52/52: Son

The final book in “The Giver” series. It was darker and failed to answer a question I’ve had since reading “The Giver,” but still enjoyable. Also finished in less than 24 hours.


52/52: Messenger

Part 3 of “The Giver” series. I finished in one afternoon/evening. ūüôā

52/52: The lost week

I haven’t read anything since Monday night when I sat down to watch Downton Abbey.

So good! ¬†I’m half-way through season 2 and hope to finish and see the start of season 3 before the next episode airs.

52/52: The Graduate

Neither Jon nor I have ever seen “The Graduate” so we rented it this weekend. I was surprised to find out the movie was based a book so I used Christmas iTunes money to purchase it. I’m glad I saw it and read the book from a cultural standpoint, but I don’t need to see/read it again.


52/52: One Bite At A Time

I’ve had this book stored on my hard drive for a long, long time. ¬†I finally took the opportunity to read through the different tasks over the break. ¬†I’m familiar with most of the concepts even if we don’t practice them… yet. ¬†(Although, I will likely never give up shampoo. ¬†I’ve reduced my usage and I’m okay with that.)

New Year’s Questions



  • Cereal: Fruit Loops
  • Veggie: Carrots
  • Drink: Water
  • Toy: Star Wars guys
  • TV Show: Star Wars The Clone Wars
  • Game:¬†Cars Trouble
  • Book: Star Wars Sticker Books, Ramona, The BFG
  • Resturant: The Hot Dog Place
  • Holiday: Christmas
  • Animal: River otters and sea otters

If you could change your name, what would you choose? Jar-Jar

What do you love about each person in our family? Daddy: He plays Star Wars with me. ¬†Mommy: She snuggles me. ¬†Grace: She gets stuff off the ceiling for me… like sticky frogs. ¬†Thomas: He plays the whistle all the time.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?  NYC

What are some of your wishes for this year? I wish to ride on a camel.



  • Cereal: Fruit Loops
  • Veggie: Cooked carrots
  • Drink: Princess Kool-Aid
  • Toy: Trampoline
  • TV Show: Doc McStuffins
  • Game: The number card work game at school
  • Book: I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
  • Resturant: Noodles and Company
  • Holiday: Christmas
  • Animal: Winston (the dog next door)

If you could change your name, what would you choose? Trish

What do you love about each person in our family? Daddy: Perhaps everything. ¬†Mommy: The whole body. ¬†Joey: He’s a good big brother. ¬†Thomas: He’s cute.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year? ¬†Paul’s house.

What are some of your wishes for this year? I can’t tell you because then they wouldn’t come true.

Thomas (obviously observation based):


  • Cereal: Cheerios
  • Veggie: Corn and cucumbers
  • Drink: Milk
  • Toy: Joey’s Star Wars guys
  • TV Show: Mickey Mouse
  • Game: Peek-A-Boo or “I’m going to get you!”
  • Book: He likes to listen to the Ramona books at bedtime.
  • Resturant: Mexican
  • Holiday: Anything with sweets, especially cookies.
  • Animal: Dogs, especially Winston.

52/52: Nobody’s Child


I used some Christmas iTunes money to buy this. It certainly wasn’t the best book I’ve read, but it was a good one for Christmas break. Think beach read, but a little darker.

December 2012

Right after Thanksgiving we went to our favorite tree lot to pick up a tree. ¬†Our tree was so¬†beautiful¬†I picked it out before we had pulled into the lot! ¬†The tree was huge, full, dark green and smelled heavenly. ¬†It ate up the living room, but we were okay with that. ¬†ūüôā



Then it started to do this:


This was the daily clean-up. ¬†By mid-December you could snap the branches right off. ¬†Obviously not safe. ¬†Thankfully, the staff at Shelton’s offered to replace the tree at no cost if we simply brought the old tree back. ¬†Our new tree was a little more Charlie Brown-like, but it was also perfect. ¬†(And, being totally honest it fit much better in our living room than the first one did.)


We went to the DTSB tree lighting in early December…


And visited DTSB Santa later in the month.


We decorated a gingerbread house.


We made salt-dough ornaments.

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We played in the snow… however little there may have been! The kids made their first snowman of the season.


We made music…


And cookies.  Lots of cookies.  (Thomas woke up and went to sleep asking for cookies.)

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After reading a book about Hanukkah we ate jelly doughnuts. ¬†(Neither Joey nor Grace had ever tried one…. ?!?)


Had a fantastic time celebrating “Spirit Week” at school.


We really took the time this year to talk about Jesus. ¬†The kids have always known that Christmas is the celebration of Christ’s birth, but we really emphasized it this year and I think they got it. ¬†They¬†thoroughly¬†enjoyed lighting our Advent wreath, singing songs, attending Advent Camp at church and completing their “gifts for the King.” ¬†Seeing their intentional kindness towards others was certainly the highlight of my Advent/Christmas season.

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We traveled to celebrate with Jon’s side of the family. ¬†As with Thanksgiving, it was a busy house, but Joey, Grace, and Thomas really enjoyed spending time with their cousins.


We celebrated Christmas Eve with my side of the family. ¬†I will always miss my mom when we get together. ¬†I see so much of what I loved in her in my sisters that, even thought she’s not here, I feel her love. ¬†We decided to do an adult Secret Santa this year and it was so much fun! ¬†I am already looking forward to next year. ¬†(The masks were borrowed from my nephews. ¬†I love how our dad is just hanging out in the background.)


Santa came!


We always leave a cookie or two for Santa as well as some fudge for him to take home to Mrs. Claus. ¬†One of my favorite memories as a child is my mom reading the note that Santa left for us. ¬†Santa has left the kids a note each year since 2008… it’s become a new favorite of mine to write the note.


We added the final ornament to our Christmas Countdown.


We spent Christmas Day in PJs playing with our new things.  The whole kitchen was covered in creatures!  They really enjoyed everything this year and I loved watching them play with their own things, but also share in playing with each others gifts as well.

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We spent NYE with our friends next door. ¬†The food was awesome, we had a lot of laughs and ended the night decorating Chinese paper lanterns. ¬†(We tried to launch them, but the wind was too strong… another night!)

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The kids were nothing short of incredible and made it until 10:30 before heading to bed. ¬†(I think Joey would have made it if we let him.) ¬†Jon and I finished out 2012 watching Casablanca and the ball drop. ¬†We drank our pink champagne¬†(love you, mom!) while we talked about 2012 and our hopes for 2013. ¬†It’s without a doubt one of my favorite date nights of the year. ¬†I’ve spent nearly as many years celebrating the new year with him as without and that just makes my heart happy.


2012 has been both challenging and awesome but at the end of each day, there is no question that we’re blessed. ¬†Happy New Year!