Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beautiful Sunset

Tonight we had a beautiful sunset that I just had to post. Eric took some beautiful pictures outside our house. We've had some nasty weather with wind, rain, and thunderstorms the past couple of weeks so a sunny Sunday was a welcome relief.

A Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas. On Christmas Eve we watched the program on PBS with the Tabernacle Choir. We used our surround sound for the first time, and it sounded amazing. We were all in awe by the music and performance...even the kids loved it.

The kids said they had one of their best Christmases this year. We lucked out and ended up getting almost everything they wanted. They were spoiled, as usual, but we only have a few short years with them and Christmas only comes once a year. We're so grateful for all our blessings and all our friends and family this time of year. We did miss having family and friends around this year, but we were fortunate to have a visit from Dad and Collette the day after Christmas. It was so fun to see them. Once again, sorry about the long post, but, as usual, I couldn't decide which pictures to weed out. Walking in Christmas morning

Getting excited about what they see...

The girls love the house and they all check out their stockings.

Jarem peaking at what's for breakfast.

We all sit down to eat our family's tradition of the braided almond roll for breakfast with fruit from our stockings and egg nog or hot chocolate with candy canes.

Alex showing me his Physics solar powered workshop that he got.

Jar-Jar playing with the truck Mack from the movie Cars.

The girls break away from the gifts to play with their house.

Tessa asked for clothes among other things for Christmas and was so excited to open this gift with clothes (usually we get the "clothes look" when they open clothes).

Jesikah was very excited when she opened this Fairy book with beautiful pop-ups inside. She had borrowed it from her friend, Nicole, in Washington this past summer.

Alex excited about his Gators hat from Grandma.

Jarem checking out his Planet Heroes.

Tessa opening up a Pet Shop.

An alarm to set up for his bedroom door--what could be more exciting!

Another present she was dying to have...a cash register for her restaurant.

Alex excited about getting a camping mess kit. He wants to go camping tomorrow, but Eric isn't too fond of the idea.

Tessa playing with her mini "My Little Pony" baking set.

Alex's favorite present: SOCKS! (joking) Tessa sang her "Christmas Sock Rock" that she learned at school when Alex opened his socks. It was very funny!

Eric "un-packaging" things while Jarem patiently waits.

Look...a hot wheels set for Jarem.

Could it be clothes...from the facial expression I'm thinking yes.

Tessa playing with her horse gift that she gets every year.

Jarem trying on his new clothes from Grandma.

Jesikah in her new puffy vest that she's been dying to have.

Our new beautiful plant from Mom and Dad! Thanks so much!

Santa's Workshop...

Jesikah wanted a big dollhouse for Christmas, so after looking around, we found a nice one for a great price with only one catch--you have to build it yourself. :) Eric was excited about the project and Alex wanted to wire it for electrical, so we decided to involve Alex and let him help build it for his sisters. These are some step-by-step pictures of the building process. As it turned out, it was a much bigger project than we originally anticipated. It required a lot of painting, cutting, assembling, and gluing, but we finally finished it the night before Christmas eve, whew! Eric still excited about the project. :)

Alex and Eric putting in the electrical.
The roof is on!
Pre-painted view of the inside
Alex painting the shutters.
Putting in the windows has real working lights!!
Yes, even I helped. I did a lot of painting and shingled about half of the roof, and then I picked out the furniture (of course).
Eric fitting the shingles into the corners--they all had to be cut to the right angle in order to fit.
Eric painting the many, many porch rail posts.
The porch is finally on, and we're finished!
Back view
Even though it was a lot of work, especially for Eric, it was very rewarding for us to see how excited the girls were. It seems like every couple of years we try to take on a homemade project and it always ends up being more meaningful.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Attending the Christmas Carol

I got to attend the Christmas Carol play with the 2nd graders at Tessa's school. We had a good time, but I was not informed that they were playing for an hour at the park before the going to the play. Unfortunately, I only wore a long sleeved shirt with no coat, so I FROZE. Needless to say, I was VERY happy to get in the warm theater to watch the play. The Roxy Theater is very small and old, but the play was well done. I had a good time with my girl. This is a picture that I took on my phone of Tessa and I that day.

Artist's rendition of the Roxy. It was clean and cozy, but small and old.

Riverwalk Lights

We went down by the river on Friday night to the riverwalk and downtown city hall area here in Clarksville. They had thousands of lights along the river and down the old main street with Christmas music and Santa. It was festive, although cold. Our oldest decided he didn't want to participate,(teenagers, sigh...) so he put a bit of a dent in our evening, but regardless, we still enjoyed the lights and the festive atmosphere. I had my camera, but unfortunately the memory card was still in the computer, so I took a few pictures with my phone. Sorry about the poor quality...
Tessa paused long enough for a picture.

Eric, the girls, and Jarem entering the Rainbow Tunnel. The kids called it the rainbow road from Nintendo MarioKart.

Town hall Christmas tree

I loved the 3 trees in the arched window at the city hall...very pretty!

Old Main Street with lighted tree-lined streets

Jarem is standing by the Santa Train. We only got a picture of the engine, but the train was actually quite long.

Jesikah and Jarem standing in front of the man pulling in the Christmas tree he just cut down.

This one was taken from Eric's camera, which seems to be a better quality.