So, let's continue, shall we? ya know, with that catching up stuff...
Where were we? Ah! I do believe we have made it, more or less, to the CHRISTMAS SEASON! I've been saying I'll post Christmas stuff later. Well, I believe later is finally here. Finally!
Gosh, holiday time is soooo busy for us. It actually starts in about October: fall/halloween, then Thanksgiving, Joy's birthday two weeks later, and then Christmas two weeks after that, and then Jax's birthday two weeks after that, not to mention the other family birthdays mixed in between (mine, my sister's, my daddy's, josh's dad's, and one of our nephews, to name a few).... WHEW.
So, let me give a little pictorial attention to CHRISTMAS. We, of course, have tons of pictures from Christmas, so I have selected a view for sharing and documentation purposes here. I hope you enjoy. Hey, where else would you find yourself 'celebrating' Christmas in February -??-!!!!!!
|at church, Sunday before Christmas day (see my separate post on the trouble with getting a picture of all of us together!)|
|Meet ROCKY. He's the latest addition to our family - our Elf on the Shelf! We love this new tradition, and the kids were super excited to find Rocky in a new place every morning. He's a sneaky little booger|
|...and... Barney Fife. ha ha. These kiddos keep it interesting, that's for sure!|
|opening gifts - she really got into it this year!|
|After the extended family left, it was time to prepare snacks for Santa and the reindeer.|
|"Reindeer Food. Sprinkle this food outside the night before Christmas. It will help the reindeer find your house and be a nice treat too!"|
|note the boots and Christmas pj's|
|and, note the princess "glass slippers" with the Christmas pj's here|
|Back inside to get Santa's treats out of the oven|
|Kids! You aren't eating SANTA'S cookies, ARE YOU?????|
|Joy insisted that she leave Santa's milk in her favorite cup|
|and, she also insisted on taste-testing it too!|
|so, finally, Santa's treats were in place and ready for his arrival|
|I snuck into the living room to take a quick snapshot of the tree and gifts Santa left before the kids woke up and destroyed it all. :-)|
|Jax got a COON HUNTING LIGHT - just his size.|
|Joy got a nice PINK kitchen. I don't think she noticed, but I loved the vintage style|
And, because I have many picture frame ornaments on the tree, here's our ATTEMPT at a family picture. We had to wait until we visited my mom, so that all 4 of us could be included in the picture. By that time, PLENTY of grouchy and cranky had set in... this is the best that we got:
|Joy appears to be engaging in the universal sign for "crazy" here. In the previous shot, she appears to be attempting escape. Hhhhhmmmmmm....|
While we're on the subject of Christmas, I'd like to share a few of my favorite things about Christmas, with pictures, of course.
I love Christmas ornaments. I could go broke if I allowed myself to buy all of the ones that attract my attention. Besides photo Christmas cards, I think Christmas ornaments are my 2nd favorite thing to look forward to at Christmas time every year. Oddly enough, my favorites are not expensive at all. Rather, they are the sentimental ones - the homemade things that the kids have made, and gifts from ornament swaps and special friends. I even have some ornaments that were given to me by classmates in elementary school. That was many moons ago, and they are still precious to me.
As most of you know, we have experienced two miscarriages in the building of our family - my very first pregnancy, and one in between Jax and Joy. Although they were never really "babies" as defined by many, they WERE my babies. I found these Angel ornaments one year, and used them to memorialize my grandparents for a community Memory Tree sponsored by a local funeral home. I had some leftover ornaments so I created these two to memorialize my "angel babies", and I hang these ornaments on our family tree each and every year. They have actually turned out to be my favorite ornaments. I thought I would share this idea in case my bloggy friends know someone with similar struggles who may like to remember their angels in this way. There's a ton of potential in how this idea could be developed. Mine are just plain, but I still love them and what they mean to me and my family.
