Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Coupon Book

I got this totally cute idea from my sister, Chris.  She's been doing a coupon book for her daughters for the past few years and it's always been the one thing that her girls keep requesting year after year, so I thought I'd give it a go this year with my kids.  I made up eight coupons for each of them and they can redeem them at any time throughout the year.  I made this cute little book at my last scrapbook retreat... it was intended to be a recipe book filled with the recipes that all of the other scrappers had sent in.  I knew I wasn't going to use it for that, but I thought it was so cute that I had to make one anyway.  I knew that I'd find something cute to do with it!  I just added a few ribbons on the ring and made a label for the front and now I'll just re-use it year after year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Metal Mouth!

Well, the day has finally arrived.... Hayley had her orthodontist appointment to get her braces on! She handled it like a trooper. She was a little bit anxious, but also a little bit excited! Her big dilemma was trying to decide which color bands she wanted on! I dropped her off and ran a couple of errands and about an hour later came back to her with the bottom braces on...

I stayed for the last hour and a half to observe the process....
Now for the bands! She decided on neon pink and green for the first three months. She's already starting to think about what colors she wants to change to in March!
Final outcome! This is what four grand gets you these days!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hayley's Christmas Cookie & Gift Exchange!

Hayley just held her 3rd annual Christmas Cookie Exchange.  The girls all had a great time and they did a fabulous job with their cookies!  So many creative ones again this year!

Kelsie's Lollipop Cookies...

Hayley's Mice Cookies...

McKenna's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies...

My centerpiece...

Lara and Hayley sampling all of the goodies and trying to decide which one is the yummiest and which one is the most creative.

Mari, Jessy, and Savannah tasting all of the cookies before voting on their favorites!

The winners (AGAIN!!) for the second year in a row!  Mari won for her Yummy Peanut Butter Buckeye Bars and McKenna won most creative with her Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies.  I guess peanut butter is the flavor for 2009! 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Annual Family Santa Visit and Shopping Trip

We've unintentionally created a tradition of trekking up to Bellevue Square to visit Santa every year.  I think we've been doing this for the past five years!  We all just enjoy the atmosphere at this mall and we love the festive decorations.  It's so pretty and as you stand in line to wait to see Santa, you get to walk through his 'workshop' and as you look out the workshop windows you see Santa's reindeer (led by Rudolph) flying through the air!  Very cute!  After we visit Santa and put our requests in, we do our family shopping.  Wes and I team up with each of the kids and then we split up to shop for each other.  After about 45 minutes, we meet back up and switch kids and do the same thing.

I had to include this picture of Hayley... just thought it was super cute of her...

Another fun thing about going to Bellevue Square is that we get to see Snowflake Lane.  Each night at 7 p.m. there is a performance on the sidewalks with lots of fun, energetic music and dozens of live drummers.  The 'show' lasts for about 20 minutes or so and it ends with a 'snowfall'!  Here's Hayley posing with her very favorite animal in the world... PENGUINS!  She's been hooked on them for years!

After we finished our shopping we headed to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens to see the lights.  The temperature was a chilly 34, but we still had a fun time.  Thank you to my friend, Carmen, for suggesting this!  It was absolutely beautiful and just amazing to see what they did with lights!  If you're able to make it to Bellevue, I highly recommend this event!  Another bonus:  it was free!  (They do ask for a donation at the gate).

Another cute thing they do at the Botanical Garden is they give the kids a sheet of paper to search for about 20 different animals... Luke is amazing... he found 28!  :)

Here's our attempt at a Christmas card photo... not sure it's going to make the cut... actually not sure that a card is going to happen this year...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

12th Annual Cookie and Ornament Exchange

Well, I think it was another successful Cookie and Ornament Exchange.  So many delicious cookies and candies... our baking skills seem to improve every year!  Thank you to everyone who was able to make it and we missed the few that weren't able to be there... next year!  I love seeing all my friends and I think this is such a fun way of starting out the Christmas Season!

Tammy's cookie.... so delicious, they truly tasted just like a Snickers Bar!

Lisa's Andes mint cookie... loved these!

Dorothy's Pizzelles... her family recipe!

Gina's Lemon Quarters... poor Gigi... 2nd place yet again!

Tammy has been our official ballot counter for years!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Contestants... Anna, Megan, Kathy, and Shannon.  I think everyone got a vote, but Shannon ended up winning.  Her sweater just had a little more bling than the other ladies' sweaters.  Thanks for the fun suggestion Megan... this will definitely be an added tradition to this party!  I'm going to be out at the thrift stores right after Christmas looking for my sweater for next year!  :)

Dorothy opening up her ornament... I think this was stolen from her a few minutes after she opened it!  :)

Anna, me and Alison

Kathy Sanchez won AGAIN!  Second year in a row and, I believe, her third time total!  She made some delicious Pumpkin cookies!  Here she is opening her prize... as I'm typing this I am just now noticing Stacey in the background howling!  :0 

Group shot of all the ladies! 
Thanks for coming everyone... Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trimming the Tree 2009

Traditions are so, so important to Hayley and Luke (especially Miss Hayley!).  If we do anything out of the norm or we forget to do something, she calls us on it every time!  Knowing this, I still tried, once again, to let the kids know that we didn't have to put every single ornament on the tree... some can stay in the box.  Well, that just didn't go over with them at all... each one has special meaning or memories of who gave a certain ornament to each of them.  That being said, all 106 ornaments ended up on our tree again!  We did end up getting a new tree (gotta love Costco!) this year, so I guess we added a little height to it.

Hayley wearing one of her many penguin ornaments as an earring.  She loves her penguins and has been receiving a different penguin ornament every year for the past four or five years!