Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fun With Bill & A Birthday

The day after Christmas we were lucky enough to have our friend Bill come to visit. The kids always look forward to seeing him and Rob was happy to have someone to share his birthday spotlight. Jake was thrilled to have help passing levels on his Wii games and we spent a relaxing week together. Bill was also lucky enough to experience a true North Dakota blizzard on his last day here...brrr...

We tried to keep the birthday celebration low-key as requested by the guys, but had to at least have some balloons and decorations per the kids. We went with "orange" as a theme since it's a favorite color of both Rob and Bill. Happy 40-something Birthday, guys!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

Christmas morning is the absolute best with kids, especially the ages ours are at right now. Jake in particular is very expressive and so fun to watch as he opens each gift. I hope they all treasure these holiday memories as much as Rob and I do.

Stockings are opened upon waking up in our house, before going downstairs to see what's under the Christmas tree. It gives mom and dad a few minutes to wake up while the kids open little gifts and treats. Jake was thrilled to find the first of his Lego gifts.

Alex was all about the Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Alex explores his Little People airport.

This was the TOP item on Haley's list. Despite my reservations, Santa pulled through and just the look on her face was worth it.

Alex and Haley model their gorgeous new scarves.

MORE Legos!!!

As always we all felt spoiled and loved to pieces by our family and friends. Thank you all for helping make this a wonderful holiday. We love and miss you!

The rest of Christmas Day was spent snacking, reading new books, playing with new toys, and building the Apple Tree House Lego set - I have to confess that I really enjoyed helping Jake build it. What fun.

As the day wound down we heard about someone in town who had spent the holiday alone and could use a little cheering up. We gathered presents and food together and drove across town to drop them off, having a wonderful talk with the kids along the way about service and thinking of others. We'll never know if or how much our small gifts affected the recipient, but it sure affected our family in a positive way - I think it's my favorite memory of the day. We wish you all love and peace, and a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Cookies & milk for Santa....

Opening their Christmas Eve pajamas.

Ready for our "fancy" Christmas Eve Dinner.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sledding and Baking Fun

Our holiday fun continues with gingerbread house-decorating and sledding with friends. How will we ever stand waiting FOUR more whole days until Christmas?!

The big hills at Lincoln Golf Course were icy and fast.

All set with my helpers to make cookies for neighbors and friends.

I think the amount of icing on the house vs. in the bellies was about 50/50.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Pictures, Takes 1- 200

I put off taking our Christmas photos this year because I knew it would be exhausting. I wasn't retrospect maybe bribing Alex with bits of candy cane to get him to hold still wasn't the best strategy - he only got crazier as the camera kept clicking. Finally I surrendered and had to settle for a shot that was "good enough."

If you don't get one in the mail and want to be added to our list, let me know!

Poor Jake was so tired, and Alex was so hyper.
What wonderful holiday memories they'll have, no?

A slide show for those grandparents/others who would like a frame-by-frame depiction of the photo session (the ones at the end crack me up - Jake was being such a good sport):

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decking the Halls

For our whole marriage I've managed to persuade Rob to follow my family's tradition of putting up our Christmas tree on the Saturday following Thanksgiving - and it had to be a REAL tree (with all its pine-y good smell). But unfortunately, it's hard to get a really fresh tree here, and the last few years ours has been crisp and shriveled by Christmas Day.

So this year he persuaded me to wait a few weeks on the tree...we'll see if it pays off with a still-lush noble fir come Christmas morning.

Jake sorts through the nutcrackers - deciding which will go on the tree and which will engage in immediate battle.

Haley does the honor of placing the angel.

Thank goodness we were smart and took advantage of some late warm weather to hang the roof lights. Maybe next year we'll get some in the trees.

Hung with care.

Everyone is crazy with excitement for the holidays!