Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 365 2013

Another month done and the end of 2013!

This app really helps me remember all the little details for my Project Life pages. Good thing to since I'm so behind! During the holidays, I barely set foot in my scrap room.  There's no time.

Ready for a fresh year, full of wonderful possibilities.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Annual Benigno Family Christmas Party 2013

Another year, another annual family Christmas party. New babies, same crew, more or less.  It's rare when  ALL the cousins are around.  We have some in AZ and some in FL, too hard to have us all together every year.

This year it was hosted at my cousin Maria's house.  We all bring something to eat and the kids get to exchange Secret Santa gifts.

The girls are getting older and gone are toys.  Now they get make-up and gift cards to go shopping with.

My sister Marie, my cousin Maria and I with our paper crowns from our party crackers (I'm in blue).

The tween/teen girls.  

This wrapped up our Christmas festivities for the year.  We made plans to get together soon for more fun.  Family is love.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Morning 2013

Christmas morning comes early, (as it does for any parent), but the girls know to pose before they get to open gifts.

        Once I get my pictures, they get to open presents.  It's a win win situation.

Of course afterwards it's complete chaos.  And I love it.

We thought the puppies would go nuts, eating all the wrapping paper, but they didn't.  They were actually really good.  Riley was the most curious, but she just curled up and hung out.
We changed things up a little and stayed home instead of heading up to my sister's house.  Just stayed home, had leftovers, and relaxed. We all had a wonderful Christmas.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

Christmas Eve is always celebrated at our house. In the hustle and bustle if getting ready, I was shocked when my sister texted me that they were driving through a snow storm to get to our house. We looked outside and didn't see snow. Thought they were messing with us.

Sure enough by the time they got here, they brought the snow with them.

So we did what comes naturally, eat! We serve dinner buffet style at our house. Nice and casual, and relaxing (for the most part!). 

Finally when we can't stand hearing "when can we open presents?" anymore, we make them pose together. 

The kids have a blast tearing through the wrapping paper. 

Me? I love finding "selfies" on their iPods that I can steal. LOL! 

Before the night is over, there is dessert and coffee. Christmas cookies for everyone!! 

No Christmas celebration is complete without the roasted chestnuts.

Zonko says goodbye from his usual spot, though this year, I couldn't stop singing "wrecking ball". 

When everyone leaves, the girls get in their Christmas pjs and get the cookies for Santa ready. 

Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Gianna's Holiday School Party

Got to spend time in Gianna's class today for their holiday party. I was feeling festive in my new Christmas top. 

The kids all wore their pjs to school and played games practically all day. Gianna had fun drinking hot cocoa and hanging out with her friends. 

Great way to kick off Christmas break! 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New To The Tree 2013

Every year I can't help but add more ornaments to the Christmas tree.  This year was no exception and I totally justified it since we added a second tree.... Not that I don't have ornaments to spare but it makes it better in my head.

The theme of the ornaments vary from year to year.  This year the new ornaments were more Disney than anything else....and I'm perfectly OK with that!

On our trip in August, they had character inspired shoes. Hard to narrow down the pretty shoes, so I went with Classic Minnie.

In our house, we love Pirates of the Caribbean, so Captain Mickey was a no brainer.

Couldn't resist Figment either. Hard to believe he wasn't already on our tree!

Mickey and the castle are classic in every way.

I haven't been on the Disney store website in awhile and when I checked it out I found some good ones. This Aladdin one fell in my cart. 

So did Merida. Considering I didn't have any of her movie on the tree she was a must have! 

I thought Mike and Sulley were so cute! 

I have a thing for LILO and Stitch so this was perfect!!  

At some point I realized I didn't have any Rapunzel ornaments and I found this one at the Hallmark store. Looking at this picture she looks like Nicole Kidman a little....Botox maybe?? ;)

Had to have Donald...I mean the cup of coffee!! & his temper!! He's like my alter ego!! 

Thought I was done but on a trip to Michaels they had this cute baking owl. Baking and owls are some of my favorites things, so this had to come home with me. 

As always, seeing these on the tree make me happy. The ornaments have to have some meaning to me ( or us) in some way. Love seeing the trees full of memories! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Gianna's Winter Concert

Tonight was Gianna's winter concert. The 4th graders acted out a short play in between the songs they sang. It was about a family traveling to their Grandmother's house, and Gianna played the mother! She had a lot of lines and really did SO good!! 

They also played their recorders. Fourth grade is heavy on the recorders! 

I was very proud of Gianna for reading her part so well!  It was a great way to put you in the Christmas spirit! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Gingerbread Houses 2013

Yesterday, we made sure to squeeze in our annual tradition of decorating gingerbread houses.  This year, we got two houses and had teams.  It was fun!

Joe glued the houses together with hot glue -- there will be no faulty building around here!  The girls set up candy stations, dividing all the candy equally.

I posted pics of the finished houses on Instagram so they could vote for the "winning house", which made the girls all the more competitive.


back view:

side view:

Got to make sure and get every angle.

With a few close ups...

And this is TEAM SNICKERS:

back view:

Side view:

Happy Mr. Snowman

In the end, my friends on Instagram chose TEAM SNICKERS for this years WINNER!!  Team Snickers turned out to be Marissa and Joe....she let him do most of the work.....  Obviously, Gianna and I were Team Kit Kat, I followed Gianna's vision and she did a lot of the work herself....basically you could say it was Gianna versus Joe.....we demand a REMATCH!!!

I told her we'll get them next year.  That next year will be our year...she told me she wants Joe on her team.

Real nice.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snowy Puppy Weekend

"Love" in the snow. 

Celebrated my sister Connie's birthday this weekend. She's getting old like me. 

These two take every opportunity to climb all over me the minute I sit down.

The snow hit us fast and hard. Feels like it's going to be a cold, snowy winter.

Lots of time spent outside but not for playing. The dogs have us outside a lot more than ever! 

The girls made salt dough ornaments. Let them use their imaginations to their hearts content. The worst was drying them--took forever!! 

We had an extra visitor come stay with us this weekend. Annie is the puppy in the middle, she's Riley and Piper's half sister. She is the shyest puppy! She took to Gianna on one of our visits to the breeder, and we were told we could "borrow" her if we wanted. How could we pass that up?? Since she's been with us, she's come out of her shell a bit and isn't so scared.

That's been our weekend. Lots of fun, lots of busy. Normal weekend in December around here....