Monday, December 24, 2012

Pre-Christmas Activities

This year, I'm teaching EIP (early intervention program) Reading students for half of the day and gifted students for the other half. I love working with all different ages and really like the variety of teaching struggling readers and gifted students. But the highlights of my day are definitely when I'm reading with my kindergarten and first grade kiddos.

 This is a sweet note I got from one of my first graders who exited my reading group this past week after scoring way too high on his reading assessment to continue coming to our group! We didn't so much work on spelling. ;)

Thanks to the incredibly generous Christmas gifts from my students, Matt and I went on a gift-card-spending SPREE over the weekend! We kicked it off Friday night with a dinner date at Season's 52 (yes, I got a $50 gift card from one of my kids!). Then Saturday, we had lunch at Farm Burger, browsed through Barnes and Noble, and then went to see Silver Lining's Playbook. We had a ton of fun and didn't spend a penny!

On Sunday, we met up with some high school friends who were in town for the holidays- for cosmic bowling. Nothing says Merry Christmas like cosmic bowling at 1:30 on a Sunday afternoon. Haha, but really- it was so fun to catch up with everyone! I'm pretty sure the guys bowled 4 games to our 1.5- but we had fun talking!

Sunday night, we attempted to make a ginger bread house. I decided about 2 minutes in that ginger-bread-house-building falls into the "craft" category for me. 
Crafts and I do not get along. 
It was actually pretty comical to see both of our personalities come out. 
Right off the bat, I started tearing everything open and placing the pieces in the spots where I thought they should go while Matt read the directions. :) 
Those first 2 minutes were a snapshot of our marriage- me being the more impulsive, slightly impatient one and Matt being the ever-careful double-checker.
We balance each other out. ;)

Oh yeah, and I cut a huge corner out the icing bag, which isn't entirely conducive to detail work on the roof, but Matt managed quite well. I "caulked" the main pieces together and stayed away from this part.

Seems like they should have equal numbers of colors in those bags so that if one was wanting to create a pattern with the colors, one could.

Not too shabby, huh?!

Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas in Monroe

Last weekend we celebrated Christmas with my side of the family in Monroe. I sadly forgot my camera, but thankfully my sister brought hers! My mom made the most incredible meal, as always, and we had a great time visiting with family.

We got to meet our newest niece, Matilda for the first time! Unfortunately, I've been fighting a cold for a while now, so I want to hold her, but the kids had a great time snuggling with her! These pictures came from Jennifer's blog- she's the proud mama. :)

Maddox shared Ark Ark with Matilda for this picture. That is LOVE right there. ;)

I have to share this one too from her first visit with Santa- have you seen an infant Santa picture cuter than this?!!

Noah bought us gifts with his own money from his school's Christmas shop. He picked them out all by himself. He got Matt a yo-yo and got me a single rose with a teddy bear attached to the stem. ;) Best. gift. ever. Matt will have a hard time topping this- just sayin.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Matt's birthday celebration(s) :)

Matt's birthday was last Thursday, but we decided to celebrate Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, because a birthday week is much more fun!

On Wednesday, we went to dinner just the two of us, where I remembered the camera, but forgot to take a picture- figures.

On Thursday, his actual birthday, Matt had a broker-only (as in no-spouse... grrr) Christmas function. I planned to take him to The Cheesecake Factory for some Banana Cream cheesecake when he got home, but he was stuffed (which is totally surprising if you know him), so we stayed in, opened gifts, and went to bed early like old folks. ;)

On Friday, we had my family over for a birthday dinner!
I made a recipe that I'm entering into a cooking contest through Maggiano's. I can't post anything about it on here for now, other than the fact that it's a white balsamic sage sauce over fettucini, and I'm pretty excited about it! More news to come in February hopefully!

Maddox liked it!

And Ark Ark enjoyed watching him eat from the kitchen (Maddox placed him on the counter so that Ark Ark could have a good view of him as he ate his dinner... he does this every night.) :)

For dessert, we had carrot cake cupcakes since my sweet hubby doesn't like chocolate. :)

Maddox has a Christmas program at his preschool next week and practiced his worship songs for us!
"Here I am to Worship"

"Mary had a Baby Boy"

Maddox followed in Noah's footsteps and made his very first all-by-himself birthday card for Uncle Matt. I love Matt's sweet reaction. ;)

Maddox looks so proud in this picture ;)

And then Noah got to share his!

Us with Noah, Maddox, and Ark Ark :)

On Saturday, we went for a walk at the park by our house and then stopped for a not-so-healthy post-walk lunch at Uncle Maddio's.

Oh. Yum. It was totally worth it. Goat cheese and sautéed onions on a pizza is divine.

That night, we went out for a birthday dinner with Matt's family, and then went to see a Christmas play downtown. Before we left for dinner, we got some good time with our youngest little nephew, Jackson!


What a cutie, right?!