Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Christmas Day started with the best present ever! The kids slept in--I think until around 8:30am! Woo-hoo! We ate a little breakfast and then got straight to business. Presents! They were so excited this year! Here comes picture overload.....

 Have I ever mentioned how photogenic Tommy is?! ;)

We all got more than we could ever want or need! Tommy got a Bronco's hat, a few DVDs, a Woody doll, a remote control helicopter, undies, a super hero cape and some shoes. Tessa got a necklace, her own make up bag, snow boots, PJs, a DVD and a few other little things. Nick got a dehydrator (every deer-jerky makers dream come true), a knife and some DVDs. And I got the best presents of all! Perfume, SUPER cute snow boots (or Nick has dubbed them my chore boots--right) and a color printer that prints pictures! I'll be putting that to good use!

After we had our family Christmas, we headed to Nana's. We ate a little brunch and then opened MORE presents!

Tommy spent more time playing with this little doctor's set than anything else! He was listening to everybody's "hawt."
 Tommy and Tessa got a tablet from Aunt Brooke and Uncle Michael! Tommy calls it their ipad. We go along with it!
 Miss Essie got some chapstick in her stocking that she was just DYING to open! She was making the most hilarious faces trying to get that lid off! So funny!
 Uncle Brandon and Aunt JJ got Tommy a "Nunder shirt!!!" It's a Thunder Hockey shirt. He's obsessed!
 Alex and Tommy both got bikes from Nana! They were happy kids. Although Tommy was trying to ride his inside. Not a good plan.

We did a lot of relaxing after we opened presents and of course, we ate some more! After a quick stop at the Wilhelm's again, we headed home for the evening. We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and read their devotional. And then I got my favorite picture of the day....

Merry CHRISTmas!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

Christmas Eve this year was perfect! It had snowed a few days before, so we were literally having a white Christmas (which is my dream come true!).

We slept in (as much as the kids allowed) and lounged most of the morning. We were heading to a Christmas Eve service at 1pm at Newspring. I dressed Tessa up in her pretty Christmas dress, got Tommy wrangled into a nice shirt and we headed out to meet Nana at church.

I'm not a huge fan of Newspring church because I feel like they're super showy and from their Christmas decorations (which were definitely beautiful), I feel like there money is going to the wrong place. And I could be wrong, but I like when the focus of a church is God, not their decorations. That being said, they were the only church around having a Christmas Eve service that didn't interfere with our family plans, so we went. They DID have some beautiful music! Tessa was mesmerized. She clapped and danced and stared in awe for most of the service.
After church, we put the kids down for a nap for a few hours and then headed over to Nick's parent's house. We had a delicious Mexican meal (my mouth is watering just thinking about it!). After we ate, it was present time! There were lots of presents under the tree! They all got the annual set of Christmas PJs.

Tommy got a remote control truck that he LOVES, a truck and boat set and a trike.

 Isabelle got a keyboard! She's been saving up to buy one but all of her grandparents chipped in to get her one for Christmas. She was a happy girl!
 Josh and Christi got a crazy chair that everybody loved. It looked like a trampoline (and did seem to be very bouncy!) but everyone said it was super comfy! I think Tessa wanted to take it home.
 Makayla got a bike! She was a happy girl, too! Tommy didn't know it at this point, but he was getting the exact same bike the next morning ;)
 Miss Tessa got a play kitchen!! It took her forever to get it unwrapped and the box was bigger than her, but she was excited!
I didn't get pictures of our presents, but we got Gambino's hoodies, I got a TON of lotion, Nick got a shooting target and together we got some gift cards! It was a good evening, topped off with some delicious sopapillas and churros!
Isabelle informed us before leaving that Santa had made it to North America, so we headed home to get the kids in bed. We had to leave milk and cookies for Santa.
Tommy dictated a letter for me to write to Santa.
It said: Merry Christmas! I love you. It's Jesus' birthday! I want an engine and a Bronco's hat please! And boots for Sissy. Merry Christmas. Thanks for coming. Don't let the bed bugs bite. Dream about lady bugs! Love-Tommy

Sweetest letter ever!

