Friday, December 21, 2018

Five on Friday - Visiting Santa, Girls’ Scarf Exchange, and Other Christmasy Things

Happy Friday and happy almost Christmas Break, y’all!  We are counting down the hours until noon when the babies get out of school for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!  I think I’m ready for a break just about as much as they are.  We’ve been keeping busy, busy and today I’m recapping what we’ve been up to these last couple of weeks!

Shoulda called this post Twelve on Friday, though… sheesh!

O N E – Stopping to Enjoy the Fall Foliage

Sometimes you see a tree with gorgeous leaves and you just have to stop and take a picture!  A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I had parked and were about to walk into Olivia’s dance studio for her Monday ballet/tap lesson, and I couldn’t help but stop for a minute on the way in to admire this beautiful tree.  I let the kids toss some leaves into the air for a couple of minutes, and it was nice for all of us to take a quick breather and stop and enjoy something instead of rushing straight in like we always do.  The kids also saw the little blow-up ballerina near the front door and they requested a picture with it as well.

Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the roses… or stop and admire the beautiful fall foliage and Christmas ballerina blow-ups.  ;o) 

T W O – Fun Christmas Outfit Pictures

We took some time a couple of weeks ago to take some cute pictures of the kiddos in festive Christmas outfits!  They are just so stinking cute, I swear.

T H R E E – Visiting Santa at the Mall

We have been visiting Santa at our local mall since Jacob was born, and this was our eighth year seeing him.  B and I discovered a few years ago that if you go on a week day around 5 PM there’s never a wait, so that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.  Sure enough, there was only one child in front of us so we only waited about two minutes before it was our turn.  There was a new festive backdrop to take pictures in front of while we waited, too!

When it was their turn, both kids marched right up and they got to spend more time with Santa than ever this year because there was no one behind us in line!  Jacob said that he asked for Nerf guns and Hot Wheels track, and this time Olivia asked for… a real unicorn.  Sigh.  I explained to her that Santa probably won’t bring a real unicorn because we have no place to keep one and she said, “Yes we do, Mommy!  We have a huge back yard!”  She’s not wrong, y’all.

After the Santa visit, we stopped by Victoria’s Secret really quickly so that I could redeem a free panty coupon, and all the while the kids were cracking up at the fact that I was buying underwear.  Lol.

We had dinner at Chick-Fil-A in the food court – something we’ve been doing every year after visiting Santa – and then we let the kids ride the rides in the mall.  This has been our tradition for several years now and we always have a great time! 

F O U R – Christmas Art

The kids always bring home more artwork than usual this time of year, and Christmas art is always my favorite.  I loved this little Christmas tree of Olivia’s so much I asked her if she wanted to take a picture with it.  Of course she did.  Haha.

F I V E – Girls’ Annual Scarf and Ornament Exchange

My girlfriends and I have been doing a Dirty Santa scarf and ornament exchange for at least 10 or 12 years and we did this year’s last week.  As I’ve mentioned, our group of girlfriends is dwindling because so many have moved away throughout the years, but those of us remaining still love to carry on the tradition.  We used to always meet at someone’s house, but since our group is so tiny now, we save ourselves the extra work and head to Bonefish.  Bonefish does have Winter White Cosmos this time of year, after all.  ;o) 

After two rounds of those, we ate a delicious dinner and then exchanged scarves and ornaments.  I got a beautiful pink scarf (perfect for me!) and the most adorable owl ornament.  It was a fun evening with my favorite girls… even if we did forget to take the picture before my friend, April, left. 

S I X – Mannheim Steamroller

We took the kids to their first official concert earlier this week – Mannheim Steamroller Christmas!  They’ve been to plenty of casual outdoor free concerts in our city, but we’ve never taken them to a concert at a venue before.  I was a bit worried because the concert started at 7:30, which is late considering they go to bed at 8 PM on school nights.  I was thinking they might get bored/tired/delirious, but they ended up loving every single second of it! 

They were pretty much the only kids in the whole theater and we were in the fourth row, so if they had misbehaved everyone would have seen it.  Haha.  Fortunately they were both little angels!  They were so good that several people went out of their way to tell us how wonderful they were on our way out.  It made me feel so good!

Jacob loved having the program because he always knew which song was coming next, and each time he would read the upcoming song to Brian.  Each time a song would finish, Olivia would clap and go, “Woooo!!!!” and then she would lean over and ask me which song would be next.  It was the funniest thing hearing her clap and shout like that… she was just really caught up in the moment and it was the dang sweetest thing ever.  I will have the fondest memories of that evening always.

