Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Festivities 2011

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we hung around the house most of the day.  Kim and her husband came over to give the kids their gifts.. Hess trucks with a Hess car!  Cora's was extra special...

Dave's body shop painted Cora's truck and car purple!! Her favorite color, they even gave her pinstripes and had her name painted.. she certainly is one lucky girl!  And she now loves playing trucks with her brothers!

We are so lucky to have Kim in our lives!  She takes such good care of our kids while we are at work.. we all love her and her family!

And then we went to church for the Children's service.. this is actually after because as usual we were running out of the house just in the nick of time.. You will note that Cole is not wearing a festive shirt, we did not argue because we did not want a repeat of last year (Cole stripping off his clothes that we picked out for him while in his car seat and screaming about who knows what.  he wouldn't settle down so I sat in the car while the others went into church.. I finally got his clothes back on and convinced him to go into church when out walks Rob and the kids.. service already over.  The crying, screaming and ranting started again only this time yelling that he wanted to go to church.. good times.. NOT!)

Christmas Eve always lends itself to one gift.. Caden knew what it would be.. he's catching on.

Christmas Eve PJ's!!

Cora just loves her nightgown, does any other grown person despise nightgowns?  They ride up/bunch up above your waist.. why bother?!  But she loves them!

The tray is prepared for Santa and his reindeer.. hope he's hungry!

And another tradition.. the reading of "The Night before Christmas"

They almost look like angels.. don't let them fool you!

Set out with pictures Caden colored for Santa and his helpers.

Santa sure did enjoy his treats!! But once again he offered a bit of advice...

Santa got down the chimney!

And the Christmas ornaments were delivered successfully.

 Christmas Morning

The Christmas parade starts down the stairs with excitement!

Stockings are so much fun!!

Cora got lots of pretty hair things now that she is willing to wear them!!

Santa uses these clever labels!!

And the ultimate present from my super fabulous parents-in-law!  the Vita-mix!  Ever since going to a party at one of our friends house that have this I have been a walking, talking info-mercial.. This magic appliance is amazing!  See those carrots in there?? When they are in a smoothie the kids don't care!

                                     Mmmmm!!! Everyone loves them!

And do you see this one?? with Spinach?!!  actually at first try this one was a bit too... spinach-y, but with the addition of more apple, more peach and a banana it was delicious!  and Mr. Cole-bear who lives mostly off of yogurt and bread products drank it up and asked for more!! How can you say no to that?!  Nutritious and delicious!  Not only have we made smoothies, but soup, bread and spaghetti sauce!! Yum!  This guy earned prime counter space!

Christmas Miracle.. the dining room table has been cleared off for dinner!!  we have a serious problem with horizontal surfaces, they like to collect a lot of stuff!

And the day Cora has been talking about for months!!  Her princess bed has arrived!  My canopy bed from when I was a girl is in the house!!  Now I just need to repaint, re-decorate and start/finish her quilt!  But I still need to finish Cole's quilt before that.. his is getting closer to being done.  This winter that will be my goal because I have all the fabric to make Rob and I a new quilt as well!!

My goofs!! These two make me smile even without their silly faces on!

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pre-Christmas Wrap-Up!

Since I am way far behind it is best that I just wrap it all up in one neat package of a post! Because I am sure there will be plenty more in the next 48 hours that I will not want to put off!

Once again I will repeat that I love our town's school system.  They do so much for the kids!  We went to "Winter Wonderland" which is a breakfast for families including a chorus concert while you dine!  Caden then went off with a shopping helper to have him shop for presents for us (we give him money/budget ahead of time).  He checks out and then has them wrapped!  So exciting!  Obviously Santa was there, and also a cookie table where you could by cookies by the dozen.. delicious!  And I found a super cute idea for Cole's preschool goodies (see below)!

This year all the kids are really into posing in front of the tree.. but never really wanting to take the time for me to set up a shot I would like to take.. but I'll take what I can get.

We had a marathon Christmas weekend.. I love this photo because EVERYONE is looking!! but not everyone was in the photo yet...

Here they all are! (minus one sick cousin G who was being tested for mono)

The kids look on in awe as the presents tower toward the ceiling!

 Everyone was festive!

Cora joined the big kid club with a purple Leapster!!  She was beyond excited.

Family Christmas Party #2!  we ventured to Maine to have Christmas with Grampy and Uncle Brian followed by the Waterhouse family Christmas.  These girl were best of friends!  too bad we only get to see them once a year.

Uncle Brian is always the hit of the party with the kids.

Second cousins!! (I think.. my cousins kids?)

And these are the fun cookies I referred to above!! Melting Snowmen cookies! How adorable?!

I had planned on documenting all of Jingles crazy hiding places.. but, well.. add it to the list next year!!  But here are a few I actually did manage to photograph!

Here Caden wrote a note and left a gummy life saver from his gingerbread house "For the Elf".  Jingles enjoyed it and was thankful it was not a black jelly bean!!  It says "Thank You", but I'm not sure you can see it in the picture.

It has been really fun this year in the house!!  Cora is at an age where she understands Christmas so all three kids are just a blast and their excitement is infectious!! I can't wait for Christmas Eve.. never mind Christmas morning!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Trimming the Tree 2011

The Sunday after Thanksgiving we ventured off to go cut down our tagged tree.  The cutting was rather uneventful much to my dismay!   None of the kids wanted to help cut!  I am the one who insisted we cut one ourselves, and now I question why we didn't just go pick out a pre-cut one right in town... but at least we know it is fresh!

The kids did enjoy helping to roll it back to the car at least.

Ta-da!  Ready to bring the beauty home!

And look who arrived!! Clinging on for dear life!  'Jingles' our elf!  (Formerly Star-Feather... Rob and I decided he needed a new name so that night we came up with Jingles)

More on Jingles and his landing spots later :)

My favorite part of decorating the tree is when the kids open their ornament box and go through them figuring out who's is who's.  I am so happy they love their ornaments as much as I do!  I can tell you where every ornament on our tree came from and why.. and many of them are hand-made by my Mom and I, we used to pick an ornament each year and make a bunch to give away, I need to start doing that with the kids since that is a big memory I have (Mom do you remember the year of the red bells and white doves for our own tree?!  ugh!)

Caden moves into position before I can get in!

Cora loves her babies!! This was the perfect ornament for her last year!

The kids were fully into decorating this year!  Down to the last ornament.  In the past they would drop off after a few.  We rocked around the Christmas tree and decorated the whole thing.

Putting the star on was a job for Rob since it was super close to the ceiling.. but the kids helped straighten it.

Cora also decorated herself...

Caden then wanted pictures in front of the tree.. that is when the sillies began!  It was a fun night!