Friday, February 12, 2010

Playing Catch Up {Merry Christmas}

Are you ready for a long post?! Because I have lots of pictures from Christmas. :) And I'm just now getting around to posting them. Because I'm awesome.

Most of our big Christmas traditions and events took place the week of Christmas. We saved the good stuff for when out Daddy was home. We didn't want him to miss out! But before he was home the kids and I put up the tree and lights and decorations. We made Christmas cookies together. We got plenty of Christmasy library books. And the library even had a "Polar Express" Day. They played the movie on a projector screen and served hot cocoa, apple cider, and Christmas cookies. The kids all came in their pajamas and brought blankets and pillows. The room was packed with cute kiddos sprawled everywhere! I LOVED it! Payson sat with a few of her friends, while Jack wanted to snuggle through the entire movie. I love when my kids become cuddle bugs!!

Of course the Sunday before Christmas the kids got all dressed up in their Christmas outfits. I couldn't find anything that I liked enough that was Christmasy and I figured Christmas would be over soon anyway, so the kids just got cute new Sunday clothes.

My handsome Jack, posing by the tree. You can't tell in this picture, but his pants have little embroidered guitars all over them in thread the matches the pants. Super subtle, but super cute!!

This gorgeous girl wanted her hair curled for Sunday, "like Aunt Madie!" Of course, Mom obliged. And she looked adorable!

Are they not the cutest ever?! I could eat them!

On Christmas Eve day we made gingerbread houses. This is always a tradition we do for FHE before Christmas. But with Daddy's new schedule our FHE's don't always fall on Monday. :) I put on an apron to keep from getting icing powder all over my clothes and the kids had to follow. Here are my cute babies all ready to get messy!

And our cute Daddy, helping to mix frosting.

The kids and I working to decorate the gingerbread house. We let the kids designate where mom and dad get to decorate and where they each get to work. So Jason and my sides end up looking like the box. But the kids' sides are always so cute and creative...and eaten within seconds! :)

Earlier in the week the kids and I had put together these (which I just now took a picture of one we had leftover sitting on the super messy computer desk). I got this cute idea here. I made about a million of these, which took me nearly 2 straight days. But they were so cute! I couldn't wait to give them to all of our neighbors and friends. We filled the boxes with sugar cookie mix and cute Christmas cookie cutters. The kids, especially Payson, loved helping paint on the eyes and mouths and cheeks.

So after decorating our gingerbread house, we delivered these to our neighbors.

We came home and hung out for a little while. We gave the kiddos early baths and then they played while I made dinner. We had our traditional formal dinner by candlelight in our jammies. The kids love this! I remember loving it every year as a kid too. Such a simple tradition, but so so fun!

After dinner the kids took the last chain off of their Christmas countdowns.

And then they ran to the tree where they knew they were getting to open one Christmas gift before bed!

I wonder when Payson will figure out that it's the same thing every year. This was her 5th Christmas to get an ornament on Christmas Eve and she was still surprised. :)

Sorry these are blurry. The kids got the cutest little Snow Globes with Mickey and Minnie and a Christmas tree. I picked...I mean, Santa picked these up while we were at Disneyland. :)

After opening gifts we read the nativity story from the scriptures and talked about it with the kids. Then we read a few Christmas bedtime stories. We read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", "Olivia Helps with Christmas", and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". We finished with "I Believe In Santa Claus" by Diane Adamson (my absolute FAVORITE Christmas book!) and "The Polar Express". The kids were pretty tired after all that reading.

But not too tired to forget about leaving cookies and milk for Santa! Oh! And there's our gingerbread house in the background. (And no, this is not where the coffee table usually sits. This was its temporary Christmas home to make room for gift opening.)

After the kids went to sleep Jason and I waited up for Santa. Once he was gone we took pictures of presents. Man, we got spoiled!

After too little sleep, the kids woke ups up. We made them wait until things were ready downstairs and then had them come down in age order. (I always hated that rule growing up! Being the oldest meant you were always last.)

Then the kids dove right into their Santa gifts! The white gifts were for both kids, green for Jack, and red for Payson. Mrs. Claus didn't do very well about keeping track of what she had bought earlier in the year, so the kids got a little too spoiled this year.

Jack was very sure to get each little piece of wrapping paper and tape off of every gift.

Jack, with all of his Santa loot.

And Payson with hers.

After that we normally move on to breakfast and then open the rest of the presents later to drag out the day a little. This year, Jason was way too anxious. And no one was too hungry yet. So we opened presents first.

Payson's stash.

Jack's stash.

Jason with his stash. (Please ignore that pile o' junk behind Jason next to the desk. That would be why I'm decluttering!)

And beautiful me with my stash. Jason spoiled me this year.

And my favorite gift of the day? Thanks Mom and Dad! :)

After presents we had a delicious breakfast of waffles with fresh fruit, berries, and whipped cream and sausage. So yummy! We normally go all out for breakfast, but we kept it simple this year and were glad we did. We didn't feel too stuffed all day long like we usually do. :)

We really had such a great Christmas! We were so blessed this year, more than ever before. And we just enjoyed the company of our little family, playing games, watching new movies, and playing with new toys all day.

For me, this Christmas was a little different. Having just lost a baby a few days before I was pretty emotional through out the day. But I felt so much closer to my Savior and so much more grateful for His birth. Knowing that I was celebrating His life, which led to the blessing of eternal families, eased my pain that day a little. I am so, so grateful for the birth and life of the Savior! The blessings that His birth and life bring to my family are invaluable.


Trish Griffee said...

Oh my word when did your kids get so big.

Josh and Tiff said...

fun!! I love Christmas... and let me just tell you how freakin' cute your kids are, wow!!! also, did you know blue cricket design is my sister in law's blog? hope you're doing well!

The Larson Family said...

You have a great little family. Your kids are seriously adorable. I love your fun traditions--especially the formal dinner in jammies. What a fun idea!

Randi said...

Payson and Jack look so much a like. My goodness. Could they be any more beautiful? I think not. Fun photos!! Glad you had a good Christmas.
I miss you by the way. It has been way too long!

L@Craftaholics Anonymous said...

you and jason make cute kids! lol I think it comes from you more than jason though ;) jk
hope you're doing well!!

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your little one :(. It looks like you were able to get through Christmas despite the grief and cling to what mattered.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and weighing in on the mantel party. I'd love to have you link up on March 5th. Going to once a month by popular suggestion.

r said...

Great post. Made me totally excited for Christmas :) In fact, I'm probably going to steal some of your ideas. LOVE the formal dinner in pj's. So fun!

Roth Fam said...

Loved your Christmas post!! Made me want Christmas again. :) love the feelings of Christmas.

Tara Contreras Batini said...

Just been missing you. Hope you are doing well. Thinking lots of you. email me sometime