Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Day '16

What a fun Christmas Day we had!  I loved going back through the pictures!  Santa certainly did pay a visit to our house - I even caught him red-handed!  I don't even remember what app I used, but I loved it!
And here were the goods from the Jolly Guy!  I'd say these kids were good...or maybe Alvin put in a good word for them!
And the traditional kids-at-the-top-of-the-stairs-not-wanting-a-picture picture! :) Love the bedhead on the boys...they sure needed a haircut by then!
I would say Katie's favorite thing was the collection of Pokémon cards!  She liked playing with the Hatchimal some.  And the walkie talkies have been great when she is outside playing with friends or over at friend's houses.  The Pokémon cards have been sorted and stacked and traded!
The Nerf guns and lightsaber were definitely a hit for Jack!  See that bottom left picture?  He has a school bus with monster truck tires that he got from his stocking before anyone else was awake!  That's right -- first child to ever sneak and see the Santa spread.  I am not surprised one bit - could only laugh!  At least he only raided his stash!  Oh - and he was a big fan of the wagon he asked for as well!
Ryan sat and colored with that invisible ink pad for quite some time!  And he loved his Balance Bike with Mickey helmet!  We need to actually take it somewhere to use it now!  He also loved his Little Einsteins plush characters (especially Rocket) and Jack's light saber!
Sadie was so happy on Christmas morning!  Just look at that happy dog face!
I made cinnamon roll monkey bread the night was the same recipe as Thanksgiving, but rather than doing it in a bundt pan (where it didn't cook through enough), I did it flat in a casserole was good, but not nearly as good as Thanksgiving.  Guess I will have to give it another go sometime soon!  And the one piece missing was because someone {looking at you, Brad} had to test it out!
Nanny and Papa came over on Christmas morning to watch the kids dig through their goodies and have breakfast with us!  Glad they were here this year - they missed last year!  And glad that we got a picture of them with the kiddos!
LOVE this picture of the kids with Sadie!  You can totally tell that Sadie and Katie are BFFs...she loves the boys but she definitely has a special place for Katie.
And see these pictures?  This is when the kids found out about our new addition! We gave them a dog bed, collar, leash, toys, treats, and framed picture of a litter of puppies....that's right!  We are getting a puppy!  I took a video of this, so these pictures are still shots from the took them a while to figure it out (which was basically us telling first, Katie thought Sadie was having puppies!)!!
Katie took these pictures of us - a sweet one and then she told us to be goofy.  These pictures capture is pretty well, I'd say!
We didn't go to my mom's house until late morning, so the kids actually had time to play with their toys!  Love this action shot...who knows what Jack was telling Ryan to do.  Ha!  But Mr. Bossypants is often seen in this same scenario :)
I got a quick picture of the kiddos before loading up for Cee Cee's house to celebrate!  That's right....SHORTS WEATHER.  ON CHRISTMAS DAY.  Unreal.  It was a gorgeous day!
And a family shot in front of Cee Cee's tree!  Love this!
And here are some favorites from time at Cee Cee's house!  Katie loved the Jeep for her American Girl dolls (the boys loved it too -- go figure)!!  Ryan had to be corralled in the highchair, but he loved playing with his new magnet blocks!  And Jack thought the monster truck that can pull things was absolutely amazing!  He and my uncle sure do think alike :) And we got a new sled!  Katie and Jack were so excited!
I also managed to get a few cute pictures!  Love this cuddlebug picture!
And a selfie with the Rhino!  He loves selfies since he can actually see himself - such a nut!
Katie and Brad opened a neat ornament from Cee Cee!
And I got a girl picture!
When I was scrolling through my phone (or Timehop), I came across a picture from two years ago on Christmas Day.  Boy am I thankful for finding a good workout routine!  And Katie has grown up so much!  She's still got that long blonde hair though!
When we got home, we all crashed for a bit.  Ryan took a snooze and I actually fell asleep on the dog bed - ha!  Then we rounded up some dinner and turned a new movie on for a picnic!  We all watched Aladdin - it had been so long since we had seen it!
