Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Addition To The McDonald Family

We have a new addition to the McDonald family! We had 3 babies in 3 years but now that Shane is 2 1/2 we decided that we were ready to expand our family. We weren't ready for another baby and don't feel like we are ready for or have room for a puppy so we decided on a fish. Mom is excited about the quiet, low maintance addition. The kids were very excited to go and pick him out, his bowl, rocks and even the plant. They take turns feeding him, make sure they say good morning and good night and today Alexa was even singing to him. They decided on the name Sammy after some discussions with dad. The original name was Princess but since he's a boy dad talked them into coming up with a boy name!

We'll keep you posted on how Sammy is doing. The girls are a little worried about Shane trying to take Sammy out to play. To tell you the truth I am a little nervous about what Shane might do too!

Christmas Day

On Christmas Day we had Eric's side over to celebrate Christmas. The day was beautiful. It was one of those perfect, peaceful snows. We had big flakes lightly falling, I only wish I had taken a picture. We started the morning out with a yummy brunch. We had an egg bake and the McDonald's family coffee cake. Every year we also have pineapple dipped in sour cream and brown sugar. The very first Christmas with the McDonalds I wasn't sure about that combo but you'll have to try it for yourself it is pretty yummy! It was nice to spend time as a family as Grammy Sue took off this week for 3 months of some missions and AIDS work in Africa.

The kids once again loved their gifts. They were all pretty easy to please this year. The girls are wearing their aprons they got from aunt Molly and Shane is sportin' his engineer outfit from Grammy Sue. The girls and cousin Callie had fun with their new dot paints. Shane joined in too for awhile but seemed to get more on his body and face than on his paper.

We were all very thankful that baby Zach was home from the hospital and that we could love on him this Christmas. Isn't he a sweetheart! We ended the day with a yummy prime rib dinner and Eric's mom's famous cheese cake!

Christmas Eve

We started celebrating our Christmas as a family on Christmas Eve when Alexa was a baby. We wanted to have a time that we are able to start and continue special traditions with the kids. The last 5 years we have had a yummy dinner of crab legs. We've decided to stay with the seafood dinner theme for our Christmas Eve dinner but didn't do crab legs this year. Eric made a yummy seafood pasta with shrimp and scallops. As you can see Shane isn't enjoying it one bit! We also like to do the little devotional activity "What God wants for Christmas" during the season and end it on Christmas Eve. We also typically like to do a Happy Birthday Jesus Cake. That didn't get baked this year. It seemed like we had so many sweets around and the evening flew by. The kids also had 2 Happy Birthday Jesus parties in church and preschool already this year.

After we ate we headed off to church for our Christmas Eve service. The kids were mesmerized by all the candles and loved being part of the candle lighting. We usually ride around and look at Christmas lights but since we went to a little later service we headed home to open presents instead.

The girls loved their bathrobes and the talking babies have been a hit. You can also see by their reaction (the two of them hugging) that they loved their beauty salon! Shane got into opening presents this year too. Last year he was much more into the paper and boxes. His big surprise and the highlight of his Christmas was his choo, choo!! This is a picture of him waiting for the unveiling. He could hardly contain himself while daddy put it together! Eric surprised me with a new camera lens. Stay tuned for snow pictures. I was able to take pictures of the kids in the snow from the house. You have to love being able to take close up snow pictures from the warmth of the house. I have some camera studying to do now!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Santa Comes For A Visit

Santa came to our house a day early this year. We put in a request since we had all day on Monday to spend as a family. We thought it would be nice to just enjoy the day. Christmas morning we knew would be a little more crazy as we would be getting ready for family to come for the day. Alexa was thrilled with the Ariel doll she requested and as you can see Emma got her baby doll. Santa always seems to get just the right thing. Shane loved all his trucks and trains. Alexa is doing the Santa dance when she saw that he brought them a Hello Kitty CD player for their room and some books on CD. Shane got a small CD player too. They are loving their players and at nap and night love going to sleep with their praise music playing. It is so cute to listen by Shane's door and hear him singing along 2 year old style.

