Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Time....

On Christmas Eve we went to our church for their service... Winnie usually goes in the nursery but we braved taking her into the main sanctuary for the entire hour, and she did great! We sat in the backrow with all the other parents with strollers, so she was all eyes watching people come in/out of service and the lights on stage. Winnie loves music and boy was it good, I truly enjoyed belting out the traditional Christmas hymns like my mom and I did years ago when we were in a Christmas show at our home church (boy was that fun!). Chuck gave an amazing message on why Christ came to earth and became man... 1. to relate 2. to rescue, he knows how to reach us so deeply... What a special night to honor our Lord Jesus Christ!

Winnie also had a blast showing off her new Christmas dress that Aunt Margie bought for her, if she could've twirled she would have!

We also had a chance to see good friends from our small group and their gorgeous children... here is Kristi with her girls, Emma and Hannah (I was sad I couldn't get one of them both looking at the camera with their mommy).

This is how our Christmas tree looked on Christmas Eve after Winnie went to bed...there were finally presents under the tree in preparation for the next morning.

Before heading to bed I got the cinnamon rolls all made for Christmas morning...

On Christmas morning I brought Winnie down and she was excited to see all the new toys and gifts under the tree. We captured her excitement on the video camera, so excited to watch it! One of her favorite gifts (even as I blog) is her new shopping goes everwhere downstairs, back and forth from the living room to kitchen.

Here is Tom trying on his new crocs and croc hat...Winnie didn't know what to think
The purse and little people farm were two of her other favorite gifts, she carries around the lipstick from the purse...its even helping her stand on her own (puts all her effort into holding it near her mouth!).

Our sweet neighbors, the McKinney's, surprised us on our doorstop early (with all the family in tow) so we returned the favor by stopping by after naptime.... Little Noah just slept away, while Eden and Winnie played on their buggies.

Even Eden's Uncle Brad wanted a ride in the big kid wagon.
After playing it was time to finish up dinner and eat, and eat we did! Everything was super good and we got in some more quality time with our friends, the Murphy's.

Now that Christmas was over it was time to prepare for the day after Christmas sales... Mom and I were up early and headed out to Crate and Barrel for their HUGE sale! We were about 100-120 people deep in the line and still ended up getting in on the first round, woohoo! I totally had my camera and forgot to snap some pictures of the craziness ;-( We girls did good though... lots of linens for the table and pillows, and of course gifts for next year (even picked up a few things for friends). We headed onto Ulta, Target, Kohl's and TJMaxx... by the time we got home my feet were throbbing and ready to relax. Tom headed out to the movies with a friend so mom and I pampered ourselves girl style to some Mamma Mia....a little pedi and manicure to end the day!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas in celebrating our Lord's arrival and looking forward to starting the New Year out on the right foot....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Is Around The Corner...

Our home has been decorated for a few weeks now and every day my stomach jumps with excitement that Christmas is only a few days away!! Yes, on Christmas morning I do get excited like a little kid and wake everyone up to come open presents....sometimes too early for my family's liking. This year we've held off putting gifts under our tree, as I'm dying to see Winnie's reaction when its filled Christmas morning...we will see. She will probably come down like any other morning and not even notice the tree or presents...haha! Regardless its a moment that I cannot wait to share with her and also watch her play with the gift wrap, as its clearly more exciting than the toys.

Last night we headed to the mall to have Winnie tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas.... well this year was VERY different than last. She fell asleep in his arms last year and cuddled right up to him...this year she cried.... it was so sad that she was scared of him (should've known better!). We have Santas all over the house, did I mention that I collect them last post? So, I thought she had seen a lot of him and would be ready for the visit....well I guessed wrong. Guess we will wait a few more years for her to sit on his lap, oh well.
Here is my collection (not shrine, as Tom likes to call it) of family and friends love to surprise me with them every year, and I love it!
Here are a few pics from our last few weeks....dinners with friends, visits from family....
Dinner with the Vallecorse's....Winnie and Samuel had so much fun playing together....
Dinner with the Christner's....its so cute hearing Ben talk, what a cutie!
Dinner out with Amy & our fav place, Cheesecake Factory!
Dinner with the Mumford's...BFFs Winnie & Caroline are growing up so fast!!
Quick visit from Jennifer & the boys....we opened our gifts for each other the next morning and it turned into a "Snowball fight" of giftwrap, the boys had so much fun!! Thanks again Jennifer for taking all our gifts up north to the family!!

