Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas with the Thomases!

This will be the last Christmas post of 2014. I promise:)

We had a great Christmas season.

This was the best Christmas to date with the littles. It was such a fun year. I could see the magic and fun of the season coming alive through their eyes. They even took it upon themselves to create little Christmas displays in each of their rooms. Be still my heart.

We usually set up this pink ballerina tree in Chloe's room.

I guess it wasn't enough, because she also set up this little display on her dresser after rummaging through a few of our Christmas storage boxes. Oh, and she had Chris put Christmas lights around her mirror.

Evan set up his own Christmas display on his train table.

We went through our Christmas Eve routine.

We read our final Christmas book.

We sprinkled our reindeer food in the front yard. We didn't get around to making it this year, but luckily for us, we received some as "party favors" at the meet-and-greet with the Nutcracker dancers.

 Evan decided it was easier to dump his reindeer food. As Evan would say, " Easy, peasy!"

I received a ninja-bread cookie making kit from one of my co-workers for my birthday. Thanks, Jennifer! The littles insisted that we make the cookies on Christmas Eve.

Then, we set out milk and cookies for Santa. We set them on the mantle, since we knew that a certain little big dog would eat them if we set them too low. The ninja-bread men were still cooling, so we set out the sugar cookies that the littles made with Nana and I promised to add a ninja-bread cookie to the plate later that evening.

The littles didn't forget to leave a candy cane for Ellie the Elf with a little note that read, "For Ellie."

It took for-ev-er for Chloe to fall asleep, but I was able to snap this picture of the loot before Chris and I headed to bed.

The following morning, the littles were up super early! Gee, I wonder why?;) They called up the stairs for us. Chris and I took our times rolling out of bed. As we were going down the stairs, I heard Chloe tell Evan to "open this one next!" What!?!! Lucky for us, only one present had been opened by Evan by the time we got downstairs.

The littles opened up their presents to each other.

Then, the present opening madness ensued.

I think Chris enjoyed some of the gifts more than the kids!

The kids made out like bandits this year. In retrospect, we over-bought for the littles. Next year, Chris and I plan to tailor down the number of gifts.

Luke, our naughty boy, made out well, too. I told the kids that since Luke was on Santa's naughty list, I decided to get him a few stocking stuffers, so he wouldn't feel left out on Christmas. He wasted no time breaking the squeaker in this toy and tearing up the tennis ball of another one of his new toys toys. However, he still marches around the house with both toys like we should be jealous. Ha!

A little later that morning, my brothers came by for Christmas lunch.

Lola was visiting my Aunt Mela in Texas. However, I did snap this picture earlier in the month when she took the kids to the mall for an outing and Santa photos.

After lunch, we headed over to my in-laws for Christmas in the country.

We enjoyed food and time with family.

And of course, there were more presents.

After the present opening, we were able to get a family photo.

That was how we spent our Christmas Eve and Day, but it's not Christmas around here until we've visited with Aunt Dana and Uncle Tommy!

The littles love seeing their Cousin Jack. They don't have any first cousins yet, so it's always exciting for them when we get to spend time with our extended family over the holidays.

Here were a few pictures of Christmas with Aunt Dana and Uncle Tommy.

I couldn't resist throwing in this one of Nana! Nana is known for canning her vegetables and fruits. Aunt Dana jokes that she finds the smallest jars for her canned veggies and fruits, so as a gag gift, gave her ginormous jars for canning.

That was our Christmas! I hope you enjoyed reading about it as we enjoyed living it. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! And as always, don't forget the true "reason for the season", the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Parties & My Birthday!

I thought that it would be best to start consolidating posts, since I'm still wrapping up Christmas posts in January (and back-dating them).

The littles had a few celebrations during the month of December!

Chloe's kindergarten class celebrated Christmas with a field trip to the Montgomery Zoo.

Since I've chaperoned Chloe's previous field trips, I thought that it might be nice to give Daddy a turn (for me and him). Of course, he's not quite the crazy picture taker that I am, but to appease me, he did take a few pictures with his phone...Hell hath no fury like a momma expecting pictures!

Chloe and her field trip buddy, Caleb, riding the zoo train

 Snack time

Making Christmas crafts

And, exploring the zoo!

Evan's class also had a Christmas celebration. I was able to attend this one since it was during my lunch break, so I brought the good camera;)

Evan giving Mrs. Helms our Christmas gift to her. Our family already thinks the world of Mrs. Helms, but we love that she is also a big Auburn fan. I picked out a cute Auburn ornament for her...I may have gone back later during the after-Christmas sale to pick up one for Evan's Auburn tree.

Chris and I didn't forget to take pictures with our little man!

Evan posed with his Christmas haul. The stocking was filled with small inexpensive gifts from each of his classmates and Mrs. Helms gave each of her students a personalized pillow case.

I did take a picture of Mrs. Helms smiling with Evan, but her eyes were closed. However, I think I like this one better. It just seems so genuine and shows just how much she cares for her students.

The following day at preschool was the day before Christmas break, so it was a fun and laid back day. The kids wore their pj's and watched Christmas movies. Mrs. Helms texted me this photo of Evan and his classmate, Jaiden. Twinsies!

The Rainbows also had a Christmas party! It was a quasi pajama party...some of the kids decided to wear their pj's, so the moms just went with it.

They made Christmas crafts and Mrs. Dodi told the story of the first Christmas. (I wish I had taken a picture of the adorable fingerprint manger ornament that Evan made before I put up our Christmas decorations.)

Then, they had a little Christmas feast!

It was so sweet of Mrs. Dodi to plan this special evening for our little Rainbows and remind them of the true meaning of the season.

My birthday is on December 22nd and my loves surprised me with a special breakfast brunch. I got to eat the cinnamon rolls that we weren't able to bake for our North Pole Breakfast.

Chloe even put together some appetizers:)

Chris and I usually don't do anything big for birthdays, especially since mine falls so close to Christmas, but this year I decided to liven it up a bit. We didn't ride the North Pole Express this year, so I thought it might be fun to watch the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's performance of A Christmas Carol. My birthday was on Monday, so I took the day off and we went to an afternoon performance. Afterwards, Chris took the family out to dinner.

These pictures were taken before we left the house.

After the play, we took these pictures in the lobby. A sweet lady offered to take the first picture of us. It turned out blurry, but hey, at least we are all in it. Besides, my phone's camera doesn't take the best pictures...It may be time for an upgrade.

The littles pretending  that they're on a date:)

Daddy's version of being on a date;) Watch those hands, mister! Photo courtesy of Ms. Chloe...

I do love celebrating this joyous season of Christ's birth with family and friends. It doesn't hurt that my birthday is also during the month of December. I hope that you had a joyous season as well!