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…)

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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

Getting Our Yard Ready for Winter

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We had our first frost in Dallas a few days ago, and since it was right on average for a target date, I guess I have no reason to be surprised.  But it still was kind of jarring to wake up to such a cold morning! It didn’t get above 45 degrees this weekend. The first thing I did was to move my herb garden indoors to keep them from getting frost bite.

Luckily we already had a few projects in the works, and with a few days off for Thanksgiving, we started getting our yard ready for winter. I built hoop “green” houses for a few of my garden beds, using greenhouse plastic. I left a few of them open, because these are the ones I will be fertilizing first for spring planting. Crop rotation is a wonderful thing, if you have the space!

garden beds winterized

 

We already have a few winter veggies in the ground. These guys probably don’t even need the greenhouse plastic– they love the frost and cold, but we’ll see.IMG_8534

Shockingly, a few of my tomato and squash plants are still alive! A few leaves here and there have some frostbite from the other night, but they are still producing dozens of tomatoes, so maybe we can keep them alive a little longer 😉

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We also harvested quite a few squash!

Squash harvest

 

Here is the last of the winter crop to go in the ground. We’ve been growing these seedlings for weeks– it’s nice to finally be able to plant them!WInter garden seedlings

 

One of our final winterizing projects was to re-roof the chicken coop with tar paper underneath the corrugated roofing. With all the rain we get, we figured this would be a good investment. Now, we just have to repaint the whole thing to match our house!

Jesse chicken coop

 

As you can see, Gregory is very bonded to his “chickies”. He even has little nicknames for them in addition to their actual names. Sometimes he’ll say, “Oh, there goes my naughty one!”Gregory with chicken in mud kitchen

 

Gregory hugging the chicken

What projects have you done to get your yard ready for winter?

My oldest is 5

Gregory's 5th birthday cake and candles

Now that October is over, I feel that I am finally able to process something monumental that occurred– my oldest is 5! My firstborn baby, the one who made me a mother, is half a decade old.

The older my kids get, the harder I find it is to put what I feel towards them into emotions. This phenomenon is how I know that what God gave me that day, 5 years ago, is as miraculous as it gets on this side of eternity. There are some things that just can’t be encapsulated in a human language. We can only scratch at the surface of what the relationship means by hugging, kissing, and treasuring moments, little by little.

This birthday party was different than any of the other ones I’ve thrown for my G (you can find Birthdays #1, #2, #3 and #4 here!). I didn’t do any decorations, other than the birthday sign we used last year. The party was 95% outdoors, in our own backyard, which made food prep a lot easier. Gregory’s godmother even made the “Avengers Cake” (gluten free, of course!) for him!

Gregorys party patio AJ at Gregorys party Tire Swing

Gregory's party singing happy birthday Gregorys party blowing out candles

Really, the only work came in getting all the food ready. We had over 40 people, all the adults included, and we served dinner and appetizers! I kept the cost down by making a TON of chicken in a crockpot and doing a self-serve taco bar, with beans and salad on the side.

As far as presents go, we only got Gregory one present– a $5 large soccer goal off of Craigslist (quite a deal!). We have such a large yard, we want him to be able to practice his skills on the off-season.

Happy Birthday, my baby!