Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Fun

Christmas Eve started with cookie decorating. Jackson was more interested in making each cookie look like what it is supposed to be this year, and Audrey was interested in making sure every spot of icing was completely covered in sprinkles. They each picked out a couple they wanted to eat, as well as a couple for Santa. They also wanted to make sure they gave one to Mrs. Claus in case she was in the sleigh too. They each wrote a note so Santa would know which ones were for Mrs. Claus. (I didn't manage to get a pic of the cookies they made, so this one is courtesy of my dad.)

We went to the early church service at 2 PM where we enjoyed worshiping and hearing a great Christmas message. The kids did really well throughout the service. The church handed out little coloring packets, which were perfect to keep them entertained during the message (they are normally in a kids service on Sundays). They loved the candlelight and singing of Silent Night at the end of the service. The hot chocolate and cookies after church were a hit as well.

My Dad and the Newman family joined us for dinner that evening. We had Ross' delicious chicken and sausage gumbo with a variety of desserts. The kids had fun running off the sugar while the adults chatted, and I got in a little snuggle time with baby Caleb. When the Newmans left, Jackson and Audrey were excited to put on their pajamas and get to bed so Santa could come and they could exchange gifts!

Santa brought each of them just what they wanted...a marble run and an American Girl doll. He also ate all of his cookies and delivered Mrs. Claus' cookies as requested. However, he did leave the eyes of one of the cookies for them to have one last taste.

Everyone was excited the next morning. We awoke to hear the kids discovering their toys from Santa in the living room. We quickly jumped out of bed so we could enjoy seeing the excitement on their faces. Unfortunately, I wasn't awake enough to operate the camera well at 5:30 AM, so the initial pics of Jackson didn't come out. The one below is from his first run of the marbles though! The kids enjoyed helping all of us go through our stockings too.

We spent the next several hours opening gifts and eating breakfast. Unfortunately, not long before we finished, I realized I had a stomach bug. After the last gift was opened and the real playing began, I crawled back into bed and didn't emerge again until late in the evening. I still enjoyed hearing the sounds of laughter and fun throughout the house though. Ross and my Dad played with them all day! My heart was filled with joy just knowing how much fun they were all having (a little disappointed not to be able to join in, but mostly joyful).

I managed to squeeze in a game with Ross and my dad while I watched a movie on the couch that night, which helped me feel like I was part of the fun. Fortunately, I woke up feeling almost normal the next day. Unfortunately, my dad caught the bug and spent the entire day after Christmas in bed...not the best gift I've ever given! He recovered by the next morning as well though, and so one else has gotten it!

Christmas isn't quite over for our family yet. We're gearing up for the final round of gift exchanges with Ross' family in Leakey. However, my favorite moments from Christmas this year have been hearing Jackson and Audrey describe the true meaning of Christmas and seeing the delight they get from giving gifts to those they love. They are such sweet, amazing kids (most of the time)!

Christmas with Nana

Nana came to visit the weekend before Christmas to spoil the kids. They loved it! We now have a safari bug hunter and a singer/doctor in the family!

Christmas Tree Farm Field Trip

It was Audrey's turn for a field trip to the Christmas Tree Farm this year! Unfortunately, it was a very cold, wet day. Everyone still managed to have fun, but there were a few meltdowns along the way. Audrey did pretty well, but she does not like to be that cold! I was fine aside from having frozen toes...until I got home and realized my new boots were damaged by all of the water. Thank goodness for shoe hospitals!

They got to do all kinds of fun stuff! They started by roasting marshmallows. Then they played on bales of hay and did a scavenger hunt. There was some good, old Texas sledding (on dirt and hay), as well as a little animal watching. Next was a hay ride around the tree farm where they learned how to tell how old a tree is.

After a cup of hot chocolate to warm up a bit, the kids got to decorate one of the trees outside and dress up scarecrows. Audrey did both very briefly, but she was ready to be inside to warm up.

Pizza was next on the agenda before heading back to the daycare. Despite the rain and cold, it was a successful outing!

O Christmas Tree

After everyone headed home from Thanksgiving, we headed to our favorite tree lot to pick out our Christmas trees! We got a big one for the living room, which was decorated the way Elizabeth wanted it, as well as a little one for the kids to decorate and put in the entry way. Jackson and Audrey hung all of their old and new handmade ornaments on their tree, as well as some of my old ornaments from when I was a kid. They loved it!

Thanksgiving Weekend

Once again, I'm behind in posting updates and pictures. We've all been busy with good things though. To catch everyone up on the major events, I'll do several posts starting with Thanksgiving!

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year, and it was one of the best meals we've put together yet! Susan, Leslie, Mitchell, Kim, and Barbara joined us this year, and we had a great time hanging out.

Rather than joining the crowds to shop on Black Friday, we opted to go bowling! This was Mitchell's first experience bowling. It went mostly well...until Mitchell dropped the ball on Leslie's foot and then got hit in the face within the span of a few seconds. That would make anyone question the fun of the game!

Jackson was fun to watch bowl. He still uses the ramp to help him out, but he lines it up by himself, pushes the ball, and eagerly waits to see what he gets. Audrey was more independent this time as well. She was determined to carry the ball by herself with her super strong muscles! They all did really well.

We had such a great time visiting, eating good food, and playing. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year with such great family and friends, jobs we love, and so many other blessings.