One More Week!

We’ve made it one more week! I think the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks is kinda hard to slog through. I’ve had a challenge at school because my students are all excited for Christmas, so it’s hard to get them to focus. I think we’re all feeling it, though. One more week (during which I need to get report cards done and make sure everything is ready for when we come back) and then we get a blissful 2.5 weeks off. I can hardly wait!

An awesome friend got this ornament for me. I looks just like that VHS version of Nightmare Before Christmas (Joseph called it a record and Abigail called it a DVD…oh, young people, haha).
The detail on the inside is pretty impressive. I felt the need to zoom in real close so it was easier to see.
One week day it was “Whoville Hair” day, so Abigail had me do her hair like a Who from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
This is one silly, cute girl.
I did understated Whoville hair…I had a math training after lunch to attend, so I kept it pretty tame.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was chosen as a winner for the grant I filled out an application for at the beginning of the year (and promptly forgot about after I applied). They awarded me with funds to purchase supplies for my classroom. It was nice to be recognized!
This is probably one of my favorite sights. I love the warm glow of the trees!
She wanted to be cozy while watching shows.
Joseph was on her bed and she came in and promptly pounced on him…and then gave me a sweet, unassuming smile as she had him pinned.
Church Christmas breakfast. I got a good shot of this kid.
This kid liked making ornaments for her tree.
I sure love this man. He does so much for me and our family.
The party was PJ/Polar Express-themed. Abigail was impressed by the train decorations.
Our cute kiddos (even if Joseph was getting slightly annoyed that Abigail was bouncing around literally until I snapped this picture and got her right as she smiled ).
2.5 seconds after I released them from having to have their pictures taken.
A great friend of ours dropped by with Christmas gifts. One of them was this owl bear (it’s a creature in Dungeons & Dragons). It came with a fancy bow tie and Abigail made it even snazzier with some sunglasses. The owl mask was also in the package.
It has been quite some time since I last got a haircut. I also went through a few months where I was losing quite a bit of it. Thankfully, I got that issue fixed. It’s starting to fill in again (slowly, yet surely), but at the length it was, it didn’t have much volume and a lot of the time, I was pulling it back into a ponytail or braid anyway. When I was booking an appointment for Joseph to get a haircut, I noticed a “mother and son haircut” option. I decided to go for it! I really love the layers that the stylist gave me. She left it long enough for me to still pull back if I need to, but the layers make it so that the slight wave I have in my hair does just that…go all wavy. This is with no blow-drying, styling, or product in my hair. It’s awesome!!

The Beginning of the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This past week we said goodbye to November and hello to December. It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the last month of the year. At this point, we have two weeks of school left until we get to start Christmas break. Report cards are due right before the break (so they can go out to the kids right after the break) and we have all the fun festivities that come with this time of year. This past week ushered all of that in with dress-up days (for the elementary kids, at least), cooler weather (finally), and just an excitement in the air as we all count down to Christmas. I love this time of year. I love the lights, especially. I love seeing the decorations and all the reminders of our Savior. It really is the most wonderful time of year.

Paul, Joseph, and one of Joseph’s friends worked hard at pounding stakes into the ground that these wooden Christmas trees could be tied to. This is at one of the entrances to our neighborhood where there’s a big field. All the lights are solar powered (since there’s no electricity out there). I think they did a great job!
I love this part of our front yard decorations. We added the spotlight this year so that it was easier to see the manger scene at night.
Paul’s work decorations. They got an inflatable dummy to dress up, haha.
We got Abigail this Bluey advent calendar.
She likes getting to open up the different days to see what’s there.
This was the first one. The others (so far) have been a little crown for Bluey to wear and a sticker of a present. She loves getting to open a new one every morning. This might actually get her out of bed on time for the last two weeks of school, haha.
Friday was “Wear a Santa Hat” day, so of course we had to do it.
I love my mini-me who gets super-excited whenever we can match. 🙂
I also love this amazing kiddo who has pretty much been living in this sweatshirt ever since I got it for him from Buc-ee’s like, what, a week and a half ago? Don’t worry, I have asked him to part with it once so that I could wash it. 😉

Playing Catch-Up and Definitely Making Up for the Last Post’s Lack of Pictures

I have to play a little bit of catch-up. Last weekend, Abigail was down for the count with a stomach bug and I was down for the count from taking care of her. We all missed church because Paul and I had been up all night with her, taking care of clean-up and comfort. It lasted probably 24ish hours, but then she had a setback because I let her start back in on dairy a little too soon. She did eventually get over it and we were still able to have friends over for Thanksgiving and were even able to squeeze in some fun trips to various places. Last time I only had one picture to post…I have way more this time around because we did Buc-ee’s, Thanksgiving, Christmas decorating (as is our Black Friday tradition), Bass Pros, and Zoo Lights.

