Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve at Grandma Martin's

We traveled to New Salisbury on Saturday evening for Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa Martin's. It is always so much fun and there is always such delicious food! We were so thankful to be there this year. Aunt Pam grabbed up Harper the second we walked in. =) Ella got to sit at the "grown up table" for dinner. Sitting with the adults and dominating the conversation, too- such a stinker! Cade sat between Uncle Kyle and Doug at the "kid table". Doug and Harper Sisters Cade wanted in for a picture, too. Look at these three! I am such a lucky mommy!! Harper opened a gift from Pam and Dave that made her giggle and giggle. Bryan won the trivia game, so the leg lamp is his until next Christmas Eve. I don't think Liz was too upset about having to pass it off. haha! Brad and Melissa Aiden opened a new wagon! So fun! Ella opened Twister from Pam and Dave. She was so excited! Cade squealed when he opened a crisp twenty dollar bill from Great-Grandma and Grandpa. Aunt Pam made Harper a beautiful penguin stocking. As soon as we walked in the door that night, Ella went on and on about "Mommy's tiramisu". She was cracking everyone up, because she was so excited about it. Finally, time for dessert and tiramisu! It was pretty tasty! Ella and her great-grandma Martin. Thanks for such a wonderful evening!

Our Christmas morning

Christmas morning was so much fun! Ella ran in to wake us up, saying, "Come on, guys! Santa came! He really did! I ran downstairs and peeked and there's presents everywhere!" Cade jumped out of bed and ran to the tree. He had one thing on his mind. He kept looking through the boxes, saying, "Where's my guitar?" haha! Mean ol' mom made them pose in front of the tree before anything else.Ella passed out stockings. Love the happiness on her face! Santa stuffed their stockings with flashlights, toothbrushes, lotion, and candy! Harper got a few hairbows, bibs, and a sippy cup in hers. "Look! Look! Santa ate his cookies!" Guess Santa likes Oreos afterall! =) Cade got to go first- he opened his new music machine and microphone. He just squealed and squealed!Then he opened a new fire truck- "Tool!" (cool!) Ella went next. She opened the new puppy she asked Santa for! And her new "sing-a-long" machine!! She was a happy girl! Ella wanted me to open my gift from her. She wrapped it all by herself, too! She and Cade got me a new necklace, earrings, and some pajamas. After much anticipation, Cade finally opened his guitar!! After that, he was not interested in any more presents- he was ready to play! Harper got to go next. She opened a pink elephant toy from Santa. And a new baby doll from Mommy and Daddy. She giggled and loved on that thing. Such a sweetie! Our rockstars put on a show while Chris and I opened our gifts.Superstar! Cade can play the guitar AND sing back up!! Ella and I sang a duet (after her wardrobe change). Cade was so proud to give Chris the Nike jacket he had picked out for him. My two sweet boys Me and my baby girl on her first Christmas After a short nap, Harper was ready for more presents. She got a new outfit from Ella. And a new duck bath toy from Cade Cade opened some new rain boots and they completed his rockstar look. =) My hubby surprised me with a new Michael Kors bag and wallet! That man completely spoils me!! Christmas is so much fun!!! We spent the rest of the morning and afternoon playing and just being together. Chris and I played against Ella in Connect 4. Cade tried out some new art supplies.I loved this time with our little family! We are so, so, blessed!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The children are nestled, all snug in their beds...

And the elves are hard at work! It's Christmas Eve at our house and I am sooo excited! I have decided one of the greatest joys of my adult life is playing Santa Claus for my kiddos. I love it! Something about filling stockings and leaving just the right amount of cookie crumbs all while listening to sappy Christmas music just makes my heart swell. I also love the tradition of sharing the story of Christmas. As we were talking about Jesus and the reason we celebrate, Ella said, "You know, it really doesn't matter if we get any presents. If I get one present or two presents or no presents, it's okay. It's more important that we're a family and think about Jesus and love each other." I loved hearing that out of her, but, of course, she's hoping for something other than no presents. =) She and Cade were on their best behavior tonight. They went to bed dreaming of what the morning might bring. They were completely wiped out! Chris had the day off and we played, shopped, played, wrapped gifts, and played some more. There were no curious, little eyes peeking out of their room tonight- they were both asleep in under five minutes. We've had a lot of fun the last few days. Ella brought home a "family gift"- a self-portrait she painted at school. In it, she is making a scary face and Cade thought it was so funny.Cade has enjoyed taste-testing all the Christmas goodies in the kitchen. He "helped" me make oreo balls a couple days ago and we both decided they are pretty amazing. Another taste test after dinner Ella has discovered a new passion for wrapping presents. She's pretty good at the wrapping part, but what she excels at is the bow-making part. She wrapped these two gifts for Daddy. She added so many bows and ribbons, she used up a whole roll of tape putting them on. =) Harper's little sweet self just loves being part of all the action. I decided to cover some more chocolate pretzels tonight since we went through the first batch so quickly. Cade was more than happy to help again. The difference in our methods was that his pretzel pieces were going straight to his mouth! And again! Mmmm... haha! I think these are so cute! I have about ten more just like it. He was enjoying himself so much! We had chocolate pretzels, popcorn, and sparkling cider tonight. This was Cade's first experience with a "special big boy glass". Pretty sure more cider ended up on the floor and table than in his mouth, but he was so proud. Ella chatted with Harper about her first Christmas for a bit. Ella's hoping Santa brings Harper some new hairbows in the morning. We'll see!! Cade posed for a picture before bed. Look at his oh-so-excited face! It does not get any better!! I can't wait to see what the morning brings. I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when they come down the stairs and see the tree!! Such a special time with our young kiddos. It was more difficult than we anticipated getting Ella to believe that Santa is coming tonight. We should have known she'd be on top of it this year, but she kept saying, "He's not coming tonight. It's not the twenty-fifth!" We finally managed to convince her that since we won't be here on the twenty-fifth, we asked him to make a special stop tonight. She is something else, too smart for her own good, alright. Love her to bits! And I am just too excited about the weekend. I am off on Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day for the first time since 2007! I still can't believe it. We actually get to spend the entire holiday with family this year and I am just beyond thrilled. We have just a few more things to do before bed. Chris is hard at work writing a thank you note from Santa- he's going to have to convince Ella and Cade that Santa loved the Oreos we left for him. Apparently Santa prefers chocolate chip cookies (or so said the one at the mall!), only we didn't know this until bedtime! Pretty sure ours prefers Oreos. =)

Love, blessings, and the merriest Christmas to you! May your hearts be filled with His peace and joy in the coming days!