Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Cheer

 Mr. Porter turned 44 weeks on Christmas day.
Porter Claus :)

A Visit from Emily & Chloe

On the night before the night before Christmas, Penny  had some special visitors. She was so excited when Emily and Chloe showed up at our front door!
They had so much fun...the creativity, the gentle way the girls coached Penny, the was awesome! The girls were recently the stars of their local theater's Annie and they tried to teach Penny some of their songs. It was so cool to hear them sing my favorites!
They built a "snow friend" using the balls :) 
They had a tickle fest with Pa....Penny thought it was hilarious that the girls called Pa "uncle Robert."
Tea party time.
Silliness and fun! It was just as fun for us as it was for them.
Oh- and check out Mr. Porter...he decided that he wanted to climb over Chloe's leg and showed off his transition skills. Go little man! Mama is proud!
Many thanks to Mary & Tomas for making the trip down and loving on our kids. Can't wait until we can get together again!

Our Elves

Penny & Porter were visited by a team of elves this year. Zoe and Elmo (Penny named them) visited us each morning. Each night, they headed back to the North Pole to tell Santa all about Penny & Porter's adventures.
Our elves know how to have fun!
 They had a tea party, helped decorate Penny's Christmas Tree,
 had an adventure in our tree,
 spent some time with baby Jesus,
 helped decorate some stockings,
 checked out our Advent house,
 and they even helped us bake!
The elves worked hard throughout December and are back with their families in the North Pole until next year. Penny tells us every day that she misses them and can't wait for them to come back. We can't either! We love that they are a Christmas tradition that we can look forward to every year :)

Our First Winter Show

Penny participated in her first Winter Show at school. She sang three songs with her classmates- Snowman Surprise,
 Two Warm Mittens, and Jingle Bells.
 The kids were adorable! It was so much fun to see each of their personalities shine in the show!
 Godmother Kellie and Sarah joined us for the fun :)
 We got to see Penny's classroom. She showed us the calendar- her favorite job is calendar helper!
 Porter stayed in his classroom during the show- I was torn on whether or not to bring him up and his teacher gave me some wise advice- "Go mom, this is her thing. Go focus on her. He'll have his own show someday."
And he had just as much fun with his cousins after the show was over!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gingerbread 2012

Penny's recipe for Gingerbread Success...
Step 1: Mix it!
 Step 2: Roll it!
 Step 3: Cut it!
 Step 4: decorate it
 With a few bites and licks every step along the way :) Penny had so much fun making & rolling the dough. Because houses are hard, this year, Penny decorated a tree with some help from Grammy.
The rest of us went to work on our houses (check out daddy's double decker)

And Porter enjoyed watching all the action!
 Mommy's house
 Daddy's house
 Our houses and Penny's tree:
 And who could forget the coolest cookies ever!
Porter can't wait to really dig into all the treats next year! Yum! Another fun year of gingerbread happiness!

The Snowy Day

Our little snow baby had a snowy day today :)

She ran down the sidewalk to hug her "snow friend". 
She helped me shovel the driveway.
She had a blast playing with Liam...
...while mommy, Jason & Lisa built them a snow friend.
 Porter slept through most of the fun, but when he woke up from his nap, we took him out to see what we had done :)
Happy Snow Day! Stay safe & warm!

God Gave Me You!

Aunt Meggie got me the coolest reminder of the meaning of Christmas! God blessed us with these two amazing kiddos and a great holiday!
One of my favorite traditions is to take a photo near the manger on Christmas morning. Penny loves to wish Baby Jesus a Happy Birthday, so we sing to him :) I love experiencing Christmas through the eyes of my two little ones. Yes, there were presents, but mostly there was love!

Did Santa Come to Your House?

Yes, he did, on a fire truck. And a fire man gave us a candy cane! This is Penny's new response for anyone who will listen. I woke her mid-nap on Saturday afternoon so she could experience it first hand and I'm so glad I did!
Thanks to our firemen for the Christmas magic!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa, Santa and more Santa

We've spent a significant amount of time with Jolly Old St. Nick this year :) We took a trip on the Santa Train in Kempton...
 ...and saw him at Porter's breakfast with Santa...
 ...and at the DS Holiday Party...
 ...and at Daddy's work...
 ...and finally at brunch with Santa...
We are so incredibly lucky to have the chance to attend all these wonderful events. Penny is still a little unsure of Santa, but she loves Mrs. Santa. Porter LOVES the big guy...he wants a fist full of that white beard and he wants it now!
Penny is at a really cool age. She's understanding some parts of Christmas, but she doesn't understand that you ask Santa to bring presents.  For her, Christmas is baby Jesus' birthday. She's excited that we're going to have a party for him and she's excited to see the Nativity scene in church. She plays with her little Nativity scene that Aunt Meggie got her last year...I love to see her pretend and hear her say "Baby Jesus, it's time for bed" as she moves the pieces around.  It cracks me up when she makes Baby Jesus ride the  bus or fly in the airplane! She's following along the days of the month with our Advent house and really looks forward to opening a new door each morning. It's so much fun to see.
We've been reading a different Christmas book each night in December and she's really paying attention to the stories. She asks questions about Mary & Joseph and tells us that baby Jesus is going to turn three this year :) Her favorite Christmas story is an old Golden Book called The Christmas Pageant
We are simply having  a wonderful Christmas time. I am going to savor these memories...and hope we can always remember that it's not about the presents. It's about spending time with the people you love and sharing the Christmas Spirit! We can't wait for Christmas day :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


These hands are growing far too quickly!
These hands are getting stronger. These hands love to explore. These hands are grasping puffs, playing with food, painting, popping bubbles and gripping toys (and mommy's hair) tighter and tighter.
These hands hold sister's hands every opportunity they can. These hands love to rest on daddy's face, eager to feel the texture of stubble. These hands, with their long center crease that reminds us they have a little something extra inside, are grasping mommy's shoulders in the most amazing hugs. These hands have changed my life! I love these hands!