Hey guess what!? I actually did some drawings in a new journal I just started.  But, I don’t really feel like taking time right now to scan them.  It’s almost 3AM.  But I just uploaded our Christmas pics to our computer, so I thought that I would share a few. 🙂

One of our favorite Christmas traditions in our family is our Christmas Eve Jesus’ birthday party.  We go over to Nate and Cyndi’s…grandma and grandpa are with us too…and somehow the pajama elf always shows up there with pjs for all the kids…though we’ve never really seen him. 😉 And we have a birthday cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus.  I think we usually read a book, too.  But somehow we didn’t get a chance to do that this year.  But here is a picture of all the kids in their pjs and our Jesus’ birthday cake…with an animated candle thingy that played happy birthday…Sam had picked that up…it was a fun surprise!

The weekend before Christmas, we sent the kids to mom and dad’s so we could get some work done around the house and we wanted to redo/upgrade the playroom for the kids for Christmas.  We worked hard cleaning out a closet in the basement where we store tubs of stuff we have kept over the years.  Many tubs contain seasonal decorations, but there were several tubs of books, cds and maternity clothes that we needed to get rid of.  We also got rid of all Sam’s youth ministry stuff.  Here is a picture of all the bags…which are contractor bags, actually…lined up along the fence awaiting garbage collection day.

So after spending two days hauling garbage out of our house, we made a trip to IKEA and picked out some new things to help with storage and organization of the kids’ toys.  Then I got busy on the design and layout.  Jason came over and helped build a stage and by Christmas Eve night it was ready.  The kids came home on Monday, but we managed to keep them out of the basement the whole week, so it was a total surprise.  Here are some pictures of the room.  I know the paneling is not the most pleasant wall treatment, but we didn’t get the time to paint it…yet.  I’m thinking a light shade of blue would be a nice wall color…in the future, of course.

Here is what you see…

From IKEA: the play carpet, the Trofast storage units the Barnslig curtains, the green net thing hanging on the rod with all the dress up clothes, the very cool collapsible table and wooden stools, the picture frames (with our kids artwork) and magnetic board on the wall.

From Sam’s Club: three awesome and very soft pillows

And I made the letters that spell “PLAY” and the flag thingies and the paper circle curtain out of scrapbook paper.  The lights are old lights from the Christmas tree.  We already had the Trofast units that look like steps…and we love the tall ones combined with those, the whole wall is storage.  I have yet to label the tubs, but I do plan to do that with picture labels and velcro.  We also want to add a Kareoke machine and some better lighting…but we ran out of time and money.  But the kids were so surprised as you can see from Savannah’s face.  We have spent a lot of time down there and it’s great because I’ve been getting a lot of laundry done!  I can actually see the floor in my laundry room now! Awesome!

We’ve had a great break…spent lots of time at home hanging out, playing games, watching movies, building with (and sorting) Legos…we have all loved not being on a schedule.  It is kind of sad that it’s coming to an end.  But the kids are starting to complain of being bored and are fighting and so for that reason, I will be glad to be back to our regular routine…though, I have truly loved  spending time with my kids this Christmas.

In the Christmas Mood…

This morning I loved being at church…singing Christmas hymns and just the overall atmosphere with the advent and communion.  I thought to myself, I really love my church this time of year.  It’s so pretty with all the decorations: lighted garland and ribbons around the entire balcony and all the Christmas trees and poinsettias…it’s just so festive.  I really wanted to take a picture with my phone, but decided it probably wasn’t a great idea.  Anyway, while I was listening, I grabbed a pencil and an encouragement card and sketched the…actually I don’t even know…does it have a name? I will just call it the envelope holder…on the back of the pew in front of me.

My kids draw on these all the time.  I have tried to provide pads of paper for them or get them the activity pages that are on the table for kids – to keep them busy during the service…but these are the favorites.  I don’t know why.  They make some pretty cute drawings on them sometimes.  I know, I need to teach them what they are really for, now that they can all write a sentence, maybe they could start encouraging people.  And I am no better, since I did it myself…but I will just say for the record, that this card already had a drawing on the other side that Karson had made before he left for Children’s Church.

We decorated our tree this weekend.  It was me and the kids.  I put it off…for a few days.  Last year, putting the tree up was disasterous…but this year, we actually had a lovely time.  Turned on Pandora and listened to some great Christmas music.  The kids all helped and Jasmin danced around saying “Ho, ho, Santa” in her little baby talk voice…so cute.  I think it turned out great.  We bought new lights, so hopefully this year we won’t be having lights burn out before Christmas as has happened the last two years!  We still have more decorations to get up, but the main stuff is done.  I think we will be able to finish it up tomorrow night.

My latest project…

Just about a week ago I started on a new project…painting the entry way…it’s a small room with dk. reddish carpet.  Here is a picture I found (after like 45 minutes of searching through albums on our computer) from last thanksgiving.

The room where the kids table is at…that’s the one I am working on.  We call it the red room (because of the carpet color). Notice the super ugly wallpaper…and border.  Just about every room in our house had wallpaper when we bought this place…slowly I have been stripping it down to repaint it.  It took the longest to get the walls prepped.  I did not enjoy that at all.  I also had to paint/repair the ceiling in this room as well.  So I was watching Color Splash on HGTV…and they did a striped pattern with two different paint sheens…same color… and I got to thinking…how cool would it be if I did that with freehand swirls all over…using the same color paint would keep the pattern from being too busy, and create a subtle whimsical effect.  It pretty much turned out exactly as I imagined it.  I love it.  Of course, like any project I ever start…it’s not finished.  But it will be, by next weekend.  Next weekend is the cookie party and I want it finished by then, at least that’s my goal! So what do you think?  It was hard to photograph…but what you are looking at is flat paint with the satin paint of the same color painted in a pattern of swirls.