Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Festivities 2015

What a fun Christmas season we had this year!  This post covers most, if not all, of the things we did the month!  That means it is long - so grab that cup of coffee or wine or water or whatever and enjoy! 

We started the Christmas season with a visit to see Santa!  It went about as well as I expected - nothing like a good crying with Santa pic!

And some of my favorites had a Christmas party!  It was a fun night indeed.  Photobooth, fun friends, Fireball jello shots.  Woohoo!  Here we are with our next door neighbors!

And me and Jenn - so silly :)

And a cute pic of us!

And a few of us from the women's soccer team I played on in the fall!  We clean up pretty nicely!
We also headed out on our traditional evening on the trolley to look at lights!  It is always so much fun - and I love that the kids get so excited about it!  Here we are with my mom, brother, uncle, and grandmother!
And a shot of just out little family (minus Ryan - he may be old enough next year!)
And some of my favorite lights never disappoint!
The kids also wrote their letters to Santa and sent them with Alvin one night!  Here is Katie's!
And Jack's -- he signed his own name!  My favorite part is when I asked him if he had been good -- his reply? "Yes!  I said sorry!"
We got together with Tanja and Nick the weekend before Christmas - such a fun night!  They came over and we all visited and ate dinner and exchanged gifts!
We also decorated a gingerbread house!  The kids had a great time with that - especially eating the icing!  And it turned out so cute this year!
A few days before Christmas, my mom came over to play with the kids and help me do a little bit of baking (I actually got around to baking this year - and that's what I gave a lot of neighbors)!  Here is a picture of us (please excuse my haven't-showered-and-cooking self)!
This is what the plates included - yum!
And all of the goodies packed up and ready for Katie to deliver them!
A couple days before Christmas, Brad's company hosts a luncheon where spouses and children are invited and they actually pass out gifts to the kiddos.  It is always so nice - and of course the kids love it!  Then they dismiss folks to head home early!  I definitely like that part!
Christmas Eve featured spring like weather - yes!  Short sleeves!  It was nuts.  We spent quite a bit of time outside that morning before coming home for lunch and so I could get to cooking to prepare for Christmas with Brad's family that evening.
Sadie got a doggy bath on Christmas Eve (it may have been prompted by the fact that she rolled around in poo in the backyard) and looked so cute!  We even got her to pose in front of the tree!

And the Jackaroni in front of the goods!
And Katie too! 
And even the two of them together!  Ryan was still napping at this point :)
I was trying to get Katie to take a picture of Brad and myself, so I showed her what to do when using the flash on my phone and got this - great picture of Mr. B!
And Katie got this of the two of us - I still can't believe I wore sleeveless on Christmas Eve and was comfortable!
Such a cute picture of Jack and Grandma together!
And Daddyo and his derg.  Sadie even posed!  She must've been having a cute day since she got a bath.
LOVE this one!  Sweet kiddos on Christmas Eve!
And since we still have kids that will mess with gifts, I wait to put them out on Christmas Eve.  I love how it looks with everything out and the glow of the lights!
And Rhino finally woke up!  It only look about 45 snaps to get a smiling picture that was remotely unblurry!
After dinner, the kids were so excited about opening presents!  Jack was in awe over this Miles from Tomorrowland toy from Grandma!
And Ryan got so excited about his toys too!
And Katie is excited that she gets to go shopping and pick out some fun goodies!
And a cute picture of Brad's aunt and uncle!
And we managed a family shot before heading upstairs for Christmas jammies.  All the kids were exhausted and done for by this point, so it is only fitting that it was blurry!
LOVE this of the kiddos in their Christmas jammies!
Katie read them a Christmas book before Ryan went to bed.  It was so, so sweet!  The boys really likes it when she was reading to them!
Then Ryan went to sleep and the big kids worked on putting cookies and milk and carrots out for Santa and the reindeer!
Here was the spread!  And I actually found an "Elf Treats" plate so they could leave some smaller goodies for our elf, Alvin.  And I couldn't find a shot glass, so a bud vase is what Alvin's milk was in! :)
And then SANTA CAME!!!!!
All 4 kiddos waiting to go down and see what Santa had brought them.  I absolutely love this picture!
I'd say she was excited!  Pretty impressive haul of goods!
And just look at Jack's crazy hair - ha!  He was so excited about his loot too!
Ryan wouldn't stop to look at me, so an action shot had to work.  He loves his basketball and soccer toy!
And Santa even brought Sadie some goodies!  Doesn't she look happy??
A smiling picture of Ryan!  He loved sitting and standing on the boxes this year - silly guy.
Katie was so excited about getting Grace!!!
And Jack was beside himself with excitement over this mixer truck ornament Santa brought him!
And WHOA!  Mommy made it in a picture! :)  Veins popping out and all - haha!
And Katie took this picture of Brad and myself with our team's pillows for the bonus room!
Ryan made himself comfy in the sheets that he and Jack gave Katie for Christmas!
After we finished and got ready, we headed to my mom's house for another celebration!  Brad's mom got him a scarf and it was perfect!  He even modeled it! :)
Everyone started to dig into the presents!
And I have proof that I actually did put a bow or two on some presents this year!  My mom was the lucky recipient of one of them, so I now have evidence!
And I think this is the gift I was most proud of - and I love Meme's expression when she saw it!  I had a drawing done of the house that she just sold!
And we got a picture together :)
And a family shot!  I guess there was too much excitement for the kids to all cooperate.  Who knows what Ryan is getting so excited about!  This about sums things up though!
And we got a 4 generation picture before it was time for us to head out!  Such a great picture!
From there we ended up driving around for a little bit because all 3 kids fell asleep in the car!  It was raining and dreary outside - perfect napping weather!  So they got a catnap in and then it was time to go to my aunt and uncle's house on my dad's side!  After a teeny bit of the craziness calmed down, it was time for my favorite Christmas tradition - reading the Christmas story from the family Bible!
And after that, Jack decided to wallow in my grandfather's lap.  I think he thought it was great - they had a great time!
And then present time!  The kids got some really fun stuff!
And Katie was all about some piggy back rides from Tyler!
One of the toys that was a hit was the Hulk hands and mask - fun for all ages!  Jack and Katie and Rory all wore them! HA!
And we got a silly cousin (+ Brian...we will claim him!) picture!
And a girls' picture with the hats!  Such a fun time!
And Rory with the two nieces!  He was about to take a picture with Madison and was talking about how that would be great because he needed a picture with his pretty niece...well, I was right there and immediately jumped in since I'm a niece.  We all got a good laugh and then had a cute picture!
The next morning we got up and headed to Nanny and Papa's for Christmas with them!  They got into town Christmas night so we got to see them the next day!
I even got a picture with my Daddyo!
And one of Brad and Dad together!  Not sure one of these exist since the wedding -ha!
What a fun-filled Christmas surrounded by family.  It doesn't get much better than that!  While it is quite a whirlwind to make sure we see everyone, I am reminded that we are so blessed to have everyone so close and be able to spend time together!

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