Sunday, December 31, 2023

Christmas light tour 2023.

Christmas light tour is one of my favorite nights of the year! We unfortunately missed it last year due to bad weather, so I was extra happy to make is this year! Last December was crazy weather wise, and this year it's been very mild. Funny how each year can be so different.

We started off trying a new Italian restaurant in our town, headed to lights, and ended with ice cream. I know our girls wont remember every specific moment, but boy, I sure hope they grow up with warm feelings of special Christmas traditions. Christmas lights are one of my favorites and love doing it with my favorite four!

This one property in a town close to us does an amazing job and it's our favorite!

They had some new displays this year too, which was fun to see it. switched up and compare what we remembered and what was new. They each picked something to take a picture by and Norah picked the carousel.

Thankful for motherhood. :)

Also thankful to be married to Kley! :)

Saying hello to the grinch! Lucy didn't want to be in the picture. He was pretty funny and very interactive!

Ellory picked the Christmas unicorn.

And Lucy picked Christmas Spiderman.

It was a great night!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Christmas cookies 2023.

Making Christmas cutout cookies is a favorite holiday tradition! It basically takes three days- one to cutout and bake, one to decorate, and one to plate up and deliver to neighbors and family/friends. The girls enjoy it! (Mostly, energy fades a tiny bit near the end of all the baking and decorating, but overall they did quite well and were helpful! Especially Lucy, she worked so hard this year!)

It's a special tradition with a tangible way we can show love to those around us! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Pioneer Village Christmas Wonderland 2023.

A favorite December tradition is going to the Pioneer Village Christmas Wonderland. It's in a neighboring town and it's set up so pretty! The old fashioned town street is all decorated and there are sleigh rides and Santa. There's a big building all decorated with tons of different Christmas collections, like snowmen, santas, nutcrackers, etc. There's another building with lots of decorated Christmas trees and treats. It's fun to walk around! We also hosted our life group Christmas party in the morning too- a fun celebration with brunch, fellowship, and "guess the Christmas song" and "guess the Christmas movie" games. 

"You're a vile one, Mr. Grinch..." :)

We've taken a picture by Elsa and Olaf for many years now, love it!

So thankful for my three girls! And Kley too!

Popcorn and hot chocolate- glad for a fun night!

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Christmas 2023- Schut side.

Merry Christmas! We celebrated early in Des Moines with the Schut side and we had a great time! Thankful everyone was healthy and we had good weather and we could all be there. Very thankful for family time and to celebrate His birth. 

Love these four so much!

Cute Christmas dresses from Grandma!

I think every whole family shot is my new favorite. :)

Grandparents and grandkids.

Sweet cousins. I'm so glad they have each other and I love watching them be together!

Christmas tree ice cream cones. Thankful for a great Christmas celebration together!

Monday, December 11, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023- cousin fun and gingerbread houses!

Happy Thanksgiving! We had fun celebrating with the De Jongs/Guthmillers over the weekend. We played some games and started off the Christmas season with decorating gingerbread houses! It's become a De Jong side tradition to do gingerbread house decorating every year and the girls look forward to it!

Here are some of the finishing touches!

Us with Brett and Elizabeth! (Elizabeth is Kley's sister- his only sibling.)

Decorating time- I sure love these four! 

The best to have cousins join the fun too! My nephew Gerrit, on the right, joined for the first time. He was here for the candy and got more in his mouth than the house and he loved it. :)

Grateful for special times together!

Happy Thanksgiving! Much to be thankful for. :)

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023- our first time hosting!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! There was originally talk of celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas together with my side, but with other in-law celebrations with my siblings, it didn't pan out (which is okay, we will find another time for family Christmas!). We were going to go to Des Moines to my parents, but then they decided to come here to see my grandparents also, who live close to us and don't travel anymore. So, we got to host our first Thanksgiving! It was so fun in our new house, and also just because it was our first time hosting Thanksgiving ever. And my first time buying a turkey!

My parents and one of my sisters came and stayed for a few days. We had a great time together! My grandparents came for Thanksgiving supper, and also my sister's boyfriend Tyler too. It was a special night with delicious food and fun games. It was truly a wonderful day and so thankful for those that could be there with us!

We love grandpa and grandma time!

Aunt Kayla and Tyler.

Great Grandpa and Grandma Schut. It it an amazing blessing to have all four of my grandparents still living! What a joy to know them all. 

Our Thanksgiving table. :)

Cutting the turkey. (I'm SO glad my mom was here to help in the kitchen, thanks mom!)

Making pumpkin pies.

Happy Thanksgiving! Thankful for His many blessings to us!