Sunday, December 21, 2014

Best Kept Christmas Secret Experience in DFW??

My parents have always gone to Campo Verde, but we just started going in the last couple of years. Campo Verde is a Mexican food restaurant in Arlington that is probably the best kept secret in DFW. It is decorated for Christmas all year long. Why? Who knows. But, it is. And it's not just decorated with any decorations, they are shiny, gawdy, sparkling, old-school Christmas decorations. But at Christmas time - it's magical.

They play Christmas songs on the radio and there is even a toy train that goes around the entire ceiling of the restaurant. The kids LOVE going here. There is never a shortage of things to see and look at, and try as you might, you will never see it all. Almost every square inch of the place is covered!!

 Avery got her hands on my phone, in case you couldn't tell.

This place is not fancy and it is not expensive. The food is not bad, but that's not why you go. You go to be surrounded in festive decor and spend time with your family. I will say - this place had an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram this week, so they are busier than they have ever been, so make a reservation unless you want to spend time waiting!! Here is the website if you are interested!

Avery's Awana Awards

Our church participates in the AWANA program. AWANA stands for Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, based on the verse 2Timothy 2:15. It equips kids with Biblical knowledge and truth about Jesus and the scriptures. They learn verses, stories, and play games. Avery LOVES it. She was a Puggle up until this year, and now she is a Cubbie. Cubbies actually get vests and get to participate in the learning of verses and get their books. 

This week was their Awards. Avery has already received a couple patches on her vest, but she got another Apple patch.

We were so proud of her and are so glad she is learning so much this year!

Avery School's Program

Avery sang this week in her school's Christmas program! We always love watching Avery sing. She did a great job!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dancing With Dad

I have been working on a project these last couple of weeks for my previous company. Yesterday, I was working on my computer and heard roaring laughter coming from Avery's room. I walk in and found Jason and Avery dancing and singing away. 

 By sheer coincidence, this popped up on my Timehop today. Avery was only 1 in this picture.

Boy, are these kiddos lucky to have such a great dad! It makes me heart melt.

Sophia's Choir Concert

At Sophia's school, you can join choir in the 4th and 5th grade. So this is Soph's first year to be a part of it! We got to watch her sing. I always love hearing kids sing.

She is the petite one on the very front row. :-)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Avery Meets Santa!

If you look through my blog, you will find a picture missing over the years, and that's the one of my kids with Santa. Don't get me wrong, it isn't without me trying. Avery has just never wanted to get close to Santa, much less sit in his lap. Jordan has always seemed too "mature" to do such childish things and I finally got Sophia to do it this year (if I did too). I have never pushed Avery to do it either, and I would hate taking her picture with Santa where she was bawling her eyes out. I just never wanted her to have a picture with Santa that bad (athough, I do think crying Santa pictures are awesome).
Well, Santa came to Avery's school this year and she finally got up the nerve to actually talk to him! Not at first....

...but she came around.

