What a fun day we had yesterday! And we are worn out. But it was amazing. We finished opening presents around 6:30pm. Which is sooner than we have done in years. The kids loved opening their presents. I made Professor cry once because I “helped” him open his present.
More to come but tonight, here are a few pictures!
Pirate opening a book from Uncle MusicMan and Aunt Angel. He has slept with it last night.
Professor got a firetruck! Thank you Sister!
One of many toys that Butterfly got. This one and her Leapster Explorer are the most played with so far.
Daddy got a sword!
Even though Daddy is sleeping on the couch, it doesn’t mean that he can’t play with toys!
On this joyous Christmas Eve, we (meaning me) drug the family out to the Washington DC Temple to see the lights. It was not very crowded and not very cold. Juice and I commented that this was the first year we didn’t take a stroller along. Wow the kids are growing up!
Here’s something for you to listen to think of the true meaning of Christmas:
Merry Christmas Eve!
PS- If you look on the back row at around 2:27 in the movie, you’ll see my brother singing! He’s the one behind the dude in the glasses on the 2nd to last row.
This week’s question on the Multiples and More site is about my own memories. Yay for more memories!
What are your favorite holiday memories?
Some of my favorite holiday memories involve my brother. He and I were co-conspirators with our presents. Together, we made a small hole in the drywall in the unfinished basement to peak into the store room. (Sorry Mom.) It was through that peep hole that we saw bikes for Christmas one year.
We always got excited to see what shape of chocolate was coming out of our advent calendars together. We watched Christmas movies together. We suffered, together, through many of THESE:
Most of my Christmas memories are wound up with him.
One of my most favorite memories is our stockings. You see, Santa left our stockings in our rooms every year. I never remember them NOT being in our rooms in the morning. It was always so great to open my eyes on Christmas and see my stocking right away.
But the best part about the stocking was that my brother and I would sneak into each other’s rooms and go over our spoils in our stockings. We switched rooms every year. And we both were just as excited for each other’s presents. We went from being excited about our cool new toothbrushes together and tiny toys as little kids to taking turns listening to our new CDs as teenagers.
The year that he was in Arizona on his mission for our church, was a hard one for me. The stocking just wasn’t as magical as it had been in years past. It was great again when we got to do one last year before I got married.
I can only hope that my kids enjoy Christmas with each other as much as my brother and I did.
Hey, look! A picture of me! I’m always the one holding the camera. Pushing the shutter button. Fiddling with the settings. But this weekend, my wonderful husband grabbed the camera and caught this gem.
And as you can see, what a ball making our very first gingerbread house together.
The whole time Pirate and Professor kept saying “Don’t eat it!” with every candy they placed. Professor placed his candy in color order (all the reds together, all the greens together, etc.) and Butterfly did as many patterns as she could.
It has been annoyingly cold the past few days. Horribly so. The high today (I believe) was about 30 degrees. It felt like 20. It’s been very windy on top of the cold. And the wind just bites through clothes. The boys have been shivering in their coats on the way to and from school. They are at least excited to get into the car now. Before it was a pain. But now they realize that there is warmth in the car and they go willingly! The novelty of it all.
Our house is becoming littered with packages. Ahh the joys of ordering Christmas online. I love to get the packages! But it’s kind of no fun when you know what’s in them. I guess I miss the suspense of Christmas, and not knowing what things are. I did get one package last week that I was very excited about! I finally saved up enough Swagbucks to buy a new waterproof camera!
If you don’t use Swagbucks, why not?! It’s the easiest way I’ve found to earn a few extra bucks online by doing things I normally do. Like searching the web. Not only did I get this camera (basically for free) I’ve also paid for part of Christmas with it. Go, click, win!
The UPS guy stopped by here at 10pm tonight to deliver a package he forgot on his truck. Now THAT is dedication.
On to my new camera! It’s a Lumix DMC-TS2 and it’s beautiful. It’s waterproof, shockproof, and 14 mega-pixels. I’ve been taking just a few pictures with it and I’m happy so far! I took a bunch of video which my computer doesn’t recognize. Rats! I guess I’m going to have to actually read the huge manual they sent to see if I can’t get the computer and the camera to talk to each other. But that’s something to do when it’s earlier in the day.
