Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

Matt and I got up early Christmas morning to be sure that we beat the kids awake. We made coffee and sat at the kitchen table and played cards while we waited for them to wake up. It was dark outside and the whole, fun day was ahead of us. We did this last year and I was one of my favorite parts of Christmas -- and I think we may have made this our own little Christmas tradition. It's fun to talk about what we think they will like and how they will react to what Santa brought and what we got them. 

Charlotte's gifts from Santa -- AG Isabelle doll, car, books, AG party set
 Madeleine's Santa Loot -- Lego Mall (this thing is huge!), Headphones/Speaker for her IPod, Melty beads, books
 Harrison's Haul -- Lego Arctic Base, Football Helmet, Football Uniform (jerseys, pants, practice pants) and books
 Our tree that morning. We are beyond blessed. 
 The kids woke up a little after 6:00 and headed in to see what Santa brought!

 Our little football player!
 Madeleine loved her headphones & speaker!
 The princess press-on nails in her stocking were one of her favorite gifts!
 We let them each open one gift before breakfast -- but first they insisted that Daddy open one gift.

 We paused and I made breakfast while they played with their new gifts. We had a yummy breakfast of waffles with lots of toppings, bacon, sausage and cinnamon rolls. It was sooo good!

 Then we opened our family gifts. 

 Charlotte has been dying to have a vacuum of her own -- specifically one that is purple and really sucks stuff up so she can "help" me.
 And she got her very own black & gold pom poms that are too cute! She can cheer her little heart out now!
 Harrison got a set of Snap Circuits which are awesome! Seriously one of the best toys/gifts ever! I'd never heard of them until recently and they are so cool! He can build all kids of neat things -- radios, motion detectors, sound machines -- and he can do it by himself. After how much he loved going to Camp Invention last summer, I thought he'd like these and he has played with them a lot!
 Madeleine & Harrison both worked on their Lego sets that afternoon and Madeleine finished building her lego mall which is absolutely adorable. So stinking cute!
 We had Christmas dinner that evening -- everyone's favorites made it to the table. We had ham, mashed potato casserole, green bean bundles, strawberry pretzel salad and homemade rolls.
 Then we had our favorite peppermint ice cream pie for dessert. I made these cute little edible trees to go on top and the kids thought they were so neat!
It was another great Christmas! Lots of wonderful memories with our little family and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Eve

We had a fabulous laid back Christmas eve this year. I got up before everyone else and did most of my cooking so I could spend the day with the kids. I had to snap a few pics of the tree that morning while I was cooking -- it was just beautiful and I can't help but feel so thankful and blessed every time I look at it. 

 By the time the kids got up, I was mostly done with getting things ready for the next day. So after they had some breakfast, they got to open their sibling gifts. Our tradition is that they do this on Christmas Eve morning so they can focus on each other and the time that was taken to choose a gift just for them. As excited as they are about opening a present after looking at them for weeks under the tree -- they are even more excited to see each other open their gifts. And, I love this! This is one of the reasons we started this tradition -- so they can learn the joy of giving, and especially the joy of giving to each other.

 Lots of hugs! They are so sweet to each other.

Next up was decorating some cookies for Santa....and us! The kids love doing this and it's always a big hit.....probably because they went through 3 jars of sprinkles!

 Then we made Magic Reindeer Food

 Our afternoon was nice and lazy....we cozied up and watched a movie and I even dozed a little bit. Then we ordered pizza for dinner. After dinner we went out and sprinkled our Magic Reindeer Food on the ground.

 Then came in and set out cookies for Santa, with a Diet Coke instead of milk.

 Took some pics under the tree.

 Then we read the Night Before Christmas on the couch.  
We tucked the kids into bed by 8:45 and hoped they'd go to sleep by 10....and we were amazed when they went right to sleep! Matt and I always watch a Christmas Movie on Christmas Eve while the kids get to sleep before Santa comes.

This year Christmas has been so fun! Charlotte has had one of those magical years where everything we do is fun and exciting. And, having her still at home with me has let her be part of so many little, but fun things! It has been one of my favorite parts of the season watching her. And, since Harrison knows our traditions he has guided her and talked to her and together they have been bursting with excitement this season. I love these days. I know that we are definitely on the downhill side of these kind of Christmases, and I find myself trying even hard to soak up every moment. Madeleine has been on the other side of the fun this year, but I'm pretty sure she has still enjoyed every moment -- maybe even more since she got to be our "helper" some this year!