Friday, December 28, 2012

White Christmas

When we woke up Christmas morning, the kids were thrilled to see that Santa had come. It had been a wet and stormy night, so the girls were relieved!  It was time to scope out the loot!

Graham's haul included a car ramp, a giant Elmo, and Buzz Lightyear!

He was excited to see a familiar face in Elmo that morning!

Sydney had requested a "real" scooter, and Santa delivered!  A Barbie scooter with a personalized license plate, no less!

Clare has thoroughly enjoyed the karaoke machine she received!  Casey and I may have questioned Santa's judgement a few times, but she loves it.  She loves to sing very loudly!!!

Jane was the lucky recipient of a cool color-yourself dollhouse and some new markers.

After we went through stockings and tried out all of the Santa gifts, we opened presents from each other.  At our house, when you are five, you get a Bible. Jane and Sydney can't read yet, but soon enough!

Everyone got new pajamas!

Clare was happy to get an alarm clock that wakes her up with music, instead of an annoying buzzer.  It's the little things, you know!

Sydney loves this Fairy Garden.  We are hoping the seeds sprout soon!  She has sprinkled lots of pixie dust on them!

Casey and I also got some really thoughtful gifts from the kids.  Clare got me some new pens, because I can never find one when I need to sign her school folder.  :-)  Graham got some new puzzles and books, among other things.

Believe it or not, we still weren't through!  We headed over to my parent's house for another round of Christmas.  We had two delicious meals, received lots of great presents,

and we enjoyed spending time with Nathan, Megan, Brody, Mamma, and my aunt Jennifer.

One of the best parts of the day was when the snow started falling.  Man, did it fall!  Nothing like snow to add a nice jolt to the day!  We headed outside and got this picture.  I love it!  It was snowing so hard that you could hardly look at the camera.

It was a Christmas we won't soon forget!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

 ...And for us that means Christmas Eve at Deedee and Papaw's house.  We were joined by Emme, Grumpy, Bryan, Morgan, Chris and Heather.

We arrived in the late afternoon, and the kids were beyond excited.  Especially when they saw this...

Before the chaos began, we had to stop for a family pictures.  Too bad Graham was distracted by Cash!

At last it was time to begin!  Stockings first!  Graham was entranced by this light-up, spinning thing.  The girls loaded up on bath gels, lotions, hair stuff, and lots of other treasures.

When it was time for presets, Sydney was SUPER excited to receive a "real" cheerleader outfit!  She immediately changed into it, and wore it the rest of the evening.

 Jane was equally excited to get crutches, a sling, and some other medical gear.  She has been hobbling around ever since!

Graham's was not feeling his best.  He had a nasty cold, but he participated here and there.  He seems to have gotten the hang of unwrapping!

Clare loves her a good project.  This, along with a bunch of other office supplies, should set her up for a while!

Graham did perk up when his Thomas tent got set up!

We all got way so many great gifts, and it was a great start to our Christmas holiday!  Next up,  it was time to get home and get ready for Santa!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Play Ball

Graham and his great-grandmother bonded over a game of ball.   I love the holidays, and my kids being able to spend time with some extended family is one of the reasons why!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cookie Chaos!

For the past several years, we have had a cookie decorating day with the grandmas.  This year was no exception, and I must say, we are getting better!  We made less of a mess, and we got those cookies rolled out, baked, and decorated in no time. We were a well-oiled machine this year!  

The kids had spent the night at my parents' house the night before Cookie Day, and when they arrived, I could see they were Hollywood ready!  LoLo helped them put their movie star make-up on, and they all looked about ten years older.

Frank must've heard us talking about cookie day, because he came ready to work that morning.

First up, we roll out the dough and cut it into shapes. 

Usually this process leaves us with a ton of flour on the floor, but we did pretty good this time.

Graham didn't participate this year.  He hung out with Casey, and I think it was a good call.  Maybe next year, he'll join in on the fun!

After the cookies had baked and cooled, we started decorating.  Lucky for us, Aunt Morgan joined us!  The girls were in awe of her decorating skills! 

Decorating is serious business.

We had two kinds of icing in a lot of colors and sprinkles for days.  Lots of decorating choices.

To help with the detail work, Syd put on her (fake) glasses.

Ta-Da!  Christmas Cookies! 

This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Letters to Santa

Our advent calendar told the kids it was time to write the much anticipated letter to Santa.  
Jane and Sydney felt strongly about writing their own letters this year.  

 Jane asked for new clothes for her doll, skates, and coloring books.

Sydney wants a bike and a "real" scooter.  That means a scooter with two wheels, not three.

Clare took her sweet time and wrote a pretty lengthy letter that included requests for teacher stuff, doll clothes, and surprises!  Three pages!

Then, she took it upon herself to write a letter for Graham.  

I must say it was a pretty thoughtful letter full of things Graham loves!

We recently heard that if you put your letters to Santa in the fireplace, your elf will take the to the North Pole.  We had to try it out!

And, thankfully, they were gone the next day!  Frank came through for us!  I sure hope these kids are on the nice list!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Celebrate Good Times

We have celebrated and celebrated....and celebrated...Jane and Sydney's fifth birthday! We started with a Winter Wonderland party at our house! It was 80 degrees and super windy, but what are you going to do? We could've named it "Windy Wonderland," but I was happy to have the festivities outside.

We had a snowball toss,

took some pictures,

played Pin the Nose on the snowman,

ate a Snowy Snack,

created a Marshmallow Man,

and turned Jane and Sydney into toilet paper snowmen!

And of course, had some some snowman cupcakes!

After our friends left, the girls opened family presents.  Can you see the excitement of getting American Girl Dolls?

On their real birthday, the girls had school.  We took donuts, and I got to stay for chapel.  The girls were quite proud of their birthday hats...and their sprinkle donuts!

I got to see them get their "birthday blessing," and spend some time in each of their classes.

Our last celebration was at our house on the night of their birthday with our little family.  We had a special dinner, opened presents, and had one more birthday cake.

Sydney got the Merida dress, as you can see.

I think we can officially put this birthday in the books!
Love you girls!