Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas!!!!! 2009

I love Christmas!!! I really do. I love the shopping, the wrapping, the crowds, the food, the parties--I love it all! Being 8 1/2 months pregnant slowed me down a bit this year, but I still loved every minute preparing for Christmas morning!
On Christmas Eve we had a nice dinner with some friends and then came home to do our traditional things. We started with letting the kids exchange gifts they have picked out for each other and for Kris and I. Their school has a Christmas store that lets the kids bring in money and pick out gifts for people on their list. The kids love picking things out for everyone. It is so sweet to picture them choosing carefully the item they think another would like. After they exchange their gifts we let the kids pick out which person in the Christmas story they would like to be. Then they gather parts to their costume. This year Samantha was Mary, Mariah was the angel, Joshua was a Shepperd, Gabriella was the wise woman, Kris was Joseph and I was the star. We read the Bible and let the kids act out the story, it is so sweet.

After the story we let the kids open their pajamas from Mom and Dad. They race to get changed and ready for bed and can't get into bed fast enough! They were in bed and all asleep by about 8:30. This year we told them they needed to try to stay in bed until 5:00 am. At 5:05 they were in our room waking us up:)

The kids waited patiently for Kris and I to get up and then we went to the living room. We tried to have them take turns, but didn't want to stop their excitement. Gabriella hugged everyone of her gifts. After the kids had opened all their gifts we told them to sit in front of the tree with their eyes closed. Kris and I then went downstairs and got their gift from us. Two baby bunnies! When the kids saw them they could not believe it. I do not care for pets and it was very hard for me to get them, but the kids have asked for so long and the bunnies were so cute it was just too hard for me to resist. I have since discovered I am allergic and so I have to keep my distance, but the kids are being very good about caring for them. I keep warning them that if they do not take care of them I will find them a nice home in the trees behind our house:)

While I was taking a nap Gabriella found some chocolate coins and discovered that if she squeezed them in her hands enough they became very melted. Apparently she thought the melted chocolate would make a good moisturizer. Gross. So where was Kris during all this? He was sitting 2 feet away from her playing Xbox with Joshua. I am sure I don't need to say anymore about that:)
I guess we finally wore Gabriella out and she crashed in the middle of all the chaos! What a fun day! Did I mention how much I love Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

All ready for Church!

It rarely happens that all the kids are ready for church at the same time and that we are not super rushed to get there on time, so when it happens I have to take advantage of it with a picture. It is hard to get a good one so we had to try lots of times:)

Gingerbread Houses

This is one of my most favorite Christmas traditions! We used to make gingerbread houses when we were little and I love watching my children get excited about it too. Joshua especially loves all things Christmas--or any holiday for that matter--and was counting down the hours until our friends could join us for the decorating. They were all very careful and patient with their houses. I just love Christmas time! Seriously, it just doesn't get any better than this:)
The kiddos--look at all that candy--I am pretty sure most of it was consumed before it made it to the houses.
Gabriella was very careful to place her candy just right. She had very specific ideas and I was amazed at how much she enjoyed it. I laugh when I think of last year when she would just point and grunt from her high chair as to which candy she wanted to eat next. What a difference a year makes.

Little Jane and her creation, so sweet!

Serving Others

A couple of my friends and I really wanted to find something that our kids could do for someone else during this Christmas season. We know that they are very grateful children but we still wanted them to focus on giving something to someone else. They made up stockings full of goodies and gifts to give to a local retirement center so they seniors could enjoy a little Christmas gift. They worked quickly to fill the stockings and wished they could have done more. They delivered the stockings to our local YMCA who then took them to the Senior Center. I think the kids really had fun making something for someone else and perhaps for a few minutes forgot about their own Christmas wishes!

The Polar Express

We went on a Christmas pajama train ride this past weekend. The kids loved climbing aboard the train. They loved that they could sit facing each other. It was cold when we first got on, but warmed up perfectly! We enjoyed hot chocolate during our ride and the kids all got to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus who gave them all some treats and surprises. Our friends the Haymore's came with us and Heidi B. joined us as well.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A night at the North Pole

We went to a local hotel for a night of Christmas fun. A few other families came with us so it was a great party time! It was all set up for the kids to enjoy a bunch of Christmas activities. They enjoyed making crafts, visiting Santa, shopping at Santa's workshop, pizza, donuts, grabbing prizes in the blizzard booth (Gabriella was especially good at this) and of course swimming in the pool and enjoying some down time in the hotel room. It was a lot of fun. We love getting away and we hardly had to hear anyone say,"are we there yet?" because it was only 10 minutes from our house!

I guess Gabriella wanted a really good seat to view the strange cartoons they had at the hotel!
Joshua worked so hard on his craft projects, I have hardly ever seen him so focused.
Gabriella liked to empty as many bottles of glitter glue as she could. Her poor sisters were very patient while helping her make a pretty tree.