Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Christmas Train

Last night Greg, Kailey and I went to something called The Christmas Train, at a local church. It was AWESOME!! We were not sure what to expect, but our friends that had already been there said it was something really special.
When we arrived at the church and went in the main building we were greeted by friendly faces and THOUSANDS of Christmas lights, about 10 Christmas trees, live Christmas music, and of course SANTA!! Once we made our way to the ticket counter we noticed other booths serving hot cocoa, pizza, cotton candy, cookies, etc. I got a small hot cocoa and boy was it yummy.

We purchased our tickets for the train and while we waited we enjoyed listening to the music, and Kailey and Greg had fun dancing. They also had a really cute area set up for the kids with bounce houses, santa and really cute Christmas activities.

Once we boarded the train Kailey started yelling "ChooChoo"" ChooChoo" she was so very excited! The train ride lasted about 12 minutes and it shared the true meaning of Christmas with all of the passengers, it was so special and touching. I was really glad to see so many people interested in something like this. It is really refreshing to have a night out with like-minded people.

Anyone living in the Houston area should check it out- here is the link

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Baking...

This past week I pretty much baked something Christmas-like EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!! This is how it went down in the Blanchard Kitchen:

Monday: Make (from scratch) all the dough for 12 DOZEN cookies

Tuesday: Baked 12 DOZEN Christmas Cookies
Wednesday: Make 2 Christmas Tree Cakes and 4 pounds of fudge
Thursday: Make 100 edible snowmen
Friday: Make 2 loaves of homemade breakfast bread, and make divinity.


Kailey and I had LOTS of fun baking it up this past week, but boy did I get in over my head. My problem... to many new recipes to try! Everything turned out fantastic especially the 144 cookies and the edible snowmen.

The kitchen is closed for the rest of the year, so don't call me if you need something baked!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Crafts

Kailey has been VERY busy this month making various Christmas crafts. We have made everything from ornaments to mini trees to our own Christmas cards to gift bags and EVERYTHING in between. Kailey LOVES art so it has made the season very fun for both of us!

We decided to make a few special gift bags for the extra special presents. Kailey painted the bags with fingers, toes and paintbrushes. They really turned out cute and I am sure the reciepients will love them as well.

Elf on the Shelf...

This year we started something fun for Kailey (and future children) at Christmas time. It is called "Elf on a Shelf."
It's meant to be a new Christmas tradition for your family. We've been participating since Thanksgiving and boy are we hooked!
Here's how it works. Mr. Elf comes to visit your home during the holidays. He watches over the home and reports back good deeds to Santa each night. The next morning he comes back and sits in a new location. Your kids get to search him out each day. Kailey LOVES this part! On Christmas Eve he returns to the North Pole and stays their until next year.
Here's how it goes at our house: every night before bed we read the book "Elf on the Shelf" and kiss Mr. Elf goodnight, then Kailey goes to bed, when she wakes up the first thing we do is hunt for the elf. She LOVES this part! We search high and low andHere's how it goes down at our house. Once we find the elf we kiss him good morning and go on with our day. I think as Kailey gets older she will better understand the idea that the elf reports back to Santa part, but for now she is enjoying hunting for him and reading the cute book.
We named our elf something special but for now we are keeping his name within our family.
Just another special touch to the Christmas season!

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Pictures...

oops... these didn't load onto the last blog:

Christmas Countdown...

So, we decided to start a Christmas countdown 12 days before Christmas. We thought that it would help Kailey to see how many days left until she can tear into all of the presents she has been looking at under the tree. We made a paper garland with red and green paper, we have 12 loops, and each day we cut one off, so we can all see how many days are left until the craziness of present opening begins. Kailey LOVES to use the garland as a scarf and is really great at cutting each days loop off (with her safety sissors of course).

Christmas Pictures

On December 2nd we had Kailey's Christmas pictures taken and boy are they cute. It was so hard to decide which ones to buy. She did really great and smiled the whole time and really LOVED being the center of attention... imagine that?!?!
Below are a few of our favorites...


Friday, December 12, 2008

Silly Little Kailey

The last few nights Kailey has been quite the silly girl at dinner. A few nights ago she started to lean in for a kiss and then when we would get close she would move and then CRACK UP! She made a game of it, leaned in for the kiss and then tricked us! She was really having fun being silly. When I pulled the camera out she started to pretend to kiss the camera and then giggle- so silly. She brings so much joy to our lives, moments like this remind me of how very blessed Greg and I are!

Dear Santa...

A Mom's Letter to Santa (from my friend Kathryn's blog)

Dear Santa,

I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor and sold Sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over Several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my daughter's red Crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, 'Yes, Mommy' to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting 'Don't eat in the Living room' and 'Take your hands off your brother,' because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a Vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,MOM...

