We had a great Christmas this year. This Christmas was a little different. With my sister living in Texas, we were left to celebrate by ourselves. Even though I missed my sister, our Christmas was still a great one. The kids are just at the perfect age.
|Allie looked at these pictures of Chloe, and took them straight to her room. |
On Christmas Eve morning, we went to our good friends' house for breakfast. We had normal breakfast food, plus tamales, crepes, and a lot of dessert. Just like we did last year, we showed up in our pajamas/lounge wear and slippers. The kids had a gift exchange, and the adults had a white elephant gift exchange with the rule being that the gift had to come from your house. It was a lot of fun.
I know I have said this before, but we are so blessed to have these friends. There are a total of 4 families, and we are super close. Our relationships are real, and we share in both the good and bad. Everytime we are together, and often when we are apart, we make sure to tell each other we love each other. (Men included.) One of the husbands told us Merry Christmas, and that home was where his bunch of crazies are. We are a group of crazies. Very different personalities, often chaotic with the kids running everywhere and the adults being loud -- but we love each other dearly. We are blessed.
After we left our friends' house, we did some last minute shopping with our boys and then headed home for a quiet evening and prime rib dinner. We drank our sodas out of wine glasses (even Allie), had the lights dimmed, and the boys were allowed to have Mountain Dew. I later regretted that decision as I was patiently waiting for them to fall asleep.
On Christmas morning, the kids were so excited to open their presents. Santa had brought Allie a little couch, and she headed straight there. She didn't want to get off that couch, but she did order her brothers around and made them open her presents for her -- in front of her on the couch, of course. The boys are so good with her, and they loved doing it and showing excitement for all the toys she received. We were once again spoiled by so many generous people, and we are so thankful for the wonderful gifts.
|Calvin opening another present for Queen Alemitu|
After we opened our presents, we spent the afternoon/evening just relaxing and playing with our new toys. The boys played outside quite a bit with their new remote control vehicles. Wes told us "Why would we ever play inside again when we have these cool remote control sharks?" Unfortunately, a piece needs to be fixed on one so they haven't been able to play with them since. After putting away some of my new cookware that Adam surprised me with, I walked into the family room to see the following picture. This was my favorite picture on Christmas day as it summed up what we did. Adam and Alemitu still in pajamas jamming on the new microphones and guitars. There were no phones buzzing, work to do, a house to clean -- we were being in the moment with our family. It was perfect.
A couple of days later, my parents arrived to visit for a little over a week. The kids always have so much fun with them. They rode bikes, played at parks, played the Wii U, built legos, and played lots of games. My mom had bought the game "spoons" for Wes. He told me it was the best Christmas ever because he got a game he didn't think he would like, and now it is his favorite game. We had a lot of fun playing spoons.
The boys, once again, made my parents play the Wii U with them and they trash talked my parents the entire time. By the end of the trip, my boys were trash talking my dad constantly, and my dad kept yelling "OH BOLOGNA!" over and over. He was really getting into the game, and almost beat them at one point. Within 2 hours of getting back to Indiana, my dad told my mom that he was going to get that game for their Wii and practice for his next visit. Wes and Calvin simply said it won't help, he'll still lose.
|Wes playing the Wii U with my parents ....|
|... while Calvin built legos with Adam. Calvin asked Adam to stay home one more day to help with the legos. Adam couldn't refuse that request, so he made arrangements to work from home. The boys bought these TMNT legos with money from their Great-Grandma Allen (aka High Five Grandma). The legos took days to build, and both boys worked so hard.|
My favorite part of the visit was our Arizona snowball fight. My mom purchased some fake, soft snowballs and brought them with her. We started a big fight in our front yard, and then moved it to an open space at the park where we had a picnic. This was so much fun. We played it dodgeball style and it was me and my parents against Adam and all of the kids. We were all really enjoying it.
|As usual, Alemitu joined right in.|
We rang in the new year with my parents and some illegal fireworks. And yes, we live across the street from a fire department. Adam and I had many disagreements over this issue, but he won, and we never got a knock at our door.
It was a great winter break, and I'm sad to see the kids go back to school. I was also sad to see my parents leave. Alemitu had a tough time when my dad left, and her preschool teacher told me she kept saying "Papa went bye bye". I'm blessed to get to see my parents as much as I do, and I'm looking forward to the next time. All in all, we had a really good time this Christmas.
|One of Adam's presents|
|Alemitu and her big dog that she got for Christmas. She has to sleep with the dog now.|
|Christmas day hug|
|Thanks to her grandma, Alemitu now likes to take "picture of us". She likes to cuddle up and get her photo taken with someone.|
|My aunt Karen gave this to Alemitu, and at first she thought it was for her. Now it is for her dogs.|
|Alemitu reading her new Strawberry Shortcake books|
|Alemitu's new art desk|