Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Here are a few images from around our house. I didn't get a few of the crafty things done that I wanted to, but there's always next year!

We are headed to a birthday party this afternoon, complete with a visit from Santa, then the kids are singing at the traditional service at church at 5:00. Please pray that they will be on their best behavior...last year was not-so-much-fun.

Here is the tree, my wire hanger ball wreath without it's bow, and Jack's stocking hanging from our new book shelves.

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Snickelfritz, the elf, being mischievous in one of my hurricane lanterns.

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My newly acquired Craig's List purchase (waiting to be coated black and get new hardware after the holidays) with some Christmas decorations.

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Here's the wreath with it's bow. I struggled and struggled with this, as I couldn't get the ribbon to stay put. I just gave up and let it do what it wanted.

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Our advent calendar, that I found at the MAXX for a bargain!!

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Here are a few of the light displays at our local park. It was so cold the other night, most of my pictures are blurry, as I couldn't hold the camera still!

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Look how small my kids look!

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We want to thank everyone who reads our blog and has supported our businesses over the past few years. We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Overload

Thursday night we had Santa come on the firetruck. They told us he will come between 6 and 9pm. He came right when the kids were getting out of the bath!!

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It's a real big production for our town. The mayor, police chief, and commissioners all come out to deliver the presents that the parents provide.

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Mallory is getting a lot more observant this year. She said to me after Santa had left, "Mommy, can you believe that Santa has the same wrapping paper that we do?" I need to be more careful next year for sure.


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Friday night, we got to take a train to the North Pole! We did this last year, which you can read about HERE. We stepped it up this year and reserved the caboose. It was so much more fun and we brought a couple more friends with us too! We got to bring our own food and drinks aboard this time, so that was even better! The caboose was so cute, it was decorated with Christmas lights and wreaths, and it had some seats up in a second story, so the kids had a ball looking out the windows up there!

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Here are the kids enjoying a cup of hot chocolate.

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Making smores by the fire. Notice that Jack is spilling his hot chocolate as he roast the marshmallow!

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Making reindeer food (you have to stick your tongue out when doing this apparently.)

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Making a craft and picking out a tattoo!

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There were carolers in the line to see Santa!

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And FINALLY! Santa!

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We had a great time and will reserve 2 cabooses next year so we can have more friends join in the fun!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

We got back from Orlando late Saturday night and it felt like we had just run a marathon.... We were wondering when we left, if it's called the happiest place on Earth, why are so many kids crying and parents looking miserable?

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party was fun, but just a long night. It was from 7pm-midnight. I don't think my kids have ever stayed up that late. It was cold and rained a little during the parade. We stayed at the Port Orleans Resort, which was nice and the Disney bus could take us wherever we wanted to go.

This was right when we walked in the park. There was terrible red lighting...

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The castle looked amazing when it was all lit up, but my camera wouldn't cooperate.

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Mallory's favorite ride, "the couch ride" as she called it. Also known as the "Tomorrowland Transit Authority". I think we went on it twice that night.

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The great thing about the special event, was there were only a certain amount of tickets sold, so we didn't wait in line for anything! It was great!
Here are some pictures from the parade. I didn't get that many, as it started to rain.

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On Saturday, we went to the Animal Kingdom. It was a lot warmer and not crowded at all.

This tree is just amazing. You have to see it in person to see how really unbelievable it is.

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I'll be back tomorrow with some pictures of the decorations around the house.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Look What Santa Brought Early!!

Because he couldn't fit it on his sleigh, Santa dropped off this off to us!! We are all loving it (including all the neighborhood kids!)

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Today, we had some friends over to make these adorable pretzel wreaths that I found HERE. For those of you in the Tampa area, ring shaped pretzels can be found at ALDI! We went through 2 big bags of pretzels and about 5 bags of Hershey kisses! Can you guess what I had for dinner :-)

To make these wreaths, you will need:
a cookie sheet lined with wax paper
1 bag of ring shaped pretzels (if you can't find them, you can use small twist ones)
your favorite flavor of Hershey Kisses - we used Hugs, dark chocolate, caramel, and almond!
1 bag of Holiday M&M's

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees
Place the pretzels on the wax paper lined cookie sheet
Unwrap the Hershey Kisses and place them inside the pretzels
Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 2-3 minutes
Once out of the oven, immediately put 1 M&M in the center of the Kiss and press down slightly.
After you fill them all up with M&M's, place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to cool.
Beware, you may eat mass amounts of these without realizing it!!
They are perfect to give to your neighbors and teachers!

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We are headed out to the Happiest Place on Earth tomorrow after lunch to attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party! I hope the weather cooperates for us!! It's supposed to cold (for us Floridians!!), but hopefully not raining!


**Also, on a side note, I got my new camera yesterday and didn't even take it out of the box, returned it today and ordered the D90! It should be here next week, just in time for the kids to be off of school to be my little test models :-)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why....

does blogger have to stretch and make the picture above look all pixelated (is that even a word?) instead of keeping it the way it looked in my editing software 2 minutes ago? So frustrating... I need to figure out how to make it pretty, as it's the only picture of the four of us that we've taken in a long time! I know it's not the best photo, but what can you do when your kids (and husband) are sick of standing in front of the camera waiting for the timer to go off??

We finally got the lights and decorations on the tree tonight, after buying the tree over a week ago. I'll take some pictures tomorrow after I get all the boxes and pine needles cleaned up off the floor. We leave for Disney World on Friday and I'm thinking that I need to make the kids some festive things to wear to the parade...back to the sewing room!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Please Go Vote!!

For this amazing photograph by one of the photographers that I adore!!

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You can vote HERE!! I love all the Matilda Jane clothes!! Be sure to hit submit twice!! You can only vote one time from each computer!! She deserves this so much! Jen is so talented!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel

I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel. 3 more shirts to complete and 3 more photo sessions (that have been rained out!!) and I will be done "working" for the season!

The sad thing is, all the money that I've made over the past month was just spent all in one place...the CAMERA STORE!! I noticed that almost all of the pictures that I was taking last week had this dark line on the bottom. I thought maybe it was from the speed light that I bought, so I headed up to Ritz Camera. Sadly, something happened and my shutters aren't working together. It was going to cost almost as much as a new camera to fix (and I've had it for 3 years), so I splurged and bought this baby!! It's on back order, so hopefully I will have it soon!! It is an upgrade from what I had, but I'm not sure how it's going to "feel" as they didn't have one for me to try out.

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Before I bought it, I called Nate to see if he was getting his Christmas bonus...because if he was, I wanted to get this!! He said he didn't know...maybe he has other plans with the money :-)

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I still may trade it in and get the D90, I have 30 days to decide :-)
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