We finally got them laid down and to sleep. They had such a fun and busy day!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Festivities

Well, my vision of having a million Christmas themed outings this year as a family of four got ruined by Nick's job. We (and by we, I mean I) had Christmas parties planned, nights of looking at lights in our PJs and a parade or two in mind to celebrate the upcoming holiday. But.........on December 10th, Nick's boss told him he MIGHT have to go to Mississippi for 10 days. But they didn't know for sure. And wouldn't until the next morning, which was when he would have to leave IF he was going to leave. Needless to say, December 10th was not a good night.

But December 11th was worse. They told Nick at 7:30am that him and a coworker were going to have to leave at 3:30pm that afternoon and wouldn't be back until December 20th. I MIGHT have cried. A lot. Looking back, it seems a little ridiculous, but I was so bummed that Nick was going to miss out on everything.

We had already scheduled a Christmas party for our family and Michael's (my brother in law) family at our house. I decided to go ahead and have it and I'm so glad I did. It was a blast!! "Santa" came to visit .
 Tessa got a purse with a cute little dolly.
 Tommy got a harmonica that he LOVES!
It was a great time of family and fellowship! It would have been the perfect night if Nick had been there!

 I wanted to keep busy while he was gone too so the days would go faster. I heard about a tree lighting in Andover. I was going to try to brave it by myself with both kids, but my bestie ended up going and helping out and I'm so thankful because it would have been a disaster if she hadn't!

There was a little train that I thought Tommy would love, but it was SO stinkin cold that he cried the whole time. He finally started liking it towards the very end.

 Then we headed inside to make some sugar cookies. Great idea. Horrible mess. But they loved it! I actually didn't mind it either since the supplies were free and I wasn't the one cleaning up the mess! And the sugar cookies were actually really good :) If you could get through the inch thick layer of frosting and sprinkles the kids decorated with!

Hannah and Sam had a good time too :) It was his first sugar cookie decorating event! Will he remember it? No. Will I always claim that I took him to his first Christmas party? Yes.
 They had such a good time! Love those cheesy smiles! While I was sad that Nick was missing out, I was glad to get to spend some time with Hannah. And can I just say that I LOVE that she loves my kids? True best friend.
They had a huge, beautiful Christmas tree all lit up. I couldn't pass up a picture in front of that!

To end the night, we went to see Santa....again. I just couldn't help myself!! I wanted to see if Tommy would do any better the THIRD time around. Yeah....this is how excited he was..........
 He got a little more enthusiastic when he showed me his list that he was going to give santa--a choo choo, a car and a pencil are what he was asking for.
 But his enthusiasm wore off by the time we got up to Santa and this was as close as he would get....
 Tessa stared him down for a good solid minute. Like, she didn't blink. At all. Just stared.
 Then she looked at the camera, took her picture and said, "buh-buh!"
It's amazing how different my kids are.

I feel like these are just a few of the pre-Christmas festivities we did. But they were definitely two of the most fun!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Seeing Santa 2013

Things have been a little quiet on the blog front. My time was too busy taking these kids to do millions of holiday related things!

We went to see Santa pretty early in December. He flew all the way from the North Pole to Towanda, KS!! We told Tommy that and he said (with a lot of disgust in his voice), "Why?! Why did Santa come to Nuh-wanda?!?" Seems my son has already figured out that Towanda is not exactly a place people migrate too. You almost have to have been born and raised there to appreciate the great town it really is!!

 They were so excited to go see him! Tommy kept telling us he was going to tell Santa he wanted a BIG engine! He talked about it the whole way there. When we got there, there wasn't anybody in line. I was so glad! When we went last year, we had to wait for awhile and the kids got restless. But it was a cold, snowy, icy night, so I don't think a lot of people wanted to get out.

As much as Tommy TALKED about Santa........he wanted nothing to do with him. This did not surprise me. My son is SO shy and timid around new situations. He gets that from his momma! But THIS little girl..........
She had nooooooo problem sitting with Santa! I had to hold her hand for a second and then she was hamming it up! That didn't surprise me either :) She's more like her daddy.