Ryan had fun biking through the house :)
And Jack absolutely loved his Tinkertoys!  Actually, I don't know who loved them more...Brad or Jack :)  He was so proud of his creation, and it was so neat to watch them build it together!
Katie's Hatchimal finally hatched.  And of course she spent some more quality time with her Pokémon cards!
Before heading upstairs, the boys did some light saber fighting!  This action shot may be one of my favorites!  Brad has "the dad look" and a child is sitting on the dog bed (there is usually at least one child on it whenever the TV is on or a toy is being played with in the living room)!
We missed getting with my Dad's side of the family this year, but I have to was kind of relaxing to only have one stop to make.  It definitely makes me thankful for all of our family - and hopefully next year will be back to tradition :)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Eve Fun '16

We had a great time celebrating Christmas with all of our friends and family!  We usually get together with  Brad's side of the family on Christmas Eve, and this year was no different!  That afternoon, I brought all of the wrapped gifts downstairs and put them under the tree...I just love how it looks with everything under it.  Maybe one day we will be able to have some gifts under the tree.  I think in the next couple of years we should be good to go.  But for now?  The Christmas Eve unveiling still happens!
And the kiddos with the tree on Christmas Eve!
Brad and I got a picture together too!  That was the only time I got to wear that sweater - after I washed it, there was a big hole in the center!  Glad I got this picture though :) And excuse my squinty eyes - I was laughing!
We ate some delicious food and then it was time for some gifts!  The kids did a decent job eating because we told them they couldn't open any presents unless they ate :)  Katie loved using her new art supplies immediately!  And Jack loved playing with his Blaze and the Monster Machines toys!
The boys got their new legos out and put them to use immediately!
The favorite part?  Ryan's set had a potty for Mickey!  Both boys got the biggest kick out of that!!
Then it was pajama time!  They all had matching PJs thanks to our elf, Alvin!  It was fun having him around before Christmas!  I hope to have a post to show what all he got into this year!
Priorities!  The cookies, chocolate milk, carrots, and elf treats had to be assembled!
I'd say they did a great job!  Treats for Alvin before leaving with Santa, and then cookies and chocolate milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer!
Katie read them a book before everyone went to bed for the night!  I think this may be the last year of cramming them into that glider for a Christmas Eve story!
We had a great time celebrating and gearing up for the big day! More to come on that soon!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas with Tanja + Nick

We love getting together with Tanja and Nick for our annual Christmas celebration!  I didn't tell the kids until just before they came - they were so excited!  We ordered pizza so no one had to work hard in the kitchen :)  Here is everyone ready to dig in!
And our crazy crew!  Thank goodness for the self-timer and the mantle!  Odd lighting for sure, but still a sweet picture!
It is so fun to take a look at the pictures of Tanja and Nick with the kids through the years!
After dinner, it was time to rip into some presents!  That's exactly what the kids did - and they loved all their goodies!
Tanja and Nick!
And a selfie wearing my new hoodie from them!  The best part?  It has an inflatable hood (yes you read that right)...I can be ready for a nap at anytime!  HA!  I have worn it, but I took the inflatable piece out :)
Sadie was right in the middle of all the excitement - brave dog, for sure!
Tanja took this one - it is definitely a real life picture!  My whole crew doing their thing! Jack has actually been better about cooperating lately, while I think Ryan got the memo that he is two.  It isn't awful just yet, but whoa.
LOVE this picture!
And a picture with the Mister in front of the Christmas tree!  Not too shabby!
And we got Katie to stand on the chair to take a picture of the four of us - it turned out cute!
And two out of three isn't too shabby for a kid pic at the end of the evening!  Who knows what Ryan was trying to say - but his eyes are open and he is looking towards the camera!  I call that a win :)
The kids (and grown ups) had such a fun time hanging out!  Jack was OUT in no time...this is what I walked in his room to find when I went in to give him "ten kissies and ten huggies."
