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Merry Christmas from the Robinsons

If I were super organized and sent a Christmas letter to family and friends it would read a little something like this:

 

Twenty sixteen came in quick and is quickly turning into a year ending with a seven. We have settled into our no-longer-so-new house with two three kids, two dogs, Meme, and her over-weight Persian cat named Lilli.

Britton is in 8th grade and spends her time playing soccer, studying (straight A’s! this year) and listening to music. She also tried volleyball for the first time this year and is getting ready for the opening of tennis season.  She went on a mission trip with our church youth group this summer and, despite my faults, has turned out to be a wonderful teenager. My prayer is that she continues to make good decisions, put others first, and remember Whose she is.

Kenley stays busy with her running club and cheer leading. She is on the Lower School Student Council and recently gave a speech titled, ‘Why Tallahassee is the best place to live.’ Bet you didn’t know that we have one of the nation’s first Christmas service?! At any given time she is readying 2-3 books but, I am sad to say, loves her iPad equally. She has grown so tall over the past year that she has all but caught up to both her sister and me. She has scored some new clothes in the process, is quite the writer, and she constantly reminds (and often times shows) us that the middle children are so sweet.

Five year-old Raynes wakes up happy, asking questions (no less than 194 a day)– and stays chatty and upbeat all day every day. He is quite the artist and likes dart guns, riding his bicycle, Poochie and hunting with his daddy. He doesn’t like it when we tell him he looks like the Elf on the Shelf and I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes a professional greeter at a big store like Wal-Mart one day. What can I say? The boy loves people.

Mike is managing to balance work and home successfully – which is no easy task! His business continues to grow and this summer he earned a rewards trips to California and we had a sunny CA grand time.

I am enjoying my job at my alma mater, and the children’s school, where I work year-round in administration. It affords me the ability to be at every school function, and get to see my babies during the day and Mike is so supportive.  There’s not much time for hobbies but I do try to pick up my camera and keep up my ol’ blog from time to time.  Exercise doesn’t exactly count as a “hobby” but more of a necessity like breathing, eating, and coloring hair. 2017 be a big year with my 40th birthday and 16 year wedding anniversary coming in the next couple months. Sometimes, if I stop and look at the blessings that surround us I am afraid they will suddenly disappear. Perhaps that is why the camera doesn’t leave my hands, I tend to ‘over-share’ on social media, and why my right eye twitches. But for now, I’ll take it all in, appreciate the heck out of it, and celebrate a wonderful year full of His graciousness.

 

Ho Ho Ho via grateful simplicity

 

Merry Christmas from the Robinsons via grateful simplicity

Merry Christmas from the Robinsons

 

Britton (age 13)

Britton (age 13)

Kenley (age 10)

Kenley (age 10)

Raynes (age 5)

Raynes (age 5)

 

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15 days of Christmas

This is an old post that has been sitting in drafts since December. And so it goes…

 

Mr. Robinson returns shortly following a 5-day hunting trip out of state. His second round in the past two weeks. If you are better at math than me, that means he was gone for 10 out of 22 days in December so far. So what’s a girl to do? Party, of course. And so began, the 15 days of parties. Or, as I like to call it. The 15 days of Christmas.

 

Day 1: Garden Club party — yes, Garden Club is a real thing whose roots run deep in  T-town. Bee keeping. Florida bears and community organic gardens- that’s us.

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Day 2: Birthday party for a dear friend… with not a single selfie, post, Insta or tweet to be found. Sometimes when you are having that much fun there is no time to capture.

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Day 3: My favorite’s nieces holiday song followed by an evening Christmas party with Mr. R– chili and bonfire style. And once again, nothing but a date on the ol’ iPhone and conversations with friends to commemorate.

PK4 Holiday cuz

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stockings are hung on the banister with care….

 

Day 4: Rayne’s Holiday Sing-Along and Annual White Elephant Christmas Party- mama style.

 

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white elephant

Day 5: I know I had something this evening but for the life of me cannot remember it now….

 

Day 6: Cotillion Club party (and pre and post and everything in between) and…. Britton’s first non-birthday party complete with a party dress and DJ. Sadly, no photos of my little girl who is no longer a little girl.

cotillion lrge

 

Day 7: Lighting advent candle at church, (with a great sermon on how to be a gracious receiver- “A partridge and a pear tree), birthday party and Mrs. Claus party (again, for the mama- after all we are working overtime this month), and… Ugly Christmas  party for one of the kiddos.

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birthday celebration for sweet Windsor.. the big THREE!

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talk about a festive birthday cake!

 

Day 8: Allie Boone’s birthday party… with Christmas cheer for the parents that evening. Or parent in my case.

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Day 9: Triple play evening starting with the annual WebbSteiner Christmas dinner… Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. This is really consecutive nights. The plus side? Mr. Robinson made it home just in time to join in on the evening fun.

 

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Day 10 :  A lovely dinner with Santa.. in what might as well have been the house I also grew up in.

