Thursday, February 25, 2016

Christmas 2015

Santa came after we all went to bed on Christmas Eve!  Our silly elf always leaves streamers on the bedroom doors so they can't sneak out.  Of course, this was the only night of the year that someone NEEDED to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night!
Now that I'm looking at all of these photos, my house is feeling very empty! I love how twinkly and "comfy" my house feels during the holiday season.
Especially when all the lights are dimmed and everything is sparkly!  Even though I love white lights, I think that having one tree with twinkly colorful lights is the best.  Good thing that we have three large trees that I can decorate.

It was quite an adventure getting four kids to look at the camera on Christmas morning when they'd rather be looking anywhere else!

These four.  I think that their favorite part of Christmas morning is their present exchange.  Brian usually does a great job taking them shopping and letting them choose presents for each other...and they know each other well! Wyatt especially is a very thoughtful gift giver. They were all very pleased with the things that their siblings chose for them.
I am basically terrified that this was the last year that I'm going to get the boys in matching pajamas!  I loved these Christmas themed Star Wars pajamas from Hanna Andersson, though!

Hudson would scream "THANK YOU!" and then run a lap around the house every time that he opened a gift.  Best reaction ever!  My favorite was when he opened his first set of "big boy" Lego, and he ran fulls speed shouting, "I just got my own Little Legos! I just got my own Little Legos!"
And Finley loved all of her stuff!  Sometimes it's nice to get a few new things of your own when you're the youngest of four kids!
Both sets of grandparents came over that morning to watch the kids open presents, and we took a break for breakfast.  The kids love having everyone over on Christmas morning.  Reese wrote about it in her journal at school and said that it's one of her favorite traditions!

Brian and I opened our gifts to each other while the kids checked out the gifts that they had gotten "so far."  Finley couldn't stay away from any of the present opening, and that got her some extra kisses from Mommy and Daddy!  And yes, my pajamas totally matched theirs.  I picked them all out while FQB and I were shopping and everyone else was riding Test Track!

The big kids both got Kindle Fires for Christmas.  They were soooooo excited.  Reese has been begging for an iPad, but we didn't think that they were a good fit for our Talls.  Once we discovered the Fires and the FreeTime, we were sold.  I think that they're working out well, although Wyatt and Reese would probably say that they aren't big fans of the limits that we set up!
Obviously they spent Finley's nap time figuring out how their new "toys" worked!

After Finley napped, we got everyone ready to go to Mimi and Baba's house for dinner and more cousin time! 
And a few selfies, too!  She's quite proud of that new "FitBit." Merry Christmas 2015!  And Black Friday is nine months from today!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Christmas Eve 2015

We spent the morning and early afternoon on Christmas Eve hanging out at home.  First, I need to document Parker's sweet hiding spot that night!
Reese and Brian went to WalMart to pick up some baking items for me and water for Brian.  He is officially obsessed with the WalMart flavored waters.  We try to buy a ton at a time to limit my trips to WalMart to every two weeks (honestly, we have a great store, I just can't stand WalMart).

I prepped stuffed shells for dinner and made pans of the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls to take to friends!
And the kids decorated cookies.  This is Hudson's cookie that he dubbed "Mistletoe Mountain."  I don't think he actually ate that thing, but this happened under Daddy's supervision!
After we dropped off the cinnamon rolls at our friends' homes, we headed to the fire station to see Pop Pop, Didi, Katie, and Bella.  My dad's newest fire station is right at the beach, and it was in the seventies on Christmas it was perfect!
The kids had lots of fun on all the equipment made for the beach.

A little girl + a fire truck = pure happiness.  I think she may have locked herself in!
And they were trying to solve a few mysteries of "how things work" at the station.  The bay doors were the biggest mystery!
And we were able to get one picture of the four of them all kind of looking at the camera before we left.

We came back home for dinner, cookies, Santa's final report on their behavior for the year (makes mental note to "check in" with Santa in June, too), and some of our traditional stories before bed.  Then we waited for Santa to come!

Friday, February 19, 2016

December Little Things

Here are just a few of the "small things" that made our December so great!