Can't wait for our next Christmas celebration -- there will be another sweet girl to join in the fun! Can't wait to love on their baby girl!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas Season Fun

We love Christmastime at our house!  There are always such fun events with family and friends!  One of our favorite things to watch is Rudolph!  One night Brad had somewhere to go, so we had a picnic in the living room and watched it!
And of course putting their own trees up in their rooms!  Katie loves doing it - so proud! It is neat to look back at pictures and compare how much she has grown!  She used to be shorter than the tree!
And this was the first year Jack got to have a tree in his room!  He absolutely loved it - he felt like such a big boy!  And I love it too - it is a little taller than Katie's and just looks pretty...almost a rustic feel to it!
Ryan supervised as Brad went through the lights to make sure they were all working before we put them all up!  And by we, I mean Brad. :)
We did our annual Angel Tree shopping adventure...we pick three kiddos off the list and try to have them be the same gender and around the same age, that way our children can help shop for someone that may have similar interests!  It is always quite the outing and usually ends in me saying we are never bringing the kids to do it again.  And then each year we all venture out and do it together! 
Jack had his Christmas program at school and did a great job!  They always have such sweet programs and the kids absolutely love it!  Here he is with a couple of his buddies at school that day!
I think he was ready!
And of course the Santa visit!  We try to go in early December and we head to the mall directly from the bus stop!  This was the second year that we have gotten there and had literally zero people in front of us in line! So perfect!
Brad and I headed to an Ugly Sweater Party at some friends' house - so fun!  And we actually kind of coordinated...isn't that sweet? :)
I went with the Ministry Team from the boys' preschool to help set up a Christmas store for folks in a certain community who cannot afford to provide Christmas for their kids - they come into this room where all of these donated items are set up and they get to pick a toy for each child in the house, get a big bag of toiletries, a book, and an article of clothing.  It is always such a great time and provides so many blessings!
Brad and I went to the Christmas music program at our church - it was the first time we have been and it was quite the show!  We will definitely do our best to make it there each year!
I saw a post on Facebook or Instagram with a bucket of goodies set up for delivery folks and our mailman, and I did one!  They ate most everything - and the UPS man even left a thank you note! 
This was the sight in my foyer at one point in early December.  This is also exactly why I felt it would be nice to have something available to the folks that deliver all of this - I know I am not the only one that had stacks of delivered goods!
Katie and I got our nails Christmas-ready the week before Christmas!
And we headed to our neighbors' Christmas party - such a fun night!
Katie and I went to see The Nutrcracker with her Girl Scout troop - it was such a fun day!
Katie looked so incredibly grown up the day we went to see the show.  Goodness.
Love this sweet picture of my crazy ones.  I took this before school one morning - it was too cold for an outside picture, so the stockings hung up was the perfect backdrop! I plan to do a separate post of some of our Christmas décor - the stockings were definitely one of my favorite spots!
I had a doctor's appointment for my back so I wasn't able to go to Jack's class's Christmas party...this selfie when I took him to school worked though :) Love that sweet boy.
And Jenn and I matched on the last day of school before Christmas break! We got this picture before heading to the school for the kids' winter parties!
I am Katie's class's room mom, so I was wearing that cute headband so the kids could always find me.  Katie and I look oh so festive!
Jump for joy! Hooray for Christmas break! :) Love this!
The next day we had the annual Christmas lunch at Brad's office!  Here we were before heading to Daddy's office!
And a family shot!  Love this!  I think it is fun that his office hosts this lunch - delicious food (BBQ!) and family friendly!  They actually buy gifts for all of the kids in attendance!
We also decorated a gingerbread house as a family!  It was mainly Brad, Katie, and Jack that worked on it - I helped with logistics and setup and Ryan mainly ate icing!
The finished product!  This may be their best effort yet - I was so impressed!
Brad and I worked for a couple hours one night close to Christmas in order to get everything wrapped!  This is just about everything...whew!  I love seeing all of the "fruits of our labor" once we are finished!
It is so fun to go back and see these pictures - we really did have such a fun time gearing up for Christmas this year!