I haven't really addressed this formally on my blog, but since I have seen a lot of people lately jumping off the Santa bandwagon, I will go ahead and tell you that, yes, we believe in Santa in my house. Santa brings the kids presents and will continue to do so as long as they believe in him. I still get Santa gifts and I am thirty-something. I think I used to get really territorial over the idea of Santa and think that kids were robbed of a piece of their childhood who didn't get gifts from him and whose households didn't believe in him. I think it's because I look back on my childhood and Christmas morning with such fondness that I couldn't have imagined Santa not being a part of it. As I've been around as a parent and watch other families who haven't had Santa come to their house, I really don't get territorial over the idea anymore. If you do, you do. If you don't, you don't. I don't even get upset if someone mentions Santa not being real - I have had the kids ask me questions and we've always said, "If you believe in Santa he will bring you presents." (We probably would still have Santa gifts one way or the other). We haven't had a formal conversation to tell them either way and if they ask me if he's real, I just wink and give them the above answer and they probably realize the truth but wouldn't dare say it to me out loud. Jordan knows, but we've never had a formal conversation. It's just one of those things he will love to do for his kids one day and that will be that. And he will remember how silly he felt justifying asking Santa for a $400 toy that "mom and dad couldn't afford, but Santa doesn't need money, so he can bring it to me!"
We don't use Santa in our house as a discipline tool. And I had to stop saying stuff like "Santa's watching you!" because Avery started getting freaked out that he would come in her room at night and could he see-me-right-now-and-not-in-a-magical-way-but-a-creepy-way kind of thing?
I know a lot of parents feel like they don't like lying to their kids but once I really found out about Santa, I never felt lied to. I actually felt a lot of appreciation that my parents went to that much trouble to make Christmas that special for me, then realized the astronomical number they've probably spent on Christmas for me and my sisters up to that point and then REALLY appreciated it. I know some people didn't have that same experience, but I did. I also never questioned Jesus because Jesus gave me eternal life and died for my sins. I didn't pray to Santa and ask Santa for forgiveness or for protection of my family or peace on Earth or to bless my food. I talked to Santa once a year and all I asked from him was a Cabbage Patch and maybe a trampoline. So, there was a huge difference for me. Just my experience, not other people's.
With all that said, we don't have an Elf on the Shelf and we won't ever have one. Once again, great if you and your family do. Not for us. I made a Christmas countdown ring-thing for Avery out of construction paper. On Saturday, we tore off a ring. Have we torn another one off yet? Nope. You think I could honestly remember to move that thing around every night? Nope. Nor would I want to. Because I have a certain level of laziness I aspire to and as much as I do for my family, I draw the line at moving around a stuffed elf 30 nights in a row.  And why should I feel lazy for not wanting to do extra? I feel normal. I hate when people say they are lazy for not doing Elf on the Shelf. For me, it's just good sense. I also have difficulty deciding a one birthday party theme a year, you think I have enough creativity to come up with 30 different things for that elf to do? Nope. So as Amy Poehler says, "Good for you. Not for me."
Well, I am off to watch another couple episodes of Scandal. Season 2 is SO good. Have a good night!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Avery's Christmas Program

Avery sang in our church's children's choir yesterday. They did their Christmas program. It was so sweet! Her director, Karice, does such a great job with these kids and getting them involved and interested in singing and music. I am glad Avery gets to be a part of it!

 They started doing video feeds onto the big screens during church, and the kids kept turning around to see themselves on them. It was pretty funny!

Here is a picture of her actually doing the choreography. She spent a lot of the time looking at her friends. She's 4. What do I expect?

 At the end of the service, my sweet friend Logan got baptized. Getting baptized at any age takes courage and I was so proud of him and his choice to follow Christ! Was a great Sunday it was.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lights! Camera! I Put a Stage....Where?

I really can't believe I did this. It's too much, even for me. 

I started searching for girls' wardrobes online to find a cute place to put Avery's dress up clothes. They were like, $175 and up. I almost fainted - $175 for a kid-sized, dress up clothes closet? (like the one in the picture below) You've got to be kidding! But in the process of looking at pictures, I saw pictures like this


 No, I said. I am not putting a stage in my four year old's room. I will turn her into a monster. 

Then, for Christmas, I found a little working microphone on a stand on sale and thought....hmmm.

I couldn't get the idea out of my head. I started cleaning out Avery's closets the other day and found a shower curtain rod and two curtains. I also found a tension rod I wasn't using and it fit just perfectly in her green bookshelf. So, with a little rearranging...


Ta-da! I got married on a theater stage, people. It was only a matter of time before I would start putting them in my house. 

This bookshelf desperately needs a new paint job. I didn't seal it with anything when I painted it last, so I will need to redo it. But for now, it works. 

I didn't go overboard and build a floor or anything. The chandelier light has been hanging there since we moved in and hasn't matched the room since the first month we were here. Glad it's getting some use!

 Now THIS is a little girl's room. And the girls haven't stopped playing since they got home tonight. I cleaned up the stuff while they were taking a bath to take pictures, but they have just LOVED it. 

They keep closing the curtain and rehearsing. Sophia gives Avery stage directions and for her to announce her. They tell me to sit while they perform. I even found a kids' joke book and Sophia started doing a comedy routine. Best $0 I've spent in a long time.

And so - on with the show!!