Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tinsel Townhouse.

I don't know about you guys, but I love peeking into other people's holiday homes.  When we drive around and look at Christmas lights, my husband and boys are ooh-ing and aww-ing about the yard ornaments and lights and I'm craning my neck and squinting my eyes to get a peek inside the windows.  Ha!  I just love the bright colors and cozy setting that Christmas decor creates.  

And here I am amidst the beauty of blogging, inviting you inside our townhouse!  No need for neck craning here! :)

(It drives me crazy that there is nothing on my coffee table.  But keeping it real, the boys sit on it more than they do the couch, so there's no point.  But it looks so empty in this picture!  I should have put the boys on it.)

The extent of the Christmas decor that we brought with us to Pennsylvania was ornaments.  That's it. Oh, and our nativity from Bethlehem.  We didn't feel like dragging everything up here just to lug it back.  So, we went the simple route with a real tree (though that wasn't real simple....), ornaments, and then I picked up a few things here and there to brighten up the place and make it exciting for the boys.

The one thing that I miss SO much this year is our Christmas village.  It's my favorite part of our decor every year and it makes me smile each time I glance at it.  I'll be extra excited to bust it back out next year!


We didn't have a good spot for the tree, so it's in the middle of our dining room.  Haha!  I love it! :)


Seriously, is there anything more wonderful than a Christmas tree?  I could stare at it all day ... and sometimes I do. But the top bugs me.  I'm not good at just having a star.  I like giant sparkly things shooting out every which way.  The boys love the star.  


Do you spy that cute pillow?

I fell in love with these two pillows this year and had to have them.  



And I found these little trinkets at Hobby Lobby that the boys love to look at.


We didn't bring our stockings so I picked these cuties up for the boys.  And we don't have a fireplace, so we hung them on the staircase with care.


I popped a few things in the kitchen too, for festivities sake.



There you have it, friends.  Our simple, easy, cozy tinsel townhouse.  


Yay Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I Saw Mommy Yell At Santa Claus

"I want to see Santa.  But I am NOT sitting in his wap," was an every day sentence around our house the past couple of weeks from our little Ezra Ray.

I told him how nice Santa is.

How FUN Santa is.

And how he was going to be right next to Bubby as he sat on his lap.

"I am NOT sitting in Santa's wap."

As we stood in line to see the Big Man, the boys were so excited.  Not a trace of fear to be found.


"I'm gonna tell him I want a mini Santa!" Ezra said.

"I'm going to tell him I want the Captain Toad Treasure Tracker game!" Levi said.

Wait.  What?  Why is this the first time I've ever heard of such a game and why is he just now deciding he wants Santa to get it for him? Toad what? Huh?? Man, it was getting hot in there.

When we were next in line and Ezra laid eyes on him in the big chair, he LEPT into my arms and wrapped those legs around me like baby Koala.  He was not going anywhere.  I needed someone to crank the AC and FAST.

"NO! NO! NOOOOOO!" he screamed as we approached Santa.

Pretty sure all of Cleveland could hear that baby screaming.

I pried him off of me, sweating and very near a full on heat stroke with my massive scarf and heavy winter coat suffocating every inch of my flaming red body.  I placed him on the bench next to Santa.

The child LOST IT.   Pretty sure the boys and girls waiting behind the door to see Santa thought they were in line to see the devil after this debacle.

"Here, move over Santa. Maybe that will help if he's not by you!"

Did I just order SANTA CLAUS to scoot over?  I'm fully expecting a lump of coal this year.

Sweet Santa obliged, engaged my excited Levi in Christmassy conversation, and Ezra continued to yell.

They squeaked ducks.


I made silly (sweating) faces.


Levi was shouting, trying to tell Santa what he wanted.

I tried to eavesdrop so I could write down that blasted toad game in my phone when he wasn't looking.

It. was. a. circus.


After we paid, I ripped my coat and scarf off and booked it outside as fast as I could - soaking up that 30 degree air and trying to get my face back to ivory instead of the current BLOOD RED state it was in.

As soon as Ezra received his candy cane and walked out of the Santa headquarters he was all smiles.  "I SAW SANTA CLAUS!! Oops! I forgot to tell him what I want."


No words, kid.  NO. WORDS.

And there you have it.

Later that night at dinner, we went around the table each recounting our favorite part of our day.

Ezra's?  "Seeing SANTA CLAUS!"


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out.

The other day, we took a little trip to Cleveland to check out a very special house.  You might recognize it from a classic coming of age Christmas movie.


Any guesses?

Maybe you should look inside the window...


That's right, my friends.... A Christmas Story!


Oh my goodness, what FUN we had!

My boys had never seen the film, but they still were excited beyond words just knowing it was a house from a MOVIE! (We showed them it -an edited version- the next night, and they were just SO excited that they recognized everything in the house!)

Seriously, so fun.


They totally didn't get it.  Haha... I was laughing so hard.  "Fra-gee-lee .... Must be Italian!"


Being in the house was pretty incredible.  Apparently a super-fan bought it off of Ebay for 150K and restored it to exactly as it was in 1983.  It made watching the movie a totally different experience!




I think I was just as excited (if not more) watching the movie the next night.  I was screaming, "I STOOD RIGHT THERE! LOOK! WE WERE RIGHT THERE!"


