Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas in {Pictures}

This Christmas was one of the best. It was so much fun. The older the children get, and the fact that Santa exists in our home, makes everything so magical and exciting.

Andrew and I were awakened by the baby wanting to eat around 6 AM. I brought him into our bed and fed him. We wondered how much longer the kids would last. The night before, I had told them to wait until about 7 to get up and come and get us. Aren't I mean? :) We heard scampering feet around 6:40, running into the living room to check and see if Santa had come. We heard excited whispers and little squeals. We just smiled at each other. It still amazes me how happy it makes ME to hear my children happy and excited.

We heard them run up the stairs like a herd of elephants and burst into our room, all of them grinning from ear to ear and jabbering all as one about how Santa had come, they could see some of the things he brought, and could they please please go and start opening their stockings?!?

We teased them for a little bit, asking if they would like to eat breakfast first, or suggested that they might need a little more rest and maybe we should go back to bed? Of course, they declined and we all raced downstairs to start the magic of Christmas morning.Overflowing, stuffed to the brim stockings. Daphne and Bear couldn't even wait for a picture-they had to see what was in there!

Jo and Bear with their stocking lootThis is Bear's "little robot keychain" This was the ONLY thing he asked for for Christmas. The 4 times he sat on Santa's lap, the only thing he requested was a "little robot keychain". He got the idea in his head when a pair of pants I bought for Jonah back in November came with a robot keychain on them and Baron loved it so much and wanted one too. Luckily, Santa found one and Baron was so excited. He hasn't stopped carrying it around since.

Andrew opening his stocking-he was happy to get a Madden football Wii game (Santa has been regretting that decision ever since...) and a beanie to keep his "thinning" head of hair warm ;)

Santa knew that the mom and dad at this house were really tired of too many toys in the playroom, so he brought each of the kids a new scooter or bike. It's a good thing too, because all of the kids had outgrown their old ones within the last few months! What a smart guy that Santa is :)

Santa always brings us a big family gift and the kids always get so excited to open it every year. This year we got a blu ray player, some movies, and also several games. Lots of family-oriented, spend-quality-time together type stuff. Perfect. Just what I wanted!

These were my sneaky gift. All of the kids wanted a Pillow Pet for Christmas. Now, for some reason, what Andy is completely against and hates more than anything is Pillow Pets. Don't ask me why, I've never been able to get it out of him. I'm not a huge fan of them either, but it's not as big of a deal to me. Anyway, we had decided to get the kids sleeping bags awhile ago and when I saw these, it made me laugh, because it's a stuffed animal/pillow with a sleeping bag inside of it that you can take out to use. I got each of the kids one and when they opened them, they were so excited-they all thought they were Pillow Pets. I explained what they really were and someone yelled "Oh, these are WAY better than Pillow Pets!" I was happy that I actually got them some form of pillow pet-even though it's not the real thing AND I snuck one past Andy-that doesn't happen often (well, that he knows about anyway.... ;)

The joke turned out to be on me when all of the kids said that although they LOVED their sleeping bag/pillow pet, they all still wanted a REAL Pillow Pet. Darn.

This was our beautiful cash "bouquet" from Andy's parents. Pretty creative!

Laylah loved her new cowgirl boots

Andy thought his new clothes were boring

I was so surprised and excited about the Kindle that Santa brought me

I love catching the excitement on my kids' faces as they see what is inside a gift.

Andy was excited to receive an air compressor from Santa that he's been wanting for a little while

My cute grandma Darlene sent the kids these chair covers. They thought they made pretty nifty giant hats

The mess
We receieved 2 pounds of candy from my beloved See's. One from Andy's brother and one from my sister. Mmmmmm, my favorite. Don't worry, I've shared with Andy. Once.

When we were done opening presents, we ate a delicious brunch of Stuffed Croissant French Toast, homemade syrup, sausage, bacon, orange juice, and hot chocolate with whipped cream. Divine. After that, the kids went downstairs to watch a movie and hopped in their new sleeping bags. Cuties.

Magnus finally woke up and we opened all of his presents for him. He loved them all and was so excited. Can't you tell?

