Saturday, December 25, 2010


Another Xmas has arrived and has ended with sleepy kids and hubby snoring! It was one of the better ones, I have to admit!! Let's back up and begin where the festivities started. Last night, as we do every year, we packed up the kids for our Xmas Eve tradition of going to Grandma and Grandpa's house to open up gifts from and to them. We had a great dinner and then proceeded to what the kids couldn't wait for!! We all gathered in the front room and I turned the tv on the holiday music channel. Some ballet from the Nutcracker Suite was playing, so the girls naturally started dancing! Luci and Sonja dance a duet.

Drew's solo.
Max has no interest in ballet, but that kid sure can eat!! He was still polishing off what was left of his dinner while watching the girls dance.
While waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to tidy up in the kitchen, the kids got a little rambunctious. Max steals Papa's hat and makes his getaway!
Meanwhile, I received a Xmas Eve gift of my own in the form of a footrub from my honey!! I NEVER turn down a footrub (and I seem to be getting lots of them, lately!!)
The kids attack Dan!
Even Darcy was getting rambunctious...he destroyed one of Grandma's plants, the little turd!
Messes all cleaned up, we finally get to the gift-unwrapping phase of the evening! Grandma starts passing them out! The girls each got a Zipfy toboggan, books and lots of jewelry to go in new jewelry boxes! From Aunt Tina and Uncle Dan, they got Teacup Piggies and a couple of presents that they weren't allowed to open until the next day (so as not to ruin the surprise gift from Papa.) Dean's parents were VERY generous to Dean and I as well!!! We are very thankful to have such wonderful parents!
My mother drove into town to shake some jingle bells outside the window, but the kids were so loud, they never even heard them! Ah, well! Lesson learned for next year! After the gifts were all opened, Dean shows Drew Santa's current location according to NORAD on his phone.
Drew was in a hurry to get home for some strange reason...hee hee! So at about 7:30, we packed up and headed home. The night before, the girls were invited to spend the night with Sonja and Max, so we had all day Xmas eve to put together some gifts for them. My mother bought these desks for the girls and Dean put together another computer so each girl would have her own machine! Ahhhh, no more hearing, "It's MY turn for the computer!!" When we arrived home from Grandma and Grandpa's, the girls took down their last Xmas countdown stocking, opened up their new Xmas jammies, bid a fond farewell to Timothy the Shelf Elf and then headed upstairs where they got their big surprise!

My mom also bought them their own 32" LCD HDTV for their bedroom! Lucky little girls! The tv in our own bedroom isn't this big! (Nor is it a flat screen, for that matter!!) They took a super fast shower and then jumped into bed watching their new tv until they fell asleep!
Santa arrived sometime that night and here's what our livingroom looked like!
Most of their presents come from us and they're aware of that. Santa brings just a few SPECIAL things! For Luci, he brought a pink bean-bag (theater seating for the new tv!) and four new Webkinz, a moose, caterpillar, chihuahua and a Blufadoodle...a sort of blue peacock.
Drew got the same, but her Webkinz are a tie-dye puppy, a pink peacock, a signature golden retriever and a miniature black poodle (that you just KNOW she's going to name Darcy!!)
I just love Xmas-time...for many reasons, but especially the decorations! I LOVE my tree!!
This morning, Darcy woke me up around 4:45 wanting to get into bed. An hour or so later, I finally got tired of just laying there not being able to get back to sleep, that I got up, got dressed and headed downstairs to wait for everyone to arise. As I'm turning lights on, I notice headlights in my mother had arrived EARLY!! So I let her in and we waited together. We didn't wait long as Monty came barking when he heard my mom's voice! Anyway, I always love taking that first picture of the girls when they see their goodies for the first time!!
They wasted no time in demolishing the wrapping paper!
The surprise gift from Papa that I mentioned earlier...a Wii! This was a huge hit...not only with the kids, but with the adults as well! Dan and Tina got the girls 2 Wii games: Life of the Party and Just Dance 2. They also got a Zhu Zhu game, Family Game Night 2, Carnival, Cooking Mama (2 maybe??) and whatever the one that comes with the doll...something about babysitting. The Wii game itself came with Wii Sports and Super Mario Bros. So they have PLENTY of games to keep them busy!
They also got Zhu Zhu stuff up the wazoo! There is an entire guest bedroom with nothing but Zhu Zhu tunnels and rooms in it!
And as we do every year, even the dogs were given gifts! They love to open them (esp when there is a yummy treat inside each one!!)