The boys loved being in Ralphie and Randy's room.


I was most excited about the kitchen!


(someone bring them a glass of milk!)


The whole experience was seriously like stepping back in time.  So neat.

Oh, I LOVED being in the bathroom, too. Haha! It was teeny tiny!



Be sure to drink your ovaltine!


The house across the street was a museum packed with tons of costumes, clothes, hats, accessories, and other original memorabilia from the movie.  The gift shop was awesome and we couldn't leave without getting the boys their VERY OWN DECODER PINS!!


We had such a fun, fun day.  I have a new appreciation for this classic film (with the remote in hand for quick muting, haha!) and the memory of this day with my sweet family makes it even better!  A great Christmas adventure up north!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toys For Boys 2-5

It always helps me out when people post gift ideas, especially when those gifts have been kid-tested and mother approved. :)

I thought I would share with you guys things that my boys love to help you with your gift giving this year.  Some of these items they received last year for Christmas and are still playing with. This is not a sponsored post, just things my little boys enjoy.  I won't write where to buy them - just google the name and you can find each item.



These little doo-dads provide hours of play for my littles.  They build things with them, pop them on and off of the floors and just have fun dreaming up fun things to do with them.  I love toys that encourage imaginative play and these are perfect for just that.



Now these things are just amazing.  Another toy for imaginative play, it keeps them busy and occupied for hours.  My boys have built some pretty amazing things out of these little wooden pieces.  I recommend these to everyone!


fantacolor junior basic

This is a great toddler toy.  It comes with a dozen or more pictures to place in the holder and then they pop the buttons in according to color.  My 5 year old even likes this toy and plays with it often!



This toddler toy is GREAT.  Not only are they having fun with puzzles, but they're learning as they play.  We love these in our house.



Cars that transform into dinosaurs.   Need I say more?  The boys LOVE these.



All kids love craft time.  You draw something on a sheet of plastic, color it, cut it out and then bake it and it shrinks.  Super fun!



Husby went on a trip recently and came back with one of these books for the boys.  He read a chapter to them every night before bed and they became OBSESSED.  Just mention the word underpants to little boys and they crack up uncontrollably.  I don't get it.  But they love it.  We want to buy more books in the series because this was such a hit with them. ;)



Okay, if I could recommend anything, it would be these DVDs.  Levi (age 5) is absolutely OBSESSED with them and asks to watch one every night - he prefers it to any of his Disney movies or favorite cartoons.  He has all 13, has watched them all, and he learns an incredible amount of the Bible through these.  They are THE BEST!  And kids think they're so funny! Seriously, get these for your kids!!  You won't regret it.

These are my top 8 toy recommendations for this year.  If y'all are interested I may do another one of these later in the month.  I hope this helps some of you out!  Happy shopping!

Monday, December 1, 2014

O Tannenbaum!

It's hard to believe December 1st is here and it is officially Christmastime!  I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving, and I really appreciate all the tips, tricks and recipes you all gave me a few posts back.  We had a family situation arise that led to us flying home days before Thanksgiving to be with our loved ones and so my whole dinner never happened - but I am definitely tucking away all of your great comments for the next time I'm in charge of the big meal. :) 

We kicked off the season last weekend by heading out to a tree farm to pick out a special tree for our little home!  It was cold and rainy and we ended up trekking out to the fields ankle deep in mud.  So glad we all wore waterproof boots! The boys had a blast traipsing up and down the trails, stomping in mud puddles and checking out all the different trees.  I'm pretty sure they found "the perfect tree" no less than 84 times. Haha!


We've only had a real tree once since we've been married - our very first Christmas together.  I remember that giant tree in our tiny apartment ... I was so overwhelmed with the smell that I sneezed constantly!  There is something truly magical about going on a hunt for your tree, chopping it down yourself and placing it in a spot of honor in your home.  But, the ease of a pre-lit fake one is something to be admired as well! :)


Since we aren't going all out with Christmas decor this year (we brought our ornaments and stockings, and that's it!), we thought it would be the perfect time to give the boys a real tree experience.  And living up north, there are trees absolutely everywhere! Levi calls them "forevergreens", and he absolutely loves them all!

We found a beautiful Blue Spruce, and if I do say so myself, it's the perfect little tree.


Husby did a great job chopping it down - lumberjack style!  He's so dreamy... :)


We got it home, set it up, threw some lights on and we will set aside a night to decorate it as a family later this week. 

The Great Tree Hunt 2014 is officially over and now it's time to "spruce" it up and enjoy it's refreshing scent and cozy warm glow!


Do you do a real tree or fake?  I have love in my heart for both! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Day of Play!

We spent most of the day playing in the beautiful snow today. There is something magical and uplifting about snow. I love it! 

We did lots of snowball fights, sledding, and angel making! And snow sampling, of course. ;) 

And when Daddy got home, things really got fun! Daddy's are just better at snow play, I am convinced. 

My very own Buddy the Elf! 

And of course, the obligatory snowman ... with peanut butter cracker eyes. I knew I shouldn't have eaten those last 2 Oreos! ;) 

We came inside and warmed up with hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows. U know we'll have many of these sweet snowy days, but I just had to document our first one up north. 

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