Sunday, December 26, 2010

Presents with Aunt Amy and Levi's Dedicaiton!

Today was the day after Christmas and we had a great time! After getting to sleep in a little bit (and I do mean LITTLE), we go up with Brookelynne around 7:30 and started getting ready to leave the house. We had a much slower pace today because we didn't have Sunday School, so we didn't have to be at church until 10:15. We picked up papers on the way and pulled into the garage around 10.  Mitchell took Brookelynne to her class again (with out me, something I've come to enjoy!) and then we went to the service. The auditorium was pretty sparse looking, but it was a nice service. Dr Brunson spoke on Luke 2:4-5 and pulled from those verses the many ways in which Christ's birth was God's way of coming closer to us on a personal level and the many ways He shows us that he cares for our individual problems/issues/concerns. It was very encouraging.

After church we went to lunch at Applebee's on Lane Ave, and while it took much longer than I would have liked, the food was good, and Brookelynne was pretty well behaved. It was really cute at one point when she was in her booster seat between Mitch and I, I pulled out one of her small balls, and she rolled it back and forth across the table to Aunt Amy, Uncle Josh and Paw Paw. She would get SOOO excited when they would 'catch' it or when she 'caught' it. :) She's gonna be such a good ball player! :)

Helping Aunt Amy with one of her presents!

Then we headed to my mom's to open presents. Since Amy had been sick on Christmas Eve, we decided to wait on her to open our presents from her and Josh and to give her her presents. :) So Josh and Mitch passed out the presents and we all started to open them! Amy had messaged me a while back, saying that she and Josh had seen this really cute 'little' ball pit and wondered if they could buy it for Brooke for Christmas. I told them that would be absolutely fine, but that I would prefer if it wasn't a pink one or super girly, since Braxton is right behind her and would probably be playing in it before too long. So as we're opening up Brookelynne's presents, Amy says "This was the only ball pit we could find in that was gender neutral, but it's a little bit bigger than the others" LOL. By 'little bit' she meant A LOT BIT! haha. Brookelynne had already opened the balls and wanted to play with them, so I said I would try to blow up the ball pit...thankfully Josh remembered that we had the air compressor outside, and instead of me giving myself a headache, we just used the compressor to blow up the pit.

She climbed up on Grandma's present and proceeded to 'bounce' on it!!!

She thought this was hilarious!

She couldn't wait for the ball pit, so she used Grandma's box for a few minutes!

Uncle Josh blowing up the ball pit!

It SOUNDED like a great idea at the time, until it started inflating and we all started looking at how big it was and how big the doors are  and realizing that there is no way that it was going to fit through one of those doors while inflated!  It is literally big enough for Mitchell to get in and sit down with his legs straight and not go across the whole thing! But Brookelynne really did like it a lot and enjoyed bouncing in/on it and playing in there. We're definitely going to need more balls though, lol.

"Look Mama! I have lots of balls!"

Mama helping her jump!

Daddy got in with her! Yes, It's that big!

Playing with Daddy!

Peeking out!

Climbing back in! (She had to go and get Grandma's new gloves before going back!)

Waving at me with Grandma's gloves on!

After playing for a while and cleaning up all the wrapping paper, Mitch, Brookelynne and I headed home because we had to get Brooke a good nap before we left the house again at 5:15 for Levi's dedication. She fell asleep on the way home, but I just moved her to her swing and she stayed asleep right until we left again! Such a blessing! While at home, I started taking the tree down, and promptly at 5:15 we headed out. I somehow managed to leave or lose Brookelynne's bow along the way so she wore her red ski hat the whole night! (But she was still pretty darn cute!) The dedication was really sweet, and Levi has gotten SO big! A lot of Kris's family had come down from Indiana (something that I know means a lot to him), and it was really nice to see all of them again!