At the beginning of the month, I told the kids that I was taking anything that wasn't Christmas related down from the cabinets,  Reese clearly wanted to make sure that the President kept his spot!
Reesie spent LOTS of time mastering math facts!

We took the kids to the Battle of Great Bridge reinactment.  My little historian (Wyatt) had THE. BEST. TIME.  Hudson making guns with his hands?  I don't know where he got that!

We all went to the Great Brige Christmas Parade that night.  The grandfather of one of Wyatt's friends was on this KISS float.  He thought that was HYSTERICAL.
And Reese read the two little kids a bedtime story.
I was obviously in the Christmas spirit,
Tree One.
 Finley just wanted to play on her blanket in front of the tree.
And our sweet family tree completed.  We got this from The Home Depot because we didn't have time to make it our usual lot.  Never again.  This thing barely made it to Christmas!
We took these four to see Santa.  Of course we had it planned perfectly, everyone's clothes were out, and we had promised them that we were going to see Santa.  There was no other day! And then Wyatt had pencil shavings land in his eye at school that day. You can't really tell  that he had an allergic reaction to them in this picture because his hair did a pretty good job blocking it.
And we followed it up with a trip to the Garden of Lights!

We had a crazy busy Saturday!  Wyatt went to Derek's birthday party in the morning, his friend Cole's birthday right after, and then Reese went to Sophie's birthday at the same time!  Having twin cousins is a lot of fun!  Reese was able to paint a Mermaid and she had a blast choosing all the things she wanted to do.
And not to be outdone by our kids, Brian and I ended the night at a 30th birthday party for Stephanie while they were home from California! It was a busy day!
Has anyone seen Jeter?
In addition to subbing in a Kindergarten class the last week before break, I also had a First Grade party to pull off!  Here's Reesie and Emma....
And Reesie with her friends Addy, Makena, and Hunter.  They are super readers!
Speaking of Readers, this guy got his first one right before break!  He had it last year, but we wanted to work on his writing a little before he started back with it.  Once he was almost finished his Phonics Book (for the second time :)), he expressed more of an interest in starting to read again.  And he hasn't stopped since!
The third graders put on a Winter "Snowcase."  He would probably tell you that he doesn't like being on stage and singing, but he always gets into it and does a great job!  His excitement about the colored shirt and the pants with a button was pretty low though,  How dare I put this kid in pants with a BUTTON!?!?!?
We followed up his show with a trip to the "Crazy Light House."
The best thing about two older readers?  Someone else to read with Hudson!
This was me at the end of my week of subbing!  Cheers!  And my kitchen wall looks crazy at Christmas.  We love decorating with all of their original artwork.  I save everything and put it in a folder that I store with our Christmas decorations.  We love to pull it out every year and make the wall festive!  This year we added our FINAL "golden handprint" from three year old class. WHAT?!
We had another crazy busy December day - Finley's dance showcase and Hudson's good friend Mason's birthday party.  Fortunately Fletcher and his family took Hudson along so he wouldn't have to miss it! Hudson really has some of the sweetest friends.  I'm so glad that these three have been together since they were in three year old class.
A HUGE moment from our December was the release of The Force Awakens.  Brian went to see it the morning after it was released with all of the same friends he saw The Phantom Menace with.  He took Wyatt the next morning (before Finley's recital), and then we took Hudson and Reese that night!  Our new movie theater opened that weekend, too.  We invited Wyatt along for this viewing, but he needed some time to process a big point in the movie...and after 5 viewings, he still prefers to wait in the hallway during that scene!
Reesie helped me make one of our favorite Christmas treats!
And our December weather was pure insanity.  We went to the Holiday Lights at the Beach on December 23rd and it 75 degrees at night!  We had Christmas music playing, the windows were down so we could hear the waves crashing, and we were checking out the lights.  So fun!!! While Brian spent the whole week complaining about the warmth, I loved every minute of it.   I'm ready to have it back!
And on Christmas Eve, we finally got around to making our Gingerbread Village.  I LOVED that the kit came with 4 small houses - one for everyone!!!