Well, it's time for another catch-up post. Christmas has come and gone and I wanted to share just a little of our season.
Here's the kids putting up their Santa sign in the front yard.
I'm not sure how much longer this sign will last, as each year it gets smashed up just a little more than it was the year before. We've had it for 10 Christmas' now and it's definitely showing it. At least for this year, it still made the traditional posting in the front yard.
And just because I feel like the kids have grown soooooo much this year, I wanted to compare this to a similar photo from a previous year. The earliest one I could find on here was from 2007, though I know we have them every year since at least 2001. Anyways, 2007 was just 4 years ago but look at the difference. And keep in mind that we put a new, longer stick on the sign a few years ago.
Aaaahhhh... Christmas Eve. Here they are before opening the traditional Christmas-Eve-Pajamas present:
We watched the traditional "Polar Express" and the boys laughed at me as I cried (which I do every year at the end of that movie).
Then the kids changed into their PJ's. The boys were thrilled because they got "Angry Birds" shirts to wear with their PJ pants. Chase's says "This is what awesome looks like" and Tristan's read "Crush your enemies". They were pretty excited about them. Carissa got traditional PJ's, which came with a matching PJ for her American Girl doll, Ella. The little stuffed animal in the photo is Sugar, Ella's pet Yorkie dog. Carissa had received that as a gift from Chase for Christmas.
Right after the movie and PJ's, we stuck with tradition and read "Twas the Night Before Christmas". I *love* the new timer on my camera, which let me set this up, press the button and it just took photos at regular intervals over two minutes.
After this, it was off to bed with the kids.
Christmas morning they were allowed to wake us up no earlier than 6:00 and they were right on time. I didn't get photos of their gifts and stockings this year, but Tristan got a very cool purple skateboard with green and purple wheels. It's one of those "good" skateboards that actually works and replaces his Hot Wheels skateboard that was cheap and lame. Chase received a gift card from Santa to help him save up for his Kindle Fire. This was a theme of the day for him, as everyone gave him a little something towards it and by the end of the day he had enough money. He was thrilled and loves it! Carissa got a pink guitar and a book to help her learn how to play.
Family was plentiful on Christmas Day. Dad and Linda came over in the morning. This is one of the only photos I took on Christmas Day! It was such a crazy day that I just didn't even remember to pick up the camera.
Anyways, after they left Brian's parents came over, then Mom and Jim joined the party and we all enjoyed a ham dinner. By the time everyone left we had full bellies and lots of gifts to enjoy. Once they were gone, I saw Violet taking a nap in her beloved spot under the tree (now that all those annoying presents were gone and she actually had room!). I snapped a few pictures and thought that this looked like a perfect idea... nap time! Unfortunately, the day was almost done.
On to the next holiday... new years. Brian had the chance to work the road on New Years. He's been jonesing a bit for the excitement and adrenaline that you find when working the road (which he doesn't get now that he's on the water), so it was nice for him to get a day to go out and run code throughout the county. He was able to stop by the house and take a dinner break. He timed it so he'd be home for the new year and he was. Here's a photo we took (using that timer again!) right after we rang in 2012.