And We're Back... I took a little blogging break for Christmas, but I'm ready to go again, so here goes... We decided to stay home again this year because we really want to establish our own traditions with the kids. I missed my family so much and did shed some tears about it, but in the end, it was the best decision. The Christmas Eve service was particularly difficult for me because I have so many fond Christmas Eve memories from my childhood. But that is why we stayed, so Alice and Will can have the same type of experiences we did. Typically we would visit family right after Christmas, but we are going to see them in January when we head to the east coast for the inauguration.
We kept the crafting to a mininum over Christmas in an effort to keep things a low key and relaxing as possible, but we did do a few projects. We used pictures of Alice's friends to make elves. She enjoyed making up stories about her elf friends. These are a few we made...
Our friend Kay invited us to her house for Christmas Eve dinner and she loves penguins, so we decided to make her an ornament from her tree. I got the idea from Just for Fun. We used a potato to make the body and arms.
In typical fashion, Alice got a little carried away with the paint. She called her painting "penguins at night."
We made Rolly Polly Santas and Trees for Santa. It was a little bit labor intensive because you have to roll lots of little balls and stick them together. Alice enjoyed it, but not as much as eating the dough. The dough is made up of about 80% butter. I have to admit, I ate my fair share as well.
These are some of the highlights from Kay's house. Alice loved it there. Every nook and cranny is filled with penguins and she even let her take one home. She had penguin games to play, and just searching all the rooms looking for all the penguins had Alice amused the whole time. Will was busy trying to knock over candles, pull ornaments off the tree, and scattering his food all over the floor. I hope we get invited again next year, but I won't hold my breath! Kay made 5 different kinds of soups, which was perfect for such a cold night.
Here are Santa's cookies. He would have really enjoyed them if he hadn't had a migraine! Because I had such a bad headache, Brad took over the Christmas Eve duties. It was so sweet. I have no idea how long he stayed up wrapping all the presents. Our Santa gifts growing up were not wrapped, but apparently his were. He said "it's all about presentation." And a presentation it was, complete with decorations and little notes from Santa. Before I went up to bed, Brad and I were sitting in his chair looking at the tree, and he said, "What is that in the tree? I think there is something in the tree." When I got up and looked, there was a present in the middle of the tree for me. He got me a digital video camera!! Just what I wanted and in time to tape Christmas morning. I am still so excited about it. It's a Flip, which is about the size and weight of a cell phone and you don't need a cord to upload videos to your computer. I am still working on trying to upload a video to the blog. We'll see how it goes.
These are some pictures of the kids on Christmas morning. The biggest hits for Will were the Elmo live and his construction truck. And for Alice, her stroller, pajamas, and her American Girl Doll Mia.
Brad got several books about wine, which he spent most of the day digging in to.
And we can't forget the food! I made Santa pancakes, Rudolph waffles, and as is traditional in my family, we had sugar cake and sausage balls.
We had Dallas, Laura, Gus, and Nash over for dinner. Brad made a delicious pepper-crusted tenderloin. I made balsamic sauteed mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes. It was a yummy feast. We just sat there eating and drinking wine while the kids went crazy in the other room. Luckily, having been at this parenting thing for a few years now, we are all able to tune out chaos!
It was a very Merry Christmas at the Andersons and we are looking foward to another exciting year!