Monday, December 28, 2009

Is it over already?

And, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care... I had to purchase new stockings this year since we had a really cute and sweet new addition to our family earlier this year! Since I decided to change my Christmas "color motiff" this year, I went with a simple quilted ivory stocking. However, I did not order in time to have these monogrammed before company started coming over for festivities. So, I decided to try something and I just loved the way it turned out. Cameron painted styrofoam letters (from Michaels) for me in a sage green and then I took chocolate brown ribbon and hung the letter from each boy's stocking. I LOVE the way it turned out and now I do not think I will monogram the stockings at all!

The rest of the holiday baking. White chocolate covered Oreos decorated to look like ornaments. This was the first time I had tried this, but it turned out pretty cute. I put them in a box with a window on top to look like ornaments inside. If I do it again next year, I will use different sprinkle decorations!

Isn't it funny how we spend sooo much time preparing for the Christmas holiday and then, in the blink of an eye, it seems like it is gone? At least that is how I feel most years lately. I don't remember feeling that way before children, but I do now!

So, here's a little Christmas re-cap from the Koehler household...

Christmas Eve the boys opened one gift, which we have never done before. I decided to let them open their new Christmas pj's. Usually, I just buy them and give them to them early. But, this year I htought it might be fun to actually open them together Christmas Eve. They were actually very excited about them! Thankfully, they are all still at the age where new jammies excite them! I love that! Then, we had to write out Christmas letters to Santa (wish I had taken a photo of those because they were so cute!), put the letters at the fireplace and prepare Santa's cookies and milk. Everything has to be "just right" or Cameron is not happy!

Christmas morning.... About three years ago Doug and I started this "thing" with Cameron and he LOVES it and does not forget about it! Since the boys' rooms are upstairs and our master is downstairs, there is no way for the boys to come running into our room without seeing all the presents Santa brought! I do not like for them to see the presents unless I am there to see their faces when they do! That is, to me, a priceless moment to see the expression on little one's faces when they see what Santa has brought under the tree for the very first time! Priceless! So, anyway, Doug and I had to "devise" a way for Cameron to alert us that he was awake and ready to come downstairs without actually doing so. We realized he could intercom us using our telephone. So, it started - the annual "ringing" on Christmas morning. He intercoms us, we tell him 5 more minutes about four times, we finally get up, throw clothes on, get the camera ready, and then let them come down! It is actually really cute!

After presents I always do a Christmas morning breakfast. In the years past it has been our "thing" to do Christmas tree french toast. I make french toast, cut it into triangles, stack it to look like a Christmas tree, sprinkle with green sugar, put a link sausage for the bottom and use confetti sprinkles for the "ornaments." However, this year we had that for Christmas Eve brunch. So, this year I did snowman pancakes Christmas morning. The boys absolutely loved it! They said they wanted it next year too. Doug made different size pancakes and we made them into snowmen, then took Redi-whip and made "snow" along the bottom of the plate and snowflakes around, then choco chips for eyes, nose and buttons, and red icing for a mouth! Very cute!

The rest of our Christmas day involved cleaning up wrapping paper, playing and putting together new toys, going outside to ride the new toys, and then a special Christmas dinner with my dad. After the little boys were in bed, Cameron enjoyed playing his new Scrabble (Thanks Uncle Jay!) and Sorry games with us and Granddaddy. That made the whole day complete!

the boys Chrismas morning

Do you think there are any presents for me under the Christmas tree skirt??!!

Christmas through a child's eyes...

Our family photo at the Shaw family Christmas dinner

Christmas at Gommy's

all the little boys.... except baby Miller, who may have been sleeping!

Christmas with Granddaddy

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours... we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Baby, it's cold outside!

So, a week ago today, we had snow on the ground! Can you believe it? Here are a few photos from Noah's first snow outing with his brothers! It was really cold out and he was a little unsure about the snow. However, Doug put him on the sled and he did seem to like that. Then after a few "rides" he was so sleepy he almost fell asleep while Doug was pulling him up and down our street! The older boys had the best time in our small, but eventful, snowfall!

Noah's first snowfall!

Ok, I am a bit late on this entry. The holidays just got a bit busy and I am playing catch up tonight! So, over this past weekend we had what you could really say was an "early" snowfall for North Carolina. Actually, some years we don't even get a snowfall, so this was a big deal for the boys! But, an even bigger deal for Noah as it was his first snowfall ever!

Sometimes, it's like having a puppy...

The photo pretty much speaks for itself don't you think?!? Poor Cameron and Bryson, they try to have snacks at the kitchen table and here comes little Noah for any "scraps" that may fall on the floor! Maybe we should feed Noah more than once a week??!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mommy, what did you need out of the pantry?!

Baking with mommy.... Noah and I were at home last week one day and I decided to go ahead and do our holiday baking for the goodies we take to the staff at Cameron's school, New Hope Elementary. Noah was such a big help in the pantry! It is almost like he hears me open the pantry door and he comes crawling in the kitchen faster than the speed of light to see what he can pull off the shelves and get into! Although it can be a bit messy, it is so cute to watch him exploring life!
Needless to say, we finally got our holiday baking for the teachers all finished and then delivered the next day - just in time before our first snow of the season!

Peas and concentration

Noah has been slowly improving his "real food" skills. He was not the best eater at first with baby food, and especially baby food with any texture at all. He seemed to almost gag if it was any thicker than formula. However, we have made lots of progress, and he is now even into chewing on pizza crusts! Doug and I decided to give him real, whole peas at dinner the other night. Please, do not be alarmed, these are those "Leseur" peas that are very mushy - no choking hazard! You can see they kept him occupied for quite some time at the dinner table! And probably 12 out of 89 made it into his mouth... the rest.... on the floor!

