Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Few Extra December Pics

The weeks leading up to Christmas are generally pretty busy for our family, but we love "scheduling in" lots of downtime too.  It guarantees that we don't miss out on some of the most important parts of the season-- talking about Jesus, togetherness as a family, and making lots of memories...

Mario does a fantastic job in leading our family devotions after dinner.  
Most evenings it's a simple Bible reading and character development book that leads to lots of good discussion.  But sometimes he goes all out like THIS Gospel presentation!

The boys LOVE it when he uses their "friends" (aka stuffed animals) to learn the lessons he is teaching.

morning snuggles and reading in bed with mama
(can they stay little forever?)

my birthday falls mid-month--
the big 3-3!

My three guys made this strawberry tiramisu cake--it was yummy!
Along with my precious gifts, my sweet hubby dropped me off to get a massage!
Of course, at one point during the week we did my favorite birthday activity--
going to see Christmas lights with the kids and a special Starbucks drink!  :)

the evening of my birthday was Mario's Voss Christmas party at Babe's.

rainy day movie and lunch at fuzzy's taco shop

my munchkins

at the end of every year, i wrap up all our Christmas books and store them in the attic.  starting december 1, we bring them all down and put them in a big basket.  the kids get to open up a book every day leading up to Christmas.  reading these is one of  our favorite parts of the day and really causes us to slow down and enjoy the little moments.

We also did an advent ornament tree.  
We started with an empty tree, and read a devotional each evening that matched up with a specific ornament to hang on the tree.  Loved that it presented the Gospel story as it should be--starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation.

This was our first year to do this, and we all enjoyed it.  It helped us to celebrate the birth of Jesus in a more tangible way.  And these two were pretty proud of the end result!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!

Snow Days

On December 6, Dallas got hit with a HUGE ice storm!  The ice and snow were beautiful to look at, but they pretty much shut the city down!  Temps dropped well below freezing the night before, and hovered in the teens and low 20's throughout the day.  It was kinda fun to have an excuse to stay home and snuggle in front of a warm fire!  

in front of our house
the ice was so heavy on our front tree that it completely blocked our house, and the branches were touching the walkway!
many, many trees in our area split due to all the extra weight--thankfully ours did not!

the side of our house--beautiful to look at

the boys couldn't wait to get out and play in the "snow"

my two snow bunnies

daddy took them to explore.
i tagged along with my camera, but my fingers got numb so quickly I didn't stay out too long!

as i was getting this one dressed i realized he had outgrown his boots!  we had to make do with some thick, fuzzy socks and sneakers!  he didn't seem to mind, but his feet were soggy and numb when he got back home!

love #1

love #2

Well, it was an unusual week for Texas--especially considering we had a high of 77 two days ago!  But it sure provided some entertainment and a change of pace!  Maybe we should invest in a sled?!?  ;)

LCA Kindergarten Christmas Party

In early December, Anthony's class held their annual Christmas party, including crafts, snacks, and a book exchange.  He had so much fun with his friends.

working on his reindeer craft next to best buddy Porter

great job, Anthony!  the reindeer will go on our Christmas tree!
(apparently the car wanted to be in the picture too!)

Lucas felt right at home in Anthony's class eating a GIANT cupcake

"um, i think you have a little icing on your face!"

chocolate--a boy after my own heart!

not sure who thought the red icing was a good idea!  ;)

Anthony's good friend Caleb is all smiles

after the sugar rush (because that's always the best timing) Mrs. Riggins (Price's mom) corrals the kids into a circle for their book exchange--which is pretty much like hot potato, except if you get stuck with a present you get to keep it.  they all got to keep one, of course!  ;)

anthony ended up with the book porter brought which was a super-hero action figures book--
he loves it!

well, the aftermath isn't pretty, but he sure had fun!
(this shirt most likely won't be handed down to little brother!)

Merry Christmas, Kindergarteners!

Friday, June 6, 2014

"Christmas" with the Mamminas--Nov.2013

LOVE these low key days!  On November 29th, we decided to kick back, play, and do a little project.

Does this ever happen at your house?  Probably not!  My boys decided to make a big ol' pile of stuff!
"Hmmmm, let's see how many things we can heap on top of each other...."

