Thursday, December 6, 2012

Family Christmas and Building Memories

Christmas is in full swing in our house! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this time of year! 

This past weekend was a packed one for us! Saturday I got up bright and early, did a grocery store run for cookie dough and other supplies to make Christmas presents for my mom and sisters. I was so very lucky enough to be adopted at the age of 17 by my Godmother and her husband, and gained a real family, which is one of the biggest blessings in my life and I will be forever thankful to them for doing this for me. I cheated with the cookies I used for presents and got the pre-made dough in reindeer, Christmas trees, and snow men shapes. It was a busy morning and with 3 kids, I barely have time to do anything better than that so don't judge all you moms with one or two kids! ;)

After the cookies and fudge were done, we took the kids to see Santa Clause in town! That day was the Festival of Lights in our town, which is a bunch of fun activities for the holiday season, and it's all free or by a food donation for the local food shelf, which is a great cause to support. Santa and Mrs. Clause visit town and see children and take photos, there is cookie making and decorating, caroling, s'mores roasting, free movies at the local movie theater, free soup lunch and dinner, horse drawn hay rides, and lots of other fun family activities inside and out, so you don't freeze your bum off! ;) We of course didn't have time to do everything that whole day like we did last year, but we did fit in time to go to Santa Clause for the first and only time this year. As I expected, Merasia was excited to go but didn't want to sit on Santa's lap or get too near him, but that was okay. All 3 kids had fun talking to Mrs. Clause while we waited for our turn to see Santa. Connor had no problem sitting on Santa's lap and telling him what he wanted for Christmas. Mason wouldn't sit on his lap, and even with me holding him for the picture, the best one we got was of him crying, but Connor enjoyed it and it was free, so we didn't lose anything in doing it.

We headed home after seeing Santa as it was going on 10:00 a.m. and I still had to bag up the cookies and fudge for the family and pack diaper bags, etc. for us to leave a few hours later, and get a nap in for the kids. We decided to leave an hour or so earlier than we needed to be at my mom's house, and take a ride because we knew the kids would sleep in the car and at least get a little nap in better than they would at home for such a short time. 

We had Thanksgiving dinner with my mom, Godfather, sisters, nieces, and nephew and it was so nice to just hang out, catch up, and eat delicious food! After eating and cleaning up some, it was time for presents! We gave everyone Christmas cards with new family pictures and the twins' school pictures in them along with the baked goodies we made. We got a few nice, useful things for winter and some gift cards, which are ALWAYS an awesome gift! But I was most excited for the kids to get their presents! They were so excited with everything they got. Connor got a cool new little bull dozer truck that makes noise which he LOOOOVES! All 3 kids each got new crayons and some other fun little art project gifts for them to color and decorate. Connor got a pair of Cars (the movie!) jammies and Thomas the Train jammies, Merasia got Princess jammies and Dora the Explorer jammies, and Mason got two pairs of Mickey Mouse jammies which he FREAKED out over! He is IN LOVE with Mickey Mouse and calls him "Nah-Nah" for some reason. He can say Mickey, but I guess chooses to call him Nah Nah instead? ;) He saw the jammies, stared at them in amazement for a few seconds, and then started SCREAMING "NAH NAH!! NAH NAH!!" and screeching in pure joy. It was SO funny to watch, I wish I would have recorded it! He handed the jammies to me to open them for him and he started putting them on himself, so of course we changed him into them completely and he was in love the rest of the night. Merasia also got a cool princess wand that makes noise and lights up and she is in love with that. All in all, it was lots of fun and they were beyond happy with their gifts and it was so fun to see them open their first Christmas presents of the season and be so excited about each and every little thing.

Connor and Merasia waited so patiently to open presents:

Showing off her gloves!

Mason checking out his gloves:

Opening the first pair of Mickey Mouse jammies....

Opening her Dora jammies!

Checking out her brother's loot!

A princess jump rope!

More Mickey jammies!

