I had a few more items to pick up to put the finishing details on Ridley's room. My mom and I ran out for the last few items while she was in town visiting. It was really nice to spend this time preparing for my little girl with a little "girl time" with my mom.
I love the finished room. It is feminine without being too overdone, and I am really liking the pink. As I put the last few things together and washed the clothes and blankets, I could only think about being a mom for the third time and the ways my life has been changed by motherhood. It is the greatest blessing and largest responsibility that brings me so much joy.
We have a few older trees along the front side of our house and a few smaller trees in the front yard. They have been holding on to their leaves until we had some crazy wind last night. We woke up this morning to a yard covered in leaves. The boys had this amazing idea to rake the leaves into one pile and jump in them. John Chris and I thought this was cute, because they thought this idea was just the best thing ever.
Ryland and Reed started working on the pile, when they got a huge help. John Chris cranked up the blower and blew all the leaves into a large pile. The boys went crazy! They played and laughed for hours. It was wonderful to watch them enjoy the simple joys of life.
The boys loved all the cool things Santa brought, but they were ready to get out of their matching pajamas. They were ready to build forts and play with the new hunting goods. The cute jams came off, and the camouflage went on. I made them both hold on just a bit, so I could take a quick picture of them. Gotta love boys!
Our family traditions continued with a full day of activities. We decided that Santa would like chocolate chip cookies this year, so we baked a batch of cookies in the morning to start our day. I have to admit that a little cookie dough is an excellent way to get your day going. The boys got a bit silly as well.
The afternoon was pretty lazy, just a bit of playing toys and puzzles. We put on our "handsome" clothes for Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. This is what really gets John Chris and myself in the mood. It was a beautiful service. Ryland fell asleep on one side and slept through the entire service. He was so comfortable, he kicked his feet up on the sweet lady sitting beside me. She was a trouper and simply placed her hands on top of his legs to keep them in her lap. Reed made it almost to the end of service before he fell asleep on the other side of me. As I sat with both of my sweeties peacefully resting on either side, I was overcome with emotions. Couple that with the pregnancy hormones and the beautiful music, and I quickly turned into an emotional mess.
We came home for dinner and put out some reindeer food in the front yard. The boys sprinkled the glittery food and laughed with sheer joy. They picked out a few chewy cookies and a glass of chocolate milk for Santa to enjoy.
Santa brought a bunch of fun toys and goodies for the boys. We can't wait to see how the boys react in the morning.
Aunt Emily and Uncle Jeffery gave the boys real kid sized tools, complete with hard hats, safety classes, and tool belts. They couldn't wait to try it all on with a few silly faces.
Later that evening, we pulled out the tools to make the ambulance kits that were part of the gift. John Chris held the pieces in place, while the boys assembled with the new tools. This was a wonderful way of improving hand eye coordination, even for John Chris.
We started our Christmas celebrations with family this weekend. We had a full house with family and three dogs. Ryland and Reed were really into the gift exchange this year, and they were excited to open presets. They were pretty patient when others were opening as well.
I love that Doodle was waiting patiently to see what was in the box.
The boys tore into the gifts. What will it be?
The sleeping bags were a bit hit, and now they are ready to go camping or hunting. They wanted to try them out tonight, so it looks like it will be a pallet party in the game room.
The boys have talked a good bit about what they wanted Santa to bring them for Christmas, and we finally made the list to send to Santa. They both say they have been nice, but we will have to wait and see. After the note they received from Santa yesterday, he is really watching them.
The boys were wild, and our elf, Tom, took the news back to Santa on his nightly trip to the North Pole. We were happy to see that he came back, but he brought a note for the boys. Santa explained that he knew that they had been bad, and he stated that they needed to act better or else.
Reed's class party was first thing this morning, so we had to arrive early for set up and a little decorating. Reed loves stickers, so he was very happy with the tree craft. In fact, he refused to do the class craft that we had prepared, because he was having so much fun peeling stickers. His teacher told me he was one of only two kiddos in the class that can peel the stickers on their own. She is quite impressed with his hand coordination.
