Merry Christmas 2013

Christmas day

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating and Happy Holidays as well. Today was our home family Christmas celebration and it was a great deal of fun and luckily more relaxing because we were all pretty exhausted.

How we all felt Christmas Morning. LOL

How we all felt Christmas Morning. LOL

LM was more excited upon waking up that Doctor Who was on than the fact that there were presents under the Christmas tree but she got the hang of it soon.

christmas day2

Kipper was lounging in LM’s new play kitchen sink having a good time. When LM pulled the paper off and saw the kitchen she was way more excited that Kipper was there than anything else. She spent the whole afternoon watching Doctor Who and playing with her kitchen and it’s pieces. It was so nice to just relax at home and have our family time. We are truly blessed.

christmas day3 christmas day4

We haven’t decided quite when we will take the Christmas tree and decorations down (sometime before New Years I am sure but perhaps we will wait until Epiphany) but we did decide that until such time as we do Kipper will remain in a “chill” status. He hangs out in LM’s basket above her kitchen and she plays with him a little bit. When holiday celebrations settle down we will pick a date to take our stuff down and then Kipper will say his goodbyes. I think that will allow LM to get used to him not being as much of a factor in her daily life and we can phase him out until next year.

What a wonderful Christmas season this is and for us as Byzantine Catholics it isn’t over just yet. We start now the 12 days of Christmas as we read readings of holy follows and the journeys that lead to Epiphany, January 6th the visit of the Magi to baby Jesus. For us, the Christmas season ends then.

Blessings to you all.


Kipper’s Christmas Eve


Kipper was well rested from his time off and hit Christmas Eve with full force. He started off in the morning hanging out in the LM’s stocking which was full of all sorts of fun goodies for the day. A water paint coloring book, Christmas PJs for when we opened gifts at Oma & Papa’s later in the evening, a candy-cane, some cupie oranges, a new electric toothbrush, and a cute little basket for her stuff. Boy was she excited.

elf24.1 elf24.2

She spent Christmas Eve day painting in her new painting coloring book as her activity and then we got ready for Christmas Eve Liturgy. After church we went to Oma & Papa’s (my parents) and opened presents and visited with everyone. It was a great deal of fun though extremely exhausting.


From our Family to yours we hope you had a fantastic and wonderful Christmas!

LM Christmas Eve 2013 2 years old.

LM Christmas Eve
2013 2 years old.




Our Family 2013



Kipper’s Day 21


Kipper was hiding this morning snuggled inside mommy’s snow boots with LM’s funny hat on and boy did LM find that hilarious. Her response in finding Kipper this morning, which was immediate, was;

“Oh Kipper. Oh no Kipper get hat off, my hat. Goes outside? We go outside in the snows?”

LM knew immediately what Kipper’s presence in my boots meant this morning for her activity, and she was chomping at the bit to get to it all afternoon. The activity of course was playtime in the snow! We had a decent little snow fall come yesterday, and it was just warm enough to be out for a few minutes this afternoon.


The snow is quite powdery right now so it doesn’t pack into snowballs but does stick to gloves very easily. I tossed some snow at her, and she quickly caught on that that was a fun thing to do. Since the snow would not pack though she scooped a bunch into her gloves and came running at me and smashed it into my jacket. It was so funny to see her come running at me all excited to hit me with the snow. I am excited to see what she thinks once it is able to be packed into balls, and we can make a snowman or something of the like.

elf21.2We stayed outside for a whopping 10 minutes before we both were way to cold, but even in that timeframe we had so much fun. LM did lay down and attempt a snow angel as well which was beyond adorable. She has the arms down but not the feet. She will move her arms once or twice and then sit up and make the rest of the impression with her hands.


I cannot believe how fast she is growing, and I love how much fun she has outdoors.

While our time with Kipper isn’t much longer it has been fantastic to see all the fun things we have been able to do with him and how LM reacts to him. I love that he has activities and while we may change the set up as the years go on I know that this will always be a valued and fun tradition in our home from this year forward. We have had some pretty amazing adventures this December many of which I wouldn’t have thought of without Kipper to use as inspiration. Not only has this been a fun activity for LM but personally for me it has allowed me to broaden my horizons in thinking of activities and adventures for us to do. It has helped me break away from boring and day to day stuff and give her something fun and stimulating to do every day, something that I am sad to say doesn’t always happen. These activities have also allowed us to slow down a bit as a family and do more things together which has been very nice for our family relationship. It took partaking in these activities to really realize that we needed a bit more of that, and now I think it has allowed us to bring that into our routine even once Kipper is gone for the year. I am grateful that I was able to objectively view the “Elf on the Shelf” and adapt it to fit into my family and our beliefs and upbringing style. I am grateful for all the fun times it is giving us and moments that will truly never be forgotten. Looking forward to the final days of Kipper’s adventures and see what he gets up to before Christmas arrives.