We ate some quick dessert of pies and cheesecake after presents, and then myself, hubs, Connor, Merasia, Mason, my sister Rachel and my niece Molly all bundled up and headed outside for some sliding! We had a TON of snow come the week before, and Merasia had been begging to go sliding since Friday night. I was surprised that she just jumped in a sled and went right down the hill all by herself with no problem! She LOVED it! I took Mason with me a couple of times and thought he would be scared because of the snow getting in his face, but I blocked it with my hand so it hit me instead, and he GIGGLED the entire ride down the hill! It was SO cute! He got a little cranky after a couple runs just because he didn't have much of a good nap that day, so he went inside with grammie and fell fast asleep while I went back out to enjoy some more fun in the snow. Connor stood and watched everyone for about 10 minutes, but then started going down in a sled all by himself, and found out just how much fun it was! He would get to the bottom of the hill, and yell for Frank to come down and get the sled for him! Little stinker he is! Sadly, I didn't get any photos of the sliding adventures because of course I wasn't going to take my phone outside with me with nowhere to put it and take the chance of losing it in the snow and it getting wet and ruined. Next time though!

Finally it was time to head home. We all were exhausted and slept beautifully that night. ;) 

On Sunday, we ventured out to get a Christmas tree! We had a real tree the year I was pregnant with the twins because we got it from my great grandfather's land for free and it was a nice tradition to start. We got a real one the next year too for the twins first Christmas, but from a different place this time. The year after that and last year we had  fake tree, but we have decided to get a real one this year and stick with that tradition because it makes for wonderful family memories to go out in the snow, find the perfect tree, load it up, and get it all set up at home and pretty. The kids get SO excited with it too, so it was definitely a good choice! We got the PERFECT tree this year! I'm 5'3" and it's a little taller than me, so not quite 6 feet, but more than 5'3" so I'd say 5 1/2 feet. It's perfectly fully and proportional, too. The kids really picked it out for us, and we couldn't disagree when we saw it and now that it's home and looking beautiful in our living room, it was the perfect choice.

Of course Merasia had to bring her new baby along... 

Connor checking out the variety of trees!

Mason pointing to the tree we ultimately ended up getting, but we didn't know it yet!

We got the tree home, and up in the tree stand and then the kids went down for their nap while we went through the decorations we have and figured out what we wanted on the tree or what we didn't have. We had just enough lights that we wanted, and garland, and everything else. When the kids woke up, daddy got dinner started while Connor and Merasia helped me decorate the tree. I was most excited for some new ornaments we have this year that are part of a new blog review that will be up soon! ;)

Connor putting his "baby's first Christmas" ornament on the tree. He got this his first year of being born!

Merasia adding her "baby's first Christmas" ornament to the tree:

Of course when all was said and done with the rest of the tree, it was only fitting that the oldest put the top on!

But we couldn't get away with not letting Merasia have a turn at it too... ;)

Mason was fascinated with the tree top too!

Our end result:

I have since adjusted the garland here or there, and added some more ornaments, but I don't have a more current picture. :) After getting the tree up and decorated, we hung our stockings! We wanted to hang them where Mason wouldn't take them down over and over again, so we decided to hang them over our living room window, and will take them down on Christmas Eve to sit under the tree.

The only stocking we had for Mason at the time we decorated was his first Christmas one, and that wasn't fitting. I did get him a new one yesterday though, so now the stockings are complete. ;) 

We have some lights in our kitchen as well, Christmas window clings, and garland on our stair railing. We are all decked out and it feels like Christmas! 

This weekend will be full of more Christmas fun! I got a huge bucket of cookie cutters of the whole alphabet, numbers, and shapes for every holiday, so this weekend the twins are going to help me make homemade sugar cookies, and decorate them with homemade frosting as well. I am so excited for them to do this with me, and I know they will too! 

We will also be making some homemade garland to add to our tree and the house, as well as some other crafts I have planned. Hubs starts working Saturdays through the winter season at work (until April) next weekend, so this is our last FULL weekend together, and I want to make the most of it and enjoy it. We will still have Sundays together after this weekend though, but it will be a little different not having Saturdays so we will make the most of it this weekend, and April will be here before we know it!

All that's left to complete our Christmas season is, well...CHRISTMAS! All of the kids presents have been bought and most of them even wrapped. This was my table the day I bought them all...and you can't even see HALF of what's in all those bags!

I am WAY on top of it this year! I even put Mason's big present together the other day all by myself!

I guess I'm lucky that my kids are still little and don't yet have the ability to access technology so they can't see this post and see their presents from Santa! ;)

I am SO excited for Christmas morning with them, and I KNOW they will love all of their stuff. I am most excited for creating new memories with my children and husband, as we do every year, and I just know this year is going to be the best holiday season yet. <3 <3

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