Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year 2014

It's December and that means....IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!!! Christmas, parties, lots of food, the return of Benny the elf, sitting on Santa's lap, vacation from school....the list goes on and on of all the fun stuff wrapped up in this month!!! :)

First this month we visited the Festival of Lights in downtown Greensboro. We went last year and it was a ton a fun. This year it was a little less crowded which made it even better!!

We put up some outdoor Christmas decorations this year which we normally don't do. The boys absolutely loved the reindeer!!

We also put our tree up and this year we went back and forth between going fake or sticking with our tradition of putting up a real one. In the end the real tree won. We tried a fake tree and I knew immediately it wasn't going to work. We are just real tree people and it was beautiful :) 

We spent an evening at a local church supporting one of Hensley's favorite friends, Will, and his baseball team. They were raising money for a huge trip they are taking in the summer and they offered up an awesome dinner and silent auction :) It was a ton of fun and Hensley ran for hours up and down the stairs playing games with the other boys.

Our friends, the Williams' came over for some dinner one evening which we do often. I figured since we had all the kids there it was the perfect time to make some cinnamon ornaments. It brought back a lot of memories from my childhood. We use to always make these with my Grandma :) She would have loves to have seen these. We let the kids use some cookie cutters to make some candy canes, and snowmen, but at the end we did some handprints :) We did these a few years ago with Hensley and we still have them on our tree each year. They are a very special memory :) 

We had a pretty fun bath night pretending to be Santa and PawPaw :) 

Hensley was pretty into two things during Christmas break from school :
1. Wrapping gifts with his hand tape dispenser
2. Playing Crazy 8's

This month a lot is going on in Hensley's little mouth. He has two loose teeth and two HUGE molars coming in on his right side. I noticed them one night while brushing his teethe. He had not complained about them at all. I was shocked at how big they were :) In with the new out with the old :) 

I volunteered at Hensley's school this month in the Santa Store. It is a really cute idea they do each year where the library is transformed into a little store filled with all sorts of goodies. The kids get to bring money from home and purchase gifts for their friends and family members. The items are prices from .50 cent to 5.00 dollars. Each gift they buy is wrapped by volunteers there and they are able to take those wrapped gifts home to put under the tree and on Christmas they have their very own gifts to hand out. It's awesome to see the looks on all their faces. They are so excited and proud to be buying these for the people they love :) It's for sure something I'll continue to help with next year. 

Hensley's Christmas party at school was coming up and I was at a loss for what to get his teachers this year. I didn't want to get the usual gifts. I wanted something different....yet easy. My friend Jill suggested baking something. Sounded easy enough.......4 Hours later we had a TON of goodies not just for his teachers but for family and some for ourselves too :) It wasn't exactly easy BUT it was one of the most fun nights EVER!!! We made so many memories and laughed so much!! I can't wait to do it again next year. Even if we don't give them as teacher gifts we will for sure be making this baking session a yearly tradition :) It was too fun not too. Having my grandma's cookbook with me made it pretty special too.

We packaged them up beautifully in tin boxes, wrapped them in ribbon and attached the monogram ornaments I made for his teachers. It was a huge success. 

Mrs. Redd and Ms. Spaeth loved them!!

Andy was out of town all week and Hensley was pretty happy to have his Daddy home for two whole weeks :) 

We kept our yearly tradition of a family photo in front of the tree. It was quite the evening this time around. I love seeing Hensley grow through these pictures.

I love these two :)

Aunt Jill came over one night for dinner and a game night. Hensley is in LOVE with board games and Monopoly was right up his alley. We had a blast!

Excuse the front facing camera graininess but I love this picture after we all played Fibber! 

We spent several days at the mall which I was dreading but once we got there it was a lot of fun. It really put us in the mood for the season and Hensley loved all the decorations and picking out gifts for our family.

Christmas Eve is always a sweet time. We spent it with my parents who had come in town for a few days from Texas and ate dinner and hung out. We had missed them a lot. 
Hensley wasn't ready to say goodbye to his elf but we left him out for Santa to scoop up along with a little note some cookies and milk and of course carrots for the reindeer :) 

Finally it was Christmas Day!!!! We were having our whole family over and some friends too! We had a ton of great food and lots of gifts to open :) It was a beautiful day outside and Hensley got to play with his favorite gift from Santa, his basketball goal :) And I cooked an awesome ham :)

Hensley actually slept in until almost 9 am! We soon found out why...he threw up everywhere for about an hour after he woke up...and then he was totally fine :) 
He was so excited to see what Santa brought!!!


Jill surprised me by stopping by Christmas day. I had no idea she was coming and I was so glad to see her. She always brightens my day and she brought some pretty amazing gifts :) 
At the end of the day it was an awesome holiday season and when I looked around at everyone there to celebrate with us I felt so blessed. 

My house is a disaster. My kitchen is upside down. I am so exhausted. But none of it matters. Every single one of the people I love dearly were here today in our home. Eating amazing food. Taking photos. Laughing. Talking. Opening gifts. Showing each other how much we love them. Hensley is the happiest boy on earth right now. He was overwhelmed with gifts. He doesn't even know how much he is truly loved. I am so grateful for today and everyone in my life. Merry Christmas all.


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