Monday, December 31, 2007

Pre-Christmas Pictures & Happy New Year

Okay, so this will officially be my final Christmas post. Have I overdone it a bit? hehe. But these pictures were too cute to pass up.

These are from our Dec. 23rd church service. It's always interesting trying to get the babies to pose for a picture.

Amanda with Jackson and Ella. I love this picture. I think it is so sweet.

Let's try on the steps by the pretty poinsettas.

Precious faces!

Are we done yet?

Sorry, Joshua. Ella was so over it by this point.

I hope y'all have a fun New Year's Eve celebration and a great New Year!!


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Top 10 Favorite Things about Christmas '07

10. Family!

Ella's Great Grandparents! My grandparents are the sweetest, cutest couple ever. They both laid an incredibly firm foundation of love for family and love for the Lord for my entire family! We are following in their footsteps 3 generations later! I believe our family is evidence of how it's possible to celebrate Christmas with presents and family, while also celebrating the birth of Christ, our Savior.

My cute cousin Zach. Zach, his brother Ethan, and Ella always have so much fun when we are together! I am so thankful Ella has younger cousins to play with and enjoy the holidays with.


9. Traditions!

Every year, somebody in the family is elected to be "Santa" and pass out all the gifts one at a time. That's right, we open gifts one at a time. It's a long process, but we like it that way. This year my Uncle Arthur was given the honors of being "Santa".

We have a few other traditions that have lasted for decades. One is we always start Christmas morning every year eating sugar plum ring that my grandma makes. It's amazing. Last year, we each got a copy of the recipe so we can carry on the tradition for many more decades.

8. The food!

7. The massive amount of presents for our Ella! It pays off to have the only grandchild thus far. :-)

Ella got most excited about her new shoes!

And of course, the pink New Balance tennis shoes from Grandma!

Ella knew exactly what to do with her new cell phone. "Hello!"

This is Uniqua from the Backyardigans. This is Ella's favorite show and for her birthday last year, my mom gave her a stuffed Pablo. Well, Ella has grown so attached to Pablo that we even have to take him to church with us. My mom searched high and low for one of the other stars of the show and finally found Uniqua. Ella was so excited and immediately yelled "Niqua!"


6. The pink cowboy boots, hat, belt, laso, western outfits & bandana for Ella from her Grammy and Aunts.

5. The highly competitive games!
3 1/2 hours later, Team Heath and Janelle were victorious in Wahoo! I don't have any pictures of the game playing because we are way to serious to stop and take pictures.

4. The wild goose chase my secret santa (my husband) sent me on for my present.

This was me reading clue #3. I had to lead our family in a group performance of O Holy Night to get my next clue. Yes, we were outside. And yes, I'm certain my parents' neighbors think they are crazy.

Yes, my husband did hide clue #2 in the cat box. Doesn't really surprise me though. And if you know Heath, it won't suprise you either.

3. The GIGANTIC tent my dad got Ella that "looked a lot smaller in Costco"!

Ella loved it! And yes, this will be staying at grandma and grandad's house.

This picture makes our dog look really scary. He would love that since he has small dog syndrome and thinks he's a huge doberman pinscher. If he was capable, he would probably blow it up, frame it, and hang it above his food dish.

2. Opening our stockings Christmas morning.

Even Jones gets a stocking. Every year he gets a brand new shiny collar.

1. And of course, the girl in the Santa hat.

Christmas 2006

And of course, no Christmas is complete without an upchucking incident from your baby girl. No? Is that just our family? Our sweet girl was a bit under the weather with a cold Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It took us 2 days to open all of her presents because we kept needing to take breaks when Ella started feeling tired or sick. When she started feeling that way, she would get a nice relaxing rocking and story from Grandma.

I hope you and your families had a wonderful Christmas! Christmas can be a very exciting time, especially with little children around. Christmas can also be a very hard time. I know several families that were grieving through the Christmas holidays and my heart is very heavy for them. My prayer is that they were reminded of Christ's love, mercy and peace for them this holiday season.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Decorating for Christmas

For some reason, while I was hanging the ornaments on our tree, Ella got it in her head that she was supposed to kiss each ornament she could reach. I have no idea why she thinks this. I was trying to remember if I ever kissed an ornament, but I really don't think I have. It's funny the things she is learning just from watching us and then will repeat it. It amazes me. But kissing the ornaments I really don't think is one of those. It was however very hilarious and cute as can be!

Ella had so much fun decorating her very own tree for her bedroom with lots of help from Grandad.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas on Main Street

This past Sunday night was our Carols and Candlelight service at our church. I, Janelle, sang in our church choir for this special occasion. This is not somethng I normally do, nor have I sung in a church choir since 1997. But they wanted to add numbers to our normal choir for this night and asked some of us to join in. I did, and I'm so glad I did.

It was a lot of fun. Granted, I did get the opportunity to wear a bright royal blue choir robe. I mean you can't beat that fun, right?

Despite that, it was good for me to work my brain musically again. I've taken piano since I was 7, and played the trumpet and french horn in junior high band (definitely the peak of my coolness), but since 1997 when I moved off to college I didn't real do much musically, except I was in the chorus line my freshmen for Hello Dolly, which is an entirely different story. So this was a nice opportunity to read music again.

The songs our choir director picked out were phenomonal. I could have cried and/or raised my hands each time we practiced them, but I did neither. Most of them were not traditional Christmas songs, but they were beautiful. Also, we had a full orchestra, which was awesome! It really made me want to play the french horn again, as the bell was pointed directly towards us the whole night. Thankfully, the horn part was very close to our alto part, so the shear volume of it actually helped me stay on key.

One of my favorite things was that my friend Star and I sat next to each other and got to share some fun times. Plus, I got to hear her amazing voice with every note we sang. And while my husband sat watching the performance, Star's husband was taking incredible pictures of the night, which I stole straight from her blog.

I am so happy with how our church looks for Christmas!

Before we left, we couldn't miss the opportunity to take some pictures in the beautiful poinsettas.