Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monster Christmas Post

It's been a very busy week so far and we've still got a few days to go.

I was off Thursday and Friday and while it sounds nice to have been home without the kids, it was a lot of errands and housework.  Got the house cleaned and ready for Christmas.  Finished wrapping gifts.  Attended Bryce and Caroline's class parties.  On Friday evening, Bryce had soccer practice so I made hot chocolate for the girls and we took a ride around looking at lights and listening to Christmas music.

Christmas Eve started early with us arriving at my in-law's by 10am for brunch.  Usually we don't arrive until lunch time and it's just too hectic so we decided to have brunch instead.  Once we finished up a delicious meal, we opened gifts.  The kids were sooooo excited and they made out like bandits thanks to Santa Nana and Big Dad!


Bryce parks himself on Uncle Jesse's lap once he opened his Star Wars encyclopedia - it was a hit!



The rest of Sandy's family joined us in the afternoon for dinner and visiting but we left so that we were home before 8:30pm.  All 3 kids were in bed easily and Jason and I waited up until they were all asleep.  We exchanged our gifts and then played Santa.  I finally got into bed around midnight and then slept badly as I usually do on Christmas Eve - I'm just so excited to see the kids' excitement when they wake up!!!

At 6:53am, I heard Bryce wake up and start waking up his sisters.  In they came to our room and the excitement was at its peak!  They could see their stockings hanging on the banister and knew that Santa had been there.  Jason went down and got the cameras ready and the kids waited at the top of the steps (see previous post) for the clearance to go downstairs.  And then they were off - full sprint!!!

Piper was a little dazed at the gifts and took some encouragement to dig in:


The Millennium Falcon was a big hit:


Caroline was pretty much excited about everything:



Piper took a long time to open her gifts because she would get so consumed with whatever she had just opened:


Soon after (by 9am), all 3 kids were outside again riding the Razor Scooters that Nana and Big Dad had given them the day before.



After a little bit of clean up and breakfast we headed over to my mom's for Christmas with them.  We spent the rest of the day with my parents, sister, brother, SIL, MeeMaw, Aunt Sara/Uncle Barry.  Usually we go up to my grandmother's the day after Christmas but this year to celebrate the holiday with my dad's extended family but this year there were some changes to the schedule so my grandmother came down and spent Christmas Eve and day with my family.

The kids had another gift opening session and were thoroughly excited and grateful for all the things they received.

Have you ever seen so much excitement about a book light?


Star Wars!!!  Bryce had a very Star Wars Christmas:


Piper models her new Ravens warm up suit.  The kid gets her jollies from posing for photos these days:


Caroline models her new hat from Uncle Kevin and Aunt Kelly.  It's oh so fashionable and from Justice!! She's been wearing it most of the time since then.


Piper between outfit changes playing with her new Strawberry Shortcake remote control car.  She just wasn't interested in wearing the rest of her clothes at this point:


Then the adults opened gifts - Bertie got a Wii!


Pop Pop got an iPad!  (I call him iPop now.)


And then we had dinner (and I experimented with my new bounce flash - such better lighting!):



And then after a few more rounds of cookies, coffee, and merriment, we headed home for a long winter's nap.  Actually, there wasn't much napping going on for me - I decided to reorganize the basement in preparation for cleaning up the next day and then we spent all day Monday cleaning up and reorganizing.  The kids played with their new gifts and messed up things that I had just cleaned up.  Jason managed to get Bryce outside to try out his new soccer goal and I snapped a few photos with my new zoom lens - yay for closer photos and not having to chase the kids (as much) for a pic:



We had my parents over for dinner and spent a fun evening playing Wii and visiting.  Bryce fell in love with my dad's iPad too - I think he liked the calculator the best (seriously).



On Tuesday we barely made it in time for Bryce and Piper's noon haircuts and then as soon as they were finished we went to Jason's grandmothers to visit.  Jesse's daughter, Lydia, is in town for a visit too so after lunch with Gran and Pap we went across the street to Kelly and Jesse's for pizza and Wii.  We took a few photos too - Jason, Kelly, Jeremy and their cousin, Nate (I cannot believe he is 16!!!)


And the kids with Lydia - I couldn't get Piper to keep her eyes open:


And a lovely, very grown up looking shot of Ms. Caroline:


Another semi-late night but we made it home for a somewhat decent bedtime and then Jason and I played some Harry Potter Wii - yes, we are a little addicted.

Then on Wednesday, we got some more things done around the house and then headed down to our friends in Columbia for time with Zoe and Taki's extended family.  No photos because the kids ran around like maniacs and we sat and enjoyed grownup conversation.

And that brings us to today, Thursday.  Today we're having Jason's college roommate and his wife over for an early dinner.  We haven't seen them since they had their daughter a year ago!  Baked potato soup is in the crockpot, Peapod just made their delivery, and the kids are cleaning up their rooms so it's time for me to sign off and get some more clean up done.

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