Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Amaya!

There's a three year old in our house! Didn't we just bring her home from the hospital? Didn't just celebrate her first tooth, first words, first steps? And now we're celebrating her 3rd birthday! According to Amaya, "everything fun happens when you're three." She enjoys taking Community Education classes and she's had to wait until she's three to take the Intro to Dance class (which we've enrolled her in and starts in the first week of February.) And, she's decided that now that she's three, she doesn't want to use her little potty anymore and wants to use the "grown-up" one. Can't wait to see what this year holds for this little princess!

Since her "Big Party" with her grandparents, aunt and uncle, cousins, and friends wasn't until Saturday the 22nd, we had a small party just the three of us on Thursday. We took her out for pizza at Godfather's. Yummy!

Played a few arcade games...

... and WON!

Can you tell this little girl looks up to her Daddy?

We headed back home in the bitter cold to open presents and have cupcakes. Amaya opened a few from us, one from her aunt and uncle in Colorado and one from my co-workers.

Amaya and my co-worker Pauline share a common interest....

... they both LOVE CHEETOS!

She got quite a few books from both her aunt and uncle and from Steve and me. She LOVES, LOVES, LOVES books - especially when they are Fancy Nancy!!

After presents, we had cupcakes. Amaya picked out which ones she wanted at Wal-Mart. No surprise here that she picked out Dora.

Happy Birthday, Amaya!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Frosting Sugar Cookies

One of my favorite memories growing up, was decorating sugar cookies with my mom. We ate a lot of frosting, made a big mess, and had a lot of fun!

Amaya has several aprons, but for this special day, she wanted to wear the one that Cooper's Grandma gave her - thank you Grandma Susie!

She's working pretty hard and doing a great job!

Steve helped too because I had made a pretty big batch. His cookies were definitely the most creative!

Snitching a little frosting....

... and a little more...

A little sampling of our finished cookies.

"Mom! We made a big mess!"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Blizzards of December 2010

December of 2010 broke several records with the most snowfall ever. I think we got nearly 40 inches of snow throughout the entire month. This picture was taken during the first storm with several more to follow.

Amaya got new snowpants and an early Christmas gift - a sled! What a great time to put them into use! Steve got Amaya ready in her snow gear while I was hoping she didn't have to go to the bathroom! :-)

Steve pulled her along and she had an awesome time going through the snowdrifts.

Making snow-angels!

Amaya wanted to help shovel, so she's using one of Steve's that he keeps in his car. She actually was quite a big helper, until she started taking snow from the piles and putting it on the clean driveway!

After an hour or so, Amaya was ready to go inside for... HOT CHOCOLATE! (with lots of marshmallows - or marshmellums as Amaya calls them.)


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Decorating the Tree

Since 2002 (when I bought my townhouse), I've always gotten a Premium Frasier Fir tree at Whiting's Nursery. After marrying Steve, we've continued the tradition because the staff at Whiting's make it so easy to pick out and load up a tree and they've got a beautiful selection of quality trees.

We typically will put our tree up in the corner of the living room near the window, but Steve wanted a BIG tree - nearly 9 feet tall! So, we tried out the tree in front of the bay window and I think we'll put it here every year. I didn't go nearly as crazy with the lights this year, only because a few of our strands weren't working anymore and it was a near blizzard out and I didn't want us trekking outside to Wal-Mart to pick out more. I think it only has about 800 lights on it this year, but it was still beautiful!

Amaya was pretty excited to help decorate the tree and a lot more helpful than last year.

Even Steve got a new ornament this year and helped decorate a little.

Amaya enjoyed decorating so much for Christmas, that we decided to get her very own pre-lit tree for her room. She really wanted a pink tree, but the couple of places we checked were all sold out. She was just as happy though with this little tree.

While I was growing up, my Mom bought me a new ornament each year so that when I had my own tree, I'd have a good collection of ornaments. It was such a great idea, that we decided to continue that tradition with Amaya too! Her very first ornament was the one on the left with her picture in it. We gave her Abby last year and this year we gave her a Dora ornament. Mom bought her the cookie sheet ornament and it accurately reflects our 2010 Christmas season - lots of cookie making and decorating!

Amaya was so proud to decorate her own tree and did a fabulous job! (And I refrained from moving any of the ornaments to "even things out.") Throughout the weeks leading up to Christmas, I would notice our big Christmas tree looking a little bare of ornaments near the bottom. Sure enough, Amaya was sneaking ornaments off our family tree to put on hers!

Amaya - Christmas 2010 - and her tree all decorated.

The picture is a little dark, but here is our completed tree! Probably one of my favorite trees so far!

We just got the tree and decorations down today. We've typically taken it down the weekend after New Year's, but because my sister and her family were still in town, we waited until this weekend. It's a little sad putting away all the decorations, but it's good to get our house back to normal.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Festival of Trees

Unfortunately, I've neglected our blog for such a long time, it's hard to even know how to get "caught up." I guess I'll just plug away...

After Thanksgiving, we have a tradition of attending the Festival of Trees in Rochester. We enjoy looking at all the trees, eating Christmas cookies, and drinking hot chocolate or apple cider. Plus, it gets us in the Christmas spirit! This year, we went on Gingerbread Decorating Day, so Amaya was able to participate in a few new activities.

Amaya's first taste of a Christmas cookie is pretty good! Although, the hot chocolate was "too hot." (She likes it lukewarm!)

Next, Amaya wanted to listen to a story from a lady dressed up as Mrs. Claus.

Then, Amaya spotted the Gingerbread decorating table.

"Hmm... I think it needs more sprinkles."

The end result!

Steve's favorite tree was the "Scrabble Tree."

Amaya liked the "Purple Tree."

My favorite was the "Ice Cream Tree."

After looking at all the trees, Amaya made a Gingerbread ornament.


The last craft station was a huge mural that the kids could color.

After the Festival of the Trees, we picked up the "Big Red Pick-Up Truck" from Grandpa Lowell and picked out our Christmas tree at Jim Whiting's. Stay tuned for pictures of our HUGE tree!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2011! What will this next year bring? As evidenced by the unexpected events we experienced in 2010, we hope to anticipate another year of dependence on God and spiritual growth.

My resolution this year is to live SIMPLY. Less stress. More prayer. Less disorganization. More planning. Less screen time. More family time. I want to be more intentional - have more purpose -choose to do things that I have a passion for - learn to say "no" - reprioritize things that are most important to me and my family.

What's your New Year's resolution? How can you use this year to give God glory?