Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Time

This Christmas season has so far, been very fun and meaningful for our family. Continuing traditions that we started in the previous two years and creating some new ones. Each year is proving to be more exciting as Grace Louise gets older and can be involved more in the Christmas festivities.

christmas parade.

This child is crazy about a sucker! Her all time favorite treat, reserved for parades and trips to the bank :-)

One of the local churches had a band on their float playing worship music. I told Grace Louise they were praising the Lord. So, here she is praising the Lord too. Precious.

This kid next to her was eating an airhead. She was so intrigued, bending over and invading his personal space. He never seemed to notice her.

tree trimming.
Standing proud next to our first handmade ornament as we started decorating the tree for Christmas. As I'm sure I've mentioned before, we've chosen to trim our tree with ornaments that remind us of Jesus. Lots of manger scenes,
angels, doves and word ornaments like Joy, Hope, and Peace.
Totally taking a break from tree decorating to get some knee sugar!

downtown christmas party.
Mom and I took Grace Louise to the Frostproof Christmas party at the Methodist Church. ...listening to the story of Jesus' birth.

First time in a bounce house! I think we're hooked!
She was fearless... mostly being bounced.

This was as close as she would get to the ponies, despite the fact that she was most excited about this attraction. Before leaving she decided she would make a 2nd attempt to ride. She even let them put the helmet on. But no riding...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wiggles and Giggles

I hoped to pair these current pics of Grace Louise at the library with some pictures of her during Wiggles last year. Apparently I never took any... Nevertheless, here she is enjoying some books and time with mama. Something we do (almost) every Tuesday for over a year now. We've just started checking out books to take home, beginning with some seasonal books at Thanksgiving. A few of my favorite Christmas books so far have been The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado and A Counting Christmas by Karen Katz.

Saying, "I want an orange!" We enjoyed a little tangerine snack on the grass before driving home from the library last week.

Reading The Christmas Tree Farm, one of Grace Louise's favorites especially since we read this many times leading up to purchasing and decorating our own tree.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Extreme Gaming with Grace Louise

My brothers and I have a favorite past time, playing at video arcades on weekends with my dad. Air hockey was a personal fave. That and earning as many tickets as I could playing skee-ball. (And then, of course, spending $20 in tickets on a 5 cent plastic ring and wishing I had 5,000 to buy the life size panda bear hanging on the wall). I have memories of my dad dishing out tons of tokens and being right in the mix, playing like a big kid!

Grace Louise is far from extreme gaming, but here are some pics from our recent trip to the arcade at the Lake Wales mall. A fun, Sunday afternoon... totally worth 5 bucks in tokens.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving at the Castle

All holidays of the year for our family are filled with yummy food, lots of quality family time, and sweet traditions. We enjoyed Thanksgiving lunch with Jimmy's family and then headed back home to prepare a turkey for our first ever personally hosted Thanksgiving dinner. Being the delegator that I am...hmm hmm... others brought the side dishes. I've watched my mom do this virtually solo my whole life, so I've learned a few things along the way. That's a lot of work for one person! The food was great, the family time even better.

Our annual Hurst family photo. I love this tradition we keep each year at Thanksgiving! I think we have been consistent four or five years now.
(Check out those two yella heads! We might stand out a bit!)

Back at our house... the Thanksgiving table. My mom and I worked on this together, designing the meal and planning to use family heirloom china, crystal, and silver. Like two girls at a tea party. It was so much fun!

Trying desperately to recreate a Publix commercial, we even insisted on having all of the food adorn the table, the turkey taking center stage at the head. Everyone passed the food around... "potatoes, anyone?" Well, we had good intentions, but the consensus was... buffet style next time!

A little post dinner fun with the family. We played board games... and our little techie, Grace Louise, played the ipad. Jimmy started a fire outside by the lake and the kids were running in and out, chasing each other, playing hide and seek, and contributing lots of laughter and good memories to the night. Thankful for getting to glorify the Savior through a functioning family. For the giving of ourselves to each other in genuine relationship. Looking forward to more at Christmas!

Learning to peddle

My sweet munchkin girl finally learned to peddle her tricycle! We've been biking for a year now- with a push trike and the child's seat on my bike. Grace Louise got a tricycle from my mom for her birthday and is finally able to ride it after weeks of struggling with coordination/strength. We're still working on steering! She is so proud and loves to ride around the circle drive by our house. Here she is... happy to be chasing mommy with her wheels!