Our good shepherd

It just would not be Christmas without a Christmas play at church! Our church, University United Methodist in Chapel Hill, had it's Christmas Pageant last Sunday night. Cameron's role was one of the shepherds. I think he was a bit nervous at first since this was the first play he has ever done. But, his new "buddy" from Sunday School was there with him (see photo) and they seemed to be having a good time by the end of the night. I cannot wait until the time when I have all three boys playing parts in the church Christmas pageant!

If only I could reach a little higher.....

Yes, having a Christmas tree has been a bit of a challenge this year! But, isn't he cute?!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Santa train and the rainy day!

Our nephew, Max celebrated his second birthday the end of October (see previous post!). Doug and I decided to give him something other than just another toy. We wanted to give him something a bit more fun, and perhaps make a memory for him... ok, he is only two, but maybe a memory for all of us!
Max has a serious LOVE of Thomas the train. Did I say serious love? So, we decided to take both of our families on the Santa train at the New Hope Valley Railroad this year. We did this last weekend.... the weekend that it rained all day Sunday, a slow, steady, cold, raw rain! That was the only really bad thing about our train excursion. The weather could have been a lot better! But, all in all, it was a lot of fun and I think Max enjoyed his afternoon out with the train... oh, the steam engine to be exact! Santa made an appearance in our car. Which, by the way, we got very lucky and were able to ride in the caboose. Cameron and Bryson got to ride in the cupola with the driver (conductor?)! This was really cool! The train ride was about one hour, so we were glad to be inside the caboose car instead of in the main open air part where it was freezing!
Hope you enjoyed your train day Max!!!! We hope to make this a family tradition in the years to come!

Basketball game #2... Pistons vs. Heat

Cameron is playing basketball again this season. And, for the second season in a row, Doug is coaching, along with our good friend and neighbor, Andy Halsey. This year, Cameron is playing for a different league, Orange County Parks and Rec. I have to say, it is much more competitive - but lots of fun, so far. Last weekend was game #2, Pistons (our team) vs. Heat. You would have thought that we were all in a gym watching UNC play Duke for the national championship on Saturday! Our team was down 13 to 2 at the half! Doug was, needless to say, frustrated! I am not sure what he said during the halftime break, but, our players (Cameron one of them!)came out and scored 4 points within the first two minutes of the second half! It was awesome! Then, we managed to tie the game! Well, long story short, the game went into TRIPLE OVERTIME! Can you believe that? Eight year old basketball teams playing their little hearts out! The rulebook said we had played enough, so the tie stood as is. Cameron and Doug really wanted to keep playing, but I guess, enough is enough. Go Pistons! Next game, after the holiday break.
PS, Cameron is #5 on his team in the blue jersey!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

HOW many days until Christmas???!!!

So, today is the 15th. I guess we have 10 days until Christmas Day arrives???? Oh my!! I do not know about you, but I am not ready yet! I have not even bought my paper and ribbon to start wrapping. Yikes! I am going to try to get that done Friday... we'll see if that really happens!
Anyway, I am going to share my "top ten favorite sellers" with you today. Some of them have already cut off their holiday orders, but they might inspire you for some of those "hard to buy for people," or you can save them for ideas for birthday gifts or Christmas 2010. Enjoy!

You want these for your Christmas packages, don't you?! Me too! But, I did not order in time this year, maybe next year! However this site also offers birthday gift tags, goody bag gift tags, notecards and invites! Simple, clean lines with fun designs!

What could be a better gift than a personalized sock monkey??!! That's right, sock monkeys! This site offers hands down, the cutest sock monkeys you have ever seen AND, they can be personalized!

Aaaahhhh.. the love of letterpress! If you are not familiar with letterpress you should check it out the next time you are in a local paper goods store, like maybe Daisy Notes and Paper in Durham. Letterpress will make you forget all about regular printing! Although, it is a little pricey most of the time. However, this etsy site offers cute little letterpress goods at reasonable prices. Just a nice little splurge every once and awhile!

And, this site.... I love! She, also offers custom prints for a child's room like this one personalized with a name! And, a wide variety of gift tags, notecards, and invites! Perfect site for the paper lover, like me!

This is one of my favorite ideas! This site offers fresh, modern paper goods specializing in these custom silhouette prints! You can basically choose any silhouette design and color and she will print it for you. You can choose your own frame to finish it off! The choices and possibilites are endless, whether you are doing one child, multiple children or a family! A perfect personalized gift!

Looking for the perfect personalized t-shirt for a little one? Look no more! Smitten and Company has every shirt you can imagine and in the best designs I have seen online! She has brother/sister tees, holiday tees (Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc.) and birthady boy/girl tees! Her turnaround time is pretty quick too!

Check these out! Don't they look adorable? This is Sun Basil Garden and she does an array of handmade soaps, including holiday specific ones like these. There is even a peppermint loofah soap with loofah built right in! How about that?!

So, this site is called Bundled and it is one of those perfect sites for moms-to-be or if you are looking for a gift for a mom-to-be. They offer precious chenille burp clothes, blanket rolls, and my favorite - an assortment of too cute rattles, including this dino one!

Cute, huh? This site has the cutest variety of cotton goods. She offers these bags that would make the most amazing treat/goody bags at any event and cotton scarves that look divine.

So, are these not too stinkin' cute? They are address stamps that are made by this girl using her handwriting! I am so ordering on of these for myself after Christmas. I will be using this on next year's Christmas cards!