Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Graydon!

Graydon is three!

Tears formed in my eyes in the operating on the morning of December 31st, 2008 when the doctor said, "It's a boy!" Andy and I welcomed 2009 in the hospital with Anderson Cooper, Mountain Dew & Reese's Pieces, and our BRAND NEW SON!

And that brand new son is now three!

Graydon showed off his intelligence early on in the year by learning all of his letters and numbers. Shapes and colors shortly followed. And then his stubbornness shined through when we attempted potty training. He gets lots of time-outs for hitting Bella and Curtis but will then show his tender side by giving out random hugs and kisses. After rough sleeping habits as a baby, he has more than made up for it by being my champion napper - often three hours!

Graydon's list of favorites include: Diego, Dora, chicken nuggets, apples, "flying" (riding) bikes, baths, his froggy blanket, and the word "no".

To describe my feelings for him in one word, I'd have to say, "smitten". I can't seem to get enough of this little guy!

Happy Birthday Grady-Boy! We sure do love you!

Graydon's Third Year from Karen Kilps on Vimeo.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas celebration in our home.

But first, I want to backtrack to a few days before Christmas. Bella came home from school with this masterpiece.

I was pretty impressed. I don't think I've ever made a house that looked so good.

Cookie baking and decorating time:

It was Graydon's nap time. I really intended to put him down, but he got so excited about decorating cookies.

Bella has become an old pro at this. 
 It's hard to tell my cookies apart from hers.

But I bet you'll never guess which cookie is Graydon's. 

Although he had fun, in hindsight I'm thinking that I should have put him down for a nap. He was quite the bear that evening.

* * *

Christmas Eve

I think that Bella looked so beautiful all dressed up!

And she loved it!

I was able to take some photos of her while the boys were napping.

I ended up having to wake them up to go to church so I was only able to take two quick photos of my handsome little boys.

(Don't look too excited Graydon.)

All week, Bella had been practicing the words and tune to 'Away in a Manger'. She and another little girl sang it as a duet at the beginning of our Christmas Eve service. Here is a video of it. They did a great job!

Bella Singing on Christmas Eve from Karen Kilps on Vimeo.

I always look forward to getting a family photo on Christmas Eve.

After church, we let the kids open up one present before heading up to bed.

Pajamas for everyone!!!

* * *
Christmas morning:

"Happy Birthday Jesus!"

The first gift of the morning was actually opened by me. Bella couldn't wait for me to see what she made at school. I love my new votive!

Then it was the kids' turns.

I was super excited to find this little box of instruments. They are the first thing that Curtis gravitates toward when he's in the church nursery. Now he has his own cymbals, tambourine, triangle, maracas, and keyboard.

One of Bella's gifts was a jewelry box that you 
can decorate. She got to work right away.

A couple of days before Christmas, a church friend dropped off these beautiful, handmade stockings for the kids. To say that I love them is an understatement. I treasure them. Each stocking must have taken hours to make. I don't even think that this photo does them near the justice they deserve.

And here are my lovelies with their lovely stockings.

Christmas morning snuggles.

I call this his GQ pose.

After a couple of hours, Bella finished her jewelry box!

We enjoyed a breakfast of french toast, sausage, and pineapple and then it was off to church again.  Tomorrow morning we heading back to Wisconsin for some more Christmas celebrating.  Can't wait!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas came a little early. . .

A package from Aunt Bia arrived earlier this week.  The kids were EXCITED!!!

They each got a toy, a book, and some clothes. They LOVED everything! Such a fun night.

The next day, Curtis showed some appreciation for Mommy's chili. He literally licked the plate clean.

And he's getting pretty good with his spoon (at least when he's eating something sticky like yogurt).

Today was the children's Christmas program at church. Bella delivered her lines perfectly! "We are little candles sending rays of light, telling all the people Christ is born tonight!"

Some church friends wrapped up a bunch of little gifts for the kids. Graydon opened up his and Curtis's gifts while I made lunch.

And here he is realizing that the presents were all gone.

Bella went out with a friend after church and came home with this pretty picture on her face.

One more week until Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Christmas Tradition

We keep this Advent Tree on an end table in our dining room.  This is our third Christmas with it. I was in the first trimester of my pregnancy with Curtis when I made this and I still remember how nauseous I felt while painting these boxes. Totally worth it though! Each box contains a Hershey kiss for each kid as well as a slip of paper with a simple Christmas activity for us to do. The kids really look forward to opening a box each day.

Here are our activities for this Christmas season:
  1. Make a Christmas craft (we had a few of those seasonal dollar crafts from Jo-Ann's)
  2. Attend the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Wood Park
  3. Make Christmas cards
  4. Light the second candle in our Advent Wreath
  5. Decorate the kitchen window for Christmas 
  6. Read the story of St. Nicholas and leave out shoes
  7. Make confetti ornaments
  8. Make peppermint hot chocolate (hot chocolate stirred with candy canes)
  9. Do something nice for someone
  10. Make handprint/footprint reindeer
  11. Light the third candle in our Advent Wreath
  12. Sing Christmas songs
  13. Watch 'A Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol'
  14. Read a special Christmas story
  15. Go on a Christmas scavenger hunt around the house
  16. Attend the Living Nativity in Mt. Laurel
  17. Back and decorate Christmas cookies
  18. Light our fourth Advent Candle
  19. Complete a color-by-number Christmas tree
  20. Pray for Tamene (the boy we sponsor through World Vision)
  21. Watch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'
  22. Complete 'Mr. Snowman Mad Libs'
  23. Read the Nativity story
  24. Go to the Christmas Eve service at church
  25. Light our Jesus candle and sing 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus!
Here are a couple of the crafts we've made:

And the boys painting

That's about all I have for photos. Sorry about that. Here is what I've been really busy with:

The majority of my free time has been spent crocheting away! My business is doing pretty well. So well that I had to temporarily put it on vacation so that I could complete my current orders and then have a little down time for Christmas and our trip back to Wisconsin. I'm down to my last twelve hats now so I am getting there!

I'll try to take more photos this week. :)