So much to report and so little time to squeeze it all in, so I'll just hit the highlights of the past week.
These two monkeys have been enjoying each other more and more. I get a kick watching them discover each other and the special bond between sisters (not that we haven't had our fair share of battles over toys and the beginnings of some sibling rivalry). But still it is fun to watch them together and the silly things they find to do for entertainment. They can get each other laughing so hard that I'm afraid Caroline can't breathe sometimes!
On Sunday, my mom treated my sister, Anna Cate, and I to see a performance of the Nutcracker. Unfortunately, we forgot to take a camera to the ballet so this was the only picture we have that Will took of us before we left the house.
It was Anna Cate's first time to the ballet and I think I was even more excited than she was. She sat so still through the entire first half, holding my hand, and taking in all the magic. We sat only four rows back from the stage and could see every detail of the ballerina's faces and costumes. As the lights dimmed and the music started, I fought back tears and tried hard to swallow the lump in my throat. I felt so silly to be emotional about a ballet, but it was surprisingly overwhelming to get to share that moment with her.
That's the funny thing about parenhood...the little moments that sneak up on you when you least expect them and leave you feeling humbled and in awe of the gift of your children.
And speaking of children, this little one is growing up way too fast. She suddenly seems so big and grown up to me. We usually have a fire most evenings and put their pj's on by the fireplace after bath time. She looked to0 cute not to take a picture in her lamb towel with her tiny piggies and rosy little cheeks.
On Tuesday morning we enjoyed a little Christmas party with our Bible study (aka The Baby Girl's Club) Have I mentioned that we have eleven girls and only three boys between us?
This picture cracks me up. Carrie, it looks like you and I are twinkies - white shirts, matching earrings, and did I mention I was going to wear a scarf that morning until I threw on the necklace at the last minute? And Leslie, it looks like Callie has been taking lessons from Caroline on the Hairy Eyeball Stare. ;) And Lil, Lucy Mills looks like a precious little baby doll in her smocked dress with bright eyes for the camera. Of course everybody's baby was somewhat looking at the camera but Caroline, who seemed more interested in Lucy Mills at the moment. And Jessica, we missed you and Benson too!
This is just half of the kiddos. The other ones were in pre-school that morning.
And let me tell you what a crafty bunch of girls they are! I thought these were great DIY holiday gift ideas to share in case somebody is still needing some last-minute inspiration.
Nikki made each of us personalized holiday soap. She said that she just used regular bar soap (Ivory) and carefully scraped the I V O R Y off of the side. Then placed the sticker on the soap and dipped it in some Gulf Paraffin Wax (you can find it at Wal-mart or any craft store.) She made each of us some with both red and green stickers and they look so cute sitting out in our guest bath!
Carrie made each of the little ones these precious crayon rolls. They are perfect for keeping in your purse or diaper bag. The elephant fabric she used is adorable and (I think) from JoAnns. I found this tutorial online for anybody who is interested in making one.
Leslie made each of us a bag filled with these too cute to use gift tags. I'm so jealous because she has a Cricut and makes all kind of cute stuff with it. Now I just have to fill them out and actually put them on my wrapped presents.
And as our little gift, Anna Cate helped me make these flower clips to give to each of the little girls. I know some of them are too young to wear them now, but they'll be able to enjoy them soon enough! They are also really cute as pins. You can pin one on a purse or cardigan for an extra little pop of color. I was going to take pictures to post a tutorial, but then remembered I already shared this one on my old Crafty Little Chick blog.
And one last DIY gift idea to share. This one if for my grandparents, who I'm pretty sure don't check the blog, so I can share this gift before Christmas! Grandparents are so hard to shop for because they have everything they need/want. This year, we are giving them all a membership to a "Photo of the Month Club." Each month, they'll receive a new picture of the girls in the mail.
I wanted a little something more to give them on Christmas than just a card explaining their gift and I saw this idea for making a calendar using a picture frame in the Martha Stewart Magazine. Perfect! Now they have a place to put their monthly picture.
I just used one of the $1 frames from Michaels, painted it blue, and then modge podged some scrapbooking paper to the front. I also added strong magnets to the back so they can hang them on the fridge. If you click on the link above, the Martha Stewart website already has the calendar pages available to download and print from your computer.
Can't wait to share more DIY Projects after all our Christmas gifts have been opened!