This was my view most of Sunday and part of Monday. Poor kiddo. One of my coworkers has a kid in Abigail’s class and she told me that her kid was sick, too…so it was something that was going around in their class, I guess. Miraculously, nobody else in the family got sick.
We managed to squeeze in a Buc-ee’s trip to get Christmas shirts. Here is the required picture with Buc-ee.
I usually take a lot of short-cuts for Thanksgiving: Stovetop stuffing, canned yams, bottled gravy, etc. One thing I don’t short-cut is the pecan pie. It’s so worth all the work when I pull a beauty like this out of the oven.
The other thing I don’t short-cut is rolls.I always do a little happy dance when they come out of the oven looking like this!
She was trying to convince me that we needed to eat the rolls right away…that we didn’t need to wait until dinner. 🙂
I splurged and got this fun bag to use during the Christmas season. Look at the little heart and…
…look at it now! Depending on the angle, it changes the size of the heart.
This fun little detail is on the back.
Decorating their mini trees.
I also love that he still loves to do this.
She bought these cat ears with some of her “bank of Mom” money (we keep spreadsheets for each kid, so that we can keep adding allowance and subtracting expenses instead of having a constant flow of cash). Watching her play and listening to the stories she comes up with is kind of one of my favorite things.
My happy place.
Quite possibly one of the best things we’ve found at Buc-ee’s to date. I did have to break it to Abigail that it was a decoration and not a functioning nutcracker.
One of my favorite places to decorate for pretty much anything, but Christmas especially.
This is another fun spot.
When we went to Bass Pro’s, the kids and I were waiting for Paul to purchase some ammo, so we wandered a bit and found this little secluded corner of the store (it’s upstairs and around a corner…there isn’t any merchandise, so nobody ever goes back here). The kids thought this rug was cool. I joked that they should lay down and pretend to be a rug.
Well, it didn’t take more than a second for Thing One to accept my challenge…
…and Thing Two wasn’t far behind. 🙂
The real reason we went to Bass Pro’s. We even decided to jazz it up with our ugly Christmas sweaters (which I think are actually quite cute).
As a female elementary school teacher, it’s an unwritten law to have cute themed earrings for every holiday or season. I found these Grinch earrings and ordered them (and a few others so I can have variety). They’re pretty cute!
Waiting for the carousel during zoo lights.
Waiting for the girls to be done on the carousel.
There was a pick-a-present booth (flat fee; pick a box; get what’s inside) and she got this…unicorn pig ice cream cone…thing. That she loves. So much so, that when we went to the carousel right after getting it, she had to find something to ride on that “matched”. I love this kid!
In Texas, you can always count on perfect strangers offering to take family/group pictures for you (and you aren’t usually too worried that they’re gonna steal your phone/camera). In our family, you can always count on at least one of us not being ready for the shot, or for one of the kids (usually Thing Two) to decide they don’t feel like smiling. This is the product, ha.
Posing by a light-up giraffe.
Zoomed in with the flash this time.
The entire giraffe.
This is what happens when you want a picture with a light-up hippo, but the flash feature on Mom’s phone actually slows down the picture-taking process (like, it lags a bit). She WAS smiling for about half a second…and then I think she blinked.
A light-up rhino.
And a light-up lion. These animals were all really cool.
This is my favorite tree at the zoo. It’s a live oak and it’s HUGE. Its branches go across one of the walkways and I love when it’s all lit up with Christmas lights.
One of the perks of coming at night: we get to actually see some of the nocturnal animals, like this hyena.
I love clown fish…they remind of grumpy old men, haha.
Joseph and I checking out the jelly fish.
She loves this boat. She says it makes her feel like Moana.
This light-up seahorse was probably one of my favorites. The aquarium had some real ones, but I didn’t get a good picture of them.
On the way out, she managed to find the butterfly mural (they had moved it from where it used to be). She was excited to get to still take a picture with it.
So many fun memories in one spot. I especially love the ones from when the kids were tiny. I think my two favorites are Abigail snacking under the Christmas tree while wearing her footie pajamas and Joseph making sure his eyes were protected while decorating the tree…but then there’s Abigail peeking out from under the Santa hat…and Joseph surfing a hippo statue…so many great pictures!!