Monday, December 19, 2011

Twas the Week Before Christmas...

And there's not a thing left to do but CELEBRATE!!'s not that we have nothing to do. After all, I am hosting Christmas Eve Eve at my house so there will be the usual cleaning and party prep. But other than that, we checked a lot off our Christmas list last week!

During our 5-6 days stuck in the house with the sickies, I managed to finish my Christmas shopping online and now all of my gifts are wrapped and ready to go!! That is such a good feeling :-)

We also did lots of house cleaning/organizing to make room for all the goodies we will be getting this week. Lots of boxes for donation and some for a garage sale this summer. That too is a good feeling. 

And speaking of donations and feeling good, I finally took the kids to donate toys for the "Make your Mark Foundation" toy drive!! What turned out to be a simple drop-off with the kids turned into a little volunteer project for me and I was even invited to come back with Addie to see some of the bags put together for all the sick kids at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Isn't this amazing?

And there were about 5 other rooms just like this one. Each child gets a bag full of stuff specific to their age group and needs. It was so incredible to see and Addie just kept asking if she got to take the toys to all the kids at the hospital. 

Unfortunately, we were not able to go with to Children's, but they did let me watch a video of their trip up there last year and I cried the whole time. It really makes you want to hug all the healthy kids in your life and thank God every day that they are well. My Mom, my friend Barb and my SIL Dana all donated as well and I have a list of other friends and family that want to join in on the fun next year. It's definitely a cause I want to be a part of for years to come :-)

In addition to our toy drive last week, we also got to see Addie in her preschool Christmas Program!! She was so excited to be healthy and able to participate (and of course, wear her pretty new red dress :)

Blake was pretty excited to get out of the house too.

He was such a little trooper at the show and sat so good in his seat... least for the first 10 minutes. Ha! 

Addie's show was so adorable!!!

They sang about 6 songs and even did a little sign language Christmas wish. It was so sweet :-)

I might have cried just a little because I can't believe my BABY girl is already so big. I am just so thankful that we were all healthy and able to make it. I wouldn't have wanted her to miss this for anything.

And since we were all on the mend by this weekend, we were also able to have our annual Christmas Breakfast with Uncle Joe!! It's pretty much an opportunity for all of us to get together and take some pictures in our jammies...

Eat some YUMMY food...

And open some gifts!!

Uncle Joe spoiled the kids as usual...

And they spoiled him just a little...

We finally got Uncle Joe the bulletin board he has been asking for since 2006. Haha!

And even though we begged Joe not to get any of us adults anything, he didn't listen. You know...I 'm kinda glad too because I LOVE me some white chocolate Godiva :-)

You wouldn't know from the picture, but we ALL had a great time (including Uncle Joe). This breakfast has become a new tradition that I am loving more and more every year, especially since our kids are old enough to not fall down his stairs anymore. Ha! (inside joke)

In the middle of all this holiday fun, I also managed to get all of my final exams graded, which means I can officially say that the WORST semester of my teaching career is over!!! I just looked at my roster for the Spring and I am feeling great about a fresh new start  :-) Here's hoping for the BEST semester of my teaching career!!


So anyone else gearing up to host a party this week? I personally love being in charge of one of our family get togethers because it's nice having everyone over. It makes all the holiday decorating I do worth it. Haha! Now, I'm not sure how many of you are using your Home Management binder but I love this site called Organized Christmas and they have some great check-lists for holiday cleaning and party planning so if you still need to make a list for the week, head on over and check it out!!

Happy Week Before Christmas Everyone! And don't forget to enter my Oreck giveaway!!!

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