Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas 2011

Here are a few pictures that were on my phone that should have gone

on the last post about December.

Sarah had her ballet dance for the family to watch. Kannon was off that day so we all got to see her in her dance. She is the 3rd from the left.

I had been hoping that this year would be the one in which we could sign her up for every session and grow in skills. But, now we've taken on the Total Money Makeover and I don't feel like there's room for that right now.
Here's another pic from our duck pond visit. It doesn't look as icy and cold as it was that day. Half of the water you can see here was frozen. (not like these last few days of 60-70 temps.)

Now, on to CHRISTMAS!!

The night of the 23rd we let the kids open one present from Grandma Polish. We knew they were getting quilts and pillows from her and wanted that to be enjoyed separately from the toys.

It was almost comical to watch Ben open his package. Grandma told him that there was surprise in one of the corners of his gift. She had put tags saying "made by Grandma" on one corner of each quilt. He thought he was looking for something on the package itself. He was so careful checking each corner of the wrapping paper.

"Holy red eyes, Batman!"

Ben and Sarah actually slept out in the living room that night, but it was all we could do to get Joshua to lay still for this picture. He slept in his bed. He's a funny kid. He loves the little blanket that Grandma Polish made him when he was a baby. It's red on one side with bees, and the other side is black with white polka dots. It's the only blanket he will sleep under.

So, in this picture he was basically throwing a fit that we wanted him to lay down on his pillow with the new quilt. I had also made him a new Cars fleece blanket, but he's having none of that either - which is surprising with his love of Cars. I've even had to put a different pillowcase on his special pillow because he kept throwing it on the floor.

We took Christmas Eve nice and slow. I was in charge of dinner at my parents house. So, I made potluck meatballs, yum! I had them cooked early and then just put them in the crockpot for warm keeping. I also made up fruit and vegetable trays. Then we headed out to their house.

Ben and Sarah on the computer. I don't remember what they were playing but I think it's so cute when Sarah sits behind Ben like this. He never complains and it's just nice to see them doing something together.

Grammy playing with the kids. She kept all of her little people and the kids love to play with them when they come over. Sarah is on the floor to the left. Natalie in the pink and Joshua.

After our yummy dinner we had a little devotional. I sang an impromptu song with my mom. Sarah sang a few songs by herself (holding my hand). Ben played a song on the piano as did Jackie. Ben also read us The Night Before Christmas. Then my dad read the story of Christ's birth from the book of Luke. Sarah played with the nativity scene that my parents made when I was a little one. She was acting it out as he read.

Then we headed home. We had decided to do a homemade Christmas exchange this year. We drew names back in October and we had to make something for that person. Some of us knew what to do right away. Others (me!) took awhile to figure it out and made our gifts a few days before Christmas! We chose to open them on Christmas Eve so that they wouldn't get tossed aside as sometimes gifts do in the excitement of presents on Christmas morning.

Sarah made a Cars book for Joshua. We used a thrift store board book and glued on our own pages of pictures she designed and drew herself. (Except for this page in the picture. She wanted 10 friends but didn't feel like she could draw this one. So I did it for her.) Her ideas were great.

This was Sarah's look when she said, "that's a stupid present." Kannon had wrapped it in an old lotion container. ( I think she had thought it was going to be a slinky.) When we said, "oh look, lotion" she was less than excited.

Now check out her face as she unrolls the belt that her dad made just for her. It has her name on it and stars, flowers, hearts and it's pink and purple. She was pretty happy. He also made her her own belt buckle with pretty jewels on it.

This is what I ended up making for Ben. Marshmallow shooters and bags to carry extra marshmallows. It was just hard for me to pick what to make that he would actually like and that I could actually do by myself. And this I did do by myself. All Kannon did for me was get the tools out of the garage. I made 2 guns so he could play with his friends. I used leftover spray paint to make them red and blue. The bags are matching with red and blue ribbons. He said it was the best Christmas present ever. (After he saw what Santa brought him it became the second best present ever!)

Ben had me. His dad helped him make me a keychain and a checkbook holder out of leather. Kannon helped but from what I understand Ben really did the work himself. I love them!

Joshua had Kannon's name and so I pretty much had to do that one myself. I chose this shirt because I felt it was a gift that Joshua could keep giving. I found the idea on pinterest (yay!). On the front we put Joshua's handprint and the quote, "I'm as lucky as can be, the best daddy in the world belongs to me." And I let Joshua draw on it with a fabric marker.

Ben had been following Santa's path all afternoon/evening on Norad. He was in bed when we noticed this, and took a picture for him.

Aw! Christmas morning. Since it was Sunday and we had church at 9am (and choir at 8am!) We decided to only see what Santa brought us and save the rest of the presents for after church. (We were home by 10 so it wasn't a big deal.)

We woke up the kids at 6:30. Joshua didn't want to wake up. But these two were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

Joshua perked up a bit when he started to see that there were gifts involved.

Ben got a Nintendo 3DS. Sarah got 5 Disney Princess Barbies. Joshua got a Cars 2 Wheelie track. They were all very happy with their gifts. Good job Santa!

Joshua always liked the singamajigs in the store. We'd let him play with it while we were shopping or looking then put it away when it was time to leave. Well, he finally got his own and it was a hit. He also got a little Lightning McQueen, a puzzle block. (This is after church).

Most of Sarah's gifts were Barbie. She got this little pocket learner, a Ken, some clothes, a little pet shop coloring book and markers.

Ben was really happy with all the legos he got.

We like to take turns opening presents to stretch it out and make the love and excitement last. But, Joshua didn't know how to stop. He opened all of his and then helped daddy open his. It was all I could do to get to open my own presents by myself!

We went out to my parents house again after a short nap. Joshua played pirate and rode stick horses with cousin Natalie. We all just hung out visiting and being happy.

Sarah read to Uncle Stephen.

We had a yummy dinner of ham, potatoes, sweet potatoes and jello salads. There were lots of goodies around for the eating, too.

We all got together again on Monday for visiting. My sister Nancy came with her family joining us, Nathan and family, and Susan and Stephen. Four out of six kids home for Christmas wasn't too bad. More visiting. Played a game of Rage. Yummy spaghetti, bread and salad for dinner.

Uncle Stephen is always a hit! (Or should I say hoot?!) He was swinging the little kids around his body. They were lined up for their turn. This is Ben. It was so hard to get a good picture because they were moving so fast.

And Sarah. Uncle Nathan even got a little turn. So frustrated that my camera batteries decided to die right then!

All in all we had a very pleasant weekend. We loved being able to take things slow and spend time with our family. I didn't feel like we went overboard on the gifts either. It was a good time. Can't wait to do it again. Which part? Why, all of it, of course!

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