Cold winter nights in the Orange Circle are just as amazing(or maybe even more) then warm summer nights.  Warm soup at Cafe Lucca always sounds better in the winter and the Christmas decorations around the fountain are great too.

Secret shopping day for daddy was lots of fun.

The annual photo shoot to get PaPa & BaBa Johnson with their SIX grandkids Christmas card picture, was again a success.  I think this is the shot they used for their cards this year.

Bryan did such a great job with them last year, that this year and probably

every year to come it has been made his official family job.

Every year the kids enjoy making handmade ornaments that I let them

have free reign with and choose who to gift them to.

Avery wanted to make her ornaments into earrings.

I made some crafty gifts too.

I found this on Pinterest and knew it would be a great idea for Bryan’s parents.

I had to figure out how to make them myself from scratch, because the tutorial didn’t work for me for many reasons(we don’t have photo shop for starters).  Once I came up with a formula it was quick.  I ended up loving it so much and finding so many great pictures, that I made sets for everyone in our family and some friends too.

I made a couple sets of hand made tile coasters for my aunts.

These are THE EASIEST craft ever and make great little gifts... all year round.

If you want to see just how easy they are here is one of about a thousand internet tutorials.

I have lost count of hot cocoa boxes I have bought in the past few weeks... we are ALL drinking it.  A lot of it.


the presents is always a yearly favorite of mine.

Bryan gets crafty credit for building Avery’s new kitchen before Christmas so that she wouldn’t open a boring box, but instead would get to see the actual gift.  We laughed as he built it... he has now built our kitchen, our guest house kitchen, and now Avery’s kitchen... all three of them Ikea.

One of my favorite things during this time of year is getting all of the wonderful cards each day in the mail.  I proudly display all of your lovely smiles and gorgeous families right in our dining room.

This frame is another idea I got from Pinterest... this was my inspiration.

Usually it is home to the kids’ art but we hung cards for Christmas instead.

If you are curious how our home is decorated check

out this post I wrote a week or two ago.

I hope you are enjoying time with your family and all the many fun ways

to get ready for Christmas!