12th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said,

“Gingerbread Houses! For Real This Time ūüôā ”

So tonight was the night!!! ¬†I found the pre-made houses at Walmart, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to building them myself again. ¬†Maybe when they get old enough to do it themselves. They were super excited!!! ¬†Drew helped Baylee, I helped Garner… And for this I am going to let the pics tell the story!


They were so proud of them!!!  Next year I may have to make one myself!!




11th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said, “Game Night”

It is a goal of ours to have weekly Family Game Night, though we haven’t managed to accomplish that yet. ¬†But tonight the kids chose to play Wii Bowling and Sequence for Kids. ¬†I think those were the games we played on our last game night too. ¬†They must like them. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Everyone had a great time, except me… I got what I think is a migraine headache. ¬†I was able to finish bowling (and Win!), but I wasn’t able to play Sequence. ¬†Therefore I don’t have pictures of that one. ¬†I think Garner won that one.

We had a good night, but there was some whining coming from Baylee… ¬†It was a great teaching opportunity to explain¬†what being a ‘good sport’ was all about. ¬†It’s really something we’ve never had an issue with her about. ¬†But she’ll get lots practice in the future. ¬†ūüôā

Here are a few pics of the evening…

Notice Reese in the background… that was her seat the whole time. ¬†She would move her arm like we would to bowl and yell, “Go….”. ¬†Then she would clap and yell, “Yay…”. ¬†So cute!!!

Our Scorecard… Me, Baylee, Drew and Garner. ¬†I was pretty proud of Garner, he really started to get the hang of it! ¬†101, not too shabby for only playing the game a couple of times before.

What games do you all play for family game nights???  I would love suggestions!!!



10th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said, “Gingerbread Houses”

I had bought these cute kits from World Market… we even went to the local candy store to get a few extra things so the kids could make them more personal to them. ¬†The plan was to get started right after Reese went to bed… she wouldn’t be helpful with this project. ¬†So, I was reading the directions and realized that once I got the pieces all put together, they then needed to sit overnight before we could decorate them. ¬†Ummm, no! ¬†We will be taking them back and getting different ones somewhere else.

Plan B (That I had about 10 seconds to come up with before meltdowns started): Peanut Butter Balls

They were disappointed about the Gingerbread houses until they were given this idea.  By disappointed, I mean for 2 seconds while I finished my sentence.  Then they were excited and ready to get to work!!

It was pretty sticky…

Reese even helped stir a little. ūüôā

Then It was time to get down to business!! ¬†There is no way to stir in all of that powdered sugar… You have to use your hands!!

And here’s what they look like after they have been rolled and dipped.

I think that they should help with these every year… and eventually take it over. ¬†They rolled balls for a little while, then it was time for bed. ¬†Then Drew helped me for a little while. And with all of that help… I didn’t finish them until midnight!! ¬†It is quite the project! ūüôā ¬†But, every year that I make them I remember sitting in my Meme’s kitchen sitting on the bar stool mixing them up for her, while she stood at the stove dipping the ones that were ready. ¬†I love starting the same traditions with my children, and hopefully grandchildren down the road!!!



9th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said, “The Grinch”.


I am so glad it’s Friday!!! ¬†Drew got home tonight!!! ¬†It has been a long week with him gone. ¬†We had to pick him up at the airport at 8:30 pm, so a movie seem like the perfect way to keep them happy and awake. ¬†(Usually they are all in bed by 7:30.) ¬†That, and I really like the movie too. ūüôā ¬†I didn’t get any pictures of the movie watching, but I am sure you can imagine what that looked like. ¬†I did get this one though… Reese didn’t want her Daddy to put her down!! ¬†She wouldn’t come to me for a while.




Tis the Season… of Craziness!

Hello to all of you who take time out of your day to see what’s going on in the Darling house!! ¬†I apologize for not keeping things up-to-date! ¬†I have been busy, busy making goodies and spending time with ¬†my family. ¬†When Drew is home, we tend to play catch up from the week… and then add all the Christmas things on top of that, and I don’t seem to have time to breathe. ¬†It is my goal to catch you all up on our last few days activities over the next couple of days. ¬†First, I have to get all these boxes ready and mailed so everyone can have theirs before Christmas!! ¬†I just wanted to say a quick hello and let you know to keep checking back… I will get caught up!!!



8th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said, “Christmas Coloring”


When I wrote that I honestly didn’t know what we were going to do. ¬†We have Christmas coloring books, so we could have just sat together and colored those. ¬†I considered taking them to the store to pick out a new coloring book. ¬† ¬†I also thought about printing some coloring sheets from online. ¬†But this is what we ended up with… ¬†I drew block letters to spell out JOY. ¬†And everyone got to decorate one. ¬†Garner had the ‘J’, Reese and I had the ‘O’ and Baylee had the ‘Y’. ¬†We all had a lot of fun!!!

And they were all so proud of their letters!!

We decided to hang them above the family calendar, in the kitchen.



7th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said, “Special Christmas Treat (After School)”

Today was one of those days that I had lots of things I really needed to get done. ¬†Reese and I got ready for the day along with the other two this morning, so we could run some errands first thing. ¬†Then I really needed to work on stuff at home. ¬†Well, Reese let me know that she had a different plan when she threw up in the van on the way to Walmart. ūüė¶ ¬†Needless to say, we turned right around and came home. ¬†An almost 2-year-old with a stomach bug… NOT FUN!! ¬†Poor little girl, she can’t communicate like Baylee and Garner. ¬†Let’s just say, there was lots of laundry to be done.

