Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Out and About

We spent most of Christmas Day with family. First we went to Jay's parents' house.
(Alice checking out the Christmas houses.)

Jack showing his Minifigures to his cousins

Jay and Alice

Jack was really excited to get one of the Hogwarts sets from his Nana and Papa.

Alice helped Aunt Shannon pass out gifts.

Alice and Alex

Alice finally warmed up to Uncle Kevin! It's not like he's brand new or anything...but she finally decided to hang out with him, so I had to get a picture.

Jack and Kiegan and a Lego Empire State Building

Later we went back across town to my parents' house.

The girls got Sock Monkey hats and the boys got Scooby hats!

Jack was excited to get all of the Spy Kids movies on DVD!

Alice is loving her new Leaptop. I haven't gotten a chance to try it out, but it can do all kinds of things!

Wearing her baby and some of her new dress up things

Just as I came in and was going to take their picture, Alice told her cousin he was a good friend. Too cute!

Jack had his Lego SpongeBob set put together by bedtime last night and we have been unpacking and playing all day!

Star Wars Christmas

After the kids were in bed Christmas Eve, Jay got to work. He is so good at gifts it borders on ridiculous. He's been collecting all of these figures over the last few years and doling them out one or two at a time to keep Jack's interest up. (Yes, that is a donkey back there on the kitchen table.)

Now that Christmas is over, there's a lot more free shelf space in my closet. But just putting them under the tree isn't good enough.

No, you need a full battle scene in the back hall.

And something going on on the coffee table...

And the end table...

And the bookshelf...

And the kitchen table...

And the kitchen island.

And look who noticed the things on the coffee table first!

Christmas Morning

Christmas Eve we went to the annual party and then came home to put out Santa's milk (both kids said it had to be chocolate) and cookies.

The kids slept until 6:30 and woke up ready to go. Poor Jay only got about two hours of sleep--you'll see why later on.

Both the kids got some really nice gifts.

Somehow I didn't get a picture of Alice with the Dora guitar Santa brought her, which is odd since she's had it with her almost all the time!

One of Jack's surprises was the entire first series of Lego Minifigures, which he has been collecting since his birthday.

More pictures to come soon!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Good Tidings

Merry Christmas and welcome to the time of year when moms all over are overworked, exhausted, and ready for December 26. Really this year has been pretty good. We have done something for Christmas every day, but many days it was something simple like having hot chocolate while we watched Christmas specials on TV.

A couple of nights ago, though, I was done. After sniffing and coughing and sneezing all day, I sent Jay off to a party I knew he would rather have gone to with me. I kicked myself for being a bad wife and finally got the kids in bed. Then Jack wanted me to lie down with him while he went to sleep and I begged off, seeing as I had about 20 things waiting downstairs and it was already more than an hour after his bedtime and I had watched Christmas shows with him earlier. I kicked myself for being a bad mom and went downstairs, but before I even plugged in the iron, Alice was awake and crying. And it went on and on until I went to bed, thinking I was not enough.

But really, isn't that the whole point of Christmas? No matter how good you are or how nice you are or how together you are, you are never enough. You can never do enough or be enough by yourself, but you don't have to, because, "behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Visit to Bethlehem

A few weeks ago a local church hosted a night where the kids could travel to Bethlehem and see some of the things Mary and Joseph would have seen there. Alice has been very into nativity scenes this year. She loves to talk about Baby Jee-us and Mary and God (Sorry, Joseph, but since Baby Jesus is God's son, Alice has decided that you are not yourself in the nativity set. That Joseph figure clearly must be God, because he's the father. Maybe you'll get to be yourself when she gets a bit older.) When we went to see Christmas lights the other night we parked next to a light pole with a big star and she got so excited because, "We're at the mayner, Mom!"

Watching Jack make something with olive oil--I'm not sure exactly what he made, but it's still in the container in a baggie!

Making a bead necklace

Jack and Max with their necklaces

Making a sheep

Jack got to use a hand drill for his!

The finished sheep!

We had so much fun at this! It was well set up and the kids enjoyed it. We were so glad our friends came with us!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fun Friday: Christmas Fun

We're not doing anything special for Fun Friday today--watching cartoons and finishing up Christmas stuff, mostly. Here's a rundown of some of the Christmas fun we've had the last few weeks--starting with Alice with a picture of Santa at Hobby Lobby. She is getting excited!

In Jack's geography class they had a Christmas Around the World day and made little bag pinatas.

Peppermint playdough!

We went to the Garden Glow at our favorite museum.

This was our first year to go and we really enjoyed it.

Alice has been sad that we didn't have a star on top of our tree, so she was really excited when Jay brought one home!

Visiting the lights at Rhema

We went to see all the Nutcracker scenes at Utica Square this week. Alice was excited about going, but she fell asleep on the way and slept through all four scenes. Just as I was putting her back into the car, she woke up, so we took her to one and she loved it. We failed to mention there were three more!

Jack loves to get the map and wants us to go through in order--though it's hard to do with parking!

All that's left now is some baking and wrapping and I *think* we'll be ready!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pinterest Fun

Remember these guys we made? They were just one of the ideas I tried out from Pinterest this year. (I know I said I wasn't going to look around at other ideas there, but I just got sucked in by all the cool ideas!) My creations were not nearly as glamorous as Lisa's, but we had fun!

Pillow nativity set--Alice has loved this!

Felt tree for the school room

Jack and I did this fun art project one day. Since it doesn't look too Christmasy, we'll probably leave them up a while.

I've gotten lots of great ideas for our New Year's Eve bags, so I'll get started on those Monday!