Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Review 2013

Our Christmas was a blessed one this year. There are so many things to be thankful for, so many people who have supported and helped us. Thank you all! To the YMCA ladies that donated a ton of gifts to my family: bless you. To the WTE mamas who also sent our kids gifts, sometimes even from across the country: bless you too. To the friends and family who gave us presents, gave us money, helped us out with food, sent us a Christmas card, helped us find a place to stay for Christmas morning: bless you all so much. I can't even begin to put into words how endlessly grateful we are for all of you, you are just amazing people. You are who made our Christmas special this year. Not the gifts, the money or the food, but YOU. I don't know what our Christmas would have been like if we didn't have our loved ones. We are so lucky to have them!

We spent our Christmas Eve with my family at my parent's house and with the in-law's at the Village Inn, as per tradition. Uncle Cameron came into town from Spokane for the holiday, it was wonderful seeing him! Miss Anna was spoiled with a couple of babies and lots of cute clothes from Grandma Melanie. She loved her baby so much! She packed it around everywhere with her, insisted on rocking her baby and did a great job feeding her a bottle! Our little girl is a natural!

Anna also received her first pair of real hard-soled shoes, a pair of snowboots! She walked everywhere like a baby deer lol, it was so cute! I will try to get a video of it soon. Until she is fully used to them, I bring her soft soled shoes along to switch out after a while. Both kids got snowpants too, which is also awesome. We weren't able to afford much winter gear this year, just coats and boots and gloves and hats. Snowpants were a luxury we couldn't afford. Thankfully Grandma Melanie got a new pair for BOTH kids!

Anna with her baby from Great Grandma Marcia
Alan was also spoiled by his grandparents. He received a cool pirate ship bath toys, some books and a few clothes from them. He loves his new bath toy and can't wait to take his next bath! Although I have a feeling Anna might try to steal his ship from him while bathing lol. Thanks everyone, for spoiling our wonderful children!

Alan with his pirate ship from Great Grandma Marcia

Uncle Cameron, Alan and Anna on Christmas Eve

Christmas morning was also very special for us. We still aren't living in our own place or even together as a family right now, but Lon's family let us still have our own private Christmas morning together. It was complete with a tree, fireplace, traditional breakfast and gifts from Santa. It was perfect! Thanks again to everyone who helped make it that way!

We kept the kiddos in their Christmas pjamas so that Lon could also enjoy them this year. Miss Anna's pjs are so sweet!

Santa brought so many presents for our good children! Both Alan and Anna received about six gifts each! Dolls, Angry Birds, Legos, hair bows for Anna, we were so spoiled! Thanks again to the YMCA ladies, you guys are so good to our children. Bless you all! :D Even without all the amazing gifts we received, our day was very special because we were all together. Alan told Lon at one point, "Dad, I am very happy today at Christmas because all I wanted for Christmas was you!"

We have the sweetest children ever! Here they are opening their presents.

After spending our Christmas morning alone together, we went over to Grandma Amber and Grandpa Steve's house for lunch. They had ham with scalloped potatoes and green beans. Yum! Almost all of Alan's aunts and uncles were there as well! Uncle Cameron, Uncle Tyler, Aunt Sam, Uncle Chase and Aunt Ariel. We were only missing Uncle Aaron and Aunt Nikki otherwise we would have had a full house! The kids loved seeing all of their family members. They showed them their new toys and tried them out for the first time together. It was perfect! We also watched a Christmas Carol (the new one with Jim Carrey in it) and Anna's new movie from Santa, Monsters University. If I didn't love the first Monsters movie so much, darn it this one is so sweet too! The little Mike Wazowski is just the cutest! And Sully with his teenage angsty hair flip? It was such a cute little movie!

A big thanks to my Uncle Tyler and Aunt Sam for their Christmas gift! They know that Lon and I never go out, especially to restaurants to eat lol, we just can't afford to. Its paying a sitter, using gas to get there and then buying food when we could make it at home lol. If we do go out to eat, its with my family and the kids are with us. Its just a luxury we usually don't get. So for Christmas this year, they bought us a gift card to the Olive Garden and made us promise to not take the children with us. We have our first date in six months planned for this Sunday. I am so excited to get all dressed up and do my hair real nice! I love getting gussied up for my man lol! Thanks again guys!

Once it was starting to get dark outside, we headed up to Great Aunt Carolyn's house for Christmas dinner. They also had ham with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, Great Grandma Carol's Snicker Doodle Salad and various yummy veggies. The kids were more interested in playing with Uncle Kalvin and Sophie then they were with eating lol. Oh well, they had had chances to eat all day long. We let them play all through Great Aunt Carolyn's house and Anna even tried the big stairs out on her own a few times (with Mama watvhing close by, of course). She is getting quite good at stairs now! Still climbs up and down on all fours, but she is getting there.

Alan, GI Joe and Dad all having a good time lol

Sophie was even nice enough to share all of her new Christmas presents from her grandparents with her cousins too! We didn't bring too many toys up to Great Aunt Carolyn's house and it was so sweet of her to let Alan and Anna play with her toys too. We love her so much! Thanks Miss Soph! Man, family is good. We are so blessed to have all of these people who we love all around us, all the time but especially on the holidays. Not everyone is so lucky to have almost all of their family members so close by. I personally know lots of people who go without seeing their loved ones this Christmas or those who are spending this holiday alone. We are very grateful to not be in that situation, our lives are hard but we are blessed enough to have lots of love and support from family. We love that we can have our cousins' kids grow up with our own children, sharing together similar experiences that we did as kids. That is very important to me. One of the big reasons we will never move out of this city. 95% of our family lives here, it is perfect for us!

Anna and Uncle Kalvin sharing Sophie's gift from Great Aunt Carolyn

Here's a funny story about kids lol: So Sophie and Alan were being quite wild upstairs alone, jumping on the couch and running around the Christmas tree. I went up to investigate and after trying for several minutes to convince them to come back downstairs, I thought I would try a little distraction trick lol. I changed the subject to the five Santas in front of the tree. We talked about them, counted them together as a group and even took this picture with them. After that, they willingly went downstairs with me, no fight at all! Lol, love kids and how they just sometimes need to be distracted!

Man, this post probably could have been two posts! Its so darn long, sorry! For those of you who stayed for this long, I will leave you with two AWESOME photos. Our two attempts at getting our family Christmas picture was a bit of a bust this year, the kids just weren't having it. But after looking at these now, I begin to love them more and more. It is just Our Family, just who we are. If there was ever two pictures to sum up how wild and wonderful our life is, these would be the two! Enjoy! These may be on the front of next year's Christmas card lol! Classic!

So many blessings, so many things to be thankful for! We had such a great Christmas, when I was wholeheartedly convinced that it would be awful just a few weeks ago. I have said it several times in this post but we wouldn't be anywhere without our loved ones! Thank you all so much! Hope that your Christmas was just as full of love, family and happiness as ours was. We love you all!

Was your Christmas a blessed one? I sure hope so!

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