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Day 11:  Christmas Eve family service followed by annual party at the Hanleys. Aunt Bunny said this is the 30th + year they’ve hosted the celebration. Looking back, I cannot remember a Christmas eve that didn’t involve the Hanley’s home (with the exception the Christmas my Dad was sick– also known as the worst Christmas ever).

 

Day 12:  Family Christmas Dinner

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Day 13: Post-Christmas Cheer at a co-workers house…. Loved it!

 

Day 14: Skeet Shooting with some of my favorite high school friends.

 

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November Wrap Up

Due to technical difficulties on my end just now getting around to posting November leftovers.

November is coming to an end- with twinkle lights and “Lou” the Elf having already made their appearance.  A few of the November happenings ’round here that were not all that exciting but that is precisely what makes life exciting I believe.

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DIY playhouse makeover project

 

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two words- bed head

 

 

Dee-Dee had all her grands recently and brought them over to see Meme. Once they left, Deborah got herself a puppy. She done lost her mind (although he is really, really cute!)

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Twinkle ligts- the Christmas decor that keeps on giving all year long.

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And speaking of twinkle lights, these take no batteries.

Thanksgiving break is officially over and it’s back to this. But that’s okay because Christmas is so close I can almost smell the cider cooking on the stove.

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We are Thankful…. and new traditions

We are Thankful…. and new traditions

Mr. Robinson and I got to talking about family traditions recently and it dawned on me that we don’t have a whole heck of a lot. Yes, there’s the Nutcracker, and Christmas Eve church service followed by the Hanley’s party. But what about Thanksgiving?  With our parents living in the same town and still hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, it kind of puts us in this not-a-kid but not officially-an-adult category when it comes to the holidays.  There’s not exactly a ‘we-make-this-every-year’ dish that makes it’s appearance or annual travels to visit family.

So I decided we needed one more good ol’ family tradition for Thanksgiving. Let’s have Thanksgiving Pajama Breakfast— cousin style. We went straight from our beds, in our pajamas, over to Aunt Britty and Uncle Matt’s house for a Thanksgiving breakfast. So I’m not gonna lie, the first annual Thanksgiving Pajama Breakfast was a little weak on attendance (thanks to my two pre-teen girls sleeping and it being smack dab in the middle of the rut for Mr. Robinson. For those of you that aren’t from the South, here’s what the rut is.)

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But it’s about quality, not quantity, sometimes and the little cousins were happy nonetheless.  Just kidding Britton and Kenley if you are reading this– it wasn’t the same without you!

 

We are Thankful.... and new traditions

We are Thankful.... and new traditions

 

We are Thankful.... and new traditions via grateful simplicity

We are Thankful.... and new traditions via grateful simplicity

We are Thankful.... and new traditions via grateful simplicity

 

Not to have missed out altogether on the new Thanksgiving morning ritual, Kenley decided that she needed to make up for having missed breakfast and insisted we make our favorite Trader Jo’s cinnamon buns- which are usually reserved for weekend mornings when the girls have spend the night company.

We are Thankful.... and new traditions via grateful simplicity

foreground– K started her Christmas shopping early and already has her gifts wrapped. Over achiever.

 

 

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Mr. Robinson and I snuck away for a mini-vacation to celebrate his 40th birthday, returning late yesterday afternoon. Try as I might to give Thanksgiving the time it deserves, I couldn’t refrain from pulling down some of the Christmas decor boxes. And buying garland. And playing Christmas music. Okay, I give up. I am in full on Christmas spirit and Advent hasn’t even begun. Speaking of Advent, I finally broke down and purchased handmade Jesse Tree ornaments– the paper ones we cut out years ago have seen their better days and I can’t think of a better “decoration” to spend money on this Christmas.

We are Thankful.... and new traditions via grateful simplicity

 

Now it’s time to sit back and take a page from Poochie’s book. Once I do just a little more fah-la-la-la-lah’ing around the house.

We are Thankful.... and new traditions via grateful simplicity

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

Thankful

School dismissed Friday for a week-long Thanksgiving Break. Can I get a hallelujah? I’m so excited I can’t decide if I should rest, organize or start cooking some Thanksgiving fixings.  So I did a little bit of everything today. Mr. Robinson took The Littles camping last night, a first for Raynes, and they loved it.  Well, loved might be a strong word. Raynes was an instant fan and would be happy if he got to live in a pop up camper for the rest of his life. Mr. Robinson, on the other hand, didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 am with the deflated air mattress, car alarm going off, co-campers snoring, and  tight quarters.  Thankfully, B and I stayed back and enjoyed our quiet dinner at an Italian restaurant last night, while we caught up on 7th grade happenings.

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Raynes’ Pre-K Thanksgiving feast. He is thankful for food, family, and TOYS (and he didn’t so much as touch that fruit– worst eater ever)

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I am thankful for crafty moms that volunteer to bring desserts to the Thanksgiving feast

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Thankful.