Here he is in his Christmas outfit and his gift from mom and dad that he actually received about a month ago-his swing, which he loves. Most of the time. I almost included a picture of him screaming 2 minutes later in his "beloved" gift, but I didn't. Because I'd rather make myself think that he loves it, instead of thinking I wasted my money :)

The kids finally got dressed in their new Christmas clothes and went out to try their new toys in the freezing, windy 30 degree weather. Bear refused a coat. It was Christmas,so... whatever.
Daphne's scooter was actually a Barbie scooter and came with a little tiny barbie-sized scooter. She had to go find a Barbie to come and ride with her. And there she is.

Laylah-a pro on her new bike already. You might notice-no Jonah picture expertly riding his new bike. He tried and decided it was too big and he'd rather ride his old one that he has outgrown and looks a little silly riding. I went up to take a shower and when I came downstairs again, he told me dad had helped him ride his new one and he loved it after all. But he had forgotten to take a picture. Darn.

I love my family. Notice Magnus in his other Christmas outfit (from my sis-love it Rach!) because he had a little blow-out. Of course.
We had fun Skype-ing with both Andy's and my families. It was so much fun to see everyone and get to chat for a little bit. The kids especially loved it.
Later, I was getting ready to make our Christmas dinner of soup and garlic bread (clam chowder and broccoli cheese) when Andy's cousin called and gave us a last minute invitation to their house for dinner. Meghan had made home-made Mexican food-taquitos, tamales, guacamole, refried beans-the works. Yum. Couldn't pass that up. It was delicious and fun to see some family on Christmas.
We were planning on going to see Tangled, but apparently it's really popular to see movies here on Christmas. Every theatre within 25 miles of us was sold out for the last 3 showings of the night. What?!? We decided to have our soup and see the movie for family night the next Monday (We did, and it was fun. LOVED the movie. And the soup. Yum :).

My kids. Love them! I can't believe how big and grown up they're all getting to be.
Here they are, ready for bed in their traditional Christmas jammies from Grandma Collette. Along with their Webkinz that they all received in their stockings.

Magnus loved his Webkinz, although I think it'll be a few years before he starts playing in Webkinz World ;)

All of the kids ran back downstairs when it was time for bed to snuggle up in their sleeping bags and watch a movie and have a sleepover in the playroom.
Like I said-a wonderful Christmas, right? It really was and I loved every minute (except for the part where we didn't get to see the movie :). Even though we missed extended family and missed being in Utah, it was just wonderful to be together. I love my family. If you couldn't tell :)
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Week

We had a lot of fun the week before Christmas. The pictures pretty much speak for themselves...

We decorated a gingerbread house
(It was consumed within 4 days)

We decorated Christmas sugar cookies

Andrew helped me with the 65 Christmas cards we sent out

And we celebrated Christmas Eve with our cute little family of 7. It was a new and wonderful, although different, experience. It seemed really quiet the whole evening, even though the kids were excited and eager. I guess I'm just used to my whole, huge family on Christmas Eve-along with the noise and energy.
I had given Andrew a list of the items I would need for our Christmas Eve feast, along with our breakfast and dinner on Christmas day, to go and purchase at the grocery store. Instead of the chicken I had planned on roasting for our dinner, he came home with a duck. Yes, a duck. Now, I have really started to enjoy cooking lately and I have become more daring recently. I have started trying new recipes that I wouldn't have dared tackle before and I have been proud of myself and the progress I have made (this is coming from a lady who had never made a meal in her life when she got married-my husband cooked all of our food the first year of our marriage) but I was a little nervous about preparing and roasting a duck. I googled it and found a great website ( that gave a step by step guide, along with pictures, on how to roast a duck. I followed it to a T and also prepared twice baked potatoes, glazed carrots, rolls, raspberry lemonade, and a lemon jello cake for dessert. It turned out fabulously, if I do say so myself. It was incredibley delicious and surprisingly, all of the kids loved it.
After dinner, we went out back and scattered our reindeer food We came in and had a little program where we read Luke 2 and we also watched a video about the Savior's birth. We talked about giving and service and we brought in our little baby Jesus that we had been taking care of all week. We had been filling up His manger with pieces of hay every time we did a secret service and when I brought it in to lay our baby in, it was full of hay. I was so proud of the kids for all of their secret service they had done during the week.

After that, we got to open a gift (new jammies, of course :)

Then we put out our cookies for Santa (oreos this year-we were too busy to make any!) and said our prayers...
snapped some pictures of mom and dad being silly as we cleaned up the kitchen...

checked online to see where Santa Clause was, realized he was in South America, and hurried to bed so he could come visit us!
And look! He came:

Next up-Christmas Day!