I left off with the Twins starting first grade. Soon after that, we attended the Bulverde Jubilee Parade. Arlon Seay Elementary School's theme was Super Hero's! It was probably well over 100 degrees but we all had a great time!
For Jett & Delilah's 7th birthday, we celebrated at the community pool & cabana. They chose the theme of "Pirates and Mermaids" and everyone seemed to have a fantastic time! (We started their special weekend by having lunch with them at their school on Friday and then a yummy, special breakfast of muffins and donuts before their shin-dig.)
I guess one of the reasons why I look forward to their birthday celebration so much (and it's NOT the fact that their getting older!) is that I LOVE decorating and making the treats according to their theme. Thanks to Pintrist, we had lots fun and some good ideas to push me along in the process.
The day after the Twins birthday party, we celebrated Trinity Walker's birthday. They had a petting zoo and even got to ride on a pony with pink hair. I feel so blessed to be a part of this little girls life.
We consider moving to Spring Branch a true blessing! Our neighborhood of The Crossing at Spring Creek is exactly where I always dreamt of raising our children. Throughout the year there are several community gatherings. Our first one was National Night Out. We had such a great evening meeting & getting to know everyone.
Along with Fall comes decorating for Halloween. Being in the new house made this all that much more fun!
We had lots of fun over the Fall... Pumpkin Patches; play dates with friends; carving pumpkins and decorating Halloween cookies.
Before it cooled down too much, Rich took Jett & Delilah on one more adventure down by the creek.
We have a tradition of always dressing up for Halloween, as a family. In 2017 we chose to be pirates. What was SUPER neat was that in lieu of traditional Trick or Treating, our neighborhood decided to gather for "Creepy Creek". People set up tables; decorated their golf carts; or set up as a Trunk or Treat, all down by the pool, creek area. I'm pretty sure the adults had just as much fun as the kids.
MUCH to my family's dismay, November means Family Portrait time. It seems to get easier each year, especially now that Jett & Delilah are older and not crying or pooping in between each click of the camera. We used the services of a local photographer, Lisa Snell, and had them done at Nickel's Landing. It was a gorgeous location with the Guadalupe River and trees full of Fall colors.
Every year, the schools do a week full of dressing up or doing silly things for Drug Prevention Week. Here are a couple of pics of pajama day and super hero day.
With the end of Halloween comes the decorating for Fall.
Jett and Delilah talked their Daddy into being a Watch Dog Dad, again, at their new school. They
must have kept him busy because Rich came home after lunch and took a nice, long nap.
Before school let out for the Thanksgiving Holiday, they celebrated by having their own Pilgrim & Indian Feast. The PTA help set up their "tables" and the children dressed the parts.
For their birthday, Jett & Delilah received the Pie Face game. We took it outside and let the kids have at it. And by kids, I mean Rich, too!
Jett & Delilah are growing up in so many different ways. And, differently, as well. We enrolled them both in a neighborhood Jiu Jitsu studio, called ASAH.
While Jett REALLY loves it and has truly become more confident with each class...
Delilah chose to shift her focus to something a bit more her style, with classes in ballet & jazz. She has talked about being a ballerina since she learned to talk.
Our beautiful Brisa Bella turned 5 years old this year! We celebrated at Morgan's Wonderland by riding on the train, playing at the park & eating yummy snacks with lots of cousins.
Our Thanksgiving was relaxing and quiet this year. Clarence, Milagros & Brisa came over for an early dinner. We took golf cart rides down by the creek, ate dinner, visited & had our dessert out by the fire pit. It was so wonderful watching the kids run and play. Then, Grandy joined us for the evening, where we had left overs and chatted by the fireplace.
The Friday after Thanksgiving, the small town of Bulverde hosts their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Lots of vendors set up & hand out treats & offer games to play, for the kids. Jett & Delilah's favorite part is always the fake snow!
Keeping right on track with traditions... every year, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we always make a family trip to Christmas in Comfort. Grandy & the Strottner's joined us for what proved to be a fantastic day, getting into the Christmas spirit.
It's sometimes so difficult to wrap my brain around the fact that we now have First Graders! It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was praying that Jett & Delilah would sleep through the night. But, when I see photos like this, their official First Grade school pictures... I get a lump in my throat the size of a cannon ball!
During the Thanksgiving holiday, Grandy took the Twins on a "venture" to Blanco State Park. It was a tad chilly but they had a fantastic time skipping rocks and having a snack at the pic nic table,
Decorating for the Holidays is something I always like to do in November, as soon as I get rid of the last piece of turkey. I guess it's just because I love the Christmas season so very much... I want to squeeze every second that I can, out of it.
