Lily once again had a birthday this year. I told her all year long I was NOT going to let her turn 5....but she did it anyway. This sweet little baby girl is no longer a baby. She is a beautiful, strong-willed, considerate, sometimes-sensitive little girl who is occasionally morphing into a teenager....All too quickly.
The night of her birthday, I was overcome with feeling so grateful that we were able to celebrate her birthday WITH her. All 5 of us together. She is healthy and strong. We've seen every day (well, with a few exceptions) of her 5 years so far...and I was just so thankful for that. To be honest, I'm not even sure where those feelings came from!
Lily decided to
have a beach party this year. We invited a few friends over to
celebrate with her--in the form of eating lots of sugar and going
The birthday person also gets to pick where we eat out. She chose Sonic (for the corndogs) and so we bought three slushes, three corndogs, and Joel and I ate leftovers. :-)
We celebrated with Grandma and Grandpa J, too. Lily and her friend Luke have fought over enjoyed playing together with a cash register at preschool for the last year and a half. She LOVES that thing. So we finally bought her one--and she also received lots of fun food and other items to go along with it. She LOVES playing grocery store!!!
We had so much fun celebrating another year with her!!!
This Christmas was a bit different than normal--we always go away for a week or so, but this year BOTH families had "destination Christmases", which meant, we were gone for almost two weeks! We managed to squeeze in a few of our own traditions the day before we left:
Celebrating with our New Anthem Community Church family (the new church plant we are a part of) for their Christmas Party. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without ugly sweaters! :-)
Our tree. We were a bit unconventional this year, and instead of buying a real one, we just put up a small one that we had in the basement. The kids decorated it (as evidenced by the fact that the decorations stop 4 feet up)... And of course we took the picture of the kids in front of the tree!
Friday after school, we opened the gift the kids each got. We had prepared them that they wouldn't be getting much, since our trip was our gift...they each got a game to bring along.
(Brahm loved his gift, despite his reaction here...)
We also all got balaclavas for our cold trip up north. Stockings were opened quickly Friday before school....a little unconventional, but hey, it worked.
Another tradition we LOVE is caroling with friends at a local nursing home. The kids brought instruments along and SANG their hearts out to people who were so eager to listen, and some who sang along with us! What a sweet evening it was!!!
We were so fortunate to be able to go away for Christmas to the upper-peninsula of Michigan with my parents, grandma, and siblings/families. We stayed at an amazing cabin and enjoyed snowmobiling for a few days....
We had BEAUTIFUL weather on the way up...and this second picture is of the mile-long driveway to the cabin. We almost thought we wouldn't make it there!
This cabin was incredible! There were 17 of us, and we all slept in beds and had plenty of room to play, eat and relax!!!
Brahm was a trooper and kept THINKING he wanted to go outside to sled....but the highs were in the 20's and it snowed the whole time...once he got out, he was ready to come back in! Thank goodness for a warm fireplace, and a steady stream of coffee for us adults!
Two days we had snow mobiles. We parked them on the lake behind the cabin--and there were miles and miles of trails close by! It was so perfect--trails were so smooth, no other snowmobilers, and perfect weather. I guess most people don't spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day snowmobiling? :-)
The yearly cousins-in-pajamas picture:
The kids, with Tommy (my sis's hubby and Mark, Tommy's friend. Brahm LOVED Mark!)
It was beautiful, relaxing, and SO MUCH FUN!!
Oh, and something else noteworthy happened up there, too--but you'll have to wait for another blog post to see what it was!