Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mattie's 5th Christmas

Dear Mattie,

Merry Christmas and happy 4 1/2 year birthday!  We celebrated another Christmas without you.   A lot has happened to our little family since last year.  We moved to another house in another town in another state and have been adjusting to being so far away from you and the rest of our family.  We haven't been able to visit you this year like we usually do.  Your family has visited you and put flowers on your grave for your birthday and other holidays.  We really miss having you here with us at Christmas and every day.  At almost 5 years old, I know you would be getting so grown up and wanting to do more big girl things.  You would be preparing for kindergarten and may be going to pre-k at your big brothers' school.  We wanted to see you open your presents along with your brothers and see your little face light up with joy and excitement.  We wanted you to be a part of our family pictures and memories.  We wanted to see you enjoying Disney World with your brothers and know you would have loved to do all the princess stuff.  It is getting harder to imagine what you would want for Christmas since I can't know you here on earth.  I know in heaven none of these things really matter, but they matter to us down here because they are just another reminder that you aren't here.  Watching Mattox and Grayson playing together so well shows me how much you would likely have loved your brothers.  I think you and Brody would have been very close since you were the closest in age.  He was so excited to get you.  I know you are watching over us all, and I hope you enjoy sharing in our traditions.  We love you and will never forget you.  We will likely have many more years of missing you here with us.  For now, here is how we honored and remembered you this Christmas: 

Our family pictures never feel complete without you. 
You would have worn matching pajamas with us. 

I know you would have loved the Christmas tree and helped decorate it. 

Your special ornaments, little tree, stocking, and picture are still my favorite decorations. 

We finally got to visit you and take you some new flowers after Christmas. 

It was your baby brother's first visit. 

All of us together. 

I love all 5 of my babies! 

Daddy and Cocoa love you too. 

You would need some elf pajamas to match your brothers' other Christmas pajamas. 

A new Christmas dress for you. 

I don't know if you would need a sweater dress too much here, but it has been pretty cold this month. 

You could definitely wear this one more around here with a little sweater if it turned chilly. 

For presents, you may have wanted an American Girl doll

Barbie dolls would probably also be a hit.  I love these "professional" dolls. 

More barbies

And barbie clothes. 

And a Barbie house too. 

We hope you enjoyed your Christmas in heaven watching over us again!



Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas from Our Family

In these days where everything is digital, it seems like the art of mailing Christmas cards has become a bit of a lost art.  I have tried to keep up this tradition over the years because I really do love it, but the amount of cards I receive has dwindled to almost none, and I can't help but feel that any attempt on my part to keep the tradition alive goes completely unappreciated.  The expense of creating, printing, and mailing cards has also drastically increased.  For now, I am going to try to be content with sending digital greetings to everyone to let them know our family is alive and well.  I do enjoy making my cards and will likely continue to do so if for no one but myself and my children.  We truly wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Our Christmas card picture this year was one of the many gems we had taken at Disney World.  I loved this big tree at Hollywood Studios.  

I like to share our family's superlatives for the year as a little summary of how we are all doing.  
I convinced Eddie to join us in matching pajamas this year.  Yay! 

My Little Bears

Our Bear Family

I kind of love when we take pictures using self-timer on the camera because we just never know what kind of faces we will get.  It is kind of like a photo booth.  I love Daddy's big cheesy grins as he tries to make the kids smile and laugh. 

Oh this baby bear is just so precious! 

The best smiles ever! 

But all of my baby bears are just awesome! 

This one is definitely true to life.  Daddy scolding Brody and trying to make him cooperate while Brody fake cries. 

The mad face and the pout. 

But Daddy can always get them to smile and laugh. 

Grayson just thinks his brothers are so funny. 

Daddy and Brody really do love each other. 

But sometimes they are just done. 

Papa and Mama Bear

We don't always like one another, but we are a team and this is love. 

Merry Christmas! 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Brody's 1st Grade Adventures

Brody has had a little anxiety about going to school this year, but overall, he is doing much better.  He has really come a long way with his reading and writing skills.  This school is definitely on a more advanced curriculum track, but he actually really loves the more challenging work.  I do think his art and writing abilities are pretty advanced for his age.

Playing a fun counting game with friends. 

Coloring their queens. 

Brody was presenting his bag of items all about himself to introduce himself to his class. 

They have a flexible seating arrangement and can choose to sit on the floor, in chairs, or stand.  I think they rotate every week. 

Brody is such a sweet listener. 

Apparently, he enjoys reading in a box. 

A class photo on the playground.  It was his pal Carter's birthday. 

Free time putting puzzles together. 

I think they were making a pizza with sight words. 

Journal time. 

A special treat day. 

I wish I had pictures of his field trip to the farm, but he did a great job writing about his trip.  

The boys really wanted to go to this fun Fall event at school.  Their classes had all made these fun scarecrows to "auction" off in a silent auction.  Brody's class made the Incredible Hulk. 

A cheerleader

I liked this Monster's Inc. one. 

The boys liked the football player.

We all went inside the cafeteria for some popcorn and a movie. 

We watched Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin on the big screen.  It was too loud to actually hear the movie though. 

I love my big boy. 

And these guys too. 

The Charlie Brown scarecrow was the blue ribbon winner. 

I liked this Big Bad Wolf and the three little pigs. 
I found these glasses for their teacher gifts back in the summer on sale at Kirkland's and filled them with chocolate. 

Brody had his picture made with Santa.  Evan also had his picture made and lost his picture somewhere on the way home.  Sigh. 

Brody's class made fun waffle cone Christmas trees for their Christmas celebration. 

He didn't want to eat his lovely creation. 

He wanted to take a picture with his teacher before we left for Christmas break. 


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