Saturday, January 7, 2012

our Christmas 2011

It feels very strange to be writing a Christmas post after just enjoying a sunny 60 degree day here in Iowa.  Ridiculously amazing weather.  We played outside without wearing coats!!  And I even worked up a sweat raking leaves!  If only this weather would last for the next three months... but I have a feeling that's not going to happen.

Anyways, I wanted to sneak these pictures in from our Christmas before it got too late.  And as always, brace yourselves for the never ending round of pictures...

Christmas Eve

We all pitched in and made Monkey Bread so we could enjoy it on Christmas Day.  The kids had a blast putting the dough in the bag and shaking the sugar and cinnamon all over it.  They also placed it in the pan all by themselves.  So my only job was to cut the dough.  They did awesome!

Then the girls made their very own calendar for their room, complete with pictures of themselves throughout the past year!

 Since our church was having a Christmas Eve service that evening, our traditional Christmas Eve Dinner got promoted to a Christmas Eve Lunch.  It was complete with our traditional hamballs, mashed potatoes, cheesy broccoli and garlic rolls.

After watching Polar Express and working on a 1000 piece puzzle (which is still in the works in my dining room...) we got all dressed up for the Christmas Eve service.
The service was excellent!
(You may be wondering why our fireplace is covered with a large piece of chevron fabric... so to ease your curious minds, we have an extremely drafty fireplace and therefore it must be covered up in the winter to prevent drastic energy costs, unless we have a fire burning constantly, but then we would have to be chopping wood every hour to keep that up.  So I covered a big piece of styrofoam with fabric.  No, I know it's not perfect, but it's better than the big black blanket we had hanging there before!)

When we got home, the kids each got to open one present - a movie for our trip to Michigan!  :)

Christmas Morning

We woke up Christmas morning to a warm fire and full stockings!

My favorite part of Christmas is all the handmade gifts.  The girls spend several hours throughout December coloring, cutting, and pasting to make gifts for everyone.  This year I limited them to one gift bag per family member that they could fill as they pleased.
Adeline made me a book all about the First Christmas.  It is truly priceless!

Millie spent quite a lot of time cutting out shapes for daddy.  Adorable!   :)

Perhaps my favorite is the huge smile in Millie's eyes here when she received this partially colored "suitcase for holiday stuff" from Addie (which, as you'll notice, originally said "Adeline", but was crossed out to give to her sister).  ;)

 Beautiful stamping done by Millie.  :)
 Tate was wondering when we were going to move on to the other presents... ;)

Odie got a new bone!

New slippers!

Tap dance shoes, skirt and lessons for Millie!  

Addie's "American Girl" doll!  Okay, so it's actually just the Target brand one, but she could care less.  :)

A new tool set for Tate so he can help daddy finish the basement.

Perhaps Addie's favorite gift - matching nighties for her and her new doll, Katelyn!

After presents, we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and blew out the candles on the Monkey Bread "birthday cake" that the kids had made.  Yes, it was just as yummy as it looks!  :)
Then we read the Christmas Story from the Bible and The Light of Christmas (check out my last post for info on this awesome book).

And then it was time to head off to Nana and Baba's house, just over an hour away.  But Tate didn't make it very far...

The kids got to enjoy another birthday cake for Jesus and Addie and Clara read the Bible story on Baba's lap.

Of course, the girls had to bless us all with their lovely Christmas carols.

And then my memory card was full.  :(  So you'll just have to trust that we had a ton of fun with Nana and Baba and all their cousins and aunts and uncles!  

The Day After Christmas

Monday morning, we loaded up the car and headed up to Cadillac, Michigan to see the Brooks side... (with an empty memory card).  I don't believe we've ever made this trip in less than 11 hours.  This time, however, we did it in only 9 1/2!  The kids did awesome.  We only stopped ONE time.  Let me repeat that... ONE TIME!  And that was just for lunch, potty breaks and gas.  I thought for sure we'd have to make at least one more stop, but no one was complaining, so we just headed on.  

We had our Christmas celebration with them on Tuesday.

We had fun giving gifts.

And of course, receiving them too.  :)

Here, Addie's showing me her latest, greatest toy - a Nintendo 3DS, purchased with $$ from Great Grandpa and Great Grandma.  She found an awesome deal on Craigslist.  That girl's got a nose for bargains... I'm so proud of her.  ;)  And Uncle Mark got her some fun games for it.

 Uncle Scott got the girls Snuggies.  Really, who doesn't need a Snuggie?

Modeling their new jammies and tutus.

The kids went out sledding with Daddy and Nana.

And made cornbread muffins with Nana.

Tate doing a little target practice with his new toy from Uncle Scott.  I believe the box said ages 8+... but the men were sure Tate could handle it.

Playing Addie's favorite game, Disney Monopoly, with Great Grandma and Papa.

The men in a serious game of Double Deck Euchre.

Now she's sucked Uncle Mark into the game too...  Look out, Addie, I hear he's a shark!  :)
Notice she's in dance clothes.  The girls wore these for a good part of the time.  You never know when they might decide to put on a show!

 Driving cars in the basement!  Millie has become an excellent driver.

And of course, the kids enjoyed cuddle time with Nana!

So, there's our big Christmas 2011!  Hope yours was stupendous as well!