Nonno and Anthony share some cracked nuts--
Anthony was fascinated by this!

Mario and Dad got to work replacing the old tile countertop on my kitchen island.
Man, oh, man!  I was NOT sad to see this one go!

Dad was the supervisor, and he taught Mario what he needed to know to do the work!
Great experience we have having him around!  LOVE it!

They did such fantastic job!!!
(Now, if I can just get around to painting all my cabinets white, I'll be a happy camper!)

Ma made some homemade turkey soup for dinner!
Soup is always my favorite way to use up leftovers!!!

This little one can always make me smile!  :)
He always has something important to say these days.

Anthony loves to be warm and cozy--just like his mama!
I can always convince him to snuggle with me in front of the fire--
it doesn't take much convincing!

On Saturday, we decided to have our Christmas celebration!  The presents start coming out of the woodwork!

Do you think Anthony is just a little bit excited?!?

Anthony loves reading the names on the tags this year!

Both boys have so much fun passing the gifts around!

Lucas decides to sit with me for a snuggle and a rest.  I'll take that anytime!  ;)

I think they were just as excited watching Nonno and Nonna open the gifts we got them as they were about opening their own gifts!

And the LOVE to help open!  ;)

Nonna gets thank you hugs!!!

Sweet little faces anticipating what's behind the wrapping


not sure if he's not feeling the outfit or is just pretending to be a tough guy!  haha!

you better believe they were excited to receive THIS gift!  THANK YOU Nonno and Nonna!

Hilarious story:
Dad and Ma saved their BIG gift for the kids until the end--their first set of little legos.  I just KNEW they would love it!  They had no idea and were so excited to open this final box.  What do you think happened?!?

Do you see what I see tipped over in the corner?  Yep.  The boys both screamed, "BUBBLE WRAP!" as they opened the box from Amazon, and the lego bin totally got tossed to the side!  They literally had NO idea there was anything in that box besides bubble wrap--and they were THRILLED about it!!!

Finally we pointed out the legos, and they were thrilled about that too!  In fact, they played with them for a VERY long time!
(but, oh, the joys of bubble wrap!)

these two sat outside enjoying the warm sun and some good laughs

the boys join in, having some snacks and playing a little catch

In the afternoon, we headed to downtown McKinney for our photo shoot--those lovely family pictures that I already posted about.  But here are a few more I just couldn't leave out.  

sweet little Lucas

big boy Anthony

(these two adore each other)

and I adore THIS!
even though we live far apart, I SO appreciate the time and effort and love that Dad and Ma invest into these boys' lives

after the pictures were done, we decided to walk around downtown to see what was going on

Nonno explained all about the fire trucks!

These two still love their trucks!

3 generations

the boys had done such a wonderful job posing and smiling earlier that Nonna treated them to a ride on the carousel

Lucas loved this blue dragon

we popped on over to the Cadillac Pizza Pub for a little dinner

what a fun day!

love my little sweetheart Lucas
(growing up too fast)

a special candy treat and a few books before turning in
Nonna always makes time for reading

the boys get creative with their glow sticks from Nonna--
she always thinks of fun ideas!
The boys were begging for these each night at bedtime!

Sunday morning, off to church!

what do they want to do right when they get home???  play legos, of course!

Mario makes a banana pancake brunch for the crew--
we're a little obsessed with banana pancakes at our house!  ;)

Nonno reads a special Planes book the boys had opened the day before--so fun!

Mr. Rod and Ms. Carol came over later to surprise the boys with some remote control cars--
they were a HIT!

Ma and I sneaked off to squeeze in a little shopping, so the boys had a "guys afternoon"

HUGE treats at Culvers apparently made the list of manly things to do...

...as did an impromptu football game in the park1

and a little follow-the-leader--
Nonno is a lot more active these days since making some dietary changes, and we are LOVING it!

and last but not least...
THIS is what unabashed joy looks like!  
These two embrace life and live it to the fullest every.single.day!
I need to take some lessons myself!  ;)

Thank you Dad and Ma for making the trip down to see us.  You always have a way of making things so special.  We love every minute that we get to squeeze out of life with you two and feel very blessed to call you ours.  Sending our love...