Kipper’s Day 19 & 20

Kipper’s Day 19

Kipper decided today was a good day for some bowling but he mixed up and had a Christmas ornament instead of the bowling ball!


LM thought it was hilarious that he had the ornament instead of the ball, but she quickly used Kipper and the ornament as a ball to knock down all her pins with enthusiasm.  Her activity for today was going to be to put her thumbprints or finger prints on the ornament and put it on the tree but she however decided she didn’t want to do that. Instead she wanted to play with it with Kipper and then put it on her special Christmas tree. She enjoys taking it on and off and because it is plastic I don’t have to worry about her when she gets to rough with it.


Kipper’s Day 20

Today was a messy day for Kipper as he was found making pancake mix angels on the dining room table.

elf20LM was very giggly at the fact that Kipper was all messy, but she was even more excited to lick, or attempt to lick, the pancake mix up off the table.  She quickly put Kipper by the sink to “clean him up” after she found him because she didn’t like that he was all white and messy. She attempted to lick the pancake mix off of Kipper which also resulted in quite the fun little mess. Kipper most definitely needs a bath now (ie mommy has to figure out how to clean him).


LM’s activity for today was making pancakes with mommy and daddy. “Making pancakes” involved drawing the pancake mix on the table, licking it off the table, stirring the batter, and then licking it off the spoon.
elf20.2While licking the spoon was by far her favorite she did make a very pretty picture in the pancake mix for daddy and I too. She was extremely proud of it, and it made me smile. The house may have been a mess when we were done, and Kipper may be more white than red for a bit but the excitement she got out of helping cook breakfast was more than worth it.

Kipper’s Day 13



Today Kipper was stashed most precariously in a box full of goodie bags. Since today was LM’s birthday her activity wasn’t at all Christmas related. Instead, her activity was getting to go pick up her birthday cake from the store with Daddy while Mommy and Kipper set up the house for her rainbow unicorn themed 2nd birthday party. Though she loves all of her activities she came home with her cake especially ecstatic about today’s adventure. The joy in her voice when she returned home and informed me that;

“Dada and me-me and the cake. We got the cake. mmmmm Cake. Yay. cake. Kipper have cake too!!”


was just absolutely incredible and heart warming. I think it was extra special too because their trip was in the first real snow fall of the season so there was an extra sense of magic to the day.

One of the best parts of LM’s adventure with Daddy today, for her birthday, was simply that he was able to be here. Daddy missed her first birthday due to his deployment so his ability to be present this year was extra special to all of us.


Kipper’s Day 9



Kipper was stuck in the pantry door this morning much to LM’s dismay. She gasp and put her hands on her cheeks when she saw him this morning, quite concerned for his well being. She was very excited that Kipper had another note for her.


Her note today read:

Hello LM,

Since Christmas is all about giving, I thought I would help you find some food for people who might not have as much. Once we find some, you and your daddy can go in the car to drop it off while I stay here and do elf stuff.

Love, Kipper

LM was very excited about the letter. We explained to her that she could gather up some things from the pantry and put them in a bag and then she would take them to the food bank to donate. She was VERY excited about being able to “unload” the pantry and to get to “go go go in the car”. While we loaded up food I discussed with her what we were doing and why we were doing it. I am not sure how much she actually gleaned from my words, but she listened to them very well.

It was frigid and icy when we arrived at the food bank, but she was very excited to hold the bag while Daddy helped her drop it off at the door. She clapped all the way back to the car. I am very glad that she enjoyed the process, and it is most assuredly something we will continue doing as the children age so they can learn the importance of giving back, especially to those in need.


Did your Elf get up to anything awesome today? What is a family Christmastime tradition focused in “giving back” that you like to do? 

Kipper’s Day 8



Kipper found himself in a pickle this morning all upside down in the Rice Krispie box. LM giggled in absolute joy to find Kipper being ornery this morning, and was even more excited to try a “new” cereal.

The activity for the day was to make homemade Rice Krispie treats this afternoon after church. That turned into quite the adventure.


Somehow we managed to get all marshmallows into the bowl and didn’t sneak any into ourmouth. Either of us. 😀


I decided that for time sake we would melt the butter marshmallows in my Tupperware stack cooker which took 2 minutes. When I took it out of the microwave LM exclaimed “FLUFF”. elf8.3

She loved scooping the Rice Krispies into the into the stick batter we had tons of fun with that. It was everywhere.

Mixing and playing having a blast.

Eating all the rice cereal off the table and out of the bowl. She was trying to shove as much in her mouth as humanly possible.

LM had such a blast making and mixing up the treats and is extremely proud of all her work. She tried a few bites after it was all made and very approving giggles about the sticky nature of them. Mommy forgot to grease or line the pan though so hopefully they are not glued to the pan in the morning and can still be eaten. Here is the bumpy, uneven, yummy result.


What did your Elf do today?