The pastor spoke about how much they loved Kris and Marie and what great parents they were and how this was a dedication of themselves to raise Levi in a Christian home and then he prayed a prayer of dedication. Brookelynne was already getting antsy when they finished the dedication, so I took her to the nursery and stayed with her until the service ended, and then we all went back and took some pictures. It was so sweet and we just loved getting to share in it with them.

Marie, Kris and Levi, Mitch Brookelynne and Me

Who would have thought, less that 4 years ago when Mitch and I got married that now we'd all be married and have such adorable babies! God is So Good!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Jesus....

Christmas Morning was an exciting one for us here at the Pearson home! Brookelynne wore her 'Christmas Pajamas" to bed and was super cute in them. While she was sleeping Santa came! But since we try to teach patience around here, there was no running to the tree! lol. We all got up, got dressed and ate breakfast while we waited for Grandma, Paw Paw, Nay Nay and Gran to get here so that they could all watch Brookelynne open her presents! As everyone arrived, we got settled in, and then let Brooke open her presents.

 We started with her presents from Mama and Daddy....
 From present number one, she unwrapped them, and promptly took them to show Paw Paw!

 Then we got to dig into our bag from Santa! :) 

(On a side note, I saw these bags in the Lillian Vernon catalog for like $7, and thought they were a super cute idea. So we went ahead and got one for both Brookelynne and Braxton and have decided that each year they will each get a toy from Mama and a toy from Daddy, as well as 4 or 5 things from "Santa", which will be in their bag with their name on it (individually wrapped of course). I can't wait for a few years down the road when we'll have 3 or 4 of them, sitting in a row with their bag from Santa! :) It will be SO cute!)

Showing Nay Nay and Grandma her new Minnie Mouse

 Pull the string, and then rip the paper!

 Reading her new book with Mama

 Putting her new letters on the fridge
 Opening and reading her new book! :)

Looking inside her last one! :) By this time she knew that she didn't have to have all the paper off to find out what it was! :)

Brookelynne (of course) 'cleaned up' in this whole Christmas season, but we really wanted to make sure that she understands the true meaning of Christmas, so we told her about Christ's birthday as well. I've decided that in the years coming up that we're going to start a new tradition (once she and the others can understand it) of a birthday party for Jesus. This will include making a cake and singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus every Christmas day and making THAT part of the day the biggest deal (instead of the presents). While we love the tradition of Santa and presents, we will also be telling them the story of 'St Nick" and how "Santa" started, so that they understand that even the things that "Santa brings" are a way of showing that on original Christmas, God gave us the greatest gift of all by sending Jesus. This year was much more mismanaged (on my part) than any year previous (or future, Lord willing) and if we have anything to say about it, I will never be this pregnant during Christmas again, because all I know is that I was not focused on anything and did very little well! lol.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to my Savior!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Play by Play :)

Well today is Christmas Eve and for the past several years, we've had a tradition of cooking/cleaning all day, going to the Candlelight Service with our family and then coming back to the house for dinner and some presents. In the past, some of my cousins come for the evening with their kids and we all have a great time watching the kids open presents and celebrating the holiday. This year though, they weren't able to make it, and even Amy (my brother's girlfriend) was sick, so instead of 12 or 14 people, we were just cooking for 6.

Mom's Christmas Tree

Brookelynne Starr....She's wearing her new necklace from Mrs Carmen!

Cheesing it up!

We headed out to the candle light service at 4:15 and not long after getting onto I-10, we were rear ended. :( It was Mom, Brookelynne and I and the impact didn't feel that bad at all. The car held up really well, but theirs was pretty smashed up. It looks like the frame of our car is bent, but the insurance adjuster is coming up this week, so we'll have to see. Needless to say, after waiting for the FHP and getting a report filed, we missed the candlelight service, so we just headed back to the house to wait for Mitch to get there so we could start eating and open presents. We had decided to move Christmas with my family to Christmas Eve, since Brookelynne would be getting her 'Santa presents' at our house on Christmas morning and it makes for a REALLY long day for us to open presents here, then at my mom's and then at Mitch's moms. So after eating a delicious dinner (Thanks Mom!), we all gathered round and opened presents!

