Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Preparations

We've been busy with Christmas preparations.  The gifts are wrapped, the cookies baked and now the kids are nestled into bed to see what magic Christmas morning brings.  They are super excited!

We once again enjoyed the family Christmas party at Brian's work.
Pinata time!

Getting a Christmas tree in San Diego winter is a whole different experience.  I love the tank tops while picking out the tree.  Much different that how I remember it growing up, all bundled in multiple layers and freezing while searching for the perfect tree.  Madeline and Olivia's searching took about 5 min - Too fluffy, too big, too small, too low, just right!!  They picked out a very nice looking tree!
Let's get this tree home and decorated!
Sneaky checking out the new addition to the inside furniture!
 We enjoyed cookies and treats around the newly decorated tree!
 Olivia and Mommy enjoyed a cocoa/coffee date while Madeline had a Birthday party.  She is such a big girl and enjoyed her special attention!
A little park play to blow off the cocoa (Olivia) and coffee (Mommy) energy!
We also got some family photos taken.  They turned out super cute.  Here's a sneak peak, taken with our cell phone - the pro pics are much better!!
I love the bond these two sisters share!
 We had a fun mommy/daughter date to go out for lunch and see the Nutcracker.  We enjoyed some fun in Balboa park before the show

The girls cooing over the baby ducklings!
Nutcracker selfie!
Nutcracker selfie fail for Olivia and Madeline!
Daddy set up the train under the tree and the girls have had a lot of fun playing with it!

 Olivia rocked it at her Winter Gala - Frozen style, dressed as Elsa!
Looking in the audience for daddy!
 We enjoyed our visit to Helen Woodward's Frosty Farm celebration.
The girls made the San Diego paper with this pose.  "We're pretty famous" says Madeline
Olivia balked at seeing Santa and needed some help.
Seeing Santa family style!

She held super still for her face painting though!
 The elves have been very busy with Holiday baking.  They are quite useful this year!!

 A trip to the library and some sister cuddle time with Big Sis reading to Little Sis
 Preparing the gifts - wrapping up those last minute additions for under the tree!
 ....and finally Christmas Eve dinner

 ...followed by two excited girls in new Christmas PJs - so excited to see what Christmas morning brings!

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Family Thanksgiving and Birthday Celebration

Madeline was really into the Thanksgiving spirit this year.  Both girls worked hard on making the centerpiece for the table.  "Give Thanks"

I "Give Thanks" every day for these two beautifully silly kiddos....

Olivia also shows off her art work from school.  She noted she was thankful for "Giving food to other people."  Maybe she actually understood the meaning behind the bags of food we dropped into the food bank bin.

Madeline had a great idea which she implemented before our Holiday meal.  She made the "Give Thanks Pumpkin" and directed the family to pass it around and everyone had to say at least one thing they were thankful for this Thanksgiving.  It was really great and I'm so proud of her for coming up with this all on her own!

Such a big and thoughtful girl describing how the "Give Thanks Pumpkin" works

This is what happens when I ask them to smile.

Now let's eat!

Having the whole family together allowed us to celebrate Grandma Kay's 80th Birthday.  We had a great dinner and it was so nice to have everyone seated together for another meal!

City girl dressed up for a night on the town!

All the grand kids

This girl certainly has the James' family genes, evidenced by her love of chocolate cake!
We topped off the Holiday weekend with a visit to the Del Mar races.  This was the girls' first trip to see the horses run and I think they had a fun time!