Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

I love Christmas time! It's my favorite! It has come and gone for 2011. As usual, I probably didn't take enough pictures. I guess it's a good thing that I have this super awesome blog to record all of my memories on to!

Friday school ended before Thanksgiving. For our Christmas and end of semester celebration, they held a cookie decorating party at the ice skating rink. The kids had a blast! Although Crystara isn't in our co-op, she is at the skating rink, we got to hang out with her for a little while too!

Austin, Abi, and Crystara 

Chasing the spot light

Don't be fooled by those winter clothes and ice in the pictures above, outside of the rink the days are pretty much like spring!! We took bread to our local duck park and fed the ducks. Then the kids played at the park for a little bit. One of their favorite things to do. And on days like this, I don't mind so much either!


Because my mom is the manager of the store she walks in, getting off for the a few days around Christmas is difficult to do. Last year we had Christmas at her house, but this year we stayed home. So, we had to have Christmas early with Grammy and Papa. The kids were not upset about hat at all!! Austin received some of the kinex building toys...he was determined to finish one of them before he went to bed. In fact, his eyes were so sleepy they were bloodshot when we finally coaxed him to go to bed!!  
Austin working hard!

Austin no longer plays baseball with the Texas Terrors. They just weren't a good fit for our family, no hard feelings. But we haven't stopped playing baseball...NO WAY! Austin was invited to try out for a tournament team that just so happened to be partially coached by one of his coaches from the Vipers! YAY! His first game to play with his new team, Team Airline, was a toy drive held at Baseball USA. If you've never been to Baseball USA, you're missing out!! That place is SO cool!! After that tournament, the following weekend, Team Airline played another tournament for Toys for Tots in Pasadena. His team played all elite teams and though we lost, they held their own!
Warming up the pitching arm

 At Austin's tournament in Pasadena, Abi took her tent to help keep the wind from chilling her to the bone. This little dog wandered up and hung out with Abi all day. She was pretty bummed when it was time to leave and the puppy couldn't come with us. Ironically, the pup bears a striking resemblance to Abi's dog, Peach!

Even thought we were on break the week of Christmas, I snuck in a lesson. An unusual lesson, and that is probably how the kids let me get away with it! I taught Austin and Abi a basic sewing stitch. I cut pieces of felt for them to piece together and sew a nativity set. Surprisingly, Austin was more into it than Abi! About half way through, Abi decided it was boring and she didn't want to do it anymore. Austin-never-say-quit-Brewer HAD to finish his!!
Austin sewing his nativity scene 

Concentrate, concentrate...Abi sewing her nativity scene

Austin's finished product! He did such a good job, his stitching work is pretty good for the first time!!
PS This is another brilliant project I found on Pinterest!!!

Because I'm a lame-o, I forgot to snap ANY pictures when my cousin, Courtney, and her boyfriend, Chad came for dinner. I kick myself for missing that photo op because I very rarely get to see her!!! Well, at least I have the memory recorded here!

On Christmas Eve we helped out with one service and then attended the following one. We were super excited this year because it was rumored that Copperfield Church would have SNOW!!! Since Houston rarely gets anything close to snow, I had to see it for myself! Sure enough, there was a little snowfall in the front rows of the service! One of our Christmas traditions is to have soup for Christmas eve dinner. Weird tradition, I know...but a tasty one! This year we had Mark's sister, Elizabeth, Mark's dad and step mom, Tom and Wendy, and Wendy's son's girlfriend and son, Melissa and Jaydon over for soup and salad. It was a time of good company and sharing memories!

Christmas Eve 2011

Christmas Day 2011

We went to Tom and Wendy's for Christmas dinner and gift exchange. As usual, we had lots of laughs!!!

Austin received an excavating kit. He was able to chisel his way to a whole dinosaur skeleton!! 