Opening her frog slippers! (Daddy thought they were gators at first and said "Gator slippers?" and Brookelynne promptly threw them on the ground! It was priceless! That's Daddy's girl!

Reading her new Pooh book with Daddy

Grandma got silverware for Christmas!

Brookelynne and Uncle Josh (She was in the process of climbing off the couch!)

Paw Paw, Uncle Josh and BoogaBoo!

Brookelynne got a adorable outfit, several pairs of socks, new slippers, a pop up toy and a four wheeler! (Don't worry, the four wheeler has a maximum speed of 1 mph! lol) She also helped others open their presents. By the end of the night she had definitely figured out what this opening presents thing was all about!  haha. She was also playing with ALL of the presents, even Mama's!

Trying on Mama's new boots! Such a stinker!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Visiting Santa and...the Flower Shop?

Today we went to visit Santa! I called around to tons of places to find out prices and such and everything was so expensive. So I got a hold of the KMart on Beach and they said they had a Santa that you could take pictures with on your own camera! SO, that's what we did. She really wasn't too keen on the idea of going to see him or taking a picture with him, but when Mama sat with her, she didn't cry, so we at least got a picture or two!

 Then we drove down the road to the Kuhn's flower shop, knowing they had such great Christmas decor, to take some family pictures. While they aren't perfect (because Brookelynne pretty much refuses to smile and look at the camera unless I'm the one taking the picture, lol), we did get a few really cute ones. Here they are! 

 Those are my stinkers!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Cookies and Tree Decorating...

Christmas is a season to celebrate the birth of our Savior and there are so many ways that we can do this. We have some traditions in my family that I've grown up doing each year that include getting a new ornament each year and decorating the Christmas tree as a family. This year we added making Christmas cookies as a new tradition that our kids can enjoy each year.  Here are some of the pictures from the festivities!

 Brookelynne and Aunt Amy hanging their ornaments!

 Brookelynne helping put all of Uncle Josh's yearly ornaments on....
 Showing Brookelynne his singing ornament....
 Amy and Josh putting this year's ornaments on the tree!
 Brookelynne commandeered Aunt Amy's scarf as well as some new ornaments for herself.... :)
 Brookelynne helping Mama and Daddy with their ornaments...

 Brookelynne's new sign! :) Her with it, and her with Grandma too!

Then we started on the cookies! We had to let Brookelynne cut the cookies, of course, and we all took turns trying to get her to cut them all. After a few minutes she had the basic idea, and every time she would push on the cookie cutter, she would grunt really loud! LOL. It was so cute! 

 (Picture of her 'grunting')
 Uncle Josh showed Brookelynne that the cookie dough was edible, and she was pretty happy about that! lol.

Once we had cut all the cookies, Brookelynne and I went into the living room and Brooke took a short nap while the cookies baked and cooled. Then when they were ready, we sat down and decorated them as a family. It was so cute to see Brookelynne squeeze the tubes and try to get the icing out, and then she would dump, literally, the sprinkles out. :) 

With all of the extra sugar sprinkles that were on the table, I thought that Brookelynne should learn that they are just as edible as the cookies! :) So I put her finger in her mouth, dipped it in the sprinkles and put it back in  her mouth. :) She didn't need any more help figuring out what she should continue to do!

Then she showed us her tongue, a new trick she's learned! lol. That's our girl!

We had a wonderful time and I'm so excited to get to do this each year with the additional kids and all the different ages! We're so thankful for the opportunity to use these traditions in the years to come to teach our kids about Christ. From the way that Christmas trees began (a way of sharing the gospel, with different colored bulbs, like the colored beads on gospel bracelets) and praying over cookies as we make them to go to our church's prison ministry so they can be used to share the gospel with prisoners all over the state. Even a reminder each year of the blessings we've received based on which ornament we got to represent that year. May we each remember the true reason for the season and enjoy the blessings that the Lord has given us this year. Merry Christmas!