Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

Christmas Eve day the girls were literally bouncing off the walls with excitement for what the rest of the day held, let alone the fact that the next day was Christmas. We made it through the afternoon and went to the 5:30 church service. The service had no children's ministry, therefore the girls had to sit in the service. Rachel was very wigglely, but at least she was quiet.

Following church we went to my Grandmother's house for the annual Christmas Eve gathering. We didn't make it for dinner this year, but we arrived just as the dishes were being done and the way was being made clear for the gift exchange. There weren't only two very excited little girlies, there were now four, all running about and hardly containing themselves. I think from the time in which the first gift was passed out until the last one was given out, was maybe 30 minutes. Rachel was excited when she opened up her presents and they were things from her list she had made a couple weeks ago.We didn't stay as late at my Grandmother's as years past. We needed to get home and get stockings stuffed, as well as do a little bit of assembling on Rachel's dinosaur.

Christmas morning, Rachel had to be woken up. We held Hannah back as long as we could, but just shortly after 7:00, we let Hannah wake her up. We started off in the family room, where upon entering into the family room, and spotting her dinosaur, she had a huge smile on her face. She climbed atop and said "This is just what I wanted!" She loved it and played with it and gave it a lot more attention the remainder of the day than we thought she would.After meeting Kota, we did stockings in the living room and Rachel was very excited to get Tinkerbell on DVD. She had a lot of other goodies too, but that was her most favorite.Not long after our time together as a family, doing stockings, opening presents and cards from out of state family, the festivities got under way when Gramma and Papa, Uncle Bart, Uncle Robbie, Auntie, McKenzie, and Haylee all showed up! There were many more presents and once again, our kids were well spoiled. It was Tinkerbell Christmas for Rachel. She got the Rosetta (one of Tink's fairy friends) dress up costume she wanted from Disneyland, the movie, a fashion and style head, a little toy, and this adorable Tinkerbell pillow that she absolutely loves. The rest of our Christmas Day was spent hanging out, all the girls having disappeared into the bedrooms to play. We had a nice dinner. And in the early hours of the evening we had more family stop by and even some friends join us for the evening. It was a great, great Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all the followers of Rachel's Journey.

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Rachel Funny

Last Thursday evening, Steven and the girls went out Christmas shopping for me. They've both been pretty good at keeping their lips tight and not telling me where they went or what they bought. But this evening at dinner Rachel said something about what they bought for me...

Rachel: "We bought you a costume for Christmas"

Me: "Yeah? Which one"

Rachel: "The witch one. The mean witch one from Wizard of Oz".

Yea, it's been one of those days around our house. First day of Christmas break. Out of routine. The girls are excited for Christmas that is just days away. Won't leave each other alone. PMSing on my part.

I'm sure I could have worn that costume and fit the part well today...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Day!

The winter storms that hit Southern California this past week, not only brought us lots of rain, and cold temps, it brought lots and lots of snow the local mountains. But more importantly, Gramie got about six inches of snow just at her house in the high desert!
Cajon Pass

After bundling and gloving everyone up, we went out to play! Rachel had so much fun in the snow and didn't even bat an eye about laying in it and crawling around in it. And thanks to a snow suit that our friends gave her last Spring for snow days at preschool, she actually kept dry, with the exception of her jeans peaking out from the snowsuit overalls! We played out in the snow for a good hour, maybe longer. And then Rachel started complaining about her hands being cold. So we went inside to change into dry clothes and sit by Gramie's fire. Rachel had so much fun and I'm sure we're going to hear her be asking when we can go back and play in the snow again!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Performance

I'm a little melancholy as I write this post this evening, for today, we attended our last preschool Christmas performance. Rachel will be in Kindergarten next year, therefore today was the last of the cute Christmas performances for our family.

Today's performance was the best one of all four that our kids have participated in.

There weren't any preschoolers with that 'deer in the headlight' look while standing in front of hundreds of parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and who ever else came. Everyone sang loudly and and understandably, doing the hand motions, and did a really good job. Rachel included.

