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More from Christmas Breaking

The last of the photos from last year Christmas Break. Again, mostly sitting, crafting, sitting and some Poochie snuggling. It currently feels like a tundra in our town with day 5 of freezing (literally) temperatures. Guess it goes to show – be careful what you wish for. At this point, Poochie may need to have her wardrobe beefed up. Two sweaters just aren’t enough.

More from Christmas Breaking via grateful simplicity

 

More from Christmas Breaking via grateful simplicity

More from Christmas Breaking via grateful simplicity

More from Christmas Breaking via grateful simplicity

 

More from Christmas Breaking via grateful simplicity

Nobody likes a good craft more than this guy.

 

More from Christmas Breaking via grateful simplicity

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Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year!

2018: The Year of More of You, Less of Me.

2017 has come to close and today marks the first day of 2018. New year, clean slate, fresh start, endless opportunities. I’ve not been one to make resolutions because I’ve found more times than not they get abandoned around February. However, this morning I found myself writing them out in my prayer journal. Figured this may hold myself more accountable than in years past.

1. Have a teachable spirit

2. Pray about everything

3. More of God, less of me.

4. Spend individual quality time with each family member

5.  Display more patience

6. Make the time to do things I enjoy things I used to enjoy- photography, blogging, sewing, etc.

7. And the obligatory ‘clean eating’ (for good measure)

We have loved being on Christmas break- time at home wearing pajamas all day, some days doing a lot of nothing while other days doing a lot of somethings. We’ve cleaned, lounged, binged watched The Crown (and working my way through Dontown Abbey again starting with Season 1), painted four rooms, visited with friends, took kids shopping to spend their Christmas money (sorry Mike, they aren’t savers), lounged some more, used my label maker for everything I could get my hands on, set up a media room for the kids, undecorated, cleaned out the attic, organized drawers, baked, cleaned some more and enjoyed every second of it. These two weeks are most definitely my favorite time of the year because the best gift is the gift of time.

And speaking of gifts, I guilted the girls into allowing me to take their photograph (see #6 above) by telling them to consider it a Christmas present from them to me. It worked.

Happy New YEAR 2018 via grateful simplicity

 

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New YEAR 2018 via grateful simplicity

 

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018

Happy New Year 2018

Cheers to 2018!

Party Over Here, Party Over There

There’s a party over here, a party over there, waive your hands in the air shake your derriere.

We’ve made it halfway through party season thanks to the girls now busy social calendar. Parenting sure does change as children get older. There is much more at stake now and… who knew I would be a part time Uber Driver. I don’t get paid of course. And technically I don’t work for Uber. Britton and Kenley’s personal chauffeur is more accurate.  But if I were to get paid for Ubering their little fannies everywhere I would make a killing’!

Raynes has really gotten the hang of riding his bike without training wheels and often asks to ride his bike in our cul-de-sac. Round and round, and round he goes. Sometimes for 45 minutes pedaling in circles. Literally. Occasionally we tell him he can ride down to the end of the street and back.

Kenley, after spending yesterday in the bed with a cold, had no choice but to get outside and ride bikes with her younger brother (just call me Tiger Mom). She may look 17 but she’s still 11 and the perfect ‘bike riding with your brother’ age (no she does not pedal round and round the cul-de-sac. Well, not just the cul-de-sac.

Party Over Here, Party Over There

Party Over Here, Party Over There via grateful simplicity

 

christmas break bike house4-1

 

Party Over Here, Party Over There via grateful simplicity

 

Party Over Here, Party Over There via grateful simplicity

 

these are my Christmas plans...

these are my Christmas plans…

round and round she goes

round and round she goes

Party Over Here, Party Over There via grateful simplicity

Party Over Here, Party Over There via grateful simplicity

 

Party Over Here, Party Over There via grateful simplicity

 

Christmas Break Begins Now

17, yes, 17 days of Christmas break begin today and this, by far, is my favorite time of the year. Time to fit everything in, while also purposefully scheduling absolutely nothing on the calendar. Down time. Busy time. All built into the same break.

Christmas Break Begins Now.

Christmas Break Begins Now via grateful simplicity

Raynes sang at a local retirement community (then came home feeling under the weather).

The hubs and I had a Garden Club Christmas Party. And no, there was no flower arranging by the men. Although that certainly would make for an entertaining evening.

Trader Joe’s greenery is holding up well (fingers crossed)

 

 

Shaping Perspective

Shaping Perspective

Winter has officially blown in with holiday lights, frosted roofs, hot cocoa and gold Christmas trees everywhere. We all sported our ‘ugly Christmas sweaters’ recently and Raynes came in third place for his Epic Christmas messaging. I love this photo that my friend Kim took because his face captures the look of speechless which is one I haven’t seen (or heard) very often. Thank you, Amazon Prime!

Last year was 12 days of Christmas parties and this December isn’t shaping out to be any different. Office parties, birthday parties, holiday parties, Elf parties, cocktail parties, Garden Club parties, party, party, party. ‘Tis the season I suppose.

We drove to Gainsville for Kenley’s routine cardiac exam and were pleased to have another “uneventful” visit. Uneventful in the midst of all these events is appreciated in more ways than one. We were reassured with words like “normal” and “healthy” and “not overly concerned” as we drove back to Tallahassee. I’ve said it before, but it never fails- the waiting room at the Children’s Specialist Clinic at Shands Hospital has to be one of the most humbling places. Look around and you see children with rare, severe and obvious struggles. And parents, their caretakers, their cheerleaders – pushing them in their wheelchairs and holding them in their arms with tubes and bags strolled alongside- as if wearing invisible armor. It makes all things petty in world quickly fade into the background and bring into focus all that really matters. Faith, family, friends and health.

Ugly Sweater Contest

 

Our lemon tree produced hundreds of lemons that were more the size of oranges this year

 

Holiday Coffee

 

Impromptu Girls Dinner

 

11 year check up