This is the best cleaning schedule around!

This is the best cleaning schedule around!
Perfect for busy moms!

December 28, 2011



You are growing up so fast! I'm amazed at the changes and how quickly it all seemed to happen!

I love that you're able to brush your own teeth...but I miss your sweet gum filled smiles

I love that you take yourself to the bathroom...but I miss that cute little tushie wearing fat diapers

I love that you can comb and brush your own hair...but I miss pulling that long gorgeous hair up into pigtails.

I love that you can write sentences that tell a story...but I miss your baby scribbles

I love that you can buckle your own seatbelt...but I miss seeing you all curled up in your baby carrier

I love that you're getting so tall and even more beautiful...but I miss your short chubby little baby legs

I love that you want to wear nail polish and lip gloss...but I miss just putting baby lotion on you

I love that you can now read me a night time story...but I miss reading you Baby Books

I love that you feel confident enough not to hold my hand at the mall...but I miss pushing you in your stroller

I love that you come downstairs from Children's Church all on your own...but I miss you sleeping on my shoulder during service

I love that I don't have to carry a diaper bag anymore...but I sure miss feeding you your bottle

I love that you have awesome style and can pick out and dress yourself (and even your brother)....but I sure miss putting onsies and tiny outfits on you

I love you so much sweet Gracie! I am honored and so very blessed to be your Mommy!

Happy 7th Birthday baby!


December 26, 2011

Purposeful Christmas

*Catch up warned this post is picture heavy! *

Despite the cold and snow, December has to be one of my favorite months of the year! I love all the stuff that comes with the holidays. Spending time with family, baking, sweets, shopping, decorating, and the list goes on and on. This December I was on a quest to help take the commercialism out of the holidays for my family and try to focus more on giving and spending time together. Our church was hosting a weekly scrapbooking night, so I took advantage of those nights to get away and construct my 25 days of Christmas bunting. AdventEach pocket contained one activity. This activity could be to do something for someone else or it could be something for our family to do together. zoo lightsThe kids would take turns pulling the ticket each evening. A few examples of items were: Go see Christmas lights, make Christmas candy, bake Christmas cookies, delivery candy anonymously, donate coats/hats/gloves to the needy, go Christmas caroling.
Cookies 1
This helped set the tone for our holidays. It helped us all put things into perspective and I think truly begin to enjoy it more. My husband was a little reluctant to do something every single day (and yes there were a few days we just couldn't fit it in). I think in the end he would tell you that he was less of a Bah Hum Bug this year because of it!

Cookies 2

This year Gauge was the only one who had a Christmas program.

   Gauge's Christmas ProgramGauge Christmas Program 2 For whatever reason our local Elementary School doesn't include 1st graders in their holiday program (sad face). Even more sad was the fact that Gracie didn't get to go to Gauge's program because she had the Chicken Pox! Crazy huh? She had the vaccine.....but apparently she was one of the exceptions that can still contact a mild case. We were so thankful for her older cousin Jenna who stayed home with her.

We are very blessed to have both of our parents living in the same town. This means we divide up our holiday visits. We usually visit his parents a week prior to Christmas

Shipman Christmas

and my parents on Christmas Eve.

Richardson CousinsThis year our family was one of the Advent families to light candles and read scripture during the Christmas Eve service. I couldn't pass up this opportunity to get matching outfits for us!

We generally don't get home until late on Christmas Eve. This sometimes proves to be a challenge for poor Gauge to stay awake long enough to put out cookies for Santa but he managed to stay awake (barely).

Santa and Reindeer Letters to Santa Our kids had a wonderful Christmas morning filled with all kinds of goodies. 
Opening presents

The highlights were brand new bikes. We had such an uncommonly mild winter this year that the kids got to ride their new bikes on Christmas morning. That's pretty unheard of!


What a blessed Christmas we had with all of our loved ones!!!