With the return of the Christmas season, Mickey the Elf also returns. Jett & Delilah LOVE searching for him every morning. He sometimes gets into precarious situations and at other times, he just hangs out. At the end of the dat, it's fun for ALL of us. Here are some of his escapades:
We took every opportunity, this Christmas season, to do things as a family... baking cookies; making some of Mom's favorite recipe's; sipping on hot chocolate; decorating gingerbread houses; watching Christmas movies & icing cookies. I hope this is something that Jett & Delilah continue to love to do, just as much as I used to, with my Mom.
December of 2018 will always be remembered as the month that it snowed (significantly) in the San Antonio area. Out here, in Spring Branch, we had much more than expected. It actually stuck to the ground. So much so, that we let the Twins play hooky from school so that they could have an entire day of playing in it. Who knows when we will ever get that opportunity again.
There seems to be just THE perfect chair for warming up next to the fireplace.
The wonderful company and Team that I work with, ReMax, North-San Antonio, Rangel & Associates, hosted a "Cookies with Santa Clause" event. It was lots of fun for everyone and an excellent opportunity to get some photos with the "big guy".
Henley Lewis is a dear friend of Jett & Delilah's, since they met at pre-school. She turned 7 years old and celebrated with a "spa party". The girls received pedicures, manicures and face scrubs. I'm looking forward to the days when Delilah and I spend days together doing this same thing.
Christmas lights have got to be one of the most beautiful and exciting parts of the Christmas Season. With the Twins busier schedules, we didn't get to venture out to see as many as usual. But, we made it a point to go to Santa's Ranch. It' a drive-thru Christmas light display. Jett & Delilah "ooooo-ed and aaaahhhh-ed" through the whole thing.
On a couple of different occasions during the month of December, Delilah had the opportunity to join the rest of the student council in singing Christmas carols. One afternoon at the Bulverde Assisted Living Home and the second time at the school, bright and early in the morning, while the kids were arriving for school.
I often mention how proud we are of Rich and all that he does! This time is no different. After spending 3 years as an engineer with the SAFD, on an ambulance, Rich studied, tested & promoted to a Lieutenant. Unfortunately, Delilah came down with a tummy bug the night before his big promotion ceremony, so she & I were unable to attend. But, Grandy and Jett went and Jett even had the opportunity to pin Rich's new badge on him. I was so proud of both of my boys!
On Christmas Eve Grandy took the Twins to the children's mass as church. Then, we had our usual (although much smaller) Christmas Eve Open House. We all enjoyed the slowness of this evening and the special memories made with some of our family and of course dear friends.
After the kids sprinkled "reindeer food" on the lawn & our guests left for the evening, we settled in for preparing for Christmas morning. This included us in matching Christmas jammies; making sure the stockings were hung with care; & leaving cookies and carrots for Santa and his reindeer.
Jett & Delilah woke up bright and early to see what goodies Santa Clause had left for them. Then, we spent a quiet morning opening our family gifts, snacking on banana muffins & sipping Irish coffee.
After all of the hullabalu of Christmas morning, we all dressed up and headed over to our dear friends, The Wagner's, for an incredible Christmas lunch. We feel so blessed to be able to spend such special days with such special people. A huge "thank you" to Jayson and Nicole Wagner, for your generosity and opening up your home to our family.
As holds true every year... we finished off the evening with a Stringer family favorite... Irish coffee.
Unfortunately, this year, it didn't work out for Clarence's family to join us for our Christmas celebration. So, we opted to get together the following week, to exchange gifts, eat dinner, sip on Irish coffees and catch up. It's always so wonderful to see our children, cousins, playing together and creating that bond.
We finished up the year with some more very special friends and old neighbors... We ate delicious chili, played lots of family games & even braved the freezing temps for a short bit to pop a few fireworks.
It goes without saying that since we moved out to Spring Branch, we've made some amazing friends. Both with neighbors AND the wildlife. Those creatures, in addition to our own fur-family (Cinder, Charlie and even a neighbor kitty, Tigger) sometimes makes it feel as though we live in a real-life zoo. I wouldn't trade these experiences for anything. Here are some photos of those special friends:
Finally, as I do at the end of each post, I would like to share just some general, "too-cute-to-not-share" photos and a few other stragglers.
Well, that's it. 2017 is all wrapped up and 2018 is well under way! I must say... the Andersons had a very good year. All of us started some new adventures, made new friends, kept in touch with old ones and settled into our new life in Spring Branch. God is good and we are truly blessed.