Sunday, December 31, 2017

Throwback... to where it all began!

This one is going to be a doozy! Jason and I have spent some time over break cleaning out the house. You know... finding the places in the house where things go to die and taking care of them. Well in one of these such places, we found the pictures he used to keep in his wallet before we got married. I had to capture them and blog so that the kids can see them one day. So without further ado, Jason and Natalie... the high school years!

I think this one was our first dance! I'd place it 1998. I was a sophomore and Jason was a junior. I remember he came to pick me up with a dozen roses!!

Also, a little sister was found! Auntie Erica too!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Traditions!

Our little family has developed a few traditions over the years that have happened now so many years in a row that I am declaring them traditions. Cecelia, Coletyn and Charlotte- when you were little, this is how we spent the holiday!

Our holiday traditions start around Thanksgiving and continue through Christmas day. In no particular order we...

Bake, decorate cookies and make gingerbread houses!

We always see the holiday show at First Stage Children's Theater. This year was Charlie Brown. Other years it is Rudolph. After this year's show, since we are season ticket holders, we took advantage of a backstage tour. The kids loved seeing all the behind the scenes. It was great!

We always go and have breakfast with Santa at St. Florian church. This church means a lot to us so we like to support them back! This year there were 12 eyeballs directed at the camera.

Of course there are the holiday events. The extra snacks to buy and send to school. The pj days, special days or gingerbread making days. No one had any holiday concerts this year!

We also always go and park and wait to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday train pass through Oak Creek on their way to the Milwaukee Depot from Sturtevant. It's 90 seconds of joy! See video below!

In parked car... don't worry that they aren't buckled!

We also visit JellyStone's Carnival of Lights and some years we drive through Candy Cane Lane in West Allis where mom and dad grew up!

We also love our Christmas movies. Ones mommy and daddy love are:
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Christmas Story

New ones you kids saw this year were:
Home Alone
Home Alone 2

Your favorite Christmas movies these days:
Home Alone
Rudolph (the old Burl Ives ones)

Movie fires!

Then there is the Christmas tree. For years now, we hike and cut it down. We usually go the weekend after Thanksgiving and try to get the biggest tree we can find. We like Buffalo Bills as they have coco, face paint, cookies and crafts too! The tree goes up right away with the Christmas village display!

Right around the Christmas tree decorating time, the stockings get hung on the fireplace. Usually soon after the stockings get hung, our Elf appears to watch how kind and cooperative you are with each other to report back to Santa. It is sad to see him go on Christmas Eve but we know he will be back.

Then of course there is the research and development on what to ask for for Christmas. I save all the toy catalogues for you guys to flip through. We have to get Santa lists committed to see Santa Thanksgiving weekend too! We usually get to see Santa a few times during the season. Some years, it takes a few times for some to get the nerve to talk to him. This year all three did well on the first visit! #santaiknowhim

Every year you shop for a child your age and donate toys for them. The past few years we have found children that need support for the holidays at the library.

Christmas eve is spent at G-Ma's house. 

When we get home, we get into Christmas jammies, set out cookies and letters for Santa, take a peek at Norad site to see where he is and get tucked in tight.

Christmas day is filled with yummy, yummy food, pjs all day and toys, toys, toys. Some times we have company. Sometimes we do not but the best part of the holiday is after all the prep work is done and our bellies are full. Daddy and I get to watch you play together with your new loot. Watching you soak up the magic of the holidays is one of the greatest joys being your mommy and daddy! We hope you stay this young and kind forever!

Other Holiday Posts to visit below:

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Family Pictures ~ 2017 Christmas Card

We did our family Christmas card shoot in September on an 80 degree day. It was great fun. We also did it by our selves and Daddy forgot his camera remote so he did some "set the timer and run" action.  We went to the shaded parts of the Dale Richard's Trail on the nature preserve in Drexel Town Square.

Cecelia was the biggest helper with Charlotte. I've learned over the year with toddlers and pictures, that it only takes one good one and let em hold a toy and bribe them with suckers. Oh, and pray! Cecelia made her happy and kept her walking. She is really the world's best big sister

The white dress in the photos is my grandmother's dress. All the girls in the family have worn it. See Cecelia and a few surprise wearers in this post here. 

My first baby! 8 Year Old.

My boy! #coletynisms Five years old.

Some behind the scenes photos!

See some more family pictures in the posts below.
Coletyn's infant pictures at this link -
Photography by Emily Johnson Photography