Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christmas 2013, Part 2

Because of the distance that we live from all of our relatives, it's just not possible to see everyone on both sides of our families on Christmas day. And honestly, I don't think I'd want to try! So, when Chris and I first got married we agreed that we'd alternate the holidays, and so far it's worked out really well.

This year, it was our turn to be with Chris's side of the family on Christmas. We decided that we'd go out to his grandparents' house on Christmas Eve, spend most of the day there, then go to his parents' house (which is just up the hill on the same land) later that evening and spend the night. That way, we could spend quality time with everyone and the kids could wake up at Meme and Papa's house on Christmas morning . . . something that would be a special treat!

We got to Grandma and Grandpa's house at about noon on Christmas Eve. Grandma always sets up a little tree for Christmas, and the kids loved it for some reason. Maybe because it's small?

Grandma served us a late lunch of ham and mashed potatoes (yum!) around 2, we went outside a bit, and spent the rest of the day just visiting and playing. We think it's so important for the kids to spend quality time with their great-grandparents, aside from the hustle and bustle of Christmas dinner and gift opening, etc.

Grandpa, Brenson, and Chris

Grandma and Brianna

Our little family on Christmas Eve :-)

At around 5:30, we headed up the hill to Chris's parents' house. Meme had fixed chicken noodles and mashed potatoes for dinner, and it was waiting for us when we got there. I had brought supplies for all of us to decorate mini Christmas trees, so after our yummy dinner we did that together.

The Christmas trees were made of ice cream cones, green frosting, and candy. We did this activity with the kids last year and it was a big hit, so we decided to make it a tradition!

We even got Papa in on the activity, although I'm not too sure he was thrilled about it *grin*.

Brianna took this very seriously.

It's nice to have so many extra adults when doing a craft with the kids. That means I get to play, too!

Papa and Brenson decorated one tree then decided to eat the supplies. Hmmmm, kind of like Brenson did with the sugar cookies!

Brianna and Daddy decorated their tree with M&M's and marshmallows.

I'm surprised Brenson isn't eating in this photo. He ate so much candy this night that I was really concerned he would be sick.

Me and Meme :-)

After decorating the trees, I covered this platter in white frosting and put all the trees together in a forest :-).

Meme also had sprinkles on hand, so we used those to give our trees a bit of sparkle.

Our finished product!

By this time, it was time for bed for two little ones. We did enjoy a few Christmas books by the tree before putting our very excited and very sugared-up babies to sleep. We were a little concerned with how they'd do for the night (since we weren't home and they were SO excited), but they did great!

The next morning (Christmas morning!), Brianna woke up and immediately ran to the window. She said, "It's Christmas, I have to look for the snow!" I guess she thought that we'd have snow for Christmas since most books and movies have snow? Whatever the reason, it was pretty cute! And, she was only mildly disappointed that there was no snow for Christmas this year.

Meme cooked us a big breakfast, then we took a few photos.

Meme had purchased these outfits for the kiddos and wanted their photo in them. This isn't great of the kids, but it's the best I could do. At least they're {sort of} looking!

For most of the morning, the kids played while Meme and I made lunch. They did enjoy going on a walk and picking up pecans with Papa and Daddy.

Chris's grandparents and sister and her family arrived around noon, and we all sat down to a nice meal together. The kids all sat at their own kid table, so they thought they were big stuff! It brought back fun memories for me of my siblings and cousins sitting at the "kid table" during all the holidays!

After lunch, the kids (and Meme!) were anxious to open gifts. This side of our family opens gifts in a more "free for all" style, so it was a bit chaotic!

Sweet Abby with a bedroom doorbell we got her.

Zeke holding a gift we got him.

Do you like my super fake smile?!? The kids come by it naturally! Chris's sister's family got us this popcorn tubs filled with movie-watching related goodies. It was such a cute gift (and we definitely enjoyed it!)

Brianna couldn't tear into her gifts fast enough!

Brenson preferred a slower method.

I love this picture because Zeke is SO excited about something, haha!

Brianna got the movie Pocahontas from Meme and Papa.

I like to make our kids watch each other open their gifts at least a little. I think it's important to stop and focus on other people sometimes, and they are great sports about it.

You can tell this is serious business . . . Bren had to strip his socks and shoes off for it!

All the cousins on Chris's side of the family. Love them.

Meme really wanted a photo of her with her four grandchildren. I think this one is pretty cute!

We spent the rest of the afternoon letting the kiddos play with each other and their new gifts. This picture of Zeke playing with Brianna's new Barbie is too funny! Barbie has a snow mobile so Zeke was enjoying that!

I also love this photo. Of course, both of my kids are dressed up. Brianna couldn't wait to wear this nightgown that Meme and Papa got her! And, I'm pretty sure I'm napping in the background? Haha!

We headed home around 4 (the kids napped in the car), got home just in time to grab a bit to eat, then went to a song service that our church had that evening. We had a lot of visitors and it was so uplifting! It was the perfect way to finish off Christmas day!

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