I’m excited to try this camera out more, especially in the summer. We got some great shots at the beach last year from the old camera. Let’s see if this one will be better.
This weekend we were able to see Santa! Butterfly had some pretty serious things to say to Santa. A few days ago, I sent a video card to Butterfly from Santa. She was enthralled. And because of that video, she had some very serious things to talk about with Santa. (She asked Santa for a book.)
The boys, on the other hand, were going to have nothing to do with the big guy.
Professor wouldn’t even let us take off his coat in the same room as Santa. He was NOT pleased to be there.
And Pirate, kept pushing away from me and trying to crawl into my chest at the same time.
This week’s question at the Multiples and More site is all about Holiday Traditions.
What are your family’s holiday traditions?
Our family’s holiday tradition starts the day after Thanksgiving. We pull out the tree and all the ornaments and the lights. Then we go to town! I take down several pictures to hang decorations. We move our couch out of the way to fit our tree in the living room. It’s a day full of holiday music, oohs and ahhs, and having fun as a family.
On December 1st, we start our nightly chocolate advent calanders that I bought at Trader Joes. This year I am trying to tell them a story and sing a song along with the chocolate. But I think the stories I have are just too old for them and they loose intrest quickly. I’m too lazy to find more age appropriate stories to read. I’ll hang on to the ones I have and the kids will grow into them.
On Christmas Eve, we watch A Christmas Story and eat Chinese Food from our favorite take out place. In years past, just Juice and I did this. But I think Butterfly is old enough to enjoy the movie this year so she’ll probably join us. Juice and I stay up way too late getting the presents out. We take pictures of the tree, the presents and the full stockings. We then drop the stockings off in the kids’ room to keep them occupied for a bit so we can get maybe another half hour of sleep in the morning.
On Christmas day, we let the kids play with their presents from Santa for awhile. This usually keeps them occupied for a long time. We typically call my parents and set the webcam up so they can watch the kids open presents too. That takes awhile too. The setting up and the opening of presents.
Once we are done with that, we have breakfast of cinnamon rolls, bacon and eggs. We open more presents, and then have a little lunch of crackers, small sausages and oranges. The boys go down for their nap and we spend the afternoon watching new movies and playing new games.
When they wake up, we typically still have some kind of presents to open and dinner to have! We have a ham and baked potatoes and rolls. Sometime in the evening we call Juice’s family where ever they have gathered together (where is that going to be this year?) and then we call my Nana at her house.
The kids get put to bed late and full of candy. Juice and I collapse exhausted on the couch and vow we will pick up the next day.
Other traditions we do around the holiday season:
A trip to Mt. Vernon. We like to see the estate all done up for Christmas. I like to tour the house and see the 3rd floor which they only open during the holidays.
The Great Toy Clean Up. We purge toys that no one is playing with and banish them to the attic. The idea is that in 6 months they will come back and the kids will have fresh toys to play with again. But it never happens.
Little People Nativity Scene.
New ornaments for the tree.
Candy making and sharing with friends.
Cinnamon roll making and freezing and sharing with friends.
I’m going to cautiously say that I think I am done Christmas shopping. I need to pull out my list and check it twice. But I think I have everything I need.
Stocking stuffers? Check! They came in the mail today.
Santa presents for the kids? Check! I bought Butterfly’s right after school started and then I got the boys’ from Craig’s List this week.
Presents from us to the kids? Check! And thank you, kind blogging people who send me free stuff to try out or gift cards to use.
Presents to the extended family? Check! I ordered those on Monday and hopefully they will be to my house soon. Then I can divvy them up, wrap them, and ship them to the appropriate houses.
Presents for friends? Check! I only buy a few things for a few select friends but I hope they like what I have for them this year.
Presents from the kids to their siblings? Uh…half check? I have some presents left over from last year (I KNOW!) that the boys will give each other. I’d like to take Butterfly to the store with a dollar limit and let her pick something out for the boys. We did that last weekend after seeing Tangled, but she didn’t see anything she wanted. Um, wanted to get THEM, she kept saying.
Hey, I even ordered my Christmas cards. Now I can focus on the holiday season. And this holiday season I will be perfecting “Don’t touch the tree!” in a very loud and stern voice. I must practice this at least 30 times a day, if not more.