Thursday, December 30, 2010

{Christmas Eve}

A few days before Christmas Eve our plans for the evening fell through, so after drying some tears we pulled together as a family to organize a fun night together!  We had Uncle Tyler with us that was fun! The kids love him! 

We started out the day with some last minute shopping (not me.....I wasn't braving the stores...but Christmas Eve is Trevor's favorite day to shop.  I roll my eyes about it, but he always gets the job done and come through big time each year).  Then we met for breakfast at The Original Pancake House. Yum!! 

Next up was baking prep for Christmas Day. Carson and Addy were each in charge of choosing and making a pie.  So we made Banana Cream (Carson) and Chocolate Cream (Addy)....and they made real cream pies ya'll...not the pudding mix.  They were great! 

Then my favorite part of the whole day...watching a movie snuggled up with my kiddos.  Rylan and Addy both snuggled in close as we watched 'A Christmas Story'.  Ry fell asleep and we all dozed on an off.  But it was my favorite...I felt so lucky to be snuggled up with my littles with the beautiful Christmas tree and Christmas-ness all around.  No other place I would have rather been. And I shed some tears at the end of the movie thinking "All was right with the World" at that exact moment....all of us together.   Just pretend I don't look 20 pounds heavier in this picture, okay?!

We had our traditional Chinese take-out dinner so I could save my energy for the cooking the next day.  It was delish!

Then our Christmas Eve program started with Carson playing some Christmas songs on the piano.  Singing Christmas carols and then acting out the nativity.  We were short on actors, so a couple of us had to play two parts. I was the narrator and the angel. 

Here is Mary & Joseph, and the all important donkey. 
Then the shepherds.

And wiseman.  Rylan stacked up a whole pile of gifts for the baby Jesus.

We watched the church video, the Nativity.  It was perfect.  Really trying to focus on the Savior and His birth on this night especially!  The kids were reverent and aware with the Spirit really touching our hearts as we reflected on that sacred night.

Then came the opening of one present: new Christmas Eve PJs and then the resulting fashion show.

But Ry just wanted to wear Dad's new basketball shorts.

But he looked so cute in his own PJs.

Then we frosted cookies for Santa, spread our reindeer food in the front yard, and watched Disney's 'Prep and Landing' (a favorite since last year).  And finished off with "Twas the Night Before Christmas".

The evening was quieter than we are used to for Christmas Eve, but in a good way.  It was a tremendous blessing to be together in our warm home celebrating all our family traditions.  All is right with the world.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

{2 Days Until Christmas: Downtown Seattle}

My sister recommended a couple of things in downtown Seattle that I wanted to check out this year.  We had to pick up Uncle Tyler from the airport on the 23rd, and I planned to pick him up and then head downtown, but his flight was 5 hours delayed. So it meant we had to do the activities downtown before he got here. I ventured into downtown Seattle 2 days before Christmas, armed with my phone set to Google Maps, and extra cash to pay for valet parking!....trying to make it as easy as possible with 3 kids on my own!

We hit the Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton Hotel.  The line took about 40 minutes and Ry was coming unglued.  And I am sure I came across ridiculous to all the fancied up city I was with 3 kids, one forced to be strapped into the stroller because he was throwing a fit, and the other two playing some variation of tag nearby, and me getting looks like "is she really pregnant?".  I ignored it for the most part. We got to the front of the line. Ry calmed down and fell asleep (and missed the whole thing) and the other two were in awe at the cool gingerbread houses.

Then we walked a few blocks (thank you Google map walking directions!) to the Fairmont hotel to see the Teddy Bear Suite.  It was a hotel room decked out completely Christmasy with teddy bears everywhere...right out of story book.  No line at this one, but I was pushing a stroller through a tight space, so no time for pictures except one.  See the kids peeking in the back? This was a shot of the bathroom.

Both hotels were super fancy. Made you just want to hang in the lobby and people watch.  And downtown was beautiful in the evening...all the trees have lights plus the lights of the stores and downtown theaters and shoppers all bundled up with packages.  It was all very Christmasy!  And then the stores down the street were calling my name (H&M, Nordstrom...).  But I came back to reality that I had 3 kids and wasn't about to take them shopping.  I managed to escape downtown amidst rush hour traffic and make it to the airport on time! Successful day!

