Sunday, December 23, 2012

Early Christmas gifts

Our family is so blessed by the love and generosity of so many. Having a pastor as a husband many times means that more is expected of your family.  You are supposed to be models of parenting, your children are to be models of behavior, and you sacrifice family time for the demands of the church.  Though sometimes these expectations seem more than we can handle, God is so faithful to strengthen us through the love of our church family!  

We have always been blessed by loving congregations who show their appreciation and support in many ways!  One of the ways that Alleghany Baptist blesses us is a yearly "pounding."  Members of the church bring in different items to stock our pantry, fridge and other necessary items (aka toilet paper)!  It is always so much more than we deserve!  I don't  have a picture, but really I could list at least 40 different grocery items they brought.  They even try to bring us our favorite brands and preferences.

Also many from our church buy gifts for our girls.  This year Uncle Bob and Aunt Debbie came over to bless the girls with some toys and dresses.  I didn't get a picture of the dresses because a couple had to be returned due to size, but I will try to add a picture soon since replacement dresses were found already.  

Here is Sarah with her new Lego set.  The girls have never had a mini set and she was so thrilled!  They enjoyed putting it together almost right away.

Hannah loves her new game they bought.  She is just the right age to appreciate the humor of this game and learn a few things too!  Uncle Bob and Daddy even played with all the girls that night!

This was the first Mary or Lydia heard of a Lalaloopsie doll.  They were so excited and have been checking it all out on the internet!

We just love the hair on this one!  Lydia has had a good time styling it.

The next day the girls were in for another surprise.  Most of the time we open all our presents on Christmas day.  If we open any on Christmas eve, it is usually pajamas for them to sleep in.  This year we decided to give them their "big" present early.  We were supposed to go out of town the day after Christmas and we wanted them to have time to enjoy it.

 Here they are getting ready to open the gift.  :)

They have now realized that they have a new Wii!  Much squealing and jumping around ensued. 

Time to give it a go after Mom spent an hour setting it up. LOL 

I asked the girls if it was a let down to open the best present first.  They all assured me that it was not a let down.  Instead they were excited about playing with it as well as opening the other gifts.  :)
It has been fun that we have all enjoyed together.

With All My Heart~

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Family Christmas Party 2012

A Christmas Forest

I am not a very crafty person.  Nor do I enjoy baking for looks. However, when I saw something similar to these at public school one day before Christmas I thought we might give them a try.  The teacher at school used a waffle cone turned upside down on which the students had spread a thin layer of green icing.  Then they had sprinkled coconut shavings on their trees. I knew my girls would enjoy this except only one can stand coconut.  So I decided to pick up some M&Ms to use for decoration and Memaw Rose knew that a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar would be the finishing touch for our forest.  

Here is an aerial view of the trees.  I forgot to tell Alpheus to buy the waffle cones that were flat on the round edge and he bought the ones that have one high side to the cone.  Rose had to cut them down to sit.  You can see that Hannah chose to have one leaning tree.  The girls each decorated two trees.

The girls used quite a bit of icing and lots of candy too.  I love how some trees have a pattern and some are just randomly thrown together.  It was easy and pretty.  We used them for decoration at our family Christmas gathering the next day, and then the girls ate them. :)

Speaking of family gathering, we had a wonderful time at the Short Christmas Party for 2012.  We just hope to get all the family there for the next one! 
My wonderful parents!
Bruce and his son, Ben.  I missed getting Leah (wife and mom) in the picture, but she was there!

My sweet girls who enjoyed decorating before we started!

My brother Monte and his wife, Sharon.  Bryce, Monte's youngest son was there, but we missed having Aaron, his oldest and Kyle, Sharon's son.
So glad to have Uncle Harry (mom's brother) and Aunt Lisa with us!  It would have been so nice to have all my aunts and uncles there, but alas, only one lives close enough.  