The only way I could get Tommy to take a picture with Santa was if I was in it. And I could NOT stop laughing over his face in this picture. He looks like he's miserable. So funny!
We did manage to get a semi decent family picture.......
Overall, it was much better than last year!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wasting my time

It's that season again! I know there are a lot of scrooge's in my life that find my love of Christmas a little annoying (especially the scrooge that has to haul our 9 foot tall, 6 foot wide Christmas tree out of storage...hi honey!). But Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year.......try to tell me you didn't just sing that song in your head!

And since Christmas time is upon us, that means it's also time for this........

I love the bell ringers. Granted, the bell itself gets a little annoying, but I LOVE what it means, what the money does, the fact that somebody.....LOTS of somebodies.........have volunteered hours of their life to stand outside in the freezing cold and ring a bell. It might not look like they're doing much, but they're sacrificing their time--maybe they have a family they're not eating dinner with. Maybe there's a party with friends that they're missing. Maybe they're giving up a warm, cozy nap.

Our family made a visit to Hobby Lobby last night. On the way in, Tommy saw the lady ringing the bell and said, "What is dat lady DOIN?! Why is she ringin dat bell?" I smiled awkwardly at her  while trying to get Tommy to stop gawking and get inside. I was really excited because I wanted to start a new tradition.The kids were each going to get a little miniature tree and then got to pick out two packages of ornaments for their tree. I'd been planning it for weeks! Of course, Hobby Lobby was packed and it's full of breakable stuff, so I was kind of nervous because the cart was only big enough for Tessa, so Tommy was walking. They were pretty good overall, but I was getting frustrated because...1) It wasn't going the way I'd planned where my two sweet little angels were in awe over the new tradition I was starting and oh so thankful that they got their OWN tree and their OWN ornaments--TOTALLY acceptable expectations for a 1 and 2 year old, right?.....and 2) It was turning out to be a little more expensive than I thought it would be. Not a huge deal, but again, not what I had planned.

Tommy kept wanting more than two packages of ornaments. He had some picked out and kept grabbing more and knocking stuff down. I would explain that we could only get two, he would put them all back except the two he wanted and then a few seconds later, the process would start again. Tessa was just grabbing at anything and everything she could get her hands on. It was KINDA a big mess. I finally got it pared down to two packs for each kid and we hurried to the register to pay (and get the kids as far away from Hobby Lobby as possible!). As we walked out with our cart, I heard the bell again. I just happened to have cash (which is a small miracle in itself), so I pulled a dollar out for each of them. Tommy got excited to have money until I explained to him that we were going to give it away. He kept asking WHY. I got all excited and saw this as a great opportunity to explain to him that when we have the chance, we need to give stuff to other people to show them God's love and because other people don't always have the stuff they need and that since Jesus gives to us, we need to do the same......but the whole time I was talking to him, he was dancing around, pulling on the cart and running toward the entrance. It felt like I was wasting my breath and my time. But we headed outside and put our dollars in the red bucket. Tommy got excited and I said, "See buddy?!? Doesn't it feel so good to give to other people?" He stared at me for a second and then said, "I want some CANDY!!"


I was disappointed because sometimes I feel like nothing gets through his head. Like I'm talking to thin air. Like I'm wasting my time. I was disappointed but tried not to get too upset because he's only two and how much can I expect a two year old to understand, right?

We headed home and started putting our Christmas trees together. I got all the ornaments out of their package and they were both so excited! We started hanging them on their little trees. In typical toddler fashion, we had a few fights over which ornaments belonged to who, where they would go on the tree and just about anything else one could think of to fight over. I was getting so discouraged. I felt like we were totally missing the holiday cheer and the true meaning of Christmas. Nick came in the room to see what we were doing. Tommy told him we were "puttin up our 'missmas' trees." He also told him we went to "hobby dobby." And then he said this.......

"We gived money, Daddy! To dat lady ringin da bell. Jesus helps us, so we give money to udder peoples!! Right, Mom?"

I almost cried.

He hears me.

Every. single. word.

I'm not wasting my time.