Tuesday, February 18, 2014

December Highlights

Seeing Santa
      Every first weekend of December, Santa comes to the community building in our neighborhood.  There is always doughnuts and juice, coloring pages for the kids, and of course the big guy himself.  This is an event the kids look forward to every year (we have only been inside this building a couple of times besides when we've seen Santa so basically the community center equals Santa to them).

 Last year Mason was very hesitant and unsure of Santa, this year the most prevalent emotion I saw was excitement.  He asked him for a "Kistopher Robin stuffy and  Kistopher Robin toy."  Santa nodded and responded positively, but I'm almost certain he had no idea what Mason had just asked him for, which was a Christopher Robin stuffed animal (from Winnie the Pooh) and a Christopher Robin toy to go with his Pooh Critter toys.  For the rest of my life, even when Mason is all grown up and his hair has returned to it's original white color with age, I will forever associate Winnie the Pooh with my sweet little curly hair, tow headed boy.
Abby was the Star Student for her class this week and so she got to bring Froggy along to see Santa (Froggy spends a week with the Star Student doing activities with them and then they record them in a journal).  She is also holding Taylor, our elf from Grandma R.  She is still very much in the holiday magic stage and was very excited to see Santa.  She asked for a horse and a riding outfit for her doll.  

 My big boy is looking almost too big to sit on Santa's lap!  Being the mean mom that I am, I made Carson wear jeans for this event.  Jeans and a t-shirt.  I'm pretty sure, by most people's definitions this would be considered casual.  Not to my basketball shorts/sweat pants, sports t-shirt loving son, however. As they got ready that morning I heard Carson and Abby complaining about how I made them "dress up."  I then heard Carson say, "Why do we have to dress up to see Santa?  He's not even a church person!"  This made me laugh aloud, but I did not back down.  We have a deal, my boy and I.  He is allowed to wear what he wants to school (as long as it it clean) and I will not bug him about it, but in return he must wear jeans without an argument whenever I deem an event "special" enough for jeans.  Carson asked Santa to surprise him with either more college football helmets or the Ninjago Temple of Light lego set.  Carson was also very excited to see Santa this year, but I can see the wheels beginning to turn in his head.   He did say to me the following though.  "Mommy, I know that the binky fairy (who came earlier in 2013 to take Mason's binky) is not real and that it is you and Daddy, I don't know about the Tooth Fairy, but I know Santa is real because he gets us things you and Daddy would never get us!"
 This is much better than I was expecting from the four kiddos.  I thought Elliot would scream, but he just looked around a little confused while I was able to snap a couple of pictures.

Abby when she saw the snow when she woke up.
We woke up to snow a couple of mornings in December.  One day it was a regular school day, but one day there was enough to call two hours late.  It worked out perfectly that Elliot napped and I was able to play outside with the kids.  

One excited boy!  I'm pretty sure that snowball in his hand was launched at me as soon as the camera was down.  In the background you can see the hill in our backyard.  We had been hoping for snow so we could try out our very own sledding hill.  I had even picked out two new sled for the kids to share for Christmas.  I ended up bringing them out that morning as an early present.
 It was all fun and games for this little guy until he tried going down the hill on a sled with his sister and face planted in the snow.  He was pretty much done after that.
We were able to scrape together enough snow to make a little snowman for our front yard. 

Beautiful Christmas Lights
         The kids found a little tree at Target for 5.00 (in the background of below picture).  The big kids each contributed two of their own dollars and I pitched in a dollar for Mason so they could have their own little tree upstairs.  They decorated it and wrapped gifts with blankets for their stuffed animals underneath it.  They all enjoyed it, but Mason LOVED it.  Almost daily, he would turn all the lights off upstairs, turn on the Christmas lights and then run downstairs and grab whoever he could get to come up with him to see the beautiful Christmas lights.  He also made sure that our tree lights were always turned on downstairs on the big tree.
        This continued until one morning when he was playing in the corner by the little tree.  For some reason he decided to put the dime he had just received for going to the bathroom (whatever works right?) into the outlet where the tree was plugged in.  I rounded the corner just in time to see a spark, hear a scream, and pick up a very distraught, shaking, crying three year old.  After assessing everything and realizing he was okay and not hurt (the dime however had melted into the prongs of the Christmas light plug) I was rocking him in the rocking chair trying to calm him down.  And his biggest worry?  Through sobs, he choked out, "Mommy, what about the bootiful Kismas lights?"  For several days after that, he was afraid to go near any tree, but was fine by the end of the season.
      He also loved the Christmas lights outside.  He asked almost every day to go on a Christmas light drive and every time we would pull into our driveway, he would exclaim, "Kismas lights at ours house!"  

 Christmas Crafts
 Every day in December, Taylor the elf would be hiding with a piece of paper with that days Christmas activity.  Sometimes it would be something big like going to a local Cresh (nativities on display) or making gingerbread houses and sometimes it would be something simple like making somebody a card, reading a Christmas story, or going on a Christmas light drive.  This is the second year we have done December activities and although it takes a little more planning and work on my part, it is well worth it and helps make our December special.  This day we made gingerbread houses. And they were absolutely out of a kit (seen at edge of picture).  I am all over the village with everything included for 9.99 (and I bought next year's for 50 percent off already.  I couldn't find an expiration date anywhere, so it's all good...or maybe not?  Should I be questioning how exactly this stuff is made?)
 I love watching the kids working on home made cards and gifts.

Busy Christmas baby
Elliot wearing a Christmas sweater of Mike's from when he was a baby made by his grandmother.

Family Time
        The Sunday before Christmas, my sister and family were up visiting for a pre-Christmas visit (they went back home to celebrate Christmas) so they came over for dinner along with two of my brothers.  We had the cousins exchange their gifts with each other.
Josh and Mason
They have a hard time letting everybody open their own gifts.  The older ones could hardly contain their excitement and could literally not help themselves from jumping in and "helping" their younger siblings and cousins open their gifts.  
Carson got a Crazy Loom (Rainbow Loom) and was so excited.  He has probably made over a hundred bracelets since he got it.

        This year, we really tried to focus on serving others and making family memories and we had some really neat experiences.  Besides the week Mike had to go to Finland for work (just for the record I think having to travel for work in December is a horrible idea), it was one of my favorite Christmas seasons ever.   

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