Friday, December 28, 2018

Christmas Day Recap 2018

Santa stopped at our house this year, so I guess the kids were good enough, lol.  The first thing I learned this year is that I need to make more bags for the toys from us.  I needed big bags that I just didn't have so we had presents sitting out.  Thankfully, Eve did not mind too much.

The stockings stayed looking this pretty for all of this 5 minutes.  Bears' stocking was way too heavy to balance on the hanger.  It fell and I redid the top back the way it was and just placed his against the wall below the hook.  He did not care one bit.  

Hubbys was first up and I found these beer bread mixes that I knew he would like.  It's different but looked good.  I offered to make them for him if he did not want to bake them himself.  Bears' was next and he asked for two things for Christmas, Disneys Mack Truck and Thomas the Train.  Both of which he could play with right when he woke up.  The Thomas the Train has antlers and Sir Topham Hatt as Santa in a Sleigh.  How cute is that?

The next stocking is for Eve.  I struggled to find something to put on top of her stocking holder.  Eventually, I found a case of this mini Build a Bear blind grab bags.  For mine Hubby found a cute holiday mug that I was looking for.  He knocked it out of the park!

On Christmas morning Eve woke up bright and early while I had to go in and wake up Bear.  He was not thrilled to be woken up but I did not want to have to keep Eve away from presents while he slept.  

She was obviously the first to run up to the tree.  Eve was very excited!

When Bear realized that Santa came, he got insanely excited!

Duke and Coco, on the other hand, were not thrilled to be woken up.

The first thing we open on Christmas are the stockings.  They technically can open them whenever they want.  So if they were to wake up at say 2am, they are welcome to open only their stockings.  I would hope they wait until the morning but I have as a kid opened mine in the wee hours or the morning.  Eve was not interested at first but Hubby helped her open the Build a Bear.  It was one of the biggest hits, who knew

Bear was super excited to get his hands on the toys on top that he needed to be reminded that there was more inside his stocking.

It was really cute to see them get excited for the trinkets that they had opened so far.  

 Inside the Christmas Stockings...

Inside the gray bag for Hubby was lawn blade sharpeners.  the wrapped present for Eve were two sets of headbands, one with glitter thread and the other with a bow. 

I apparently and told that I torture our kids by making them wait until AFTER breakfast to open the presents under the tree.  This is something I grew up with and it made sure that we ate something in the morning and completed any tasks our parents asked of us.  Knowing my kids this is something that I think they will benefit from.  So far they don't seem to care, then again they don't know any better either.  With a belly full of pancakes and mugs full of coffee for us we ventured back upstairs to open gifts.

Bear would open a few then want to run off to play with one of the items in his room.  We didn't care so we let him as long as he cleaned up.  

Eve struggled at first.  She didn't want to tear into the gifts.  Then she realized the toys inside were for her and things she liked and boy did that change things.  She then tried to tear into any gift she could get her hands on!  After almost opening her brothers' gifts we made them bring it all to us to check the name.  After a little bit, we had to make her take a break as she was getting too overwhelmed.  She just needed time to play. 

At noon we took a break for lunch then Eve went down for a normal nap.  We took the time to sit with Bear to open the rest of his gifts.  He seemed to really enjoy the time with us and definitely loved his gifts. 

When Eve got up we had an early dinner.  It was simple and delicious.  The brisket Hubby made was one we will do again for sure.  Another sous vide recipe to add to the recipe box.

After dinner Bear played in his room while we sat with Eve to open her remaining gifts.  It was a big year for Minnie Mouse dolls and playsets but she loved it all!  There was also a lot of little people Disney princess sets as well.  Disney, all around I suppose.  A trip to Florida may need to happen in the next few years.

After the kids went to bed we took time to have mimosas that we forgot about early in the morning.  We paired them up with some Toffee that my father sent us!  A couple of minutes of cleaning and you would never have known Santa even stopped by which is exactly how I like it!

To end the evening we binged watch The Great American Baking Show Holiday Show.  I loved it and frankly, it made me realize that I am not a huge fan of Prue.  I wish they would move Sherry to the British show.  It's not likely to happen but one could hope!

A quiet, stress-free holiday is exactly what I needed!  We will take the next week to clean and get things back to the way they were or better as we approach the new year.  I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Recap leading Up to Christmas

This holiday we have been pretty busy.  We were all sick leading up to Christmas so I'm thankful it cleared up before we celebrated.  Here is a quick recap of the days leading up to Christmas.

On Dec 21, Bear had his school performance.  The pre-k and kindergarten classes had the kids sing two songs per grade.  We stood in the back of the very packed gym to watch.  Eve was not having it so I pulled out the kids' phone with videos on it to keep her from crying.  Bear was front and center for the performance as I was told he was one of the few kids that really had the moves down.  He was shy at first but he warmed up and put on a show.  I would post a picture of him on here but there were too many kids to blur out so I leave you with Eve ignoring everything and watching her show but not being disruptive.  Small victories, right mamas?

