Sunday, January 11, 2009

January Sleepover at Auntie Erin's...

I have been feeling really guilty lately because I have been promising these three girls (my "neices", who are actually the daughters of JJ's and my good friends) a sleepover for about six months now. With my crazy schedule, and my being out of town for what seemed like "forever" to them, I have had to put them off, until last Friday night. We started the night with a yummy dinner of chicken nuggets, tater tots and canned fruit (OK, well the kids loved it - and if truth be told, my husband too! :0). Then Elyssa brought out her new soda pop making kit, and gave us a sample of her favorite concoctions. I liked the Cherry Vanilla the best! In the meantime, I started assembling the gingerbread houses, and JJ made home-made chocolate chip cookies, which are always a hit! Finally, after an activity filled night, the girls put on their PJs and settled into their bed on the "sofa sleeper" to watch Ice Age - the Meltdown with some air-popped popcorn (my favorite Christmas gift from JJ) and juice. Whew! What a night!!!

All three girls snuggled into a queen-sized hida-bed, and would have slept tight as bugs in rugs if it had not been for the fact that Auntie Erin forgot and left the kitchen window open all night (which was originally due to a fallen tater tot in the oven that left the kitchen filled with smoke)! OOPS! Sorry, ladies!!!

Very happy with our finished product. From left to right: Taylor, Cheyenne and Elyssa.

And I just could not leave out the other two members of our party: yes, they are girls, too! True to lab form, they were in the middle each of the activities all night long (and they may have even gotten a little snack or two, as well.)

Sleepover (cont.)...

The highlight of our night was the making of our gingerbread houses. The girls and I enjoyed creating, decorating, and even snacking on our creations.

Taylor and Elyssa are just getting started.

Cheyenne and I worked together on our house. She wanted to start with the peak of the roof... Cool!

The finished product: Cheyenne did all the work on the front - I added the icecicles on the eaves.

This is the front of Taylor and Elyssa's house. I love the creative windows designed by Elyssa, and the gingerbread man in front with yellow hair and a half lifesaver smile (decorated by Taylor) is my favorite!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Must See...

My mom, dad, JJ and I went to see this movie last night... Let me just tell you that it is absolutely life-changing, so if you see it (which I highly, highly recommend for adults only) be prepared to be completely and totally stunned. Will Smith is fantastic, and I don't just say that because I am a huge fan of his; he really is! Let me know what you think!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The True Story of Santa Claus...

Many of you probably know this, but I have always "believed" in Santa Claus. My best explanation for this is that my mom has been a believer for as long as I can remember, and I have followed in her footsteps (no surprise there); we have even gone as far as to each start our own collection of hand-crafted likenesses of him. I have to say, each Santa Claus is as beautiful as it is unique, and many have been made by friends, which makes them even more special to us.

My parents have been staying with us for the past few days, and although my home is not completely decorated for Christmas, I do have several of my Santas out. My mom made the comment that she heard a wonderful story on K-Love about Santa Claus and where our belief comes from. It got me thinking: although I knew that St. Nicholas was a good person, I have never truly known his story, and more importantly, how it relates to me being a Christian. I found the following excerpt on the internet, and thought that I should share.

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus' words to "sell what you own and give the money to the poor," Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

Under the Roman Emperor
Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day.

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.
This story warmed my heart, and gave me even further affirmation of my belief in Santa Claus. I hope that you enjoyed it too!

Design by: Blogger XML Skins | Distributed by: Blogger Templates