We had a great Christmas. Having kids definitely makes Christmas fun. They were sure surprised to wake up Christmas morning to find this in the dining room... (notice Marissa opening every piece of Hubba Bubba on the floor?)
...that crazy Santa. What was he thinking? That tent was huge! So either we have a really small dining room or a really big tent on our hands. In case you are wondering, our dining room sleeps 7. The kids were just about blocked when they came out of their room, but it was a great surprise for them. We got lots of camping stuff this Christmas. All the kids and Jared got sleeping bags and we got a camp stove. Our first trip is planned for next weekend!
Erin took this picture of us, hence the cut off heads. This is what Santa brought us. I am seriously no good, for two reasons. One is that I didn't get anything to surprise Jared with. He knew I was getting the sleeping bag and camping stuff, so what else did I get him? Socks. That's right. Black in the stocking and white from Connor. I am so lame. One friend surprised her husband with a flat screen TV and another with a surround sound system. Jared got socks. 11 pairs. I vow to do better next year. Although, I do believe I made the same promise last year. Sorry Jared.
Second reason I am no good is that when I saw the blender, I mean Ninja (and yes, I asked for a blender, and the griddle. Over and over again. Jared would not just buy a kitchen appliance to show his love unless I asked.), I said, "Oh thank you Daddy!" to which my puzzled kids said, "That's not from Daddy, that's from Santa." I really am not so good at keeping this Santa thing up. Yes, they were right. It was definitely from Santa. Come to think of it, the same thing happened last year with the calendar Santa left me. One of these days they'll catch on, although not this year. Today Erin asked her primary teacher how Santa got into our house if we don't have a fireplace. Then they started saying how weird it is that there's a holiday celebrating Jesus and Santa. That's just trouble waiting to happen.
By the way, this is what was in the giant box. It's a rocking horse that I made in wood shop when I was in eighth grade. I had my parents ship it to us for Christmas because I thought we'd probably enjoy it--and we did until the kids broke one of the "skis" off of it. I don't know how that could have happened with my quality construction, but never fear, it will be fixed. I have a deep emotional attachment to the rocking horse. Why did I choose the rocking horse in shop anyway? Not sure... really not sure. It could have been a shelf or a camp chair, but no. I choose the one with the most pieces and the most curves. Thanks again to Aurora for cutting out the rest of my pieces after I broke the band saw trying three (count them--three!) times in exchange for me sanding all of her pieces. It was worth it. (Also, nobody tell Mr. Johnson, my shop teacher, about the band saw; he thinks I only broke it twice.)Look at Erin posing with it and some of her favorite Christmas presents. She's so funny. Here she is with all of her presents. She was extremely grateful for everything. I think all the practicing paid off. She got a lot of crafty stuff like paints and beads which as it turns out was perfect for her. She loves her pillow pet named Uni and her ZhuZhu pet Winkle.
But her all time favorite gift was the $5 plastic crown and clip-on earring set she got from daddy. Okay, mostly just the earrings. They broke 5 times that day alone and one is lost now, but she will still tell you that those were the top gift for her. Here she is in the shoes and wand that she got for Marissa while singing, "A princess's toe must be pointed."Here's Alex with his goods. His favorite gift was the T-ball set, but he liked the puzzles a lot too. He really liked everything, just as I predicted. The pillow pet he named "Buzz Dave" and we won't forget it either because that night he had Erin write his name along the whole bottom of the pillow with green marker. When he woke up the next day one side of his face was green. Nice. By the way, they have been sleeping in their sleeping bags every night since Christmas. I'm contemplating getting rid of the beds. Definitely a good gift this year, especially since we've had some chilly weather lately and we have refused to turn on our heat. It's mostly a pride issue; we live in Florida, we don't use heat! Here's Marissa. Her favorite gift was her computer. She loves it. I'm sure she jumped up and down when she saw it. She loved everything, especially because she got the same things as the other two. She really does think she's older than she is and plays with them and their friends like she's one of them. Well, she is really. It's just really devastating to her when they get to go play with their friends and she can't understand why she doesn't get to go. Yes, I realize Operation was in Alex's picture too. It was for all the kids. You can she the dresses I finally finished in the girls' pictures. They do love them and I am happy about that, although I probably love them more. Marissa calls them the coca-dot dresses.
Here is Connor with all of his stuff. What a cute and content kid. He had a great first Christmas chewing on whatever he could find. There was lots to choose from. Oh, that zebra? That was a really fun toy and would still be if the older kids hadn't popped it. It's the price you pay for having older siblings. But hey, look at all that stuff of theirs you get to chew on Connor?Mostly the kids are all happy about having new things to play with. We had a really great Christmas break, I mean "winter break". The kids played and played with all the new things and each other, we went to Wannado City twice before they closed their doors for good (sad), we went to a fun birthday party, Erin had a sleepover, we went to see Tangled at the drive-in (the kids' first time), we went to an adult only Christmas party, a Christmas Eve party, a friend's house for Christmas day and topped it off with a great New Year's Eve party at another friend's house complete with games, food and fireworks. We are so grateful to have such great friends that invite us places or we may never do anything fun. For New Year's Alex and Marissa crashed on the couch and didn't even budge when 20+ people were loudly ringing in the new year with noisemakers and all, Connor screamed with all the ruckus, Erin was outside playing with her friend and I got to kiss my love. Happy New Year! We hope this one will be a good one too.