Christmas 2011 in a Nutshell

December is always a crazy month, and this year it was made crazier by Nathan getting home. As always, I apologize for the dearth of pictures. I'll try to skim over the non-media-aided sections in an attempt to reduce general bored-ness with this post.

The month started off a little early with some early decorating. Because I'm totally lame I didn't take pictures of our setup, so you'll have to just take my word that our house was festive and fun for the holidays. I even made a few things that I'm very proud of...but, I only managed to get one cell phone picture:

One of my aunts made this cute block last year for everyone and I really wanted to think of some way to use it as a decoration. I found some printables on this website that I thought I could use. After a little adaptation and some embellishment, I had something I was reasonably pleased with. It ended up being perfect for one of my credenza holes.

We had our ward Christmas party the first weekend in December, complete with a visit from Santa. I didn't get a picture of the kids with the Jolly Old Elf last year, but (surprise, surprise) we forgot our camera. So, again, all I have is a cell phone picture. I'm quite happy with how it turned out:

I love it when one (or both) of my kids scream on Santa's lap. I also find it comical that Kyle and Santa have the same facial expression. Kyle was actually pretty excited to sit on Santa's lap and he proudly recited his huge Christmas wish list before I pulled him away to give another kid a chance.

We had my extended family's Christmas party on the 17th in Payson. Every year at this party we do a treat exchange, where we all make a treat for all of the other families and end up taking home a bunch of different types of treats. This year I decided to dip pretzel rods in caramel and chocolate (which didn't go as well as I'd planned, but that's another story). I wanted to make a cute container for them, and I found this idea on Our Best Bites (which is one of my go-to websites now):

A little tissue paper, some Mod Podge, ribbon, and some die cuts made the perfect containers, which also happen to be festive luminaries. Holy awesomeness, Batman!

We spent Christmas Eve with my immediate family. We had a GREAT Christmas dinner, exchanged sibling gifts, and opened a few from my parents. My sister-in-law Brittany made me the cutest plate where I can write down what's on our dinner menu for the week (I've been really into meal planning the last couple of months, so it was the perfect gift for me!). My sister Stephanie got Cole a super awesome shirt (she works at Eddie Bauer and gets a killer discount) and a nice laptop bag. We gave Stephanie and Chris gift cards, since they were entirely unhelpful about what they wanted for Christmas. :) We all got matching jammies from Grandma and Papa--the little boys got fuzzy footie pajamas with guitars, and we got pajama pants that literally look like distressed blue jeans (totally awesome!) We also let the boys open their big toy present from Grandma and Papa, and they were ecstatic. Kyle got a Thomas the Tank Engine gold mine playset, and Lucas got a little shopping cart--he's been totally into pushing things around for a while now, and he absolutely freaked out the whole time Cole put the cart together because he was so excited to play with it.

Then, we headed home, put out some cookies and milk for Santa (homemade sugar cookies, natch), and hit the hay. The next morning we got up bright and early so we could open our presents before Sacrament meeting at 11.

Lucas enjoying the Goldfish from his stocking

Kyle opening presents. I actually had to open most of Lucas'--he was fairly uninterested

Kyle with his Thomas playsets all connected. The gold mine was from Grandma & Papa and the pirate ship (behind him) was from Santa

Lucas' present from Santa

Lucas' shopping cart from Grandma & Papa. Yes, he did try to climb into the front seat, which was quite comical.

After Sacrament meeting, some lunch, and a nap, we headed back to Sandy. Cole's little brother Adam and his wife surprised the family by coming into town for Christmas, so we wanted to take the opportunity to see them as much as we could. We played some cards and enjoyed one another's company and opened a few more presents.

The next day, Cole's family got together for our Christmas party. We exchanged gifts, enjoyed LOTS of yummy food (fish tacos and chicken taquitos--yum!) and had lots of fun!

Christmas was a wonderful mix of family, food, giving, and the Savior. I tried really hard to help Kyle understand the real Christmas story (especially since he was kind of a gimme monster this year and I wanted to nip that in the bud) and I think he began to understand what Christmas is really about. We're so grateful for Jesus Christ and His life, and we're grateful for the holiday season in which we celebrate His birth.

1 comment:

that's what she said...

Oh man, Ethan spotted the picture of Kyle with his trains and immediately wanted up on my lap to inspect it closer and then asked when he could go over to "that boy's" house to play. haha. Oh Thomas, how we love you! :)

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