Christmas 2009 Wrap Up...

I can't believe it's already over! It seems every year it goes by quicker and quicker!
I've already blogged about the 1st Annual Tacky Christmas Sweater Party, which was SO much fun. The next night we had the Singles Ministry over for their Christmas party. Sorry, I didn't get my camera out, so no pictures. It was a really good time. We had lots of food & fellowship. We played the traditional dirty Santa game. And then we finished the night off with a fun night of Mad Gab. That game is HARD! Especially if your spokesperson for your team has just had 1 cup of coffee & 3 Red Bulls in about a matter of 5 minutes! Yes, Kendall Bell is no longer allowed that much caffiene at one time.
Then it was time to get ready for Christmas Eve. This year we had Christmas Eve with Steve's family and we decided to do it at our house. I was so excited! We've never done anything during the holidays with our family at our house. So, I got off work early to get started, but of course God had a different plan! There was a horrendous wind storm & it knocked a power line down! Perfect! Just as I was getting started, our power went out. So, I did what I could, and we were going to pack everything up to go to his parent's instead. But then God smiled on us & the power came back on.
It was great having them here! It gave his mom a break and I think it was a nice change.

This was our table for the night. I think we need a bigger table! It was packed!!!!

The girls gave us a new camera for Christmas. I started realizing I wasn't taking as many pictures now that Elaina was around. I started thinking about it and realized it's because with 2 girls I don't want to lug a BIG camera around. And we have 2 pretty big trips planned for 2010 and I don't want to be lugging a big carry on bag around to have pictures.

Steve and I have never been good at waiting to give each other our gifts so we opened ours before his family came over. I had a hard time getting the camera to focus, so the pictures didn't turn out as good as I wanted. But I'm getting much better.

Once we finished with gifts, we pulled out the Wii and played a little bit. Then it was time for everyone to go home so we could get ready for Santa.

Emily helped me put out the reindeer food she had made at school and lay out the cookies for Santa. She was so excited!

Santa was really good to the girls! Emily got a dollhouse & some clothes. Elaina got some sort of keyboard toy thingy and some clothes.

They had so much playing with their new toys! Although I think Elaina had more fun playing with the tissue paper the gifts were wrapped in.

After we opened our gifts, we had some breakfast. Our sweet neighbors gave us Apple Barn pancake mix for Christmas, so I fixed those. They were AWESOME!!!

Once we ate, we headed to my parents for Christmas.

We hung out for a little while and had some snacks.

Then it was time to start unwrapping more gifts. This was Elaina's first gift she opened. It's a stuffed animal that turns into a pillow.

As soon as she saw it, she laid her head down. This picture is her in action!

My sister got Emily a Cake Bakery. It's kind of like Easy Bake Oven meets Ace of Cakes. I'll blog more about it later.

We took Sampson (our new puppy - I don't think I've mentioned him yet so more on him later). Here's him and Steve.

My dad told the grandkids how when he was their age his favorite thing he got was a goody bag from the church. It had fruit, mixed nuts, peppermint sticks, orange slices, and chocolate covered raisins. So, he had a bag for each of the kids. And I have to say, all us big kids were sneaking in the bags for the orange slices! Always a favorite around the Mckinney house!

I know I've lost most of you after all this. Thanks for sticking around if not. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!

Top 10...

I follow lots of blogs and several of them had a count down type deal to end 2009. So, I thought I would do something too. This year has been a roller coaster of a year. There's been great things happen (considering I gave birth to a sweet little girl) and some not so great things (do I need to remind you I received a call when that sweet little girl was only 2 weeks old saying my house was basically demolished?).
So here's our list for 2009:
1. The birth of our precious little Elaina AnnMarie!

What more can be said. The Lord has blessed us so much with the two little girls he has given us!

2. The Flood of '09 (It still seems like a dream)

This is only a small part of the damage. Being out of our home with a 2 week old was a very difficult time. But luckily Steve's parents were incredible and opened their home to us.

