Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Truly Magical December

This past December was probably the most magical month I have ever had as a mom.

Quincy finished his first season of soccer with a smile on his face and a stronger friendship with his buddy Jackson (from preschool)

Celebrating Natan & Larel's birthday with the family

For Quincy's birthday weekend, we headed up North to Williams, AZ with the Stromski family for The Polar Express at the Grand Canyon Railroad. Since Quincy's love for trains continues to grow, we knew this would be a great year to try this out.

First thing was trying on the hotel room for size. The kids broke it in well.

The kids met Mrs. Claus before the train ride

Happy Birthday my beautiful baby boy

SO much fun with our dear friends!!!

Have you ever seen this kid so happy?

Palomita was really serious about her cookies

Approaching the "North Pole"

There's Santa and his elf with the "Nice" List - our kids saw their names!

Santa has entered the train car!

Santa giving the kids their bells - so when they hear it jingle, they will always BELIEVE

This was the look I got when he found out the ride was over

Paloma was wondering what these magical hand warmers were

Still in our PJ's the next morning post-breakfast

Paloma & Mason (one month exactly apart in age) were inseparable on the trip

We had such a great time with our kids and our friends. It was truly a magical magical magical experience. Next time, we will try to go closer to Christmas, because then we could experience SNOW, too!

And as if we hadn't had enough of trains after the Polar Express, we headed straight to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, for Maia's 5th birthday. It's amazing to see how fast these kids are growing before all our eyes.

After 7 years of an off-again/on-again search, and about 8-10 churches later, we finally found a church to call home. And this month, we officially became members of Coolwater Christian Church. So happy to be a part of this amazing congregation. And we are so thankful to our next-door neighbors, the Huggins', who invited us back in the beginning of our search.

Quincy as a horse in the "Walk-in Christmas Pageant" at church. He took his role very seriously, and even whinnied and neighed while in costume.

Paloma as a sheep - she looked so stinkin' cute!

Makena was an angel - so sweet

After Christmas, a very pregnant & beautiful Becky came to visit us with Scott & little Noah. I can't wait to meet her new baby next month!!

It was great to get the kids together and spend some QT with them

I just loved these pics of Paloma on Christmas morning

For months I have been planning the kids' birthday party. It's what I love to do. And when I picked out our Peter Pan costumes for Halloween, I knew then that I would get us all a second use out of them at a themed birthday party. So the planning began... I may have overdone it a bit, considering the time of year is already so hectic, but it makes me happy, and at the end of the day it was TOTALLY worth it.

Here's a look at Neverland, and the kids who don't ever want to grow up

Marshmallow Pirate Pops!


A Pixie!


Deciding between chocolate-dipped Oreos, or Pixie Sticks

Hanging out on the plank of the "Jolly Roger"

Reading the clues on our "treasure hunt"

PETER PAN himself!

Some of the details: Tinkerbell trapped in a jar, Tee Pees, Captain Hook moustaches, Peter Pan's shadow

Feathers & Treasure Chests filled with beads and gold bars & coins (chocolate)

The "buried treasure" for the end of the treasure hunt

It was such an amazing day. I could NOT have done it without Solon (my pirate who got excited for the party at the last minute, got the yard "crackin'" and went to go pick up the pizza in full costume), and Lisa (my awesome mother-in-law who made my house sparkle, just to get messy again from 20+ kids, who provided the yummiest snacks, and who is just all around amazing), and Tony (who is responsible for all these beautiful pictures, and that ridiculously cool pirate ship sign which he did free-hand!!!). Special thanks also to Aunt Shelley and Alaina who showed up early, and helped me prep & stage the food. Without them, we would not have been ready in time. See what I mean about biting off more than I could chew? But seeing all the kids faces full of smiles, new friends being made, some tears when they had to leave, and one special Pixie asked if she could have her birthday party at my house - seriously - it was all worth it. Thank you to all our family and dear friends who took time out from their busy post-Christmas weekend to spend a little time in Neverland with us. These are memories that our family will carry for a very long time.

And finally, to wrap up a simply wonderful month for our family, on Sunday, December 30 (yes the morning AFTER the birthday bash), we had our children dedicated at church. A child dedication is a time for us as parents to present our children before God and the congregation asking for grace and wisdom in carrying out our responsibilities. Our awesome Pastor David created a special blessing for each of the children based on the meaning of their names and the significance of their names found in scripture. He ended with a special prayer, that our children will know and love God in their lives. It was so special and wonderful, and we are so appreciative of the time and effort our Pastor put into the blessings for each child.

Happy New Year from our family to yours!

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