. It was an evening all about "JOY" so we were asked to bring our favorite appetizer and dessert that brought us joy to share with everyone else. Those who arrived on time that evening were entered into a drawing for a prize basket. It was amazing to see how motivated people were to arrive early with this as the incentive!

After feasting on yummy food and desserts, we went around to various parts of the church building to create a gift of "joy" for someone this season. We worked in families to make and wrap various items to give to a person or family of our choosing.

Of course we always have a great time being surrounded by our ward family.

We even got to take another picture with Santa for the third time in 24 hours. As you can see, Nolan was thrilled!!

At the end of the evening, we gathered together once again to sing Christmas carols and watch a short video about service. It was a unique and fun way to bring the spirit into our lives and ward family members.