 It's a tradition on the Kellum side of the family (my side) to wake up as early as possible to see what Santa has brought. Even though Austin and Abi do not believe in Santa, they were up at 1:30 that morning to see what was waiting for them! Mark thought it was crazy to be up so early, but it was normal to me!

Austin and Abi snuggled up together playing on their Santa present!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Christmas Time...again...

It's already Christmas time again. This year Christmas time has snuck up on me! Time seems to be flying by, even when it's not! Before I get carried away with Christmas details, let's take a look at Thanksgiving 2011 a.k.a Turkey Day:

Mark and Me, Thanksgiving Day 2011

Abi cleaning up the pine needles at Grandpa and Grandma Tink's house

Abi, chilling with grandma Tink's turkey and pilgrims

What's Thanksgiving without a little front yard football? Austin kicking the ball.

After- Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving at Grammy and Papa's

Abi and a friends playing on Papa's rope swing

Baby Jacalynn and Abi playing Grammy's piano

Pumpkin whoopie pies for the Texas vs. A&M party we went to at the Taylors'

Mark, the Lone Longhorn...lost in a sea of aggies!

Last, but not least...Black Friday shopping!!! As usual, Naomi and I met at Target to get some deals!!! I did NOT like this year's Black Friday operations....midnight just doesn't work for me. Mainly because I'm tired from the hustle and bustle of running around all day. Standing in line for a couple of hours at the end of the day when I am exhausted is not my idea of fun. And BF is usually a lot of fun for me! It's a lot of fun because it's just like coffee shop girl time...the only difference is that you're standing in line with a Starbucks in hand instead of sitting in the coffee shop with Starbucks in hand. Not this year. Our plans were to meet at Target at 10:30pm to get in line for the doors to open at midnight. The first person to the areas springs for the coffee. Naomi made it there before I did, so she got in the drive thru for Starbucks. As cars lined up behind her, she pulled up to the menu...only to be told that they closed at 10:30!!!!! And that she could return at midnight when they reopened. Not cool. So, our hour and a half wait was without coffee...bummer!

In all the chaos, we have managed to get quite far in the kids' school work. Abi has been working on double digit addition and counting money (which she loves!) in math. Journal, grammar, reading and spelling are going pretty smooth for her as well. Austin is working on long division in math and poetry in English. Spelling is a breeze for him, too! This past week in English, Austin learned how to write a diamante poem. The two opposing nouns he chose were Veggies and Candy. When I asked him for a describing word for candy....his response was high fructose corn syrup!! He is such a funny guy!!

Abi learned about cartligneous fish in science. She made models out of crayola modeling clay.

Ausitn learned about screws in science...

And how the space between the threads determined how difficult it was to screw the screw in.

He also learned about levers.

This year for the Christmas season, we have began a new tradition. I was invited to a 'Jesse tree party' along with 24 other women. We drew numbers to determine which day of Advent we would make an ornament for. I drew day 6, a ladder. I made 26 little ladder ornaments. All the other women did the same. Then we exchanged all that we made so that each of us would have an ornament for each day. We made an extra set for a family in need. It was a fun and crafty thing to do. It was right up my alley! We have a devotional that we read together as a family each night and then open the wrapped ornament to hang on our tree. The devotion is meant to prepare our hearts for this season, the season of celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the World.
The tree

This year's Women's banquet has come and gone as well. The theme of the banquet was 'Holly Jolly Christmas' with the comedy from Michelle Thomas. I shared many laughs with close friends. I also decorated a table again this year. In the planning of how I was going to decorate it, I became mesmerized by peacocks!! Funny, I know...but really, the peacock is such a beautiful creation. The  color of the bird from feathers  to it's breast are so breath taking! So, you guessed it! I decorated my table in peacock feathers! Although I broke the perfect vase for this table the day before the banquet, I was still pretty happy with the out come! 

I couldn't find any plates that I saw fit to go with the idea in my head. So, I purchased plain clear glass plates, painted the backs of the plates with metallic acrylic paint, and then sealed the paint with polyurethane.