Monday, March 9, 2015

Christmas 2014

We had a wonderful Christmas!

Christmas Eve started with Ben going to the church to play basketball with some buddies from the ward.  When he got home, we spent the rest of the afternoon cooking and preparing for our Christmas Eve feast.

We had two wonderful families from our ward over for dinner that evening.  I have no pictures to document it, but we had such a great time eating and visiting all afternoon and into the early evening with them.  Thanks Whetton's and Winkler's for making our Christmas Eve that much more fun.

After our guests left, it was time to open the Christmas Eve package.

New pajamas for everyone (except Livy because she didn't need any).

Then the kids helped bring down the wrapped gifts from our bedroom.  Ben and I keep most of the kid gifts in our closet all month long.  Partly because we don't get around to wrapping them until a day or two before Christmas (sometimes not until Christmas Eve), and partly because I don't like the look of our tree and living room being crowded with gifts all month.

Then we gathered round the piano and had the kids sing the Christmas song we'd learned and practiced all month long.  We started this tradition last year (they learned "Picture a Christmas") and this year the song was "The Nativity Song" out of the Children's church song book.  This is my and Ben's most favorite Christmas tradition, even just two years old.

After, we read the new book that came in the Christmas Eve package- "The Christmas Train" by President Monson. 

The kids then decorated sugar cookies for Santa and wrote him a note before heading off to bed.

A close up of the extremely decorated cookies... we were hoping Santa wouldn't choke on them!  We were also excited to use this new little milk jug for Santa's milk that we received from some friend's this year.  I love it.

Mitch wrote Santa's note this year.  I love how he ended the note. :)

Christmas morning started early for us, as it does every year.  The kids are early risers on a normal day and Christmas is no exception.  We do always make them wait to come wake us up until at least 6:00 a.m.

Ready and excited to come downstairs!  Livy was still asleep and we didn't want to wake her, nor wait for her.

The kids always open their stockings first.  Santa fills the stockings at our house and anything else that he brings (which is usually pretty small), is set out by their stockings.  Crazy to think that next year we will have one more stocking to fill!

My favorite part of Christmas morning is watching the kids open the gifts they bought for each other. Last year, we started a "sibling gift exchange."  Each kid buys for one other kid and they love it.  They were all so excited to watch each other open the gift they bought.

Leah was so excited with her gift from me and Ben- a semi truck car carrier.  I love that she loves toys like this.

Chloe went to bed on Christmas Eve not feeling well, and unfortunately didn't feel any better on Christmas morning.  She spent the majority of the day on the couch, including gift opening time.  It was very sad.  She was thrilled in this picture to open a gift that told her that we had downloaded the new Taylor Swift album to her iPod.

Our little man who LOVES to read got the Indian in the Cupboard books.  Those were some of my favorite books as a kid and I'm excited to read them with the kids.

Feeling up to sitting up for a minute, Chloe loved the Mustache Smash game Leah picked out for her.

So sweet!

The kids picked out some peppermint bark for Ben at Costco and were so excited to give it to him.  They were also very excited to help him eat it.  (So was I.  It is GOOD!)

Leah and Lexi received Picasso Tiles- the best gift of the day, really.  When we played with them later in the day, they were a HIT! (Photo bomb by Ben).

The kids' other favorite thing was to wrap up homemade gifts and random gifts throughout the month.  This one was hilarious.  The kids would often wrap up stuff before I had a chance to see it.  I saw Leah putting a small gift under the tree one day for Mitchell and I asked what it was.  She told me it was crayons.  I thought that was innocent enough and didn't think anything else about it.  Come to find out, she had found my scripture marking pencils/crayons in my room and thought they were free game, and wrapped them up for Mitch.  I snapped a quick picture before taking them back.  :)

Mitch made this cute door knob sign for Leah.  (Poor Chloe in the background... she had a rough week of feeling not good at all).

The wrapping paper that Mitch made to wrap the door know sign was my favorite.  He and Leah really are best buddies and it's adorable.

Lexi trying on the homemade mask Leah made for her.  I love that they all love to create and give to each other.  Chloe had also wrapped up some of her chopsticks and jewelry items that she doesn't use anymore for Lexi.

Livy finally woke up around 8:00 and was ready to open gifts. 

She immediately wanted to eat the Hello Kitty fruit snacks that were in her stocking.  I hate to admit that the fruit snacks were her favorite gift of the day, but that's not too surprising for a one year old.  She is drooling fruit snack juice in this picture.

She enjoyed ripping the paper off all her gifts.  This is her first Christmas to participate and it was so fun to watch her.

I tried to hide the fruit snacks after awhile, but she found them and begged for more.

She enlisted the help of everyone to open those snacks.  It was really hard to tell her no on Christmas.

After the gift opening, I made our traditional Christmas morning breakfast- cherry breakfast cake, juice and sausage.

We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and chowed down.

The rest of the day was spent playing, playing and playing.  We took a break at one point to watch a movie, then back to playing.  It really is the best day of the year.  Nothing to do but eat, play and rest.

The picasso tiles were one of the best purchases we've ever made.  They were loved by all 5 kids and they played with them all day on Christmas, everyday of Christmas break and every day for weeks after.

Ben loved them just as much as the kids did and helped them come up with quite the designs and shapes.  And all this while he wasn't feeling very well either.  He was a trooper.  The kids all needed his help setting up certain toys all day and he did it all, despite not feeling well.

Leah pushed her car carrier all over the house.

Mitch loved his new remote control car.

I was excited for all the reading I was going to get to do!  (I had both books finished in 3 days).

Some new running shoes- finally! 

The twins received some learning based games and Chloe was more than happy to play them with the girls.

Mitch loved sitting down with his new circuits toy with Ben and having Engineer Dad help him learn some science stuff.

It was such a great day!  I always hate to see Christmas Day come to a close, but it always does.  We can't wait until next year!