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas with your family!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Top 10 Things We've Done Lately....

Ok Ok so I am finally getting some grief for not being an active blogger... so I need to play some catch-up...hence the "Top 10 Things We've Done Lately"....

1. PSU game - We headed to Happy Valley the weekend before Thanksgiving for the PSU vs MSU football game. It was a fun weekend with our friends Ben & Pam (who are MSU fans) and drove in from Michigan after being in Cancun for a week (what die hard fans!).
Pam & I before the game (notice the layers!!)
The strangest thing was renting rooms in a home, in my strange... Our host was super nice and even let us tailgate with he and his friends before the game. Oh another first, it snowed the beginning of the game...I've never watched a game in Beaver Stadium in the snow, how cool...or I mean COLD (haha)!

2. Outlet shopping - Oh yes, I LOVE shopping but especially LOVE outlet shopping. We didn't find a ton, well except for the jackpot at the Pfaltzgraff store that is closing.

3. Spending time with family - We traveled from MD the Thurs before Thanksgiving to drop Winnie off at my mom's for the weekend. It was the first time we've left our daughter with anyone longer than a few hours, and she did great (so did Nain!)! I loved the calls from my mom as she struggled to open our stroller while taking Winnie out and about. We headed onto West Newton next to visit with Mom Jones, Margie & David..and the rest of the family as they all came in for turkey. While Tom & I worked remote Winnie was entertained by her Grandma, she loved all the attention!! Between conference calls Tom took some time to re-carpet his mom's stairs as a belated birthday gift, they turned out awesome!

4. Thanksgiving @ Aunt Mary Ann's - Thanksgiving at my Aunt's is a long-standing tradition and an event I always look forward to. There are only a few times a year that we see all this family, and this year there were 16 of us. Every year I am amazed at how fast all the kids are growing up (including my brother & I) and how our time together doesn't change....the guys all talk about football and hunting, while the women congegrate in the kitchen fixin' their contribution to the meal (wow I just said "fixin" on my own...have I turned southern??). This was Winnie's first year and she LOVED all the food, and of course the attention (is there a theme here...haha), especially playing with her cousin Treyson.

5. Birthday parties -- On Wed night we had a joint birthday party for Winnie & our nephew Landon which was a blast, half the room was decorated Princess and the other half Transformers....too fun! Mom Jones & Margie went all out on the decorations and food, everything was perfect!Winnie was even more daring with eating her smash cake, at one point she even smashed her whole face into the cake...hilarious!!

This past weekend we celebrated Ben & Preston's 2nd birthdays too... like I said before its that time of year around here! Both boys had a blast playing and were all eyes opening their gifts.

6. Giving Christmas to a family - Every year our couple's small group from church adopts a family for Christmas, buying each member clothes, toys and household items. This year we adopted a family of 4 (mom & 3 kids). Once we all have our gifts we have a small Christmas party to fellowship and wrap all the gifts together. Its been a great way for our group to come together as a family and so much fun!! Can't wait to deliver the gifts to the family next Sunday...

7. Black Friday shopping - Oh yes, I'm one of those people! My mom and I were up at 5:30am to get ready to shop till we dropped (literally!). We were at Wal-Mart by 6:15am and able to get a few of the deals we were looking for (the other I found the next day), and then off to our favorite stores in PA, Gabriel Brothers and Ollie's. Both of these stores are bargain places... they have namebrand items for cheap, I got a Gap long sleeve shirt for $3 this time and it made my day! I wish I would've taken my camera with me....bummer.

8. Cookie exchange - Last night we had our Annual WBS (Women's Bible Study) cookie exchange...where we bring a batch of cookies to share with everyone. This year was no different, we had a ton of cookies and were able to fellowship, hear a message from Debbie and pack our tins with cookies to bring home (to our families). I'm all about traditions and this is one that I LOVE, not just for the cookies but the great girlfriends that I thank God for!!

9. Decorating for Christmas - Oh do I love getting our home ready for Christmas. This past weekend we were up early on Sat morning (mostly b/c I messed up when I had my haircut) so we headed out to do some Christmas shopping and then over to Lowe's to get our tree. By Saturday evening we had our tree up and decorated, and decided that for next year we are investing in the tree stand that is easier to straighten your took us forever to get our darn tree straight!! So now the lights are out front and the Santa's all out.... I collect Santa's and kind of geting annoyed of my hubby calling my buffet table the "Santa Shrine"! I love putting them all out and remember who gave them to me.

