Friday, December 30, 2011

More bedroom projects

I never even got around to 'after' pictures of the house, I should do that while the festive Christmas decorations are still up :)

I mentioned yesterday that we had a lot of projects in mind for Jeb's room. Shelves, closet rods, and blinds to hang, and some wall art and a craft project I had in mind. I got the letters for his name:

And made a cool Mickey wall hanging with a shadow frame and scrapbook paper that I'm pretty happy with. I have a picture of Jeb and his 2 best friends (who will also be living in nearby states when they finally come home to their parents!) that I want to hang on one side, and then I'm imagining a picture of the 5 of us on the other side.

Last week we worked on the girls' room. This is Vivi's side, with her bed, 3 month picture collage, cross stitch her Aunt Amanda made her, the cross my mom gave her when she was dedicated at church, and a cute little ladybug. We just added the ladybug and flower night light. I have a photographer friend (another Amanda!) working on photo collages for Jeb and Journey, I just have to find someone to do cross stitches for them ;)

On this wall we have a wall hanging from Vivi's nursery at the old house, and they got this picture frame for Christmas and loved it so much, they wanted to put a picture in it and hang it right away!

And here is my Christmas present! Always putting the kids' purchases first (because let's face it, it's just more fun to buy kid stuff!) we never had a comforter that fit the king bed we've had for 2 years. We had sheets, and then we had a patchwork of random blankets over each of us to keep us warm. Making the bed never looked right. I've been wanting a bedding set pretty much since getting the new bed, but between the prices being so high and having a hard time finding a set I loved, we never did it. Finally I found a set I loved, for a pretty good price, and we had a coupon, so I got my bedding set! I never thought I'd have a red bedding set, I've always been a blue in the bedroom person, but it's so warm and cozy, and sharing one big blanket at night and having a pretty bed to make in the morning is so nice!

I'll have a couple of crafty posts in the next couple of days, I'll show how I made the Mickey wall art (cute, easy AND cheap!), and I also made a skirt for Vivi (and Journey is pretty mad that I didn't get hers done yet!) that was super easy and turned out super cute!

There's a good chance this will be the last post I write in 2011, so Happy New Year everyone!
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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do we look ready?

We are soooo close to getting Jeb home, just waiting on a bunch of people to do their jobs and pass our case on to the next person. BUT, we heard today that our case was cleared by our case officer last Thursday, and it takes a few days for the state department to clear it after her, and then it goes to the embassy. So our case *may* already be in Ethiopia! We are emailing the US embassy in Ethiopia and should hear whether they have it or not sometime between 1am and 9am our time, which means no sleep for me tonight! If all goes quickly (which so far it hasn't in any way at all, but we're still hoping!) we could optimistically have our son HOME in just over a week, maybe 2 w eeks. I know we've said this before, but I'm pretty sure it's true this time :)

With the process dragging, we slowed down our projects in his room, so we are spending the next couple of days finishing them up so we're ready! So, here's a tour of his room so far:

Look at all the boy clothes! Most of this is hand-me-downs from a couple of friends who have boys, and some shopping and mom2mom sales I went to. The left side is 3t and the right is 4, we're not sure what size he is, but I think he'll be well-clothed either way! We don't have as many pants, but want to see what size he is before we do any shopping.

The world's coolest bed/dresser/toy storage, and when the horses are in the front pasture, they can be seen from his window.You can see the blinds propped against the wall, part of the to do list.

His hamper, desk, and Mickey trash can and tissue holder. The desk is a little high, but he'll grow into it, and we wanted a place for him to put his stuff that his little sisters would have a harder time reaching. The 2 shelves leaning against the wall will go above the desk.

Closet-Eric is going to install a lower bar that the current size and season clothes will go on. See the blue bag on the floor? That's his suitcase, stuffed full with clothes in 2 sizes, shoes in 2 sizes, a cute dress outfit for the embassy appointment, and his homecoming shirt.

Those are all Eric projects, and mine are the blank walls! There's a Mickey poster I want to order, a Mickey craft I have planned for a wall hanging, and I want to get those letters to hang over his bed to spell out his name. And a lampshade-Target has a semi-cute Mickey lampshade but it's $20, just for the shade! So I'm going to have to get creative!

I'll post after pictures when we get it all done, and I can't wait to post a picture of Jeb in his room!
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Christmas Day

Oh, the holidays! So busy and gone so fast! This was a fun year because it was Journey's 'first' Hanukkah and Christmas, and Vivi is old enough now to understand the holidays a little more.

We made the decision to postpone our immediate family Christmas until Jebriel gets home, it just didn't seem right to leave all of his presents in the closet while the girls got theirs. Between that and all the separate family celebrations, the girls are going to think Christmas goes on forever!

We were going to ask Santa to come late too, but he decided to bring one little thing for each girl. This may have partially been parental guilt over Eric slamming Vivi's finger in the door on Christmas Eve...but we also wanted Vivi to have the gift she had asked Santa for before she forgot about it (or decided she wanted something else!).

Santa knew they wouldn't want to share one stroller, so he brought 2 :)

He also did a partial stocking fill, we'll call it a practice run ;)

Why am I reaching in this giant sock while everyone watches?

And again, Vivi really just wants all the wrapping paper. The oufit choice was hers too :)
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Hanukkah was held for the first time at my uncle's instead of my grandparents', where it has been every year. It didn't feel as weird as I thought it would. The men made the latkes, as usual, while the ladies and children visited and played. After the feast, we lit the menorah, said the prayers, wished everyone a Happy Hanukkah, and went to open gifts. The adults in the family draw names, so everyone gives and receives 2 gifts. The kids, however, get quite spoiled! Once Vivi had a taste of opening a present, she couldn't get enough, and pounced on someone else's present. She was only a little bit interested in the gifts, she just wanted to rip off all the paper! They got some good toys, I think the favorites from that day so far are the Melissa and Doug felt sandwich set, Journey's shopping cart, and Vivi's new doll, whom she named Annika. You'll notice there aren't many good pictures of Vivi, she was kind of a maniac that day.

Here you see the men cooking, and Journey getting her first bite of latke!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

Passing on the traditional Christmas Eve scavenger hunt


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Cookie Day!

We had our first annual family cookie day with my mom, sister, and the girls. My best friend's son helped decorate the next day :)

What a mess!

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Our annual trip to Frankenmuth

We made the trip up to Frankenmuth, like my family has every year since before I was born. Every year it's the same-Bronners, chicken dinner at Bavarian Inn, the Castle Shoppes below the restaurant, then walk around the town and stop for cheese curds at the Cheese Haus and candy at the Country Store. Usually the guys all take a week day off to go. This year, because Eric is saving his days off for when Jeb comes home, and my brother-in-law Ryan is saving his days off for when their baby comes in March. We went on a Sunday. Oy! It was soo busy, we saw Santa, but then had a hard time shopping for ornaments because the store was literally packed. There were a lot of places you just couldn't move, especially with a double stroller and 2 grabby toddlers who refused to ride in it. We ended up leaving for dinner without buying anything.

Luckily I had thought to get reservations for dinner, so we didn't have to wait at all to get in. We had our usual chicken dinner, and my aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins joined us for the meal. The girls liked when the accordian player came by, but weren't as thrilled when Santa went through and visited with the tables.

Back to Santa, Vivi was very brave, and Journey was very excited until we got close to him! Vivi went up, hopped up on his lap, and asked him for a doll stroller. She listened intently to everything he said, and stroked his beard because Bapa said it might be soft ;) Journey clung to me and wouldn't look at him, but was very excited to pose next to a statue of Santa later on!

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Outside the snow is fallin'

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