We kicked off our Christmas with decorating the house and putting up the Christmas tree. You would think that this would be even more enjoyable because we have children. That assumption would be wrong. This is because as we lug millions of boxes, Rubbermaid containers, and other various decorations up the stairs, you start to get a little overwhelmed. Then, you pull things out only to realize that you either can't put that out because it was a "pre-kids" decoration and will get broken for sure, or you will take the time to set it out and the kids are going to mess with it for the next month, or until you pack it back up early. So, your motivation quickly drains away. But, because we have kids, we put out some decorations that we are okay with possibly losing this season!
We started with the Christmas tree. We tried to do get the tree done while Preston was out grocery shopping with Grandma. He is just such an over-abundance of help, that we thought this might be best. We were not counting on the fact though that Bob would have to spend 45 minutes on trying to get some of the lights on the tree to work. As you can see, Preston made it home in plenty of time to "help".
The boys did have a great time and worked very diligently.
(Please excuse their attire as we had been to church that morning, and they decided to ditch the sweaters that they'd been wearing. Nobody agreed with Mom that they might look more festive if the sweaters went back on!)
My job was to unpack the ornaments, put on hooks, and hand them out. It was VERY stressful as each boy wanted to put certain ornaments on the tree and all complained that they hadn't gotten to hang as many as the other boys!
Here is Caden, as always, taking his job very seriously...
...others put their own spin on the decorating process!
Apparently Preston was worried that the decorating of the tree may start to get a little dangerous!
The finished product. (And sadly, the best picture we could even get!)
The next Saturday was a particularly warm day, so Caden, Maddox, and Bob put up our outdoor Christmas lights. They turned out pretty great. You cannot tell from the picture, but the lights alternate red/white. I just have to figure out a way for Bob to get lights on the top of the house above Ella's room. He claims the roof is too steep. I'm not pushing it for now as his life insurance policy isn't quite as large as I would like yet!!
This brings us then to Christmas Eve. We usually spend Christmas Eve at Bob's Grandma's house. "Santa" comes, we all exchange gifts with his Mom's side of the family, we do a white elephant gift exchange, and eat. However, this year, Mother Nature decided that we needed to mix it up a bit. It started snowing/sleeting very early Christmas Eve morning. The roads got bad fast. Since some of Bob's family is from out of town, we postponed the festivities. We ended up having our first Christmas Eve at home. We had a baked potato bar for dinner, watched movies, and then drove around and looked at Christmas lights in our neighborhood. The snow continued to come down.
The boys left 11 cookies for Santa. Santa left only 1/3 of one.
After finishing the cookies, Santa left gifts by television for each of the kids. He brought Caden a Caterpillar train set, Maddox got some Spy Gear Night vision goggles, Brennen received a Buzz Lightyear bed pillow, Preston got a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse play set, plate, and bowl, and Ella got alot of clothes and matching handbag! Santa listens when the kids ask for things around here!
Here are our stockings hung by the chimney with care.
The boys woke up at 7:00am the next day. Considering how early they could have gotten up, I was happy with this time. Then the unwrapping commenced. All four boys got matching comforters and sheet sets. Now, I just have to get Bob to paint their room. A little pressure from you all would definitely help my cause!
Brennen isn't the biggest on having his picture taken with his newly acquired items. Here's one that Caden had to help in order to even make it happen.
Preston LOVES buses and was thrilled to get this little bus. It's metal though, and I'm just waiting for the first time he chucks it to see who gets to feel that wrath!
Here is Maddox with a new Leapster game.
Caden got a Volcano building kit. I'm not sure what we were thinking on this one!
At church, the kids department allows the kids to use the points they've earned to "buy" gifts for family members, which are then wrapped and sent home with them. Brennen received this fishing game from Caden. I think Caden has used it more than Brennen!
Here is Preston with his bubbles from Caden.
Preston opening some Mega Blocks from Mom and Dad. 100 of the little gems. Yippee!
Brennen LOVED his Batman Imaginext set. This thing saw a ton of action that day from all 4 boys.
Caden and his Automatic Tommy blaster. Again, a nightmare for the dog!
Preston got a lot of help opening his gifts from his brothers. This is him opening a Little People Airport.
This is Brennen opening a gift right before his nose started bleeding. Stupid dry air!
Caden and his Shake and Go dragsters. We needed this you see, because we don't have enough toy vehicles in our house that make noise.
Maddox and his pirate ship! Arrgh Matey!
Brennen and his Buzz Lightyear. This thing goes to infinity and beyond. Who knew?!
Caden and his train set. He asked for this from Santa last year, but Santa brought the Wii. He did not make that mist again this year
Ella is not an early riser. So at 8:30 when we were finishing up opening gifts, we thought that we should go ahead and get her up so that she could open hers. Or at lest sit on Mommy's lap while she opened them.
Ella got clothes, clothes, and more clothes. I'm not sure that this particular box of clothes were her favorite though based on the look on her face.
Here is her "Deer in the headlights" look.
That afternoon my family usually comes over. I make a Christmas dinner for everyone and we exchange gifts. By this time, we'd received around 8 inches of snow and were having 40 mph wind gusts. Kim and Shawn were not able to make it, and neither were Bob's Dad and Chelle. So, it just ended up being my Mom, Eric, and Chris, Eric's son. Here's some of the shots from that afternoon.
Here is Brennen and his Leapster game from Grandma and Grandpa.
Maddox is my puzzle kid. Here's a puzzle from Grandma and Grandpa.