Although it IS a lot of work (especially with two little ones right under you, with every move you make) I am insistent on putting up a small tree in each of the kids' bedrooms. This is THEIR tree. Santa doesn't put gifts under them, but they do have a mini-celebration of the Christmas season to lull them to sleep each night. Jax's tree includes ornaments of all different forms and fashions - Disney characters mostly, but some other childhood toy-related characters may appear on his tree as well. Most of the ornaments on Jax's tree are homemade from McDonald's Happy Meal toys! That's right! We add to the collection every year (only the "cute" ones!) but I actually started the collection long before Jax was born. As a matter of fact, the collection of Happy Meal toys goes back to my teenage years, when Josh and I first started dating! For a while, we got on a McDonald's kick - and it seemed like we went to McDonald's at least once every weekend. It wasn't because he was cheap, but it was simply where we liked to eat at that time. I still like McDonald's an awful lot. He does too. But, we are aware that it's not the most healthy choice for meals... and it's actually not the healthiest way to eat for the pocketbook either. Happy Meals have gone up in price. I digress. Anyway, when we frequented McDonald's I usually ordered a Happy Meal and 2 apple pies (those are STILL $1, surprisingly!) - not because I really cared about the toy, but mainly because it was the perfect size meal for me. I originally saved the toys for kids at my church or school, my nephews, or my friends who were aspiring to be elementary teachers (the little toys make great reward prizes). I'd save them up until I got a sizable collection, and then pass them on to someone who could make use of them. As I was preparing yet another sack of Happy Meal toys to be given away, my mother suggested keeping the "cute" ones to use on a Christmas wreath or tree one day. I wasn't sure how that would work out, but I stashed them in my hope chest until I could decide what to do with them. Years later, Josh and I married, and found ourselves with virtually no Christmas decorations our first Christmas together. We didn't have a lot of money to spend on decorations either. So, I brought out those Happy Meal toys and Josh helped me add hooks to them delicately (and creatively), for our very first Christmas tree FULL of delightful ornaments. No one ever noticed they were not really Christmas ornaments... I have to say, they looked great! As the years passed, we did get some "real" Christmas ornaments and decorations, but I could not bring myself to get rid of the sentimental Happy Meal ornaments. Now Jax has them on his tree, and Joy has some on her tree too. I hope one day they will understand why they are so meaningful to me. Meanwhile, because they are character-themed, they make for a really CUTE theme for a kid's tree.
And, Joy's tree. Well. Her tree is... GIRLY. But we like it that way. It is no where near traditional, but it does incorporate "Joy" - a traditional Christmas greeting that also happens to be her name. Her tree is sparkly purple with teal, lime, and silver ornaments (from her Winter ONEderland first birthday party), along with a few of the previously discussed Happy Meal ornaments that fit the color scheme and girly appeal. Also, her tree has JOY-themed ornaments, which adds an additional personal touch.
I guess my absolute FAVORITE thing about Christmas is CHRISTMAS CARDS! It's no secret. I send a Christmas card to everyone in this country; not so much to show off my family, but because I secretly hope the trend catches on, and that the recipients will send us a Christmas card in return! It's called subliminal messaging. HA! It is the BEST thing to check the mail and get a handful of cards --especially the photo ones-- instead of a handful of bills! It's unfortunate, but the billers still send their mail during the Christmas season. However, it's just not as noticeable I guess, because those cheery Christmas cards are there to help me recover. I LOVE Christmas cards. I keep all Christmas cards that we have received each year in a coffee-table style scrapbook. I LOVE to look at them through the years. Christmas Cards are my favorite part of the Christmas season, and this is well-known in the Leggett household. No one; I repeat, NO ONE is allowed to check the mailbox in December except for ME!!!! Checking the mail and definitely opening the Christmas cards, is a serious offense that will yield serious tongue lashings by the Queen Bee here.
Since I love Christmas cards soooo much, I know that most all of you have already seen our Christmas card for 2010 -whether you really wanted to or not, - because you got one in the mail. But, because I love them so much, I'm posting our Christmas card here. again. yep, this is my blog, and I can do that. so, grin and bear it! and while you're at it, add my name to your 2011 Christmas card list. The top of the list will be just fine. Ok, thanks.
Also, a shout out to Amanda Smith of Reflections Photography for the super photos of my family!
Well. Merry Christmas to all.
don't mention the February part