At the beginning of December, the girls and I had a rare "girls day" at Disney. Sari really wanted to see the lights at the Studios.
We also finally got around to celebrating TJ's 11th birthday with a few friends. We went to one of those wall-to-wall trampoline places. The boys had a blast.
And we got dinner and dessert at Chick-fil-a. Gotta love that. They were some happy, tired boys.
We took one night to drive around and look at lights. We also stopped at Chick-fil-a for Peppermint milkshakes along the way. We *might* have a small Chick-fil-a addiction going on, LOL.
We did our annual gingerbread house making at the local library. We just happened to run into our friends when we got there.
Christmas Eve we went to our old church, which is also Nana and Pop Pop's current church. They have two services, and the "family" on is at 6. Would you believe it had NO music. NONE. At the family service. At an Episcopal church. Well, actually, I guess if you count the acapella Silent Night, there was one song, but still, it was very disappointing! They've always had music at the early service in the past. But they have a new rector, and apparently he missed the memo. Believe me, he has it now. We weren't the only family there, and certainly not the only ones who missed singing all those Christmas hymns! The kids looked nice in their Christmas clothes though, and of course Sari's had a matching dress for Kanani.
After church was Nana and Pop Pop's traditional Christmas Eve gathering with beef stew. Luckily we got a picture of the kids all dressed up nicely there, so they didn't have to dress up again the next morning. The only picture I have has my nephew in it too because Sari threw the biggest fit OF HER LIFE right after this picture. There was weeping, gnashing of teeth, and a liberal amount of spanking. The cause of the fit? Pop Pop's Polar Express train. She was concerned Seth would run it while I took pictures of just my kids, so she behaved like a child possessed. End result? Seth got to run the train all night, and she wasn't allowed to touch it...or her present from Aunt Laurie and Uncle Ernie. Some lessons you have to learn by doing once, I guess.
Christmas morning was actually a WAY later event than it has been in some years past. Here are the kids waiting patiently for me to be ready so they could open their stockings (the only part of their Christmas that comes from "Santa"--and only one of them even remotely believes that).
Sari got a Disney Princess fleece pillow, and pink fleece blanket. She also got an new skirt and top outfit, and a ladybug that shines lights up on the ceiling at night. (We only do 3 presents per child.)
Daddy is always a challenge because he is in the tech business, and so he gets new "toys" all year round. So Christmas brought some exciting new jeans, sweat pants, a belt, and t-shirts to go with the new bottoms.
TJ got this Ninjago kit with a DS game, and a Ninjago book. He also got an Angry Birds hoodie and a nice soccer goal.
Scott's favorite gift was this new CD player. His had long since died and the kid was costing us a TON of money burning through batteries just to be able to play CDs and listen to his iPod via portable speakers. This new "boombox" is a radio, CD player, and has a line in for USB and AUX and even a plug in for memory cards. So he can plug in pretty much anything and it will play. He's loving it. He also got pajamas (he LOVES long fleece pants) with some AXE "smelly stuff" and a ton of new books.
Mimi got some perfume (which it turns out she hates, but which was one of the few scents I can tolerate), 3 new aerial silk outfits, and her heart's desire...a box of underwear. Well, obviously, there was more in the box than that, but to be clever, I had put the present on the bottom, and piled a bunch of new undies on top so she would be totally like, "What in the world?" and then realize there was more to it...except the way she ripped into the box, she actually got right to the main present, and then couldn't figure out what the undies had to do with the price of tea in China. The best laid plans...Anyway, here's her scream...
The kids also give each other gifts, and this was what "the sibs" picked out for Scott. TOO FUNNY because it's so true of him most of the time.
Since we are church shopping, and the church we visited the Sunday before Christmas is near the local u-pick strawberry place, so we went to pick berries so I could make these to take Christmas morning. Cute, right? I totally got the idea off Pinterest.
Sari got a camera for Christmas. A real, honest to goodness camera. A nicer point and shoot than I have camera. She's just a little excited.
TJ got this huge Ninjago dragon and serpent thing. He's equally thrilled, as you can see.
Both boys got Angry Birds hoodie blanket things that they love.
TJ, Nana, and Pop Pop posing for Sari.
Grandpa Ross posing for Sari.
Sari, with her new camera and new case proudly hanging from her neck.
This year for our Christmas gathering, we all got together at Gram and Tom's. My brother and sister both were with their in-laws, and the Hubs's sister was sick, so it was a smaller than usual gathering. We made up for it by getting together again for New Year's day, but you'll have to wait on those pictures.
I'll leave you with this:
Our family Christmas picture compliments of my friend Cindy, whose church we visited the Sunday before Christmas.