Christmas Eve #2

Three years ago, we started some new traditions with Spencer that make Christmas a bit more enjoyable for us with our "visitation" and all. Basically, after we do Christmas with Matt's family on Christmas Day (we get Spencer around 1 or 2 in the afternoon), we do "Christmas Eve" all over again with him. So, Christmas night is actually our Christmas Eve. And our Christmas Morning is actually the day after Christmas. Anyway...
These pictures are from our Christmas Eve. We each open a new pair of PJs that we put on. Then Spencer gets a new Christmas book which he reads to us. This year we got him How the Grinch Stole Christmas so we also got him a stuffed Grinch that I found.


Christmas Day

Christmas Day we had lunch at Matt's parents' house and then exchanged gifts with his family. As gifts, I received an orange Rachel Ray skillet (yay!) and Matt & I received a fireplace screen and set that we wanted. Matt also got a new shirt. Spencer got some legos, video games and a book.

The pictures below are:
- Matt & Spencer (such a cute picture, too bad it came out blurry)
- me & Matt's niece
- the three grandchildren
- Matt's dad giving Matt's mom a gift (Spencer and Matt's brother and sister-in-law looking on)


Grandparents Day

This layout was done for me in a swap by Jill at Scrappin' Fun. I love all the papers and the "hidden" journaling was cute enough to leave unhidden since I had room! This is for Spencer's school album - in Kindergarten when his maternal grandparents came to his class and read.

Good Eats

This layout was done in a swap for me by Dianne at Scrappin' Fun. I just love it. Besides the fact that brown in my favorite color, I just love all the warm colors. All I did was add the photos and jot down a few dates. This is for Spencer's school album - pictures from Kindergarten when they were making food for different occasions.

Christmas Eve/Morning

Since Matt had to work on Christmas Eve night, I joined my sister and her family for the candlelight service at their church. Afterwards, we attended a party at my brother-in-law's cousin’s house. It was nice to able to hang out with them and have someone to spend the evening with.

I got up at 6 a.m. on this morning and began making breakfast to surprise Matt when he got home. We ate together and then exchanged one gift each. Ironically, we both opened shoes. Matt got new Timberlands and I got a pair of tall brown boots. Matt got some sleep while I made deviled eggs and prepared for the day.


Christmas Project

On Thursday, Spencer's class did presentations on their holiday projects. Spencer had chosen to research Italy's Christmas traditions. For his art projects, he made an Italian flag and a manger. Matt and I went to his class to watch the presentations, which are always so cute!

Trip to Arkansas

On my business trip to Arkansas last week, we were given the “grand tour” of all things Wal-Mart. We started at Wal-Mart Store #1 (which is actually it’s 3rd location).

Next we headed to the Corporate Headquarters, where we were able to go inside for a peek. It is so different than other home offices I’ve been in. Sam Walton didn’t believe in windows (they were a distraction) and the hall of vendor meeting rooms reminded us all of a hospital.
Here I am with a coworker (I'm on the left).

Next we were shown Sam Walton’s grave, and as would be expected, it was nothing elaborate at all.

We attempted to check out the visitor’s center, but it was closed. Luckily, we were able to squeeze in a stop on our last day. It was full of all things Sam Walton and Wal-Mart – a very interesting learning experience. And of course I couldn’t leave without a few souvenirs.

This small office was Sam's at the original 5-and-dime (which is where the visitor's center is located today).

This is an exact replica of Sam's office at the home office as it was when he passed away.

Making Christmas Decorations

Earlier in the month, I finally convinced Spencer to make some Christmas ornaments with me (and he actually enjoyed it once he started – gasp!). We filled 6 clear glass ornaments with rolled up strips of Christmas patterned paper, and then finished them off with some ribbon (a quick ornament idea that's become very popular with scrapbookers).

Spencer was on a roll so he started to make a paper chain garland from construction paper. His goal was to make the longest in the world. He didn’t quite make it but he did get one long enough to decorate his tree!

The photo of the single ornament is one Spencer made (he gave one to his teacher, has wrapped one for Matt and put the other on his tree in his room). The three in the tray are the ones I did.

Christmas Cookies

Last Sunday, Spencer and I worked together to bake about 40-50 sugar cookies in fun Christmas shapes (they weren’t from scratch, of course!). I’d bought a ton of Christmas cookie cutters and Spencer really seemed to like having all the options. After they were done baking, we decorated them with red & green royal icing and sprinkles. They were then passed on as gifts to neighbors.


Another quick gift idea...

Movie Night:
I purchased these popcorn boxes at World Market (20 for about $8). Each one has two bags of microwave popcorn in it and gift cards to Blockbuster. The gift card amounts varied depending on who the gift was going to. I used these for a few of our friends, Spencer's teacher, our hairdressers, mail carrier and newspaper carrier. These would work for gifts throughout the year as well.

Quick gift ideas

These treat bags are going to our neighbors with a card...
After Spencer and I made and decorated cookies, I put them in clear Christmas baggies, tied closed with curling ribbon. Then I tied on a cookie cutter to each one. (I got a bucket of 40 cookie cutters at Michael's for $10 and then used my 40% coupon - what a bargain!).

Rio gets a bath

We bathe Rio all the time but for some reason I decided to take a few pictures when Matt and Spencer tackled this chore a few weeks ago. Doesn't he just look thrilled???

Christmas Parade

Surprisingly, this was the first we'd been to our town's Christmas Parade - and it was pretty good. There were a lot of police, fire and emergency vehicles - kids from all the local schools - high school bands - local mascots - floats done by churches, businesses, etc. I didn't get very good photos because it was dark and the floats were constantly moving.


Our town had a Christmas festival this year called Christmasville. They had a lot of neat things: plenty of shopping, food, carriage rides, trolley rides, walking tours, games for the kids, gingerbread house contest, festival of trees, living nativity, and of course, the Christmas parade. Here are some snapshots...

New Ornaments

Since we had more trees this year, we were a little short on ornaments. We filled a lot of that space with plain balls, but I also picked up fun, new ornaments as I found ones I liked. Here are some new ones that really make me smile :)

Cowgirl Rock

My sister got this for me. I'm no cowgirl but I love all things cowboy/western/horses. I thought it was too cute!

Buffet with decorations

This is the buffet in our kitchen with some Christmas decorations - not the best picture, sorry.

Christmas Albums

I added these "labels" to my Christmas albums so I could put them in the den on display and they'd look nicer than the label maker printed labels I had before.


Thanksgiving Feast

OK, I'm a little late on this, but here are some shots of the Thanksgiving Feast that Spencer's class had at chool.

Kitchen Table

This is our table in the breakfast nook. The red placemats have a bit of a sparkle to them. The floating candle holders I use year round and switch them out for the seasons (or just use plain water). Right now they have pieces of our live Christmas tree floating in water.

Fun tree...

I found this cute tree at Pier1. I loved it and had to buy it but it doesn't have a great spot in the house. Hopefully I'll find a better "home" for it next year.

Bathroom Christmas Decorations

These are the Christmas decorations in our 1/2 bath downstairs. I love how the white looks with our everyday colors and decor items.

I made this wreath (not that it's very complicated) with ornaments purchased at the Southern Christmas show and "ice" garland from Michael's.

The metal basket is from Pier1 and works perfectly for an extra roll of tp. The hand towel I found at Kohl's.

These are two more word ornaments I found at the Southern Christmas show. I removed the hanging wire and propped them on our picture frames.