Here is everyone that made it except for my sister, Lorilyn, who is taking the picture. :)

P.S. Did you see the trees? :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

ABC Christmas Program 2012

 Here are the pictures from our Christmas program this year.  So thankful that Alpheus was willing and able to take stills and Dan took video.  Our story was called Papa Panov's Special Christmas by Leo Tolstoy which I adapted for the play.  The modern side of the stage represented a family reading the story one night before Christmas.  You can see Mary at the piano here.  She played jingle bells at the beginning as if she was practicing at home.  Then Hannah (seated on the back of the couch) read a poem she wrote for the play.  River was coloring a picture and I was the mom who would read the story.
The fluffly thing beside Papa Panov's rocking chair is Sarah's stuffed puppet dog that looks pretty realistic if we could see his eyes! LOL

Close up of Mary

Close up of Hannah reading her poem.  Do you see the cookie in River's hand.  They were treated to real cookies during the "family story time." :)

Papa Panov, the cobler, entering the stage.  The costuming probably could have been better (my fault), but Sarah was tickled to have Granddad Short's hat for a prop! :)

I didn't know she added a scarf.  LOL  My back is to her the whole time.

Here is Papa Panov reading the Christmas story...

And wishing Jesus would visit him.

River is pretty reserved on stage but she always looks forward to doing her part.  She is a sweet heart!

Papa Panov notices some cold street sweepers and offers them some warming coffee.  Well, in this case, hot chocolate was in the kettle.  Mmmm, yes the real thing.  Oops we got it too hot though and our actors can hardly swallow it between lines. :)

Ariana and Kimber did a great job!


A mother and her child also enjoying Papa Panov's hospitality.

Papa Panov gives his most treasured gift - the best shoes he ever cobbled.  

Notice Lydia is holding on tight to that hot chocolate! :)

Papa Panov sharing more food with the needy. 

After this portion of the program,
Cheyenne read the account of the birth of Jesus from Luke 2.  

Time for hand bells.  This is something our girls enjoyed when we were at Joppa Baptist in Florida. They love it!

Then Ariana read the most beautiful poem which she found that was a perfect end to the play!

Alpheus joins the girls for a cast picture.  The girls were glad to be finished and ready to party downstairs!

Thank you again to Rose Nobel, Ruth Moran, and Gwen Ekhaml for your help in making it all come together. 
 I am already looking forward to next year.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lots of love and GIFTS! :)

Part 1 is here and part 2 is here

So after some cupcakes and snacks the girls settled in to watch Hannah and Sarah open gifts.  Because they are so close in age and both girls, they often get very similar gifts.  They have fun opening them together.  I wonder if one year when they are grown and possibly far apart they will miss celebrating together, like I miss with my brother.

I don't remember what they were saying but I love this picture. :)

I am glad my 13yo still loves to color puppies and kittens!

Mary remembered one of Sarah's favorite candies.

This is what Jade (Gigi) bought Sarah.  She loved it.

Hannah was pretty tickled with her gift from Jade.

River and Kimber gave the girls art sets.  Always a winner!

Cheyenne also knew just what her friends would like!

Ariana added to the creative fun with jewelry!

I have to show this because Hannah received the SAME card from her Mamaw and her Short Grandparents.  Isn't that funny.  Sweet card.  Both cards had money which the girls are anxious to spend!

Here was the huge and adorable kitten puppet that Memaw Rose bought Hannah.  This has been her constant companion since she got it.  Cammie is her name.

Memaw bought the dog puppet for Sarah.  She has also taken it along on excursions! :)  As you may be able to tell, the other girls nearly mobbed Hannah and Sarah to touch and hold these sweet puppets.  They are really adorable.

New fuzzy, warm, soft blankets from Mom and Dad.

We als treated our girls to some new jewelry, lip gloss, and hair accessories. 

Nearly every birthday girl in our home receives a movie. :)

The girls used their own money to help buy the party favors.  They  had a great time and hoped everyone else did as well.

Thank you friends for helping them celebrate.

With All My Heart~