Thursday, January 17, 2013

celebrating jesus' birthday

We had another special day on Christmas Day.  I seriously think that it is my favorite day of the year (that, and my kids' birthdays!)  I absolutely love having nothing to do, staying in jammies all day, and it is about the only day of the entire year that I don't feel pressured to clean up messes, wipe the counters, empty the dishwasher or start a load of laundry.  I can just be.  Those of you that know me know that it is rare for me to sit down and relax much before 10:00pm.  So Christmas Day is my reprieve!
Reading Santa's note
I love making memories for my kids.  A tradition in my house growing up was to leave the Christmas lights on all night on Christmas Eve (much to my husband's dismay).  There is something about staying up late, getting the presents ready for the kids, playing "Santa" with "A Christmas Story" 24hr marathon on in the background, and all the twinkling lights.  It just makes me happy.
My mom and Jim slept in Andrew's room and my mom had instructions not to let Andrew downstairs before coming in to get me!  Neither of us were thinking of her poor broken ankle!  Ha!  Andrew was up and out of the room, and down the stairs in a flash before my mom even got her foot on the floor!  I decided the "coming downstairs" picture could be excluded for this year and I would forgive myself.  Although I will admit that I almost made him go back up and come down again, but staged photos somehow lose their effect and so I gave up!  Ha!

Andrew was very patient and actually let me get our brunch items in the oven before digging into his stocking.  Kerigan woke up around this time and so it worked out perfectly.  We always like to do stockings first (Andrew started this tradition).  
Santa had left Andrew a special note about the gifts in his stocking.  Andrew likes me to google different things for him and do image searches of his favorite characters and movies, so one day while researching two of his favorite movies (Madagascar 3 and Ice Age 4) we discovered that they had different happy meal toys at McDonalds overseas!   Andrew was floored that in addition to the 6 Madagascar ones he has, they also made the bear, dog, sea lion and tiger!  He couldn't figure out why our McDonalds didn't have them.  They also had way better Ice Age ones (not like the weird, flat headed ones they had here...for those of you who know what I'm talking about!  Ha!)  I told him that maybe he could ask Santa, because only Santa would be able to fly to other countries and bring them back to Andrew!  You know, because he's magic! 
And every day mommy was looking furiously on ebay, trying not to break the bank ordering said toys from random countries, because Santa always follows through with his word.  And I made sure Andrew is aware that these toys are extra special, and they are not to be lost or misplaced because we'll never find another one anywhere.  You know, unless we go to Tokyo.
After stockings we moved in by the big tree and Andrew ripped into his presents.  He loved this ship from "Pirate Ice Age" (as he calls the movie).  This was a surprise gift he had never seen before and Santa made it special in his workshop Toys R Us!  (And don't mind Craig in the background...he's thinking about how much work it's going to be to put everything together!)
This cracked me up and worked out really well!  Kerigan had no idea what was going on, but she knew she was hungry!  Ha!  The girl sat on the step by Ga Ga and gobbled down fistfuls of cereal as Andrew tore into every single present.  For picture taking purposes it worked out well because I could photograph them both at different times!  Ha!  
Andrew had been asking and begging for the Skylanders, which he had no idea it was a game or what a Wii is, but he just knew he liked the figures (I am telling you this kid is obsessed with figures of characters!!)  So, since you need a Wii to play with it, Santa splurged this year and got us the whole getup.  Andrew was pretty excited.  Let's just say, now he knows what a Wii is!  Ha!
Santa always has some tricks up his sleeve.  Andrew had asked for Ninja turtles (and the "bad guys") but there were no boxes small enough!  So when he opened this big box and it was filled with smaller wrapped boxes, the fun just continued!
And yes, Santa always wraps presents... that's all part of the fun!
I had to laugh because just as Andrew finished opening his last gift, little miss decided she was ready to start!  Ha!  She marched right over and grabbed a present and just dug right in.
My favorite.  The look on her face when she saw her baby.
She loves the baby's eyes- they open and close just like a real baby.
She got lots of accessories for her baby, because every mama needs a hands free carrier! (And this is the only picture of me you will see.  I'm not into matching family pajamas, just my kids!  So just ignore my lovely ISU shirt.  Ha!  And trust me you don't want to see my face first thing in the morning).
I love this picture.
And this one.  She put her finger by baby's mouth and is saying "Shhhhh".  Because baby is "night night."
She quickly figured out how to feed her baby...
Be still my heart!  Oh how I love her!
And she loved her baby's soft new blankie and some outfits to dress her up!
The mess.  And no, I didn't even clean it!  I seriously refused to do any work on Christmas Day!  Like I said, it's my one day off a year!  Ha!
She loved her Minnie mittens too!
I was just cracking up at these pictures.  Andrew was done with pictures and Kerigan's faces just make me laugh out loud.  Ha!  They are so funny!
Doesn't she just look like she's plotting some serious scheme??  Ha!
Reading baby her book with Ga Ga.
After all that opening, we ate!  I made monkey bread, cheesy hashbrowns, and egg casserole.  It was all so good!  One of my favorite meals is brunch food.  And Christmas Day is one of the very few days I go to all the trouble of making it all!  Ha!  (And I made most of it the day before.  You know, so I wouldn't have to do work on Christmas Day!)  And for the record, daddy did the dishes.
Kerigan's opening sort of spread out throughout the day!  She'd get distracted and want to play with things, and every once in a while she'd get up and go find something else to open!
This baby car seat was a gift from Papa that she hadn't gotten to open the day before.
I think she was pleased, don't you?  Ha!
The rest of the day we just relaxed and played.  And napped.  And it was pure bliss!
Andrew and daddy had fun with the Wii U.
And I think it's safe to say daddy enjoys it just as much as Andrew!
Lazy day!
I love these pictures of the kids with their Ga Ga and Papa.
After relaxing and playing for a while, we had the kids open presents from mommy and daddy.  I got Andrew my favorite game from when I was a kid!  Who doesn't love Mario Brothers!?  And the figure of Mario was mine when I was little too.  He loves it!
Daddy got Andrew the ultimate nerf gun!  Now they can play together, and seriously?  These darts are all over my house!
Andrew standing proudly next to the Skylanders portal and his characters!  And this will not be a permanent home for them on the shelf in the middle of the family room- but I let him enjoy it for a while!  Until I can find a new home for it!
Kerigan loved her Cinderella doll from mommy.  She also got the movie Cinderella and a plate, fork and spoon, and necklace with Cinderella on it, which she loves.  This is the year the movie was let out of the Disney vault (I seriously hate that stupid vault!) so I thought I'd make it memorable!
Probably her favorite thing to play with is the Disney princess castle from Ga Ga.  She loves this thing!  She knows Cinderella and loves all the princesses to go with it.  It is funny, she also has Prince Eric and the Beast (from Beauty and the Beast) but she never gets those out of the bin to play with!  Just the princesses!  ha!)
She loved her backpack for all her baby stuff and she got a suitcase that's bigger than she is!  I think she's more than ready for our next Disney trip!  And no, that's not happening anytime real soon, but eventually she'll need room for all those princess dresses and accessories!

We had the best day.  Just being together and celebrating the birth of our savior was the best part.  Christmas is that special time for making memories with your family.  It always goes by so fast.  Andrew said he was sad Christmas was over and that Buddy had to leave.  But I told him the best part is... it always comes again!
My one day off a year!

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2:10

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