Despite being in the first row,
the close up pictures always turn out so dark.
Waving to her fans as she exited the stage.
Gramma is always a supporter all the parades and performances, but this was the first performance Papa was able to make it, and Rachel was excited he did! Thanks Papa for adjusting your schedule to come!
Great Grandma and Aunt Sandy came to see Rachel and Haylee/
Their last preschool Christmas performance.
Rachel had fun as well. For the rest of the day, she's been going around saying "I sang good, huh?". She sure did, and it was a great way to end our Christmas performance experience with the preschool.

Rachel Gets Hold of a Scissors!

The girls have both been needing their bangs cut for a while now, so in anticipation of Rachel's preschool performance this morning, I cut their bangs last night. Apparently that gave Rachel an idea...

This morning, I kept finding these hunks of cut hair in the hallway. Rachel had gotten hold of Hannah's craft scissors and decided to cut her hair. She took a hunk of hair on each side of her face and took about four inches off!! If I was to take her someplace to have them 'fix' it, her hair would be extremely short. So for now, I'm having to use gel to get her hair to even stay pulled up on the sides, and she currently has no say in wanting her hair to stay down.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

God of All Comfort - Devotional

My Mom, wrote a devotional on her blog today that included the recent opportunity of sharing the Lord's faithfulness and goodness through Rachel's Journey. It's an excellent devotional, and I encourage you to go read it!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Visiting the Merriest Place on Earth

The blankets, jackets, mittens, and scarves were packed and we were on our way to the Merriest Place just as soon as we picked up Hannah from school. This afternoon, we were meeting long time friends, Carolyn, and her two kids, Matthew and Katie.

Carolyn, a nurse and friend long before Rachel was born, signed herself onto the work schedule after she heard of the complications of Rachel's birth and was my personal nurse the day after Rachel was born. She took very good care of me and we provided her with the experience of handling and caring for a newly born cleft affected baby.

We were meeting at Disneyland after our oldests got out of school and planned to spend the afternoon and evening enjoying the lights and magic of the Christmas season at Disneyland. While we waited for them to arrive, we hung out around the Christmas tree taking pictures and caught the last half of the Christmas parade. When are friends arrived, we strolled through some shops and enjoyed the lights on Main Street. We also found these guys, playing some Christmas music. They were excellent and always a delight to hear.We tried to get on It's A Small World, but the lines were a lot longer than we were willing to wait in. We tried to find a little nook to stand and watch the Christmas parade, but there was just way too many people and there was no place to sit and stand and have all four of the kids be able to see the parade, so made our way back into ToonTown and had some fun exploring back there. It's a Small World in the background all decked out for the holiday season. We decided we wanted to see the Holiday fireworks, therefore we grabbed a piece of the curb along Main Street and waited a little over an hour. Rachel, who was adamant about staying for the fireworks, fell asleep in her stroller shortly after 8:00 and much to my surprise, she stayed asleep through the fireworks and loud music and stayed asleep all the way to the car. Once at the car, as I was putting Rachel's jammie's on the still half asleep girl, she let it be known she wasn't ready to leave, that she wanted to see the fireworks! LOL. I told her she'd slept through them and she looked and me and went back to sleep. Silly girl.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!

Our Christmas tree went up on Friday, and after putting some ribbon and garland on it Saturday in between a movie marathon, the girls decorated the tree on Sunday.

This is the second year, whereas the girls put all the ornaments on the tree with a little bit of guiding and coaching and a few relocations of 'valuable' ornaments, they did a great job! Rachel was so excited to get the tree done and made pretty.

Sunday afternoon, we had warm and sunny skies. I'm sure to many people it looks funny to be decorating a Christmas tree in shorts and short sleeves! It was afterall, 85 degrees!So, once the tree went up, I brought out the Christmas presents I had and placed them beneath the tree. Rachel wanted her presents to open right then and there. Steven had to remind her we needed to wait until Christmas to open presents, but this is how things work...presents go under the tree, and we open on Christmas, etc. I knew she was going to have a hard time comprehending how long until Christmas, but with her, paper chains seem to work really well, so today, the girls made a paper chain countdown to Christmas. We hung it up on our hall door and everyday the girls will take turn in tearing off a ring. The other thing I started today to help in our visual countdown to Christmas was our advent snowman. I love this thing and found it a few years ago at Lowe's.There are some simple holiday candies in there and hopefully between moving the candy cane every day and tearing off a paper ring everyday, it'll help with the "how many more days until Christmas?!?!"