Smiling while waiting for his breakfast, Reed is a happy boy.
Later in the day, it was time to party with Ryland's class. He had fun making the Christmas crafts, but he was a little more interested in eating the craft goodies.
Busted! Licking the tree icing is yummy! Ryland's grin gives him away.
It was a full day of fun, and the boys came home with tons of goodies. Reed made a hand print ball ornament, and Ryland had a silhouette cut.
The Rudolph Hersery bars were a hit once again, and they turned out really cute. We are definitely in full on Christmas spirit. It was a wonderful day!
The upcoming week is all about Christmas fun and activities. It will be the last week of pre-school for the boys before break, so we have lots of parties, decorations, and gifts to finish. Ryland was all about helping with every detail. I loved sharing the special moments of chatting and creating festive fun with him.
We started the day with Breakfast with Santa at Town Hall. I have heard about this event for the past few years, and we were fortunate to get tickets early. It was awesome, and we will make this a new family tradition. The breakfast was super laid back, and there were lots of fun craft activities for the boys. The morning was complete when Santa arrived to visit and take pictures with the kiddos.
After breakfast, we were in full Christmas mode. We ran some errands, did some shopping, wrapped gifts, and finished decorating the house. We were all worn out by 7:30. Goodnight, my sweet boys.
John Chris and I had a Christmas party in Austin, and we thought it would be fun to spend a little time with my Dad since we would be so close. The Allison gang crashed at his house a few nights, and I caught this sweet brother moment as I was getting ready to call it a night. Every time I see them be so sweet and kind to one another, I am turned to mush.
Another day of ice and a little bit warmer temperature made today the perfect time to do some major sledding and snow ball fighting. We all headed to the popular hill in the neighborhood to enjoy the winter fun. Once again we had a blast enjoying the outdoors.
We knew the winter weather was coming, but we could not prepare ourselves for the excitement of actually seeing the yard covered in ice and snow. This was the first time Reed was actually interested and old enough to know what was going on. He beamed with excitement from the minute he peeped out the window.
Ryland was ready to go out in it before breakfast or changing into clothes.
After bundling up in all the warm winter clothes we had, we headed outside to do a little sledding. John Chris immediately had an awesome idea of pulling the boys on the sleds behind the four wheeler. Both boys loved it!
After playing out in the freezing cold for a while, we came inside to warm up and do some crafting. We decided it was the perfect day to paint some wooden boats.
It was time for another round of outdoor fun, but Reed was more interested in cuddling with me on the sofa by the fire. It wasn't difficult to twist my arm, and I was happy to stay inside with my cuddle bug.
It was such a great day of fun times full of laughter and sweet moments.
I am in love with my new master closet! We finally got rid of all the warped shelves and rods, and now we have a thought out space that holds everything neatly. The main wall when you walk in has super big drawers that hold socks, underwear, T-shirts, shorts, and other things for John Chris. The two large doors on the sides are actually pull out hampers, which I am so excited about, and the top doors hide shelves for folded clothes.
My side of the closet has 5 built-in sections that I have used to separate my seasonal clothes. (None of which fit, but they will again soon.) The cabinets above hold hats, purses, and bags.
Another feature that is nice are the shoe shelves. It is great to finally have them organized in pairs, and the boys don't seem as interested in trying on my shoes now. I can also easily find two matching shoes quickly.
John Chris added a locked cabinet on his side for storage of things we need to keep out of little hands. It also has shelves for additional storage. He also has 5 built in hanging sections to divide his slim wardrobe. I need to clean the window, and I will be able to place the shadow boxes on the top shelf.
A few things still remain to be finished, like the floor, but we are waiting to install tile until the master bathroom is tiled. I am so thrilled with the finished room. I love it!