Dec 22 brought with it lots of baking!  This is one of my favorite parts of the holiday.  I enjoy baking more than cooking.  I didn't get to do too much but I did make mini cheesecakes and 
Grinch cookies.  Bear asked to help out which I completely loved.  After some intense hand scrubbing, he was given a given a few tasks.  He said his favorite was separating the heart sprinkles.  I suspect this is because he got to eat a bunch of pink hearts.

On Dec 23 we tried to relax after delivering cookies to our neighbors.  We played games with the kids and watched holiday movies and tv shows.  Later on in the evening we went to visit Santa.  He was sitting out for pictures at the five-times winner of our community lights for the Griswold award.  We don't normally visit Santa let alone take pictures of him.  Bear was incredibly hyped up to see him then because quiet and shy when meeting him.  Eve was a bit confused but we finished pictures quickly before she could start to cry.  This was a success in my book.

Christmas Eve was all about getting the chores out of the way before Christmas so we could relax as much as possible.  However, its just a day of me eagerly anticipating our traditional snack plate dinner.  This year we had quite a few items.  There were cheeses and meats, veggies, spinach dip, and various smoked seafood. Then appetizers of BBQ wings, Jalapeno poppers, mozzarella sticks, and chicken tenders.  For dessert, we have cheesecake parfaits and cookies.

Before bed, we tried to take pictures in front of the tree.  The kids really weren't having it.  Eve just kept getting up to run away.  At one point, Bear laid down and sighed loudly which had us all laughing.  That also meant I needed to give up the idea of getting that perfect photo and just use whatever I had.  I kind of like these better.

Finally, the kids went to bed so Santa can make his stop at our house!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Santa arrived in the wee hours of the morning
and the kids are super excited about it.
They are ready to dive into all the gifts but first,
we will sit down as a family to eat breakfast.

I realize how much of blessing that it is to be able to spend
this holiday with my little family.
Please remember those who serve that may not be able
to be home to celebrate with family and friends.
I remember how hard the holidays are during deployments. 
I hope wherever you are and whomever you are with 
I hope that you have 
a Very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve Box

This will be the fifth year we have done the Christmas Eve Box and I don't see us stopping any time soon.  We all seem to enjoy the treats contained within but the outside leaves much to be desired.  The Le Creuset box is a perfect size but I haven't found a way wrapped it without having to redo it every single year.  That is a problem I will fix some other year.  Right now I'm focused on the new and different items while maintaining the staples.  Since we have several hands-on items that the kids can use throughout the day the will likely be opening the box in the morning rather than the evening, like in years past.  This will hopefully keep them occupied throughout the day.  Let's jump in and see how we did assembling this year's Christmas Eve Box!

There will always be a winter or holiday-themed book on included in the box.  I am repeating this book from last year.  Bear loved it but didn't get to read it much as I pulled out of rotation just after the first of the year.  I found a cute religious book that I think the kids will enjoy and added that to the box.

A Christmas or Winter themed movie is another staple item.  We chose a Thomas and Friends DVD because Bear has been missing watching Thomas since the show was pulled from the streaming apps that we normally watch.  He will freak out when he sees this.

It would not be a Christmas Eve Box without Winter Themed Pajamas!  In the past, there has been a set for everyone.  We didn't really need new pajamas which were also a great way to keep the cost of the Christmas Eve Box down by a little bit.

A chocolate orange and tins of hot chocolate are the holiday treats that I tossed into the box.  We will likely also have popcorn or cookies or whatever other goodies we have on hand.  Some of which will include fresh fruit to balance it all out.

The rest of the items are all new to the Christmas Eve Box and if they are a hit, a few of the reusable ones might make another appearance.  These lacing cards are adorable!  Eve and Bear both like to weave the shoelaces around the cards.  The cards are wooden which will hold up to a few years worth of use for sure.

I also so this pretend felt cookie baking set.  There are always lots of cookies baked over the holidays so why not let them pretend bake when what they can do to help is somewhat limited.  The kitchen set is a favorite play area for the kids so I have no doubt that they will enjoy this set.

We have had crayons and coloring books in last years box.  The kids really seemed to enjoy that so when I saw these in the target dollar spot I couldn't pass them up.  A fox set for Bear and a seal for Eve.  I hope that this keeps them entertained for a little bit.

Eve really likes arts and crafts stuff and so we have been letting her do more an more of this with tot school activities.  I let the kids pick out which items they wanted to paint.  Bear picked out the house and Eve picked out the bear.  I don't think that the small amount of paint or the tiny paintbrushes is going to cut it so I will pull from our craft supplies as needed.

The final items in the Christmas Eve box are puzzles.  This 24 piece Peanuts on will be easy for Bear to do but I think it will be a cute activity for him to do after watching the movie.  Evie’s puzzles I found at the dollar store.  She will easily be able to do the shape puzzle but she has yet to try a jigsaw type puzzle.  I’m pretty sure she will breeze right through it.

I'm excited to see how the kids do with the new items in the box.  There are a lot of items that we think they will like but when they get their hands on it who knows what will happen.  Either way, it will make for a memorable Christmas Eve.  Hopefully, some of these can find their way back into the box in future years!

Christmas Day Recap 2018

Santa stopped at our house this year, so I guess the kids were good enough, lol.  The first thing I learned this year is that I need to mak...