Extreme acts of kindness were shown to me today by women who knew I needed a little help. ¬†I couldn’t take a sick baby to Walmart to buy Garner a shirt he needs for a school project, Tomorrow. ¬†So Haley, a fellow pre-school mom, got one for Garner for me. ¬†And then she took him with her for lunch and a playdate for the afternoon. ¬†Not only did Garner have an excellent time, it gave Reese and me a little bit more of a quiet afternoon!! ¬†She took a much-needed good nap and I was able to get some things done on my to-do list. ¬†Thank you, Thank you Haley!!! ¬†It was just what we all needed!! ¬†Also my friend Tobi is still in town, so she hung out and stayed with Reese when I needed to get kids from school and church. ¬†It was great for me and Reese to not have to load, unload, load again, and unload again… times 4.

I was blessed by kindness today by women who didn’t wake up this morning thinking about me, and helping me anyway they could. ¬†They showed to me today another reason why I love this Holiday Season so much! ¬†(Though I’m sure it would be the same story had it been a day in March.) ¬†This Season is not about the gifts of things we receive for Christmas. ¬†It’s about friends and family, giving and sharing, time shared and being grateful… it is not a time to be selfish. ¬†This is what we are trying to teach our children, and ourselves some days. ¬†Simple acts of kindness are a blessing, that I am so thankful for today. ¬†My moment of panic this morning quickly faded as God blessed me with these wonderful women.

So, now onto the Christmas Treat!!

I NEVER have bought my kids Little Debbie snacks. ¬†So when I saw these Christmas Tree Brownies, I knew they would be surprised, and LOVE them! ¬†One of my favorites growing up were the Cosmic Brownies… so I got to share that with them today, just made different for the Holidays. ūüôā

They were excited, ate them fast, and then of course wanted seconds!  The small things that make them so happy!!

Reese seems to be feeling much better, thank goodness!!  Hopefully tomorrow goes smoother, and no one else gets sick!  Thanks again Haley and Tobi!!!



6th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said, “Hot Cocoa and Movie Night.”


After a really long night last night with Reese, I am glad this is what was on the agenda for the day. ¬†We all needed a relaxing, lazy evening. ¬†The movie choice was Frosty the Snowman. ¬†The old classic that I watched growing up! ¬†We got started a little later than planned… not abnormal for a night when Drew’s gone. ¬† So I had to give choices of some shorter movies. ¬†We’ll save Polar Express, The Grinch, and the other long Christmas movies we have for another evening. But everyone loved it!!!

Reese danced to all of the songs!!!

Then it was time for Hot Cocoa!!! ¬†The water warmed up while I got Reese down… she didn’t have a nap, and really needed to go to bed!! ¬†We had some yummy homemade marshmallows, a friend gave us, to put on top. ¬†They are our new Favorite!! ¬†Thank you Wendy!! I may have to try to make them one day soon! ūüôā ¬†Must get gift goodies done first!!!

Then what I thought was the best part of the evening…

Baylee reading “The Legend of the Candy Cane” to Garner before bed.



1st Haircut

Yesterday my friend Tobi came over and hung out with us all day. ¬†I have known her for many years as a friend and as my hair/nail lady. ¬†She was so kind to work while she was hanging out with us. ¬†We ALL got our hair cut!! ¬†I even got a little color to cover up those grays I was starting to see;) ¬†But the most monumental was Reese getting her hair cut for the first time. ¬†I have been really hesitant to cut it, because she’s got these precious curls!!! ¬†I didn’t want to cut it and them never come back! ¬†So Tobi cut just a little to even up the bottom… maybe a 1/2 inch. ¬†She thinks they are just temprary!!! Sad:( ¬†Nonetheless, her baby hair was cut for the first time at almost 2 years old. ¬†Tobi has been the one to give all of our kids their first haircut. ¬†Even though we lived out of town, we waited so she could do it. ¬†I am so grateful for the time we’ve gotten to spend with her. ¬†My kids just LOVE “Miss Tobi”!!

The next two pictures were a bit challenging to take… Reese was sitting in my lap when I took them. ¬†With a comb in hand and a movie on, Tobi was able to get it done. ¬†She wasn’t as cooperative as the other two!!

Are you all starting to see what a ‘Ham’ Reese is for the camera?!?! ¬†“All done!”

Thanks Tobi!!!!!



5th Day of Christmas

Today’s card said, “Go Pick Out a New Christmas Ornament”

Tonight we took the kids to World Market, a store that is becoming one of my favorites. ¬†I always tell people it’s like a big Pier 1 Imports with food, wine and beer. ¬†And it’s cheaper! ¬†It also has an extremely large display of Holiday Ornaments. ¬†A perfect place for the kids to find an ornament they would love. ¬†And they did! ¬†The only guidelines were that it couldn’t be made of glass, had to be toddler friendly.

Garner was the first to decide, he chose a penguin.  Baylee chose a glittery peacock.  And for Reese, I helped her choose a colorful felt ball.  Something she could play with:)

They couldn’t wait to get home and put them on the tree. ¬†So much so… we forgot to wait for Drew:( ¬†They were excited to show him where they put them though.

The next few days activities are pretty low-key, but I will continue to keep updating you. ¬†I am enjoying documenting our families Holiday Season with all of you. ¬†I hope you guys are enjoying it too! ¬†We had something kind of big happen today… I will wait until tomorrow to share that one. ¬†Three posts in one day seems like enough:)