Sunday, July 29, 2012


 Marlena, Addison, and I made Christmas cookies on Tuesday morning while we were waiting for Matt's family to arrive.  Nutter Butter cookies dipped in white chocolate, M&Ms for buttons, orange Tic-Tacs for a nose, and black decorator icing for the eyes and mouth.  They were super cute and yummy, and the girls had fun helping to make them.

 After we got back from Snapperz and had a brief time of rest we had Christmas!  Uncle Mike really knows how to shop for Addison because she absolutely LOVES the new dolly they got her.  By the end of the week we even managed to get her to name the doll something besides baby.  Here she is hugging "Baby Boo".

Baby Boo also got a stroller, high chair/swing, baby bed, and bottles for Christmas as well!  
Addison is really into dolls right now.


 My younger brother Matt and his family finally arrived on Tuesday at lunch time.  So after we ate we headed to Snapperz in Carmel.  The young ones skipped naps in order to go, but truth be told, they never missed them.  They were too busy having fun to realize they might be tired. Addison and Brogan only cost $3 to get in because of their age and we got coupons for the older two on so they got in for $5.  Adults were free, so it was a fairly inexpensive afternoon packed with a lot of fun.

 Even baby Payton got to play!
 Jacob and Marlena showing off their blockheads.


 We found some pretty economical activities to do this week.  Our local theater shows kids movies every weekday morning at 10:00 (same movie for the whole week) for only a dollar.  So we started our Monday morning with a trip to see the Smurfs movie.  After lunch and a failed attempt at a nap (what 2 1/2 year old wants to slow down for a nap when her house is full of fun people to play with?), we went bowling.  Did you know that kids can bowl free all summer?  This was Addison's first time bowling and it wasn't long before she wanted to do it by herself.  And when we let her throw the ball by herself it only took about 10 minutes before it finally hit the pins :-)

Here's Jacob putting Addison's shoes and socks on when it was time to leave the house.  I thought it was so cute because he offered on his own and she was perfectly happy to let him.

Brooks School Park

 We took the family to Addison's favorite playground, which is actually quite close to home.  It''s been so hot this summer, we actually haven't been able to go as much as we'd like to.  Poor Addison has burned her little legs on the boiling hot slides too many times :-(  But this particular visit was in the evening and it was actually quite pleasant out.  The largest play structure gets pretty high and has a few slides that are really fast so I make Addison go down with a companion.  After I managed to get slide burn on my knee and elbow, Grandpa stepped up and took a few trips down the old slide as well.


Christmas in July

 My family is a ministry family.  My dad is a pastor, my younger brother is a pastor, my husband works for a church, my older brother used to work in a church.  If you know anything about ministry families, you may know that weekends and Christmas are tough times to get away and make a trip.  And once we were finally done with Christmas church responsibilities, we were so exhausted that traveling was the last thing we wanted to do.  We experimented for a few years, trying to figure out ways to get everyone together during the holidays but we rarely managed to get everyone involved.  We're pretty spread out geographically, spanning from Arizona to Indiana to New York.  Several years ago we came up with an unusual idea but all agreed to at least give it a shot.  We decided to not even attempt to get together over the holidays.  Instead, we agreed to set aside one week in July when we would all come together and celebrate Christmas six months early.  We quickly fell in love with our new tradition.  We've just completed our 4th annual Christmas in July and I'm already looking forward to our 5th.  It is the only time of the year that we are all together as a group, so it is very special time that we cherish.  Over the next few posts I'll share some of what we did together.

We were excited to have the opportunity to host Christmas this year.  Hosting can be a lot of work, but we've traditionally had a lot of drama with our flights in the past (boo Delta), so we were pretty happy to have everyone come to us for a change.  :-)  Mom and Dad arrived Friday evening and Mike and his kids arrived a few hours later, after we'd all gone to bed.  Saturday was spent mostly hanging out around the house and stocking up on groceries to feed 12 mouths for the week.  Addison instantly fell in love with her two big cousins Marlena and Jacob and they were so good playing with her.  She's a very social player, so it was like heaven for her to have playmates this week.  Marlena happily got messy with her finger painting with shaving cream outside.  They also had fun blowing bubbles, coloring with sidewalk chalk, and playing in the sandbox.

 Jacob joined in on some bubble fun and also spent some time with a squirt gun, but once he found the Wii in our bedroom, we kind of lost him for a while.  :-)