Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back in the game. Post-Holiday return!

So, I guess it's time to get back into things here on the blog, huh? I've taken enough time "off," I suppose! I know a lot of folks post a bunch around Christmas, but we have had such an incredibly busy winter with Christmas prep (including making our yearly photo book, which I always put off and then need about a month to make it just in time), lots of sinus infections, Christmas travel (and I'm not going to blog while visiting family out of state - it's my time to just be with family and that's all), and Ryan working LOTS of overtime. During the first half of January, Camden is also tracked out of school, so we've been busy doing things while he is home this month, as well. Lots of good things (some not so fun things) going on lately. BUT it's time to get back into it here...

We did have a great Christmas, even if it was more rushed and full of allergies than we would have liked.

Before we even went anywhere, though, we had stuff to do at home...

Teacher gifts! Camden's in middle school now, so he has a LOT of teachers (and we have to add in some extras, of course, such as all of the librarians because he is always there and has gotten to know them pretty well). We made some hot cocoa mix, made snowmen marshmallows, and put it all together in a mason jar. Camden wrote a personal letter to each teacher to add in with the card. I hope they all liked their gift!! I know some people don't give gifts once the kids are in middle school. I just can't stop, though. These teachers work so hard every day, working with classrooms full of kids. And middle schoolers! Those cannot be easy some days! ;) I wish I could give so much more than a cute mason jar with hot cocoa!! They deserve so much more.

We also gave one to the mailman. We waited for him one afternoon (to make sure it was our regular guy, too!), and then ran out when he was approaching our house. Aiden ran, holding the jar (with me behind hoping he did not drop it!), yelling "Merry Christmas!!" And let me tell you, that mailman was grinning and taken by surprise and said to us, "You all just made my day." And that most certainly made mine!

Photo coasters I made for the grandparents. They all got a few of the same, and then they each got some others that we picked out specifically for them. That's a lot of coasters, you say? Well, there are four sets of grandparents (and we also made a few for Camden's biological father and his family). Each set of grandparents got six coasters, so...yeah, that's a lot of coasters!

Aiden with his very own (felt) Christmas tree that we made together one afternoon. And an apple. And cheesy grin. :)

We went to KY and WV for Christmas to be with all of our parents (there are four sets, so divide that up between 10 days, and it can get pretty busy!). Our first full day in KY, we visited with my great grandmother, who turned 92 in January. I had to hold back tears during the whole visit and afterward... Seeing her and just talking and hanging out really made me miss being back closer to all of my extended family. Made me miss "home."

 Does she not look absolutely amazing at 92 years old?! 
(I hope this runs in the family...)

Family stop #1 - My dad, stepmom, and sister

 My sister and my son... We took this because they accidentally matched. I love it because I never realized how much they look alike! It's kind of crazy, and I'm not sure how I didn't see it before!

Cousins. Two of my brother's kids hanging out with mine. They even make the same goofy faces...

 Aiden checking out the gifts I made for all the grandparents. 
This is my mom and stepdad. Christmas morning.

 Friends. BEST Friends. I'm lucky to have these folks in my life. 
More people to make me miss "home."

These little guys almost have no choice but to be best friends. 
Good thing they don't seem to mind!
They spent two entire evenings just running around the house together. 
Such a joy to see!

 Ryan's mom opening her homemade grandparent gift.

 And his dad and stepmom, too. 
(Note to self, taking a break from pictures to 
enjoy the moments means you come home with less pictures, wishing you took more.)

Getting ready to leave for home. We kept trying to get some good family shots. This one is great because it shows...neither child looking at the camera and both looking kind of silly, mama has some super swollen eyes thanks to allergies, and daddy is the only half-normal looking one here (and he's looking pretty good!).

We had a blast, got to see a lot of folks not pictured, and just enjoyed being with family for the holidays. Part of it was sad for me because, for the second year in a row, we had to miss extended family gatherings on my mom's and dad's sides of the family. (I have a huge family. Christmas is the only time I get to see much of them, since we live in another state. Unfortunately, Christmas gatherings with all of them happened when we weren't able to be there due to school schedules, etc. That was a bit tough.) It was nice getting home, though. Aiden got homesick while we were traveling, and after a couple nights kept saying he wanted to be back home in his own bed. Who knows, maybe one day we won't have to travel so much to see our family...

Now on to the new year! I've got lots of posts to get on here soon!! There are some awesome giveaways in the works already. Always lots going on. Just wish there was lots more time, right?! ;)

1 comment:

Amanda English said...

Well worth the wait!!! Love the Aiden / Mailman story!!! SO CUTE!!!