Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmastime at Boyd's Bear

One of our favorite places to visit at Christmastime is a nearby Boyd's Bear Museum. The kids love the two-story Christmas tree.

I always make sure to bring my camera, this place is full of wonderful backgrounds for picture-taking.

I was even able to get a picture of ds3...smiling :)

And a good picture of all three kiddos...
This year, we returned to the candle display ~ ds3 loved smelling all of the candles last year, and this year was no different. He went down the display smelling each candle, declaring "yum" after each sniff...

Christmas Day Evening

After a leisurely Christmas morning at home, we headed to dh's parents' house to celebrate Christmas with more aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and great grandparents.

Whew! Three Christmas celebrations packed into two very busy days. But I do feel blessed that most of our family lives so near and we can celebrate most holidays with them.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Morning at Home

We like to spend Christmas morning at home. After waking up early, the kids cannot wait to head down the stairs to check out their stockings. We still have a baby gate posted at the top of our stairs ~ and even if you are old enough to open the gate, you know that you cannot go downstairs until Mom or Dad give the ok...

After we spend time emptying our stockings (which this mama fills with fun stuff like socks, underwear and mittens), we all head into the living room to open the rest of our gifts.

This year, dd5 and I received matching aprons from dh ~ dd5 helped her daddy pick them out :)

We like to keep the gift-giving simple, each child received three to four gifts from us, including one toy they had either asked for or we thought they would enjoy.

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, we headed over to my mom's house to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family.
We planned to attend the Christmas Eve service after our get together, so the kids were in their Christmas finest. I figured this was a perfect opportunity to attempt to get some nice Christmas pictures of each of them.
The two oldest were happy to oblige their mama.
The 3-year old was not :)
Even bigger smiles appeared once they began opening presents.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Snowy Weekend

I looked out of our kitchen window Friday night before heading to bed, and there was already a light layer of snow on the ground. The snow continued through Saturday, finally ending on Saturday night. I'm not sure what our final snowfall total was - but I'd guess it was at least over 18 inches...
The kids spent most of Sunday afternoon outside, playing in the humongous piles of snow left behind after the snowplows came through.

Dd5 made up her own game - she called it "trudging through the snow". I have never seen a child bring so much snow into the house after playing outside ~ but she had a lot of fun :)

Of course, I tried to take advantage of this snowy photo opportunity ~ I actually got a picture of all three kids smiling...

I got some great individual pics, too! Ds7 had no problem posing for the camera.

Dd5 was a real ham for the camera, too.

It's ds3 that's always the one who turns from the camera ~ but after many attempts, I was able to get this adorable pic of him.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Traditions ~ Decorating the Tree

Another beloved tradition around here is decorating our Christmas tree. The kids each have an ornament box that contains ornaments that were given to them and ornaments that they have made...Once the tree is put together, the ornament boxes come out.
Ds7 spent a lot of time reminiscing about each ornament in his box..."remember when I picked this ornament and daddy gave me this one the year I was two because I loved trains..."

Ds3 doesn't quite get the reminiscing thing yet, he has fun just checking out all of the ornaments in his box :)

Then the decorating begins...

Dd5 was very particular about her placement of ornaments this year. I noticed two ornaments that were hanging on the same branch, so I moved them a bit farther apart. Soon afterward I heard dd5 exclaim, "who moved my ornament?". I told her that I moved them because they were very close to each other, she quickly replied "but they wanted to be next to each other on the tree!".

At some point during the decorating, dh gained possession of the camera and began experimenting...

Dd5 waited patiently for me to get around to hanging my heart ornament, the one that matches her heart ornament. And, of course, we hung them together, on the same branch :)

I love the memories that come rushing back each time we decorate our tree...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Traditions ~ Cookie Decorating Day

We held our annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Day this past weekend.
This is the first time that ds3 has actually participated (he slept through previous ones) - and I believe that he thoroughly enjoyed himself. He decorated a total of four cookies, and I won't even guess how much frosting he licked off his little plastic knife :)

Dd5 is now considered a pro at this decorating thing. This year she even pulled out her mini rolling pin and rolled out some dough all by herself!

And I know that ds7 had to have had a fabulous time, he decorated two full plates of cookies! He got quite creative with his cookies, he even created a few new frosting colors :)

Our goal for cookie decorating day is not to end up with a boatload of cookies. We actually have each child put his/her cookies on their own little plate, and send those home with them (if they are visitors) ~ 'cause, there's lots of frosting lickin' going on :). Our goal is just to have fun ~ and we had lots of that this year!


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