{to the NORTH POLE}

My twins, the peas, are now 10 years old.  The magic of Christmas is still very much alive in our house.  When I saw this posted, I knew I had to throw this party. I love the internet for finding party ideas - and this one was so simple yet so magical.  I loved it!  We kept the party a secret from our girls until the day before the party which was the last day of school.  I had invited one friend for each girl - I wanted to keep it intimate.  If you read the post where the idea came from, you'll see that the party consisted of lots of lights, cookies and milk, story time, and a gift exchange.  The girls absolutely LOVED it!

I may have gone just a tad bit overboard with the lights and decorations...but quite frankly, I don't care.  It was so much fun!!

A word to the wise...the snow in the can...skip it.  We held the can back from the window and adjusted how close, the result was the same. Zig-zaggy lines on the window.  In the dark, it wasn't as noticeable as it is in the picture.

Making the jars of reindeer food, a HUGE hit!  The kids loved this.  Most especially Sprout...she was so excited to do fill her jar with treats for Santa's reindeer.  I found the little printables with the reindeer food poem HERE.

The big girls there, those are friends from church...they were kind enough to come and be our "elves" during the scavenger hunt.  Yeah, um, so December 22nd here in Ohio...we had flood warnings.  It poured down rain from noon clear until about 11pm.  No scavenger hunt.  We played a round of Twister instead.  That's Christmasy, right?

Oh the milk and cookies!  I hadn't had ANY holiday sweets yet this season and it was so yummy to taste all the different cookies the girls brought to share!  My big girls were pretty good about how many they ate but Sprout...I really have no idea how many that girl consumed.  She was taking bites out of everything, up and down in her seat and all over the place.

After cookies, we headed down by the fireplace where the Gardener (the peas and sprouts daddy) read a couple of Christmas stories.  The big girls were all giggly and couldn't sit still.  Sprout loved it.  She LOVES to read so she kept "shushing" the big girls.  (and what is that over my head in the photo of me and Sprout?  THAT is an elk.  The Gardener is also an avid hunter.  Not exactly my taste in decor but I compromise - cuz I love him so).

And we ended with a little gift exchange.  Now, you know how you teach your children good manners and you hope they won't disappoint you?  Sprout and her little friend Lily exchanged their gifts.  Lily, sweet Lily, so graciously thanked Sprout and loved her gift (a little wristlet I made).  Sprout, who at this point was tired, way sugared up and all, opens her gift, Candy Land - the game.  The big girls responded with "Oh, cool!".

Sprout crosses her arms, with a big pout and says, "I wanted a bike!".  A bike?  Really?  Whose kid is this?  She proceeded to have a little melt down and went upstairs with Dad to chill and came back to apologize and ask forgiveness.  And then sat down and played Candy Land and did just fine the rest of the night, um, mostly.  Ah, to be 3.

I'm a little worried about how Christmas morning is going to go.  Pretty sure her grandparents, who she won't see until just before New Year's, "might" have gotten her the bike she wanted that was in the window at the hardware store for the last two years (a little red Radio Flyer with a "bell and the streamers") - just like she wanted.  Honestly, this kid has never had a melt down like that before so it just stunk that happened with her little friend.  I'm working on her though...

It was a good night.  One I hope my girls remember, as they get older - so they remember the magic of Christmas and how special it is.  How magical it is that God sent us His son to save us.  A savior.

Beyond the lights, the milk and cookies, the gifts and glitter - the beauty of this night is simple.  Love.  Sharing time with friends in celebration of the most amazing gift ever.

Merry Christmas - from our family to yours.  May God bless you and your family in this coming year.

It's a mystery Nancy Drew!

Busily prepping for my sweet twins 10th Birthday party...our theme, a Nancy Drew Mystery Party!  The mystery of the "Sock Monkey Kidnapper" and the invitations have been sent!  Inside the invite, each guest found an envelope marked, EVIDENCE with the details inside.

I've been scouring the interwebs for party ideas...got any suggestions?

I'll share all the details next week after the party!  Um, after I figure out exactly what we are doing!