10. Seeing Heba & Ed - While we were at the Crabtree mall last weekend we ran into some celebs (if you could call them that)...maybe reality tv celebs... Heba & Ed from this season of Biggest Loser. All I have to say is they look AMAZING! Next Tues night is the season finale and I think America will be surprised at how much weight they have both lost. They are both in the finale but unfortunately America has to vote on which stays in the competition for the final 3... of course Ed is a gentleman and asked everyone to vote for his wife (what a sweetheart!). All day though I did kick myself that I didn't tell them how good they looked... Heba definitely knew I had spotted her as I was hitting Tom with excitment.
Alright, thats a wrap....promise to be better about my bloggin'!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Look what showed up on my doorstep...

Yesterday I met the mailman at the mailbox as I had a good instinct that he was going to deliver my blog swap gift..and sure enough he had it!!! It was like Christmas morning as I tore open the box to see what Suzanne had sent me. She was very thoughtful with this gift... She sent me a $5 Starbucks card (cannot wait to use!!), a mug, Glade apple scented candle, fun penguin handsoap dispenser with apple soap, apple lotion, a snowman ornament with Winnie's name (LOVE it!) and an Elmo Christmas book to read to Winnie. Everything was very festive for the Christmas season and now that I took a picture I can start to use everything.

Thanks again Suzanne!! What a fun blog swap...thanks Donna for pulling it all together!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We are thankful....

Thought this was a great idea from Nancy (a blogging friend)...what a way to get in the season!
Psalm 100 (New International Version)
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his [a] ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
We are thankful for....
our Lord Jesus Christ for so many things
our health
our sweet little girl Bronwyn (Winnie)
each other
a place to call home
our family near and far
good friends
our couple's small group
the high school kids we minister to
our church (Crossroads Fellowship)
the country we live in
and IBM...may be a challenging place to work but it pays the bills and we did meet there!
Hope everyone has a nice Thankgiving with their family and friends. We are in PA visiting Tom's family and headed to my Aunt's home tomorrow for the rest of the week. Hopefully I have enough energy to post a long blog about our 10day trip up north...

Monday, November 17, 2008

...and Winnie turns 1 !!!

Friday was our little Bronwyn (Winnie) Ruth 1st birthday!! We took the day off to spend time as a family around the house (in the rain) and get prepared for the big birthday party on Saturday morning. Thursday evening Tom & I went through the events that led up to Winnie entering the world.... from my water breaking at 3am, trying to fit in a McDonald's breakfast on the way to the hospital and finding out it was closed.... to pushing for 2 hours straight! I'm not a mushy person but thinking about our little girl's life for the past year brings tears to my eyes... She is such a blessing to us and it is hard to remember our life without her.

After she opened up the gifts from us and "Uncle" Ben & "Aunt" Pam we headed out to our favorite pizza place. We ordered a special pizza just for Winnie that had just a little sauce and lots of cheese....who knew a small would be soooo big! She loves carbs so her eyes were like saucers to see her very own pizza!!

Saturday was her BIG day to celebrate her birthday with good friends and a few family members (next week is another family birthday party)... With it raining we had to move the party to our good friends home, we were very thankful they opened it up to us (our home is just too small/awkward for 40 people!!). Over the past few weeks I've stressed about the decorations but all and all they turned out very cute.... teddy grahams and gummi bears in "hunny" pots (flower pots with hunny written on them), Winnie the Pooh decorations and a blow-up Winnie the Pooh (like the cheesy ones people put in their joke!). We really wanted someone to dress up like Winnie the Pooh and greet kids at the party...but seriously there were no outfits without the face showing (argh)!!

Proud Nain with her sweetie...

Winnie absolutely loved playing with her friends and of course dug right into her cake. She didn't waste too much time on eating the icing... Did I mention our friend Elizabeth made her awesome cake (same family who hosted)!! My cupcakes on the other hand tasted good but I will spare everyone on their appearance...haaha!

After Winnie's party we headed home to relax a bit and then get ready for our couple's small group Annual Thanksgiving dinner. Every year we look forward to this usual the food was amazing and we so nice to catch up with everyone (current and extended members)....even with this group we were missing at least 4-5 families!!
Sunday after our family got on the road we went to another sweet girl's birthday...Presley. She was so cute in her little blue dress, enjoying being surrounded by family and friends.