Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas in Portland

We headed down to Portland around 4...and much to the boys dislike...we ate supper first...Even after a whole day of opening presents....it's just so hard to wait!  Grandma made a yummy dinner and then we had to have our birthday cake for Jesus!

Stockings are a HUGE hit at Grandmas...she fills them way full and wraps each gift...so much fun...for ALL of us!

Then...more presents under the tree!

We stayed the night...played some games that evening before going to bed.
The next day we took it easy...Seth and I did some shopping for after Christmas sales at Walmart...daddy and Grant played...we all napped..we played more games.  We just enjoyed a day together!

That night...Ted's family came over for supper and one more round of presents!  We headed home around 6:30 after another blessed time with family!

It's always a let down when Christmas is over...but we had a great time and we all were blessed with some great gifts!   What a joyous time to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Christmas Morning

The boys slept much later than we expected...we had told them to wait till 7...they both slowly rolled out of bed around 8:30!   While we were getting ready to go down together...we couldn't find Grant!  Well...he had snuck down and had already checked out the stash from Santa!

so..this is a repose at the top of the stairs...waiting to go down!

Santa brought Seth his very own tablet!
And Grant..his own bike!  

 After checking out Santa's gifts...we emptied our stockings...lots of little goodies inside!

Back to the tree to open presents...including a new drum!

and basketball shoes!

and the big surprise...tickets to a COLTS game and the children's museum with an overnight stay in Indy!
Silly boy!

Nana and Oompa came over for breakfast brunch and more presents!   We are so spoiled!
Grant loved is new fish tank...and Seth is super excited about picking out a boogie board when we get to Cape May this summer.

One more...in our Christmas jammies!

After doing dishes and before heading to Grandmas...we had some down time...Seth chose to read over playing with his new tablet...LOVE THAT KID!


It truly was a blessed Christmas morning with family...and there was still more Christmas to come!

Christmas Eve...Part 2

Later that evening, we came home and got ready for bed!    Our elf, Edgar brought us ALL Christmas jammies this year!    The boys were so excited to get on their warm soft jammies...Andy...well, not so much...but he was a super sport about it!

As with tradition...Andy read the birth of Jesus from the bible and I read "Twas the Night Before Christmas"\
 We had to get a family shot in our Christmas jammies!

 The boys couldn't wait for the next morning when they could open their gifts!

And after putting out some milk and cookies for Santa....
they were off to bed...with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads

Christmas Eve...part 1

After a lazy morning at home...we headed over to my parents house around noon for Christmas with my brother's family and parents.    Of course, since it's the 1st presents of the season...my boys are always ready to open presents from the cousins. 

Grant got a WII game and some Legos

Seth got a COLTS hat and a subscription to Sports Illustrated for Kids
Oompa outdid himself and made prime rib!   Although it was a break from our traditional meal of ribs, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and peas...IT WAS AWESOME.  Even Grant ate it up...I'm all for this new tradition!

Afterward the kids just played....playdough
 and cards

and outside and in the basement and with the player piano and with anything else they could find.

It's always great to spend Christmas Even with the cousins!

Building of Masterpieces!

What a FUN FUN night!   We've been intentional with some friends about "doing" life together! It's been so fun.  On Monday, Dec. 22 we got together to build gingerbread houses.   We paid money to a lady from church...she supplied the bases and some of the supplies, including the icing.

After a pitch-in supper...we got started!  This was our house we started with!

Seth was pretty into building our house...grant...well he lasted about 2 minutes!
 It got pretty serious...each of the 4 families had an hour and 40 minutes to decorate.   Preston even got out his tool kit...LOVE IT!
 I was complettely blown away by the creativity of everyone...we all had our special little things that made each house unique and special!

Brett, Jennifer, Aubrey and Andrew

 Alan, Lisa, Owen and their other son :)
 Our little family!
 Preston, Marita, Emily, Madeline and Amelia Short

 Each house had things that made it so special...loved the split rail fence and pudgy snowman on Alan and Lisas
 Our house was personalized with an L

And Andy built a hot tub!

Loved the dripping snow on the Nixons

The Shorts had adorable wreaths and trees

and a cute little dog, appropriately named Pretzel!

Afterward, the adults chatted and laughed while the kids played.   AWESOME memories...and more Christmas traditions started!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Getting ready for Christmas!

The week before Christmas break was crazy, as usual!   I always hope that I'll have everything ready...but it never is!   But...now, days after Christmas...it all got done and it's all over...so why should I worry?  Luckily, we had lots of fun too, as we prepared for the BIG day!

I had 2 parties in 24 hours.   I helped plan and organize the 1st-4th grade party at church...and then the next day had Seth's Christmas party!  The parents were awesome and we had a great snack table of Reindeer Chow and Milk and Cookies for Santa!   Again...LOVE that I get to be an integral part of the boys school lives!  It was a lot of planning and preparation..but a ton of fun too!
 On Friday, December 20...Seth had the day off school.  We spent most of the day collecting things from different schools/places for Kate's Kart!  It was an incredible day getting books from a school, picking up $1800 in cash plus office supplies from a company, picking up 12 boxes of books from Barnes and Noble AND going to the Northrop Game to receive $250 in gift cards from Magic 95.1 in honor of the cheerleaders

We had gotten a call on Wednesday from Dirk at magic...telling us we were part of their Christmas wish program.   Luckily, mom and dad came and watched the boys so that Andy and I could go!   During halftime, Dirk and Angie honored the cheerleaders, and then gave us $250 in honor of them.   I had to speak...and it was even on the news!   It's just crazy the blessings KK receives..and the strange and unique ways we get support!

Oh yeah...amidst that day of blessings...we also had the furnace fixed...luckily we got someone to come the next day...it was a relatively easy fix and we weren't without heat on a cold night!

On Saturday...we had friends over for Pizza and games.  We were supposed to go on a carriage ride through the lights at Franke Park...but it was pouring down rain!   A fun night of pizza and games at home was much better.

Love that Andrew, Amelia and Grant are such great buds!

And...Seth has fun with his little group of girls!   I think he likes all the attention he gets!

Country Christmas

We headed to the Fairgrounds on December 13th for their Country Christmas.   

Since our Santa we saw at the festival of trees didn't have a "real" beard...I told the boys we had to get one more shot with Santa!  Plus...we got Mrs. Claus too...and they were in their cute little Santa shirts!   Yep...I'm that mom that will make them sit with Santa till they are 21!

After sitting with Santa...we took a horse drawn wagon ride around the fairgrounds...even sang "Jingle Bells"  It was a beautiful night for it!

We then explored the live animals in the barn...Grant would love to live on a farm and have a bunch of animals!   Me..on the other hand had a significant allergy issue just being in the barn...sorry Grant!

 Never saw a live camel before!

 Back to the main room for a couple Christmas crafts!   He was SO excited for his bird feeder!
Love building memories of Christmas time like this with my family!   LOVE IT!