3. Registering Emily for Kindergarten

We can't believe it was time for Emily to get ready to go to school! She was able to take a tour of the school & meet some of the teachers. It was so exciting to see where she was going to be going to school.

5. Our 1st Road Trip!

Our friends John & Nikki were transferred to Oklahoma and we volunteered to help them get moved. This is the view Nikki, Emily, Elaina & I had for 22 hours. It was a crazy weekend, but was a great farewell to such good friends!

6. Our trip to VEGAS!!!

Steve won a trip through Toyota and it was such a fantastic few days. I don't know that I've ever gone on that little bit of sleep! The shopping was my favorite part (of course)! We stayed at Caesars Palace and there was a 4 story "mall" with all designer stores. I actually had to pick my mouth up off the floor when I saw it!

7. Mom & Dad's 40th Wedding Anniversary

My parents celebrated their 40th Anniversary on June 9th. We celebrating by all going to Seagrove Beach. We've been going there for several years and this trip was just as great as the rest. It was a great time of relaxation, GREAT food, and lots of family time.

8. Emily's 1st day of School

This is true Emily! It makes me so happy when her personality comes out! She has loved school and she is doing so great!

9. Steve's 30th Birthday

Are you feeling lucky? Steve was! I threw Steve a surprise birthday party for his 30th birthday. It was so much fun! We had a blackjack tournament, and everyone got into it. Even the girls.

10. My sister moved to Franklin

I know it's not been an easy transition for her and her kids, but selfishly I love it. (Not that I love she is going through hard stuff, just that she is here). My entire adult life, I've wanted to have her closer. She has always been my rock and it's great having that rock closer now.

Well that ended up being more positives than negatives. I guess it is good to take an inventory of sorts. We here at Casa de Barrios hope you and your family have a Happy New Year!

Emily's 1st Performance...

There's been plenty of talk on this here blog about Emily and her love of the stage. Here's her premiere! She was so excited when she found out she was going to be performing in our church's children's choir Christmas production! (WOW that was a mouth full)And she was over the moon when she found out she would have a small solo.
I actually am in the adult choir. Okay, I'll give you a second to compose yourself after all that laughter! I really enjoy it, and no I won't be singing a solo anytime soon. But it's a great way to praise our Lord!
So, I was busy trying to get all our stuff together because we were going to be at the church basically all day that Sunday and completely forgot my camera.
Thank goodness Emily had her fan base there! Holly took pictures for me so that I could have proof of Emily's premiere. Thanks Holly!

This is right when she first came out and saw her fans in the audience. Of course she had to give them props by waving to them!

This is a shot of the whole group. The kids were awesome & they had such a blast singing!

This was when she decided to start dancing to the music which made me laugh out loud a little bit. She is just like her mom and dad - can't sit still when the music is going!

This is Emily & Cate not doing what they are supposed to be doing, but can't you feel the love between them!?!

Probably my favorite part of the night was this:

They were supposed to stand back to back, but they thought they could do it better. So, they locked their arms together. These girls CRACK ME UP!!! We need prayers now for what is going to happen when they are teenagers!

And just so we can end with a laugh - here's proof of me singing in the choir:


Tacky Christmas Sweaters...

We had our 1st annual tacky Christmas sweater party this weekend. It was som much fun! Our plan was for a stress free party - just come dressed in a tacky sweater and bring a little something to eat. No gift exchange, no stressing about anything. It was perfect! To see what everyone came up with was so funny! We voted at the end of the night and Sam was the winner, but I think Steve's was the funniest!

This is what the guys did all night:

We are definitely doing it again next year - but I'm going to start my search for the perfect tacky sweater much earlier!

Needless to say, we have been so busy we haven't been able to breathe because we've been so busy. But we have a very long weekend coming up, so maybe I'll be able to catch you up on all the doings of Casa de Barrios!