With only three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year I felt this whole holiday season was rushed. Regardless, we made sure to enjoy and appreciate the holiday.
Christmas Cards are important to me.
I like to send them and I like to receive them.
(Remember when we used to send out photo DVDs?)
This year a good friend of ours with a fancy camera offered to take our family picture if we would take hers. Deal! Thanks Amy and family!
My two favorite pictures.
After Christmas cards were sent out the School Parties started.
I volunteered to make Grinch Kebabs for Lauren's class and Strawberry Santas for
The Grinch Kebabs turned out great but my Strawberry Santas didn't look exactly like I wanted them to. (My inspiration on the bottom left, my reality on the bottom right.)
They were all gobbled down though.
My Photogenic Kids at their School Christmas Parties.
They love to pose for pictures.
(is there a font for sarcasm?)
I wasn't very good about taking pictures of our Christmas decorations. We did decorate though. Matt put lights outside and I took care of the inside.
Chris, our Elf on the Shelf, came back for the 12 days before Christmas.
He wasn't as creative as last year. This year he stuck to the perimeter of the family room. Some days he decided not to move at all. Which made Lauren think her Daddy might be moving the Elf because the days Chris didn't move corresponded to Daddy's poker nights. BUT... I'm thinking the kids behaved so well this year that he didn't need to make the trip back to the North Pole as often.
Every year Grandma Jan creates (paints, sews, molds with her own two hands) a new Christmas decoration for us. I love them and they are the bulk of my decorations. This year she quilted a Santa. She really outdid herself and when I grow up I want to be her.
Did I mention I love to receive Christmas cards. I let them take over my glass table and my entire refrigerator. Totally felt the love this year.
I believe this was the last year for our cute little fake tilted Christmas tree. Our ornaments have outgrown it and Matt said I could get a bigger cute fake Christmas tree next year.
Here's a pic of the mantle and also a pic to show how tall
is getting. I didn't realize he was already to my
shoulders. He's in 3rd grade...stop growing already. Tyler
On Christmas Eve we made our traditional Cinnamon Rolls & icing
We put Reindeer food out on the front lawn and set out Santa's plate of cookies plus carrots for the reindeer if they didn't get enough food outside.
Christmas morning did not disappoint.
He and the Reindeer chowed down on their snacks.
Santa filled the stockings and brought the children a very special gift!
Before diving into the stockings L and T took some time to check out their special gift from Santa. New iPad Minis! Santa was kind enough to put them in protective cases before he left. Blue for
and Pink for Lauren. Tyler
Let's Get it Started
I'll spare you the blurry action shots of each kid opening up each gift. It sure was fun to watch though.
We were all excited for all of our new Christmas treasures. I love how appreciative L and T truly are of each gift. Thank you, thank you, thank you! The thank you cards are on the kitchen table just begging to be filled out.
Lauren, Tyler, and Me...didn't Daddy get any gifts?
Now it's Time to Play!!!
(clockwise, top-left: Lazer Maze with the Nerf gun handy and ready to attack at any minute, Pinball Baseball, Minecraft Legos, telescope)
(top row: 5-in-1 Table Game. Rock came over to play too.
bottom row: The Claw Carnival Game. Unfortunately The Claw did not come to us fully functional. Matt was able to figure out what was not working and solder some wires together. That guy can do everything. I have a bill to The Claw manufacturer in the mail. It's not an easy game but they love trying for the candy.
My Beauty Shop Pal and 3-in-1 Styling Tool (curler, crimper, & flat iron)
(like Apples to Apples but with pictures...fun!)
Make your own Cat Treats kit
Make your own Lip Balm kit
(This is pretty cool. She's already made two different flavors.)
during the build, after the build
Making origami from instructional YouTube videos on her iPad.
Once again Matt's work gave their employees a gift card to Honey Baked Ham. So once again we got our Christmas ham for a very low price.
Christmas Menu: Ham, Green Bean Casserole, Skillet Creamed Corn, Honey Roasted Red Potatoes, Cheddar Biscuits and Graham Cracker Eclair "Cake" for dessert.
Since it was just the four of us we had A LOT of food.
I am so blessed by my wonderful family and this Christmas season really reminded me of that.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and took some time to celebrate the true Reason for the Season.