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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Superlatives

Sometimes the best way to ring in a new year is to reflect on the past.  Our 2011 was incredible.  We have grown so much, as parents, as a married couple, as disciples, and well, we couldn't help but look back over our blog post for the year.  YWAM has brought us many adventures, and life in general has also.  Remember your high school yearbook... superlatives.  Well, here are ours for 2011.

Best Attempt at A Smile:   From Shiloh's Cheerio Fun, here.

Most Changed:  Shiloh turning 1 year!  Here.

Most Honest:  The Not-So Sane Moments of Traveling, here.

Favorite Nicaragua Moment:  Re-visiting Priscilla and her family, here

Most Worthy of Remembrance:  Veteran's Day, here.

Most Difficult:  Shiloh getting croup, here.

Favorite Face:  Shiloh's famous O-face, here.

Most Difficult Goodbye:  Our friend, Tyler, here.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Advent {Days 21-25}

{Day 21}  Buy and donate a new toy to a child in need.

Shiloh got to pick out a toy.
She chose the fairy doll, Tinkerbell.
I was worried that when it came time to drop the toy in the box, she'd freak out.
Not so.
She actually was really excited to toss it in.  :)
Thank you Jesus for that!
Tantrums in public are the worst.
There was only 1 other toy in the box.
I hope they just emptied it out, and more toys have been donated than just ours and that one.
Christmas can be a hard time of year for many people.
We know what it is like to struggle to buy gifts.
Its not much, but at least one little girl will enjoy having a new Tinkerbell fairy to play with.

{Day 22}  Neighbors gift exchange.

We went next door.
To have dinner and a gift exchange with the Dejongs.
They own the dairy.
Shiloh played the piano for us, & made a new best friend.
We ate soup and yummies and had coffee.
The gift exchange was fun, everything is fun when we get together with the Dejongs.

{Day 23}  Visit Great Grandma & Grandpa.

Brandon's grandparents live nearby.
We took Shiloh over to see her Great Grandparents, & so we could visit with them.
Shiloh cleaned.
Of course, right? 
It was so good to see them. 
Grandparents are amazing.

{Day 24} Gingerbread train & cookies for Santa.

The Gingerbread Train was a hit.
Shiloh put more candy inside the train than on it.
Baking cookies for Santa was also fun.
We used neon food coloring, so I think they look very 80's-esque.
Some angels were decapitated in the making of Santa's cookies.
It was a Merry Christmas Eve.

{Day 25}  Merry Christmas!!!

Matthew 1:23
Behold, the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son,
and they shall call His name Emmanuel--
which when translated, means,
God with us.
Merry Christmas from Brandon, Kirsten, & Shiloh!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent {Days 14-20}

First I want to reveal our Advent calendar:

Its made from matchstick boxes.  It might be one of my favorite new things.  We just slide out a box for each day, and inside is the activity.

Then second, we got super busy this past week, and some of our activities did not end up working out as planned, so we improvised.

Day 14 {Wednesday} Set up the nativity.

We did not have time between our work and Shiloh's nap schedule to go see Santa.
Instead we let Shiloh set up her little nativity set.
I figure, Christmas is all about Jesus anyways, not Santa. 
She seems to love the donkeys.
And she sometimes points out baby Jesus.
Sometimes she points to the sheep.
Kinda ironic.

Day 15 {Thursday} Read the Christmas story.

Brandon read us the story of Jesus out of Luke.
Its amazing how humble God is.

Day 16 {Friday}  Make our Christmas cookies in a jar.

We were tight on time.
And trying to pinch our pennies some, so we opted out of the delicious peppermint hot cocoa.
Instead we finished making our mason jar cookies.  
This is such a fun and easy gift to make.
And the cookies are some kind of serious deliciousness.
You have to really pack down each layer otherwise they won't all fit.
Brandon found his knack in packing flower.
And eating m&m's.
Shiloh found her knack in stacking the completed jars.
I personally enjoyed how pretty they looked.

Day 17 {Saturday}  Visit Grammy Roo & Gpa.

9+ hours in the car.
We left at 5:45am.
It made the trip feel shorter.
We do road trips well.  
Shiloh does too... only the last hour of the trip was rough.
We ate a lot of goldfish.
And took naps.  :)

Day 18 {Sunday}  Attend Christmas play & make sugar cookies.

Brandon's brother was starring in the Scrooge musical.
We especially loved the scenes he was a part of.
"God bless us, every one." Is my favorite line.
We didn't have all the gingerbread house ingredients, so we only made sugar cookies.
We always eat too much dough.
The stars were our favorite to make.
Cookies are just so Christmas-y

Day 19 {Monday}  Deliver gifts to family and friends.

We took some of our cookies in a jar to people in town.
Shiloh got to enjoy the fun chair at our cousins work.
Then the fun snow mobile at our uncle and aunts business.

Day 20 {Tuesday}  Go on a walk as a family.

God didn't deliver the usual Christmas snow yet.
No snow means no snowman or snow angel.
We took a walk instead.
Up the hill behind Brandon's parents house.
To the tree with a swing under it.

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