Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Day

After our Christmas morning activities, we headed over to Brad's parents to continue celebrating. We had a yummy ham for lunch and I felt so loved because my mom-in-law looked all over until she found a hormone free, free range ham at Sprouts. :) Brad's parents big gift to us was a donation to Samaritan's Purse to go towards famine relief in the Horn of Africa. I so appreciated this gift because as I told his mom, this issue has been on my heart but we had not yet given to it.

It was a little quieter this year because Robert's family of 6 was out of town. We sure missed them, but these cousins still had fun together.
Courtney MADE these adorable aprons! I love the prints.
I think this is the sweetest picture ever of Haven with her Appy.
It's not a Bruce family Christmas without a little trumpet playing!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Morning

One nice thing about almost all my family living in DFW is that we got to have Christmas morning at our house since we didn't have to travel. We celebrated Jesus' birthday by singing Happy Birthday and blowing out candles on some Pioneer Woman Cinnamon rolls. Again, I think we have a new tradition. :)

Anna got a kitchen that I found on months ago. Brad and Uncle Michael were up late putting it together. I think this is how Brad will be spending many Christmas Eve's in the future.
Haven got a Cabbage Patch baby doll. I wanted her to have a special doll of her own and she already loves her.
Funny story about the stockings. I bought all the materials to make the girls stockings a couple weeks before Christmas. What was I thinking? Well, they didn't get done, so they used ours this year. One of my goals for 2012 is to make their stockings before spring.

Christmas Eve

We had fun getting to host Christmas Eve at our house with my side of the family. Thanks to our San Antonio roots, we had a tamale lunch which might become a new tradition. After lunch and presents, everyone headed out to candlelight services.
Karri's FamilyUncle Michael and Helen. We can always count on him to lighten the mood. :)
The Matriarch - Gigi
The little ones has so much fun opening gifts.
Sweet big sister reading little sister a new book from Aunt Karri.
These guitars were a hit with the boys. My sister has learned to give them two of everything. Guess that is what I will be doing in a few more months.
Uncle Michael gave Anna two more Zhu Zhu pets. He obviously did not get my opinion on this. You see, she got two last year and I was so happy that the batteries have died so she lost interest. If your child owns one of these rodents, you know what I am talking about. She absolutely LOVES these things and was cracking us up when she was playing with them.
Helen's sweet daughter, Jenna. Anna LOVES being around big girls and Jenna was so patient with her.
A cute idea I found from someone else's blog who apparently saw it on Pinterest (surprise, surprise). Otherwise, my cupcake holder sits on top of the fridge not getting used.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Giving

It is easy for little ones to understand the concept of receiving on Christmas since all of us want to love on them and have the desire to give them good things. It is much harder for them to understand the concept of giving since they aren't able to give completely on their own at such a young age. I love to get ideas from other moms about how they teach their children things, so I thought we would share some ways we tried to teach Anna about giving this Christmas season.

There was a Salvation Army kettle outside of the grocery store we go to, so I always let Anna put money into it. We would talk about why we were going to put money in the kettle on our drive to the store. The bell ringer was sweet and always let Anna ring the bell which made the giving even more fun.
Align CenterWe got to help our church out with it's Angel Tree program this year and I tried to let Anna be a part of that. She helped me deliver presents to some boys and girls and she really wanted to meet them.
I made Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls to give to friends and family. By the way, they are amazing and if they didn't take so much effort I would never buy ones in a can again! It was two days before Christmas and I was getting stressed so Anna did not help me make them (thanks for watching her Gigi!). But she did help deliver them.
Align Center
I'm not sure how much Anna got out of those activities, after all she still won't share her new toys with her sister. :) But I do know that she is a sponge and is observing all that we do, making it so important for Brad and I to try to be generous with what we have been given.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December Fun

Since we went to Colorado in the middle of December, we didn't get a chance to do a lot of Christmas activities but we had fun doing a few. Anna loved putting ornaments on the tree. The day after we put of the tree, we sang a song about ornaments in her music class. After the song she said loudly to the whole class, "I put ornaments on MY tree with my mommy and daddy!".
Cousins Shanna and Nalani came over one day to decorate cookies. I decided this is an activity that is a lot easier with a child Nalani's age!
We did our advent calendar again this year and Anna looked forward to it every night before bed. This year, she wanted to sleep in her crib with the little trinket that came in the calendar box each day. So we let her.

7 Months!

Content. That is the word I would use to describe Haven right now. Throughout the day, she happily plays and explores her little world without a lot of fussing. Anna was a little different since she always wanted me close to her. Since she was my first and I was a new mom, I'm glad she needed me in that way and I am glad Haven is a bit more independent.
She is also on the move a lot these days, making these monthly photo shoots a little harder. :)
At the beginning of the month, she got her 2 bottom teeth. I love this picture that shows them off.
She also started pulling up in her crib! What is next! All she wants to do is stand up in her crib. This means she doesn't want to lay down and sleep. I have to hold her down and pat her until she relaxes enough to sleep. The second she wakes up, she pops up to the sitting position and then stands. She wakes up one time during the night and I always walk in to find her standing in her crib, no matter what time of day.
Within a two day period, she started crawling on all fours (she skipped the army crawl stage), clapping and babbling mama and dada. It is amazing to observe as she is learning, knowing her little neurons are firing away and making connections.Align Center

Haven Crawling from kelli bruce on Vimeo.

This was taken before church and is one of my favorite outfits. Part of the fun of having girls is dressing them up.This girl loves the bath, I mean LOVES it. She could crawl, play and splash for hours. Since she is also pulling up in the tub, I really have to keep an eye on her.She also went on her first big trip...all the way to Colorado. She saw snow for the first time and ended up getting sick for the first time too. With croup. Not fun.