Dec 29, 2017

3 days of Christmas

I think we finally figured out how to do this family Christmas!  Spread it out over 3 days! We woke up on the 23rd, or Christmas Eve Eve, and got to cooking!
Ellie made ranch crackers.

These turned out delicious!
Then both kids helped decorate ginger bread men.  I happened to be 65 outside so we moved out to the porch.

Ryan started the meat!  We took the kids to see Santa and then home for long naps.
We sat in our formal dining room and had a fancy meal together for dinner.
This prime rib was the best!  All of us ate until we couldn't fit another bite in...
...and then we ate dessert!
After dinner we bathed the kids and watched a Christmas movie by the fire.
Christmas Eve was packed with fun!  Ryan and Ellie made our favorite crepes for breakfast.
One crepe was filled with thick cut prosciutto and gruyere cheese and the other nutella and bananas.
Once we had yet again stuffed ourselves we got all dressed up and headed to church. 

The kids love going to "big church" and I am also glad we graduated out of the informal service we went to the last few years.   When we woke the kids up this morning we also surprised them with panther tickets and toboggans!!!  This was actually their first Panther game!  Bobo is soooo into football so I knew he would be so excited.

My only wish was that the game wasn't during nap time because I could tell kids were tired.  During half time we walked around and then luckily the Panthers made the game more exciting during second half and we won!  
One thing I really like about Panthers game is that they are only 10 min from our house and not 2.5 hours like NC State games!  Only downside is the fans have a tendency to be more passionate than college fans.  We had to earmuff the kids several times from the guy behind us.
We then went home and quickly changed before heading to the Toms Annual Christmas Eve party.
The kids had a blast!  It is so special to see each of these kids and how much they grow year to year!
And then Santa came!!!!!!  Bobo got everything he asked for and more! Sweet thing kept asking for 3 Transformers and a stuffed animal dog.   A few days before we went to see Santa he added in an elephant and luckily Santa made one quickly and had that for him too!  He got a basketball goal and NC State ball and a rescue house!
Ellie's wish list included horses and a barn, barbies and some new dresses!  Santa brought her this custom matching house and barn with lots and lots of horses and accessories!
She LOVED the new dresses too!
Ryan and I sat there with coffee for an hour just watching them look and play with each little thing before diving into the presents under the tree.  The joy of Christmas at this age is pure magic. 
One of my favorite moments is the fact that when Bobo first walked into the living room he didn't notice the goal.  After a minute he looked up and squealed "NC State basketball goal!!!"

For Christmas we got the kids.....well way too much! They love their new ski gear and iPads.
And as you can see behind the kids in these pics our tree this year was terrible!  It caved in on two sides.  All the branches went straight down.  We took it down the next morning because it was driving us both nuts!
Bobo and Ellie only use ipads on plane rides to watch a show.  Our ipads are old ones from Ryans offices that have very very low memory so we could only put 2 shows and one game on each.  These new ipads have tons of memory and lots of fun games for them.  We put them up when we are home and still plan to only use on vacations, long car rides or special occasions.
I do feel like we did a decent job of teaching the kids the joy of giving as well as receiving.  We spent a lot of time over past few years taking them shopping and teaching them how to buy for others.  This year it clicked big time and it was the sweetest thing to watch.  Bobo got Ryan new house slippers.  He spent a while picking these out and was very specific as to what he wanted. 
He bought Ellie an apron and oven mit and then a Panther colored cheerleader outfit for her new doll.
Ellie bought me a cheese board cookbook because that is our families favorite dinner.
Ellie bought Bobo two new watches and a storm trooper mask.  When he was opening it she literally covered her mouth so she wouldn't blurt out what it was! 
Ryan got some new tech stuff, a large duffel bag for traveling and some clothes.  He got me perfume, shoes, a new purse, a crockpot and this snazzy rug for our master!
We bought a Go Pro 6 as a family and Ryan used it to take this after pic of our living room!  It was so worth the mess.  Our tree looks much better from this angle too!
Once we had opened up all our gifts we headed to Ryan's parents house for brunch and more gift exchanging. 
The kids also picked out their own gifts for the grandparents.  Bobo bought Mimi a heart ornament and said that way she would always know he loves her, even when he isn't there. 
We came home and played and played and played.  Uncle Jared gave Bobo and custom Zeller hornets jersey that he loves!
We played Christmas music and played inside while nibbling on our cheese board dinner.  This Christmas was the best.  We balanced the Jesus and Santa a lot better and spent lots of quality down time together.  Now we are busy packing to go on a family adventure to start the new year!

Dec 27, 2017

Christmas Celebrations

 This years preschool Christmas party was the best yet!  I love that our preschool is at our church and they teach and preach the real reason for the season to the kids.  We ate cookies, made crafts and then the children sang sweet songs to us.  These songs included J-E-S-U-S(to theme of Bingo), I took a lick of my peppermint stick, and We wish you a Merry Christmas.
 I was mostly taking videos during their performance, but loved seeing them sing next to each other.
 I am still loving them being together so I don't miss a thing!

The kids have loved sleeping in their Christmas sheets.  Every time I see those cute catalogues with themed bedrooms for the holidays I am tempted to buy, but thankfully our elves brought these this year! 

 The kids decorated a tiny tree in their playroom.
 I love seeing them run to turn it on when they go up to the playroom.

 It has been cold here lately and we still need to be outside so we have been using our fire pit a lot!  Surprisingly this year we have had an increase in geese and ducks.  We always have a stash of old bread in the fridge to feed them!

 We all four love the movies and have enjoyed a few over the Christmas break!
 We attended a Birthday Party for Jesus at a friends house. 
 Ms Abby had the kids make cookies and decorate a cake for Jesus.  They made a manger craft and got lots of Party favors!

 What a sweet party...hope it becomes a tradition!!!

 We made 40 jars of candied pecans and passed them out to all our neighbors!

 And for the first time we visited Billy Graham Library to view their live nativity scene.  This was amazing!  We sat there and listened to the entire story as they acted it out.

 I love how when you walk into the main building, you are walking into the base of a cross.
 My girl friends and I mixed up our usual ornament exchange this year.  We had a favorite things party instead!  I got a little bit of everything- food, drinks, make up, masks and fake eyelashes,
books and photo books!  We will definitely be doing this again!!!