{3 Days Until Christmas: Zoo Lights}

We tried out Zoo Lights for the first time this year at Point Definance Zoo.  I am so incredibly glad I paid the $1 extra to buy the tickets on-line before we left (plus we got half off with our membership).  The line to buy tickets was 50 people deep at each booth.  The place was packed!

The temperature was perfect...low 40s...nothing too terribly cold.  And the lights were fun, but I guess I was a tad disappointed. I thought more of the exhibits would be open.  But only the main aquarium was open (so you can guess were 95% of the crowd was!).  The kids really wanted to see the animals like we usually do at the zoo, but it wasn't geared for that. It was more of a little hike around the zoo to see various light displays depicting animals, etc.  It was ok.  I think I prefer the Fantasy lights in Spanaway (same type of thing, plus more variation of displays and you stay in your car!). 

We only stayed about an hour and it was ok since we bought the tickets before hand and got half off too.  I don't think it would have been worth it otherwise.  Not sure we'll do it next year unless we go earlier in December when the rest of Seattle isn't also there!   Makes you miss the grand-daddy of Christmas lights at Temple Square in Utah!

But we love any Christmas activity together as a family!  Lots of together-ness this year, just our little group...and it is great!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

{5 Days Until Christmas: Visit Santa and Deliver Neighbor Treats}

You may not have heard that we have the real Santa at the mall in Puyallup.  The kids got in their fancy Christmas clothes and we waited out the huge line to get pictures with the real deal Santa!  Love these photos! I love having 3 little believers in the house (one hanging on for dear life...).

And then later we made a quadruple batch of homemade rolls and honey butter to deliver to our neighbors...fresh and hot out of the oven. Love the smell of homemade bread!!

{7 Days Until Christmas: The Nutcracker}

My sister invited us to join her at the Nutcracker this year.  It wasn't the major PNW Ballet one...but a smaller, more local ballet company.  It was perfect!  And perfect for kids!  No orchestra, but the dancers were fantastic!  And the theater was small leaving every seat with a great view. 

Carson really wanted to go, so Trevor insisted on joining us too.  We left little Ry at home.....(a babysitter all to himself? he was in heaven!). 

The kids loved it.  Addy sat by her cousin, Paige, and they were on the edge of their seats most of the show.  My favorite part was at intermission when Addy asked "Mom, why are we still in our seats?".  When I told her it was intermission (aka..'half-time')...she said..."You mean there is MORE??"  She was so excited for the second half.  The snow, music, dancers (a lot that were her age!), costumes, the Snow Queen....a little girl heaven. 

{9 Days Until Christmas: Mail Christmas Cards & Packages}

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{10 Days Until Christmas: Mom's Christmas Countdown}

For the last couple years I have been doing a '12 days of Christmas' for my kiddos.  Just something small each day...a project, game, bath soaps or little toys.  I find a lot of the items at Michaels or Target dollar section.  We started with 10 days left to go this year.  The deal is the kids need to be good the night before in order to have the surprise when they wake up.  We have been semi-successful...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

{13 Days Until Christmas: Basketball Season is Over}

It was short season...about 3 weeks...but I have to hand it to the school district for hosting and organizing it anyway.  Carson's school had the most participants of any grade at any school, so luckily they split the team in two.  That way they each player got to play about 2-3 quarters for each game instead of 1-2!  Carson loves it.  He isn't the most aggressive on the court, but he really understands the game now and took and made some shots (I may or may not have teared up about this...).  He is excellent on defense too.  It is fun to watch him understand double dribble, traveling, pivot foot, etc....I mean I hardly understand the stuff!  We have a major cheering section.  Trevor loves this stuff more than Carson I think.  He's so good with him too...never negative (you should hear some of the parents?!!)...just positive energy all around for our little b-ball player! 

And had to stick these pictures in of Carson's gingerbread man that he decorated at cub scouts. 
 Doesn't this look appetizing??!  Man, this has cub scouts written all over it. 

{14 Days Until Christmas: Gingerbread Houses}

Love these gingerbread house kits from Costco with the house already pre-made!  Such a fun tradition each year. 

 Carson insisted on making his all on his own.
 This guy woke up from his nap about half way through the process...hence the bed head.

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My little blog is a family journal. I include things on here I want to remember years and years from now. So when I post a zillion is because I want to have it for my posterity. So please forgive the often posted-picture overload.

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