Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas 2015

 Because of how Christmas fell this year, the kids and I got a four day weekend! Some of it was busy, some of it was uber relaxing, and all of it was pretty darn amazing.

 We started our holiday weekend with last minute Christmas shopping and dinner at one of our favorites, Star Bar. We tried out a few new dishes, all of which got approval from the minis.

Santa surprised the minis with a new toy while we were at dinner! Back story: Amazon delivered this gift a day early. While Matt loaded the kids into the car, I quickly took it out of the box to look it over and make sure there were no damages. It was larger than what I thought and I groaned that I didn't want to wrap it. Then I walked out the door for dinner....forgetting to put the Megazord away. When we walked in the door from dinner, the minis were super excited to see that Santa screwed up and forgot to put the new toy away....eeerr, I mean, left them an early Christmas present. 
Christmas Eve day the minis and I got the house all ready for Santa. In the evening we spent a few hours at my Aunt's house celebrating the holiday. 

 I didn't want absolute chaos when opening gifts so I had the minis open in age order, oldest to youngest. Elizabeth (obviously) was not thrilled that she had to wait to open her gifts!

 The kids love the Christmas that rides the bike. They've asked for it for weeks beforehand!

 I love their worried looks in this picture. Back story: ALL day we kept up with Santa's sleigh via Norad. When the kids heard he had made it to North America, panic set in because we weren't home yet! They practically had meltdowns in the car because mom and dad wanted to keep our tradition of looking at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, but the minis wanted to get to bed so they wouldn't miss Santa Claus. When we pulled into the driveway at home, I jokingly said "oh my gosh, I think I see someone inside our house." They made Hubs go check out the house to make sure we didn't catch Santa leaving gifts! Apparently in the mall Santa's not so scary, but the thought of Santa in our house is enough to make them crap their pants. 

 Reading The Night Before Christmas as we do every year. As evidence that Max is getting older, he didn't want to partake in our family reading of the story but chose to read it on his own after we were done.

 Yes, we're all in Christmas jammies. The kids have had their jammies for a while, but Hubs surprised me with our's Christmas Eve before we went to my aunt's house. I'm not usually a big fan of the whole ensemble of pajamas, but these were really comfortable!

 Christmas Day was a beyond relaxing day. I love our new tradition of spending Christmas Day at home, fully enjoying each other and the holiday. The minis each got one present from Santa: Elizabeth got her first American Girl Bitty Baby, Harrison got a panda play set, and Max got a Minecraft Lego set. The rest of the presents were from mom and dad and had a hiking/camping theme. We all got new hiking boots, hiking packs, water bottles, sleeping bags, and more. Can't wait to put these items to use in the spring!

 The minis and Matt opening their surprise 6 person tent. I'm not much of a camping person (like at all. I'm a "camping in a cabin" type person), but the minis love camping. I figure with a bigger tent, I may suck it up and try out a night in the woods this long as it's close to home so I can drive home to my bed if need be.

 Our Mimosa Bar was a favorite of guests. The kids enjoyed trying out the different juices we had on the table.

 The minis enjoyed their art projects they got Christmas Eve.

 Hedbanz was one of our family gifts the minis opened Christmas morning. The game proved rather difficult for the minis, but hopefully they'll get the hang of it because it will be a super fun game to play during camp outs and on our planned getaways.

 The boys love setting up the panda village different ways. When Harrison first informed me he wanted this from Santa, I was unsure about this present. However once it was opened and the kids started playing with it I realized how awesome it was! The kids can figure out different ways to construct the village and use their imagination while playing with it. This wound up being my favorite toy Santa brought.

 Elizabeth loves her new jewelry box and jewelry from Grandma Sheaffer.

 The day after Christmas was nearly as relaxing as Christmas Day, minus the cleaning and finding space for their new toys. Hubs and Max got to see the new Star Wars movie and I got to spend time with my sister and brother in laws watching Sisters. Truly a very relaxing two days.

 The kids had a "snowball fight."

 On Sunday we celebrated our last Christmas of the year with my dad's side of the family. It was wonderful to spend time with nearly all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins.

 My kids have a new obsession this holiday season: sparkling cider.

I think I can speak for all 5 members of our family when I say this was a great Christmas (despite most of us coming down with a nasty virus at the end of it). It was wonderful to have such a relaxing long weekend and spend quality time with everyone important in our lives.