P.S. One more can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Houston... We have a space shuttle...

Today we hosted a playdate and while we were having fun one of my friends got a phone call from her hubby letting us know that the space shuttle would be flying by... We waited until the specific time and then headed outside... SURE ENOUGH, we saw the HUGE plane with the space shuttle on top! It was flying away and we were a little disappointed, but then it made a turn, headed back and flew RIGHT DOWN OUR STREET! It was so cool! It was flying really low so of course the kids (and moms) waved. We live right by NASA so that is why it was flying in near us, but boy was it cool to see the actual space shuttle that goes into space. I wish the pictures were cleared, I think my lense is dirty.

Winter Wonderland!

Late yesterday afternoon we had a wonderful treat... SNOW! It started snowing about 4pm and continued all through the night. It was AMAZING and so BEAUTIFUL! We enjoyed watching the snow fall, sipping on hot cocoa and of course playing in the snow! We built a snowman, had a friendly snowball fight and made snow angels. Our house looked like a winter wonderland covered in snow. The last time it snowed in Houston was on Christmas Eve of 2004 so all of our neighbors were out enjoying the snow, too! This wasn't Kailey's first time to play in the snow, but she sure was excited. We see snow every Christmas when we go to Oklahoma! She got to wear her new snowsuit and was quite the little snow princess. I was so excited to play in the snow I forgot to take pictures, it wasn't until later that I remembered so I went out again and snapped a few pics.

Now it DEFINITELY feels like Christmas!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Decorating Diva!

Over the last few weeks we have had LOTS of fun getting ready for Christmas. We have 9 trees throughout the house-- what can I say, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! Kailey has been quite the little helper this year. She has really enjoyed decorating and re-decorating the smaller trees and I must say she has done a great job! I think Kailey may love this time of year as much as me!! It is really fun to see her in action this year. Last year was her first Christmas and we really had fun, but this year is SO MUCH BETTER! This is our first year in our new house, and Kailey actually realizes that there is something very cool going on. We have LOTS of fun Christmas activites planned so stay tuned for more pictures and updates. I need to get a picture of our main tree too.

Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Prayers for our friends...

Dear Friends,

I am asking all of you to please pray for our friends Hetaher and Jon and their dear sweet baby. Baby Hayes was born 6 weeks ago and he was the baby that they had dreamed of for many years. On Saturday night, Jon and Heather went to sleep and when they woke up they found baby Hayes not breathing and unresponsive. The medical examiner has declared his death SIDS. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for our friends and for their sweet, innocent baby. This is our second friend this year who has lost a child to SIDS. I cannot even imagine the anguis that they are going through, and I don't want to. I can't even imagine the pain and heartache they are experiencing and I hope I never have to.

Kailey is napping now and you can bet I am checking on her WAY more than I usually do. Life is just so fragile, cherish EVERY SINGLE SECOND.

My heart is broken for this hurting family.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Scream, You Scream...

Kailey Screams POOP!

So today Kailey started something that I fear is going to make me NUTS! We went to do some shopping and when we got to the register Kailey looked right at the cashier and yelled POOP! And then she giggled! I told her that wasn't nice, but she didn't care--she yelled it again. The rest of the time shopping she was yelling "POOP" at random points and at random people. I know that these people probably think my kid has terets or something.... Hopefully this lovely phase will pass quickly so I can spare myself some embarrassment. I mean seriously, why can't she yell HI or HOHOHO, why Poop???

Thanksgiving Re-Cap

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

We spent our Thanksgiving in Louisiana with Greg's family. We had a really fun time and Kailey got really spoiled! On Thanksgiving Day we went to Aunt Becky's (Greg's Sister) house to meet up with more family and eat turkey! We played the PS3--the boys played racing games, the girls played guitar hero and Kailey even played a few songs with the help of Uncle Ryan. We enjoyed a yummy meal and of course ate WAY TOO MUCH! Kailey had fun playing outside with friends--they jumped on the trampoline, drove the Barbie Cars, and Uncle Ryan even gave Kailey a ride on the four wheeler!

We enjoyed visiting with one another, going out to eat, and just RELAXING! I still had pneumonia so I rested A LOT and enjoyed having lots of extra hands to help with Kailey. Kailey loved being with her "poppy" and "granny". She was royally spoiled and I don't think she was told no, AT ALL! Poppy and Kailey enjoyed watching the birds from the sunroom and Kailey liked to sit by the fire and rock in her very own rocking chair.
It was sad to leave, but all good things come to an end. Now we are looking forward to Christmas!!