The concert ended around 9:45 and the kids were both out like lights within about ten minutes on the drive home.

S E V E N – Kids’ Christmas Program at School

The kids had their Christmas program at school Tuesday night.  This was Olivia’s very first one at her new school and it was Jacob’s last one as they only do the program for K4 through 2nd grade.  So it’s the only year that they will ever be in it together!

We got all dolled up – Jacob had to wear church attire and Olivia had to wear all white since she was an angel in the Nativity.  Before we left, we took a couple of our typical outfit pictures and she said, “Wait, let me do a cute pose for you.”  And then she posed several different ways.  Lol.  This girl.

The Christmas program was in our church and it started promptly at 6.  Olivia’s class lined up in the aisles and sang three songs, and then Jacob’s class sang three songs at the front of the church.  After all of the singing was done, Pre-K4 put on the Nativity.  Olivia was an angel… much to her dismay.  She was sad that she couldn't be Mary… she wanted to hold baby Jesus.  Lol.

Both kids did a fantastic job and all of their grandparents were there cheering them on, too!  Afterward, we went out for a late evening dinner to Panera with my parents and that concluded Jacob’s final Christmas program. 

E I G H T – Work Christmas Dinner

Some of my old coworkers and I got together Wednesday night for a Christmas dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.  Several of us no longer work for the company and several still do so we are all going in different directions these days, but it was nice to have most of our old group back together for one night! 

N I N E – Jacob’s School Project

Jacob had his first big school project this month.  He had to choose any Christmas book and pick a character from the book to make a body mask (hole cut out where you put your head).  He chose Rudolph, so we spent the day working on it last weekend.  I helped him sketch it in pencil and then he did the rest, outlining in marker, coloring it in, and adding embellishments.  I think it turned out so fantastic!  He had to present it to the class earlier this week and he said that he did a great job!

T E N – Polar Express PJ Day at School

The kids got to wear their festive Christmas jammies to school this past Wednesday to have Polar Express Day at school.  They got to have hot chocolate with marshmallows while they watched the movie.  Jacob has been able to do this for the last few years, but I think this is his last year since he’s growing up!  He also told me that his class watched a different movie this year instead of Polar Express.

E L E V E N – Pretty Pictures

Here are a few more pictures that I’ve taken over the last couple of weeks… the Christmas season is coming right along! 

T W E L V E – And a Funny

Finally, I had to include this meme because it’s extremely appropriate for this time of year, and OH SO TRUE.  Lol.  I don’t know about y’all, but we have had pretty much had an Amazon package (or two or three or four) on our doorstep every single day for the last three weeks.  Even on Sundays.  Haha.  What in the world would we ever do without the glory that is Amazon and their free two-day shipping with Sunday delivery?! 

Happy happy Christmas weekend, y’all!  It’s the most wonderful weekend of the entire year!  Soak up every single second!

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday FavoritesMeet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.


  1. What a fun few weeks y’all have had! I love that y’all carry on the ornament/scarf exchange with your girlfriends. So much fun!
    Your babies are looking so festive these past couple of weeks.

  2. Soooo much to love, Jacob as Rudolph has to be the sweetest Christmas project EVER!!! Love the kids's Santa outfits and the way you spread Christmas Cheer!! xoxo

  3. So many fun pictures and Christmas events in this post! Olivia looks so grown up in the pictures with her art work. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas. (I wanted to let you know that some of your pictures are covered with a white square when I view the blog. It might be something with the ads, because I can see the picture if I click the edge of the space. Or it might just be my browser?!)

  4. Wow, so much fun between you and your friends and the kids' programs! Love the pictures too!

  5. Y'all have had a jam-packed but super fun week!! I know y'all are excited to be out of school for two weeks--I know I am haha!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  6. So much fun and festive in this post! I love all the pics and that tree of Olivia's is adorable. I love that you and Brian took the kids to a concert, what a fun time and I would love it! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  7. Wow you have done a lot of Christmasy things this season. I love it. I need to get together with my friends for a scarf exchange. I love that idea. Have a great Christmas weekend!

  8. Love the crafts you came up with for the kids parties! And that Amazon/package meme gets me every time!

  9. Wow! So much fun in a week!! I have been dying to see Mannheim Steamroller in concert but sadly none of my guys are at all interested in going with me. I used to take my kiddos to see Santa at the mall during the week (and typically during the day) so we too could avoid the lines and take our time.

    1. Mannheim Steamroller was pretty awesome! My hubs enjoyed it a lot! You should just drag them to go with you anyway. ;o)


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