Free Hugs In The Middle Of Times Square.

The day before Sierra decided to take off we went on a spontaneous trip to new york, and made the best of the little time we had left to spend with her.  

Gift Exchange, and Our Christmas Dinner.

There is something about gift exchanges that makes Christmas a little bit more fun. Don't get me wrong, we each make our own Christmas the best it can be, and for some it may not be about the gifts, but when it comes to friends gift exchanges are so much fun to do! 

Christmas Morning & My Two Favorite Gifts.

Christmas is by far the most wonderful time of the year, and truly my favorite holiday. It's a time for families to get together. To love, and laugh, and cry tears of joy. Tears of joy because we are spending it with our loved ones. It is the time to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to share the love we have for everyone. The Light of the World campaign was one of the highlights of this month for me.

The Winter Party.

One of the best things about being a stay at home mom is the fact that I can volunteer at my kids schools anytime, any day without feeling the need to be rushed knowing that i had to go back to work in an office. I remember many times where Sierra would ask me if I could help at her school with the other moms doing various projects, and always remember telling her "no."

Noah-isms: Christmas Edition.

Life has been way too busy this holiday season to jot down every single quirky thing Noah says, but i somehow always manage to remember the funniest, and sweetest things that he utters. I love it when he comes home from school, and gives me his daily recap. He always has something interesting to say, and sometimes they are things I don't want to hear such as his friends at school talking about girls, and how some girls want to kiss him.

Errand Of Angels From Utah, Circa 2006.

It's hard to believe that this video is ten years old, but boy oh boy do i love a good reminder. It feels as if I left from that area yesterday. All the sisters in this video remind me of the goodness that we can share, and the love that we can give to others. No matter what paths we have all gone towards, or where we live at this moment what matters is that these angels that were mine for those short years expressed service, love, devotion, thoughtfulness, compassion, love, and kindness. All the attributes that the Savior has, and desires us to inhibit were given to me, and because of that I will pass that on! 

Christmas Lights At Dyker Heights in Brooklyn.

If you enjoy seeing christmas lights as a family tradition during the holidays, and are ever in the new york area you gotta see the Christmas lights at Dyker Heights. After we took Noah to see Peter and the Wolf we drove over to see the lights Brooklyn style. I have heard of this phenomenon over the years, and this year decided to see them up, close, and personal for the first time.

Peter & The Wolf At The Guggenheim.

Peter and the wolf at the Guggenheim museum has become our new Christmas family tradition for Noah, and I'm only sad that I didn't bring the girls. Even though Chelsea, and Lexie are a tween and a teen I know they would have enjoyed this show. Not only because of the story, but because there is an orchestra that involves a violin, and a cello! Let's not mention that oboe player that plays on the stage. 

It's Never Too Late To Light The World.

So we finally printed this baby out and taped it up! The day this campaign started was the day my husband had minor surgery, and all that mattered to me at that moment was making sure he was being taken care of. Luckily he's a good sport, and presses forward through difficult times. The "Light The World" campaign couldn't have come at a better time because it has really helped me to focus on the things that are important.

Tree-Cutting...One Of Our Christmas Faves!

I promised myself that this year's holidays were not going to be hustle and bustle and rush, rush, rush, but the fact that my husband had a bit of an emergency last weekend which resulted in minor surgery caused a delay in getting our Christmas tree. Not to worry it wasn't anything major, but luckily he's recovering like a trooper, and that he had enough stamina to come with us to go tree-cutting. 

Visiting Santa At ABC Carpet & Home.

Christmas is the time for all things magical especially when you have young children, and going to see Santa this year at the ABC carpet and home was worth the wait in line. Going inside to see this particular Santa who has been here for years was the friendliest one ever! Since moving to the east we have been going to Macy's, and The Plaza to visit Santa, but this year we decided to visit him at ABC.

Holiday Train Show At The New York Transit Museum.

For the past four years I've been wanting to take Noah to the holiday train show at the New York transit train museum during the holidays, but every time we've gone to new york it just never panned out. We'd end up doing other things, and before you know it, it's time to go home, and Noah would be crashed out. Now that Noah's in school full time it's hard to take him out during the day unless it's a holiday or an in-service day for teachers.

Hooray For Christmas in Lighting The World!

"The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us" has become one of my new favorite quotes. It helps me to remind my kids what Christmas is all about. I love that we have built traditions around the holidays, but also love this time of year because it helps me to reflect more on the Savior which helps give me an even deeper appreciation for those who are without, having hard times whether it be physical, emotional, or financial, and are in need of comfort, kind words, love, friendshipping. Teaching my children the true meaning of Christmas is enough for me when it comes to the holidays. 

Sure we have fun decorating the tree, going to new york to see Christmas in the city, visiting Santa, driving around to see the Christmas lights, baking cookies (them, not me...I'll just frost them), and other various activities that we will fit into our schedule, but I have come to the realization that at the end of the day, it's all about peace, hope, and time. Peace because I am a mother, and with that comes a lot of parental concerns, hope because all I want for Christmas is joy, and time because it's important to make times for the things that matter most.  
Light The World is a project that my church has been doing since December 1st, and I love the idea that comes from it. This is definitely one way where we can continue to remind our children what Christmas is all about. Finding ways to light the world" by serving others, and for us to become better christians. 
Last weekend the kids pulled out their little tree, and all their ornaments, and decorated it. I even made a little video that you can view here. I've had this little tree since Lexie was born, and they have so much fun decorating it each year. This is something they have done on their own since Sierra was about 10. It's been a fun tradition watching them decorate their little tree, and I'm not sure if I'll ever get rid of it. Some of the branches have fallen off, and glued back on, but it's still standing and the kids love it! 

I captured a few photos for my posterity in hopes that my future grandkids will read this and build their own traditions. 
We love pinecones, and Noah had fun putting them inside the vase. He is such a good little helper, and really got into the spirit of Christmas doing it! 
He's especially proud of decorating their little christmas tree with the help of his sisters.
Going to the Macy's parade is another tradition we started eight years ago when we moved here, and hope to always make it to the parade. It's one of the ways we start off the Christmas season. Noah is proud of his pin that was given to him by one of the people participating in the parade. He will not take it off! 
I also took a few photos of these two dancing with the christmas lights, and getting tangled in them. Even though these two have their moments, at the end of the day it all ends with love, and laughter! 
One of our favorite books, and Christmas traditions is reading this book to the kids. It helps them remember the true meaning of Christmas, and that it's not about the worldly gifts, but the gift that comes from God which is the Savior. 

Here's hoping y'all are enjoying the festivities that this holiday season brings! 

Miles Found Us!

Well, he did it. Miles found us. 

I thought that after moving from south jersey he'd lose us, but it looks like he didn't want to give up, and since he knows his way around Jersey tracked us down with the help of Santa's radar. I am only glad that he is a very simple, and laid back little elf. He just chills around the house, and doesn't pull any kind of mischief, or make messes.

Date Day With Chelsea & Why One On One Time Is Important.

One of the most important things that I have learned as a mother especially now that I'm getting up there in age is how one on one time with each of my daughters is so important. I wish I would have done these dates more often with my oldest, but knowing now why it is so beneficial to their lives that I put some time aside for my girls individually has made them open up to me even more. They are willing to talk to me about any issue, or concern they may be having.