Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

We had a wonderful Christmas this year!  Due to a snow day, our Christmas vacation started a day early.  I think we stayed in our jammies until 2PM that day.  Gotta love snow days! 

Our Christmas celebrations started off with Chad's family on the 23rd.  We had everyone over to our house.  We don't get together that often with his side since everyone is scattered out throughout the state, so it's always nice to be able to catch up.  On Christmas Eve morning our first stop was...the clinic so Payton could get her stitches out.  Luckily, it took like 3 seconds for the doctor to remove them.  :)  That evening we went to church at Bethany, the church I grew up in, and then my parents had their annual Christmas Eve gathering.  Last year, for the first time ever, I missed out on church services and my parents' gathering.  I was so disappointed to miss it.  I know I've said it before, but singing "Silent Night" by candlelight is just magical.  That is by far my favorite part of Christmas Eve.

Kaylee and Payton in front of Nana's tree.  Ready for Christmas Eve service.

The fam :)  Someone on facebook commented on this picture saying it looked like I have a New Year's Eve headpiece sure does.  Oh well.
Aaron and his crazy dog, Osky
Olivia and this picture.  Payton thought Olivia was pretty sweet and was loving playing with her.  I love how their dresses kind of little girl Christmas dresses!
We stayed the night at my parents' house on Christmas Eve and made sure that Santa knew Payton was there.  :)
On Christmas morning we opened presents and then hung out in our jammies for most of the morning--it was great!  Santa was very good to all of us.  His big gifts for Payton were the American Girl doll Bitty Baby and a Leap Frog tag reader.  She is so into dolls right now, and Bitty Baby was a big hit.  She carried Bitty around most of the day and was very diligent about feeding Bitty her bottle.  :)  We left around 3:00 for my grandparents' house in Knoxville.  We had a delicious meal (as always) and then opened presents.  This was the first Christmas without my uncle, so that was definitely hard for us all.  He absolutely loved Christmas.  He would stagger his present-opening throughout the day, and the gifts would always be something dealing with a tractor. 

Presents from Santa

Opening Bitty Baby

Opening gifts with Papa

So apparently my dad was cleaning out some things, and decided that Chad needed this Psychology of Coaching book--I'm guessing copyright 1960....Only my dad :)

Opening her stocking

Christmas tradition--reading the Christmas story from the Bible.  My grandpa read it for years, then I read it for a few years, and now it's Aaron's job.  I love this tradition.

Opening presents with Kaylee

Payton giving her great-grandma a hug

Payton and Kaylee are showing my grandma a video on the cell phone. 

This Christmas was so much fun for us because Payton really got into it.  It's so great to see Christmas through the eyes of a child. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hoping your day was filled with lots of JOY!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Tuesday afternoon I got a call at work from Karla saying that Payton had fallen and probably needed stitches.  Karla never calls me at work, so I knew it must be pretty bad.  Luckily, they were able to find someone to cover my class and I was off. When I got to Karla's the bleeding had pretty much stopped, but it was apparent that she would need stitches--it was quite a gash and pretty deep.  We went to the ER and Chad met us there.  It took both of us to hold her down while the doctor administered the numbing medication and then stitched it up with 3 stitches.  Afterwards she was doing quite well, all things considered.  Took it easy that night and did lots of cuddling, but was back to her normal self the next day.  We go in on Monday morning (Christmas Eve) to have the stitches removed.
See that ribbon that she is holding??  That is how she fell.  They were playing with ribbons and twirling around and she lost her balance and fell into the side of a baby doll crib.  She wouldn't let go of that ribbon for anything.  Held it the entire time we waited in the ER and while she was getting stitched up. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Payton's Church Christmas Program

Last Sunday night was Payton's first church Christmas program. Her preschool class started off the program by singing three adorable songs. Then the school age kids performed a play called "The Plane Truth" about a family stuck at the O'Hare Airport on Christmas Eve. It was so good. We really have some talented youth in our church.  Everyone was still reeling over the tragic events that took place in CT, so this is just what our hearts needed.