Christmas At Papa And Grammy's

We spent Sunday with my family celebrating Christmas. We always have a yummy brunch with many family favorites. We had the family Egg Bake, Peaches and Cream(my all time favorite), fresh fruit and muffins. We then went to church together. We filled up a whole row. It is always fun to go back and visit the church I grew up in. When we got home we quickly changed since the kids were ready to break into the presents. Every year I twist the family's arm to get a family pictures. It is so fun to see how the family grows and changes from year to year. I have 3 brothers. My older brother is married with 3 little girls and one of my younger brothers is also married. Santa doesn't come to Papa and Grammy's but Grammy finds a way to fill the adults stockings and since there isn't enough room to hang any more stockings, the grandkids get baskets. This is something the young and old look forward to every year. My brother even asked before he got married if he still got his stocking after he got married. As kids we always loved our stockings and we still do!

The highlights for the kids this year were Shane's sleeping bag. As you can see he crawled right in. He also got a mat to drive his cars on that he loves. The girls were surprised with their pink kitchen from Papa and Grammy. It definitely was favorite this Christmas. As you can see another highlight for Emma was her princess dress. She loves to dress up. Cousin Tyra got some beauty salon accessories that the girls tried out on Shane. What a trooper ... the only boy in the bunch! We spent the afternoon snacking, relaxing and playing games. We had a wonderful pork loin dinner to make the day complete.

The kids were tuckered out by the end of the night. They got their gingerbread pj's on for the trip home but had to jump on Papa and Grammy's bed for one last picture.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Peppermint Hot Cocoa

One of our favorite Christmas treats is homemade Peppermint Hot Cocoa. The kids also love it after coming in from playing in the snow! It also makes a great gift during the holidays. I thought I'd share the recipe!

In a pint jar layer in this order:

1/2 c powdered creamer

1/3 c sugar with red food coloring

1/4 c hard peppermint candy discs, crushed

1/3 c powdered sugar

1/2 c chocolate drink mix (I've found Quick or Nestle or a more well know brand is better than any generic)

1/2 cup dry milk

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Christmas Goodies

The kids, especially the girls love to help in the kitchen. We had a big day in the kitchen and lots of yummy treats in the end. We made ....

Carmel Puff Corn

Oreo Bon Bons

Pretzels with yummy centers and

Sugar Cookies!!!

Shane didn't want to be left out ... he wanted the apron on for awhile too!

Gingerbread Baby

The kids love the book the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. We dediced to make some gingerbread cookies after reading the book. They had fun making, rolling, cutting and decorating the cookies. They were very anxious as they were in the oven. They were nervous that one would jump out just like in the book. As you can see by the picture Emma didn'twant to look, she was too nervous. Alexa assured her she didn't think they would jump out because they weren't real. They had some cute conversations the 8 minutes they were cooking. They all were on the cookie sheet when we opened the oven. They had fun decorating and eating the cookies.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Cousin

The kids are excited they have a new cousin. Zachary Allen was born on December 10 weighing in at 6 lbs and 3 oz and 20 inches long. He was born at 36 weeks and was in the hospital for about a week with an infection but is at home now and doing great. The girls are happy that Shane finally has a boy cousin to be friends with. Little do they know that it may mean that they will now have 2 boys trying to tag along and get in their stuff!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Gingerbread House

Sunday is our Family Fun Night. I'll have to write about our typical Family Fun Night Activities on another post. This Sunday we decided to do a Gingerbread House with the kids! The kids were very excited and as you can see Alexa was busy showing dad what to do. Shane couldn't wait to get his hands on the cookie, frosting and candy. While Eric was busy putting frosting on the Gingerbread girl and boy for the girls to decorate Shane was busy eating the tree. The girls were not pleased with their brother. You can see in the picture that we managed to salvage half a tree. They were very proud of their finished project.

© Mom Of 4 Little Blessings

CoffeeShop Designs