My dad took the girls out shopping to pick stuff out for Dean and I. Luci picked out this smart ensemble for Daddy!
Papa and the dogs snooze after a very busy morning!
Dean tries his hand at Wii bowling.
Luci's turn!
Drew's unique ball launching style! It works because she kicked everyone's butt when it came to scores!

This is Luci doing the Wii boxing. We all loved her moves in the ring!!
As with Dean's parents, my parents were very generous to not only the girls, but to Dean and I as well! We are so lucky to have our parents and we love them so much!! Thank you!!
After all the frenzy died down, the girls carted all their new stuff upstairs to their room. I am NOT looking forward to finding the room for it all!! Later on in the day, Dean's parents came over as well as Dan and Tina and the kids and my brother, Thadd, his girlfriend, Sarah and her daughter Kaydence for Xmas dinner. I made my famous homemade Mac n Cheese and my dad boiled a ham. It was delicious and we all stuffed ourselves silly! We played a couple of Scrabble games while the kids went wild again until it was time for everyone to leave. It was a truly wonderful holiday spent with all the people we love and who love us! Even without all the gifts, it still would have been a truly wonderful day for all! I was having so much fun that I never pulled my camera out again, so I missed lots of pics, but the memories are still great!
And on Monday morning, my holiday will get a little bling blingier when I take some of my holiday cash to the jewelry store and buy myself a little trinket that I've been wanting for quite a while...a Pandora bracelet! :-)
Hope everyone had a simply fantastic holiday...we sure did!
Today's Quotes:
This was the best day EVER!! ~Drew at bedtime tonight!
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis
One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly. ~Andy Rooney
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. ~Charles Dickens

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter wanderings...

Xmas is closing in fast!! Here's just a collection of pics kind of mish-mashed together. Below is the new tree I got the girls this year. They wanted a white one that was bigger than the one they used to have.

After years of talking about getting one, I FINALLY did it. Timothy, our Elf on a Shelf, arrived and began hiding right away. Here he is hanging from the livingroom light.
And one of my personal favorite spots, on one of the golden reindeer on a shelf in our livingroom. His spot this morning was the Xmas tree! The kids looked for a while before Sonja finally spotted him!
Mr. Cute himself, Darcy in a cute Xmas sweater. He hates wearing clothes, so it doesn't happen often!
Baby with her mesmerizing eyes!
And Monty posing.
This past Sunday, Julie invited the kids to her house for her annual Xmas cookie decorating party.

Cousin It...aka Luci!

Even Ben got in on the action!
Julie's grandson, Jackson. He preferred eating the frosting to actually decorating cookies!
All the kids with their finished, edible masterpieces! Back row, L to R: Luci, Drew, Sonja, McKenzie, Max. In front, Hannah, Jackson and Sarah.
Max liked Kenz and showed her by handing out the hugs!
Monday night, I took the girls out to a local campground/beach. Some businesses and individuals set up 30x30 light displays throughout the grounds. It was a decent effort for the first year, but it was so well publicized that I'll bet next year's project will be even bigger and better! I might just sign-up for a display for my own photography business! We'll see!

The girls decided to have a camp-out in their room, so we dug out their sleeping bags and plugged in this electric campfire.
Last night, Sonja and Max decided to spend the night and this morning they got bundled up and went outside to play in the snow. Snowangels!

Say, "CHEESE"!
Darcy LOVES being outdoors!
Dean hooked the sled up behind the 4-wheeler and they had a blast!

On the weight-loss front, I am now down 35 pounds from last summer! Yay me!! I meet Sue tonight at the gym and after our work-out we're getting 10 minute chair massages! Last week we had a 5 minute massage and it was heavenly!! Looking forward to the 10 minute one tonight!

Today's Quote:

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard of his chin was as white as the snow. ~Clement Clarke Moore

I love Christmas. I really do love Christmas. I love being with my family and I love snow. I love the music and the lights and all of it. ~Christina Applegate

Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood. ~Andy Goldsworthy