Chad and I were not quite sure how Payton would do doing the program because earlier that morning during rehearsal, she cried and cried and insisted that I sit on stage with her. I was very nervous that she would get stage fright and start crying when she saw everyone in the audience. Well, it was the exact opposite. She had a ball and totally hammed it up. It was so funny!  She even took a bow after one of the songs.  :)  I've posted a couple videos of the songs.  We have watched them over and over--we just can't get enough of them!  You can hear my parents and Chad and me cracking up in the background.  :)


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dad - CMB Hall of Fame

Last Saturday night my dad was inducted into the CMB Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as a player and coach.  This puts him as a member of three "Hall of Fames" now-- he was inducted into the Minor Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991, the William Penn Hall of Fame in 1992, and now the CMB Hall of Fame.  Congratulations, Dad! We are proud of you!



Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Past Two Weekends

Like the famous Christmas song goes, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."  We are really enjoying this Christmas season.  Payton is at such a fun age for all things Christmas.  She points out every picture she sees of Santa and is excited for his visit.  She had a blast helping me decorate the tree.  She loves looking at all the Christmas lights.  We have yet to do our annual "drive around town and look at all the lights" but it's on the agenda.  I found a fun little "Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt" on Pinterest, so I'm excited to try it. 

So, our past two weekends have been filled with fun Christmas activities.  The first weekend in December we traveled to Carroll to visit Chad's grandma in the nursing home.  It happened to be their Christmas program, so we were able to have some snacks and listen to some Christmas music in their dining hall.  After our visit, we headed to Boone to do the Santa Express.  Destination:  North Pole.  We enjoyed hot chocolate and sugar cookies all while singing Christmas carols.  After we reached the North Pole, Santa came on the train and delivered bells to all the kids.  I think Payton still has some reservations about Santa (as in, she won't sit on his lap) but she was excited to see him.  It was a fun night that we all enjoyed as a family.

Payton with her Great-Grandma Pietig

Definitely not the greatest family picture, but it'll have to do :)

Big squeezes for Daddy

Getting her bell from Santa

All eyes on Santa

Reciting "The Night Before Christmas"

Wish P was looking at the camera

Last weekend Chad was out of town on his annual deer hunting trip, so my parents came to stay with Payton and me. We made Christmas cookies, my mom and I went to the spa, and we made a trip to Carlisle to celebrate my niece's 9th birthday. Even though Kaylee's birthday isn't until Christmas Day, we celebrated it so we could do it before Baby Harper makes her arrival. (Which isn't supposed to be until January 8, but we all have a feeling that Jess will be going into labor on Christmas Eve. ) :)

We had a very fun weekend, but sure missed Daddy. We were glad to have him home Monday evening.

Rolling out the dough

A note on the cookies:  For the past two years we've used a recipe that I got online and it just hasn't worked. The dough was too sticky and we couldn't get it to roll out.  My dad told me to try to find my great-aunt's recipe because it was wonderful.  Turns out, she got her recipe from her mom, my great-grandma.  So, we ended up using my Great-Grandma Allspach's recipe, which was delicious!  It is definitely the recipe we will be using from  now on.

Frosting with Nana

The finished product :)
Nana with her girls
More Christmas activities to come:  Payton's Christmas program at church tomorrow night, hopefully the making of a gingerbread house, a Secret Santa staff party at school, hopefully a visit to Jolly Holidays Lights in Des Moines, the Creighton Christmas at our house on the 23rd, Christmas Eve and morning at my parents, and Christmas night at my grandparents.  Oh, and maybe the arrival of a Christmas baby.  :) 


I really have no words. Yesterday's events are truly indescribable.  After I heard the news, I looked at my own students and thought the same thing everyone else is asking.....How??? How in the world could something like this happen to beautiful, innocent children who had their entire lives ahead of them. Such a senseless act. As I know all parents did, I held my beautiful daughter a little tighter last night. Prayers with the families, staff, and community of Newtown, CT.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Sometimes life isn't fair. 

I've come to learn that in my 31 years, especially in these last 6 months.  A couple weeks ago, I was going through a rough time.  My friend Jessica sent me this box of "sunshine" that really brightened my day.  Included in that box was a quote that I am going to hold on to:  "Disappointments are just God's way of saying I've got something better."  I am hoping and praying in God's plan for our family. 

And speaking of sunshine, this little girl is definitely my sunshine.  I sing that song to her every night before bed.  You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.  You make me happy when skies are gray. 

A couple weeks ago, our skies were pretty gray.  But this little girl definitely brightened them up.  I love her so much I can't even put it into words the depth of my love for her.  I am so grateful that God has blessed us with her.