South Africa!


As I mentioned on this blog, we spent 2 weeks in South Africa this past December! My brother met a wonderful girl who grew up there, and so it’s where they decided to have the wedding.

What better way to show you what we did than to give you some pictures?

South Africa Gods Window

“God’s Window”


SOuth Africa thatch cottage

Each family had their own thatched roof cottage at the wedding venue!

The Boys near the Elephant

Right outside our hotel door!

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Mac Mc Falls

Mac Mac Falls


Outside our hotel in Johannesburg


Close up on a Safari


The view from our breakfast table at Askari Lodge


The Groom and Ring Bearer :)



Askari Lodge


Want to know what a haggard mom looks like after 20 hours on an International Plane Ride???


Not sure we packed enough luggage…


Sister Bridesmaids :)


Outside our hotel in Sabe. You can also see the 2 story slide to the left! And yes, a trampoline on the kids’ playground!




The boys passed out during the wedding reception!


Sisters and mother!

Askari Game Lodge

Askari Game Lodge, the wedding venue

Askari Game Lodge 1

The view from the wedding reception

South Africa graskop swing

The “Graskop Swing”– where my husband decided to free fall 19 stories!!!

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House Tour– The Boys’ Room

Boys Room with toddler beds

It’s been a while since I posted– because we were in SOUTH AFRICA for half of December! I have plenty of pictures to show, so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, I finally decided to take pictures of the boys room, mainly because we just bought them bigger beds and the room will change drastically. I am using the transition to “real” beds (hint: we bought bunkbeds!) as an excuse to phase out some of the more “baby” decor, and replace it with boyish things.

But I know that I will one day want to look back and remember this little room as it was for one year.

Their two little toddler beds fit so nicely along one wall 🙂

Boys Room Two Toddler Beds


This is Gregory’s side of the room. While I have a few memorable things up on the wall (his baby footprints, his saint, etc.) I also gave him some freedom to hang a few of his “treasures” from Sunday School and his medal from soccer. Over on the wall, they each have a hook for sweatshirts, along with another set of hooks for bathrobes and backpacks.

Boys Room Gregory's Side

Boys Room Vintage Posters on wall Boys Room Footprints in frame


Next to his bed are a few crates housing his books. He loves sitting on his bed or in his little chair to read!Boys Room Crate Bookshelves


On the other side of the room is AJ’s bed and his books.

Boys Room AJ's side

Boys Room Pictures in Frame

Boys Room AJ's Books


On the wall next to AJ’s side is the play kitchen and stuffed animal basket.

Boys Room Play Kitchen


A small peek inside their closet with the chalkboard dresser fronts:Boys Room Closet


As I’ve explained in previous posts, we keep just a few toys out and rotate them. I stuck to this technique when we had our foster boys– my rule was that I had to be able to pick it all up in under 10 minutes, or there was too much stuff. Turns out, they play more happily when there’s less out at a time anyways!Boys Room Toy Shelves with Baskets


Above the toys shelves is some of the remaining Baby Room decor. Boys Room Owls on the wall


And then, finally, a shot looking back out into the hallway, with a little surprise on the back of the door…Boys Room Far Wall


Perfect 🙂Boys Room Basketball Hoop on door

Christmas Decorations

Christmas Tree 2015

We didn’t waste any time getting our Christmas Decorations up this year! Black Friday, we waited until all the crowds were gone and drove to Home Depot for a small $18 “Charlie Brown” tree. We do not yet have the room for a big one, but once our large family room construction happens in the spring, we definitely will! Looking forward to that for next year 🙂

On Saturday, Target had an awesome deal where if you spent $100 on Christmas things, you got $50 off! So Jesse and I sat down at a computer and picked out extra outdoor lights, window candles, a nativity scene (we don’t have one, just one of those Fisher Price ones), and some stocking hangars for our bookshelf, since we don’t have a fireplace (yet!). We paid for everything online, then drove to Target to pick it up once the order was ready (my new favorite way to beat crowds!).

Christmas Reindeer decoration

Christmas Stockings Christmas Manger scene

(yes, Santa made an appearance behind the manger scene…)


Boys Decorating the tree

Monday, we finally tackled the outside of the house. First, I updated my wreath with Christmasy things (you can find my $5 tutorial from last year here!).

Christmas Wreath

Since all of my plants are indoors now that the cold has struck, we decorated my plant shelf with pine boughs and some water resistant ornaments.

Christmas Front Porch Decorations

Christmas Candles in the window

Christmas Decorations Outside House


We love the Christmas season! I’m so glad that we were able to make these fun memories putting up Christmas Decorations as a family <3