Friday, December 22, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 So many fun memories are made in December.  Not only is it the Santa Party, it's also so many good times with friends and family.
Our annual ornament exchange is one of my very favorite things!  I am so thankful for this group of ladies.  A few weren't able to be there this year, but they are loved just the same!

Madison was selected to sing in her school's honor choir this year. 
Her Christmas performance was so impressive!

Very proud Aunt and Uncle.  We just adore Miss Madison and her many talents.

A few days later, a big group of moms took these girls to see the Edge Dance Christmas Spectacular.  It was simply fantastic!  Madison's friend, Jazlyn was one of the dancers and did so well!

Maheera and Madison also enjoyed watching Briana sing and act in the show. 
She had the sweetest duet with her big sister.
Such a fun day for all of us...even Jackson liked the show!
It didn't hurt that some really cute 5th grade girls were in it that he knows well--their moms told me that they were thrilled that he and his buddies came to watch it:)
This year it was also my good friend's 40th birthday.  We celebrated with a party at her house--Happy Birthday, Mandy!

The next night was the Gift of Christmas at Prestonwood Baptist Church.  I bought tickets on 10/30, the day they went on sale.  To say I was looking forward to it, would be a serious understatement.  My plans were derailed, though, when Cami started throwing up as we pulled into the church parking lot.  She and I went home...

while the others stayed to watch the most amazing show ever.

By the next day, I had three kids with the flu.  Boo!

After a few days, they were slowly feeling better, and ready to make our Gingerbread house.

Another fun project checked off our list. 
Stay tuned for highlights from The Gift of Christmas, that was enjoyed by the rest of our fam!

Happy Birthday, Daddo!

Being born in December, Jared's birthday usually gets the shaft.  
This year we celebrated for a few days and I hope he felt the love!

We started off by meeting Shelley and Warren for lunch on his birthday at Red Robin.

Cami was all smiles when they brought her daddy an ice cream sundae with sprinkles.

That night, the kids and I made dinner at home and then brought out our homemade Coke Cake for dessert.  Yum!

Happy birthday dear Daddy, Happy birthday to YOU!

A few days later, we went to dinner at Javier's with Adam and Hayley.  It wasn't Edith's in Cabo, but it was pretty darn close.

Date nights with this guy are always a good time.
The next evening, we went to hear Memaw sing in the First Baptist Choir.  It was a beautiful show.

Afterwards, we went to Fernando's for Jared's family celebration. 
They even gave us the private room!  

Happy Birthday, babe!  May 38 be your best year yet!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Santa Claus Came to Town!

  A few weeks ago it was 80 degrees and sunny.  Then Friday rolled around and the winds shifted dramatically.  All of a sudden, it was overcast and 40 degrees.  Our best guess is that Santa had something to do with it!  It just wouldn't feel like a Christmas party otherwise.
We hosted our annual Santa Party and brought in some help for mama--Presley was clutch!  She is adored by our kids and is so good with all of them.  She was amazing and helped keep the 50 plus kids in line!
Chloe and her family were some of the first to arrive.  I just love Chloe and Lila's sweet friendship. 
Madison and Reagan were there as well, as were lots of her other friends.  They all played, wrote letters to Santa and then it was time...
Santa arrived in a red corvette! Look who was the first kid to greet him!
Sweet Cami wasted no time in telling the big guy, "I want a Golden Retriever for Christmas!"
To say these kids were pumped, would be an understatement!

They led him into our living room.  Some waited patiently...
others were more gung-ho!
Santa asked, "who has been good this year?"  Most raised their hands, some did not!  Gotta love their honesty.
All of my kids got some good quality time with Santa, even amidst the chaos!

My goodness, what a difference a year makes.  This was the first year that Cami sat on his lap and didn't cry!  Last year she talked to him, but from a few feet away.  Santa remembered and was so happy that she liked him more this Christmas season!

Jackson is an old pro, and is almost the same size as an adult now:)

Miss Madison and her friends got some quality time with St. Nick as well.  Such sweet girls!

Cami was thrilled to have Bella at the party this year.

Lots of J's friends were there, including Ethan, Caleb, Blake, Tucker, Gavin, Gage, Cole, Ryan F., Brody and Ryan W.  Baby Nash was all about his BFF Jackson, so he hopped in the photo, too!

Lila's school friends loved visiting with Santa as well.  All are former Bumblebees and some of her very best friends.

Before Santa went back to the North Pole, we got picture with Boom, Gigi and Madison.

And with the whole Hays crew as well. 
Next year we will have a new baby in this picture!  I can't wait!

Santa took his letters with him...

and gave hugs and fists bumps on his way out.
Safe travels, Santa!

My girls!  After Santa left, we all enjoyed the live music. 

Cami loves Miss Angie and had a ball talking to her!  Her family and one more closed down the party close to 11:30.  Lila was asleep in my bed by then, but Cami was still going strong.  Party animal, I tell ya.  She might be the biggest fan of all of our Santa Party!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

December Magic

December.  Everyone's favorite month of the year.  There's just something so magical about it.

This year is no different.  Our elf, Johnny, made his first appearance of the season on December 1st.  The big kids found him hanging out on our front porch right before they left for school. 
That tricky rascal!  

Lila's basketball team, the Murphy Magic, kicked off their season with a big win. 
These girls are awesome.  Go Magic!

We are all about trying new experiences every holiday season. We did the Journey to Bethlehem at a nearby church and were so impressed with it.  It's a drive-thru nativity scene...

where people tell the story of Jesus' birth.  The narrators read a few important pieces of scripture at your car window, as you check out the scene.

So cool!

The live animals were the biggest hit, for sure.

I loved the wooly sheep that was looking at the Star...

but my favorite was the camel at the end!  Cami said her favorite was Baby Jesus, which made me feel bad for not saying the same thing!  Out of the the mouths of babes.  #truth #jesusisthereasonfortheseason
Our night of new things didn't end there. 
We journeyed on to the Galleria to introduce our kids to the magic of ice skating!

Standing in line wasn't half bad, since we had a view of this magnificent tree AND got to watch ice skaters wipe out left and right.  Ha!

A half hour later, we were on the ice!  Maddie was the only experienced skater, so she helped out Jackson at first.

Jared and I switched off between helping Cami and Lila.  Both were pretty unsteady, but then Lila finally got the hang of it.  Miss Cameron looked like she was .2 seconds away from wiping out at all times.  By the grace of God, we avoided that!

"Look mom, I'm ice skating!"

We ended our weekend with a magical time at church.  All three big kids went to the service with us, joined in by singing some Christmas Carols, and listened to the message. 
I love this time of year.

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