Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Day

Blake always wakes up first, and Christmas morning was no different!  He was very patient while we woke Taylor up, he whispered, "Taylor...Santa came, wanna go see what he brought", in a real sweet voice...we like for them to both go see what Santa brought together.  Her little head popped up and they ran out to see!

they must have been good! Santa came and brought all kinds of goodies!
Blake got a real hunting bow!

Taylor got the rainbow unicorn pillow pet light!

She got her very own Pokemon handbook!
Santa left a note behind, "Blake & Taylor, thanks for the cookies,
I took the gingerbreads with me to keep!  Buddy will sure miss
your excitement...XOXO, Santa"

We all stayed in our pajamas ALL DAY, made a wonderful Christmas dinner and just played with our new toys for the rest of the day! We took time to just enjoy each other's company.
We set the table with Mon's tablecloth and some
kid friendly coloring placemats.

Ham with a side of cranberry orange glaze , sweet potatoes, hashbrown casserole,
sauteed brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls....yum!

With all the terrible things going on in this world, like the school shootings, I had been so bummed and heartbroken this holiday season, after much prayer and grieving for the families, I turned all my focus on God himself, the one true gift He gave to us, and to how blessed we are with this wonderful family... this ended up being the very best Christmas ever.

Christmas Eve -part 2

After church, the kids were excited to get back home, because Aunt Sissy and Uncle Danny had brought so many presents, that it looked like Santa already came!  The entire living room was loaded with gifts...they really spoil us! 

I can't believe Tay got a Nabi tablet from Aunt Sissy!!!!

and Blake got a Nintendo 3DS XL !!!! 
Aunt Sissy brings all the gifts that Santa can't afford, she really blesses us! After presents, we had snacks and appetizers...we always make bacon-wrapped chestnuts, spinach artichoke dip, desserts, etc..  We ate, then played games.  I printed some games off the internet this year and we had fun...the first one was a game of Left Right.  We all grabbed a lottery scratch off card, then read a story that made us pass it left, right and back and forth, some cards were worth $1, some worth $5, and one worth $10...we all wanted the big ones!  It was fun, but kinda long!  The next game we played was a dice game that my friend, April, told me was a total blast!  We played with quarters and Aunt Susie left with most of our money! lol! 

After games, Billy read his traditional "Twas the night before Christmas" book, the kids got Santa's cookies & milk ready for him...Santa comes tonight!

Christmas Eve -Part 1

We had a wonderful Christmas of my all-time favorites! 

The kids are always excited, because Aunt Sissy comes to spend the night.  This year, Uncle Danny was getting to come too, we just didn't know what time they would make it over, so to break up the waiting time, we told the kids that after nap...we would let them open the gifts from us.  Taylor went right to sleep and when she woke was time! 

Blake got a memory foam pillow...he was like..."gee...thanks" lol!

Blake gave Tay a Harry Potter lizard from Grace's consignment shop...
she loved it!

Taylor gave Blake the newest Pokemon handbook and Tay got a baking set
and a cleaning set with broom and mop!  Perfect to give early because
I put that girl to work, helping me! lol!
The rest of the day was spent with Blake reading his new book, Taylor cooking and cleaning and the constant watching out the window!

Are they here yet?!?!?!?  Sophie was just as excited as the kids!
Aunt Sissy and Uncle Danny came in time to go to church with us! This is the 1st year that our church has done a Christmas Eve Candlelight was the perfect thing to do, we loved it! Aunt Susie joined us too!  We had a very intimate service, sang Christmas carols, listened to a Christmas message, and then had a birthday cake to celebrate baby Jesus! We love our church!

Daddy, Kevin, and Pat did acoustic Christmas carols


Hand Made Gifts

This year, the kids and I "made" many of the gifts.  We made their sister, Allison, a bracelet, necklace, and photo ornaments.

They also helped me pick out goodies for gift baskets, made gifts for friends, and  painted magnets for Aunt Sissy and Uncle Danny.

The very BEST thing the kids made, was a very special gift for Aunt Sissy....a gift that will give ALL YEAR!  They decorated a big jar, then filled it with 52 little memories, writings, poems, pictures, or whatever they thought would be special to Aunt Sissy...they folded them up and filled the jar so that Aunt Sissy could open one gift each and every week for the entire year!  Some of these notes were sweet, special memories, or just silly jokes...I hope she loves it as much as we loved creating it!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Celebration of Lights

It took us two tries to make it to the drive-thru lights, this year!  The first time we got in our pajamas, new slippers, bought snacks and drove there to find out that it was train-only night!  The second time was a charm...we love to drive through and see all the beautiful light displays.  And Sophie pup got to come along for the ride too!

I will say, within a few minutes of seeing all the amazing lights, I was finding myself trying hard, not to cry (more like, trying not to let the kids see me already crying)...I could not let myself have such joy... as the thought of the many families in Connecticut that lost their babies kept entering my mind.  Within the next few moments, I heard Taylor, literally scream with delight, at Bubby, that she saw Super Mario! Next, Blake yelled and pointed at the Angry Birds flying across the road!  I had to be enlightened by their excitement and get back into the moment the we were blessed to have...driving through... enjoying Christmas, the lights, and each other. 

Visiting Santa

We go to Bass Pro each year to visit Santa.  This is always one of the favorite Christmas time events in the advent calendar.  We chose a weekday, after school to go, so it isn't quite so crowded!

After telling Santa what they wanted for Christmas and fibbing about how good they, we went to ride the carousel, shoot some stuff, slot cars, and shop around the store. 


Decorating for Christmas

Right after Thanksgiving...i am ready to decorate for Christmas!  We love to unpack the ornaments and remember the special years past. Each of the kiddos have their own ornaments from the 1st five Christmas', they are from Hallmark and represent those first special years!

Taylor's 5th Christmas kitty ornament has on
roller skates, and that's perfect b/c we
went roller skating this year!

Blake with some of his first ornaments!

I always get them an ornament for that year and write a special little tidbit about what was special this Christmas.  This makes the chore of getting out the decorations, so much's like unwrapping little memories!  The homemade ornaments are my very favorite!