Sunday, January 24, 2016

Christmas Eve

We started off Christmas Eve with lunch with my grandpa.  We've done this every year since I was a little girl. Our family has grown a ton, and I've brought a new member to the lunch every couple years (first Ben, then Luc, then Hank and now June). It's a huge group and hard to talk to everyone, but I love the tradition of it all!
Then we headed back to my grandparents house where I think we've spent Christmas Eve since I was a baby.  We played games, took some pictures, ate dinner and opened presents.  I

Mimi - best Christmas outfit and Christmas pj present buyer EVER!! :)

A glimpse of the craziness....

This year the kids got a zoo membership, a tee-pee and tickets to disney on ice.  They seemed a little sad they didn't get any toys to open that night, so I'll probably need to rethink what I tell my grandma next year, but all in all, now that they've experienced their gifts, they love them!

Santa's coming!!!

June doing the whip nae nae

And this wasn't from Christmas Eve, but was from our trip home, so I included here.  JJ teaching everybody how to move...

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Christmas in Akron

 We decided to do Christmas with our family the Sunday before we left for Indy.  We didn't want to haul all of the things we got for the kids to Indy and we also wanted to have a little special time with just the 5 of us before heading out of town.  Plus the grandparents spoil our kids so much, we knew what "Santa" brought would pale in comparison to everything they were given in Indy!

We had such a wonderful day hanging out as a family, I wouldn't trade it for anything, although I still feel torn if I like the idea of doing Christmas 4 days prior to the real Christmas.  Maybe I'm just a sucker for traditions, but it's just hard to get used to the idea of the kids not waking up at our house for Christmas (while it's equally hard to imagine not seeing our families for Christmas).  I think we'll decide what we'll do on a year by year basis for now, and hopefully someday we will be living closer to family and not have to worry about all this craziness.

We surprised the kids Sunday morning that Santa had come! They were so excited.  This year Santa filled their stockings with water bottles, socks, underwear, candy,and a couple small littlle toys/accessories.  He also brought a Gigaball (which basically got popped within a week of owning it), a wubblez ball and bunchems for Lucy, a light saber and lunchbox for Hank, and puzzles and a book for June.  The kids also trade toys amongst themselves - June got playdough, Hank got a transformer, and Lucy got kinetic sand.  We got the kids some clothes and raincoats and matching PJs.

After opening presents all morning, we played with toys had sausage gravy and watched a Christmas movie while snuggling on the couch.  And to top the day off, our church had already started having Christmas Eve services, so we even got to go to church on our Akron Christmas!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Advent Activities Part 2

 We made gingerbread houses with our neighbors...


We did a Christmas craft...

We walked to Starbucks and got hot cocoa...

We made homemade donuts (this has for some reason become a Christmas tradition, but it is one of my favorites!!)

 I can't remember what day this was, but one night is was just warm enough to do a bonfire, so we sat out back with hot cocoa and a fire.  It was perfect!

We made Christmas Cookies...

I let the kids decorate about half the batch...

 And then I did half and we sent some to Ben's work and some to our teachers/friends...

We had fondue by the fire!

 We made a new Christmas decoration...
 We went present shopping for each other (Lucy bought for Hank, Hank bought for June and June bought for Lucy).  We happened to see Santa at Walmart too! What are the odds! :)
We have also been incorporating reading an advent Bible story along with our activities. Sometimes it feels like to much and maybe all these activities are making us miss the point a little, but I'm not totally sure. For now, I'm looking at the activities as a way for us to fit in all the fun parts of Christmas that we like to do anyway, but also giving us built in family time and built in time to focus on Jesus.