Love Overflowing

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is pretty low-key around here for the most part. We opted to pick up a few last-minute essentials and then spend time together around the house as a family. We debated about going to the Santa send-off parade but decided that it was more important for Zachary to get a nap. It was a lazy afternoon spent together. After dinner, we got to open our annual Christmas Eve gifts from Grandma and Papa. Surprise! Pajamas for everyone! You would have thought they hit the jackpot with their squeals when opening their pjs. Emily got a Rapunzel (her favorite princess) nightgown and Zachary got some Cars pjs. Before bed, we read “The Night Before Christmas” and the Christmas story from the bible. We then had to make sure that we had carrots, cookies, a gift, a note and a can of Mt. Dew (Emily’s request) set out for Santa. The note was super cute. Emily told me what to write:

Dear Santa,

Zachary really likes you. He says “ho, ho, ho” all the time. We both love you very much.

Love,
Emily

Apparently, she was concerned about Zachary having been good enough for presents so she was making one last push for him. The kids also hung their stocking with care. Then it was time for the kids to snuggle down into their beds. And the real magic was about to begin….. Mommy and Daddy’s work time.

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It’s coming…….

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Christmas with the cousins

Once we had Emily, we decided that we wouldn’t travel for Christmas. We wanted her to be able to wake up in her own bed and discover what Santa left her. We also decided that we weren’t going to try to split the day between both sides of the family and travel a lot on Christmas Day. We would rather have our day a little more relaxed and really reflect on what the day is about.

We still celebrate with my family, but on a different day. It’s worked out well, in my opinion. Especially as the cousins get older and want to stay home and play with their new toys. I am glad that we still get together to celebrate, even if it is a few weeks early. I love, love seeing all the kids together. So many, so close in age. 7 children, ranging from 5 to 1 1/2. It’s awesome!

This year was no exception on the fun and excitement. We even had some excitement in the basement with the hot water heater but that is a whole other story. We ate; we laughed; we opened presents. It was a zoo. I loved every minute of it!

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Tailgate Party!

I am going to start out by saying that I am not a real big football fan. It’s not that I really dislike the game, I just honestly don’t understand it all that well. That said, I never turn down a chance to have a good time away from the kids with my husband.

Stephen’s work bought a huge block of tickets to one game and offered them first come – first served to the employees. Not only were the seats amazing, but they were having a tailgate party before the game. Free food, free drinks and fun. Unfortunately, it was friggin’ cold! Our winter has been unusually mild but, of course, the day of the game and tailgate was miserable. It was cold and rainy. Think 38 with yuck wind. We were troopers though and bundled up in the name of burgers and mimosas.

My sister-in-law and her boyfriend met us for the tailgate and the game. It was nice to get to spend some time with them, even if there wasn’t a lot of conversation involved. After we froze, we headed to the dome for the game. Our seats. Definitely not like the seats Stephen’s dad has. We were behind the goal post and only about 8 or 10 rows up. You could actually see the players and the cheerleaders. It was so funny seeing middle-aged men with their binoculars ogling them during their dances. Unfortunately, the Rams are horrible this year. The game was pretty close though for a while and we thought they were going to pull out a win. And in true Rams fashion, they blew it.

Despite the loss, we really had a good time. The tailgate party was fun and our wonderful seats made it okay.

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Random silly pictures

There are many times that I don’t have my camera handy but my phone is nearby. Here are a few silly shots that I have gotten recently.

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Preschool Christmas

Emily had her Christmas party last week at school. A party isn’t complete without a visit from the jolly one himself of course! Zachary and I ran up to the school so we could get a picture of “Sisser” sitting on his lap. We didn’t stay for the rest of the party. Zachary was a) wanting to sit on Santa’s lap b) join in on snack time and c) play with their toys. Not really a good combination. After getting a few quick shots we snuck out and went to the library. More fun for the wee man.

When we arrived, Emily and her classmates were finishing up music class. It was so cute to hear their little voices yelling singing Christmas songs and dancing to the music. Then each child got to take a turn sitting on Santa’s lap and telling him what he wanted for Christmas.

Super cute class! Hard to believe that this is her last year in preschool.

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Merry Christmas Eve

From my Santa and elf to you!

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Christmas Traditions

The weather has been unseasonably warm for December. We decided to take advantage of our good fortune and take a quick walk down Main Street. Their annual Christmas Traditions were taking place and we wanted to check it out. We didn’t get to experience everything that was offered since we were short on time but Emily got to meet many of the characters down there.

Apparently, many people had the same idea we did with the gorgeous weather. The sidewalks and shops were packed! I would like to make one more trip down there. They have a “Santa send-off” parade on Christmas Eve that I would like to take the kids to if the weather cooperates. I think that would be a good tradition to start.

By the way, I swear Zachary was there. He just isn’t in any pictures since he was strapped into the stroller and not real willing to cooperate, hence our shortened visit.

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Kid projects

Don’t worry, the kids had a few projects as well. I haven’t been hoarding all the fun! Emily decorated her gingerbread “shack”. I say shack because I could not get the sucker to stay together very well. I keep saying next year I am going to find a pre-assembled house. Much easier. Now if I can remember that I saw them at Dierbergs this year…

Zachary, my non-crafty child, painted a candy cane. He is so funny. For being all boy, he does not like having dirty hands. I had to make sure that he had a paint brush and that we had a wash cloth nearby.

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A visit to the jolly fat man

The kids and I decided to head over to the Bass Pro Shop to check out their Winter Wonderland last week. I have heard that it is a lot of fun but it is super busy. We live very close to the store and know that traffic is atrocious on the weekends and try to avoid the area at all costs. I decided that I would take the kids to see the fat man after Zachary’s nap one day so that we might have a fighting chance of seeing Santa without feeling rushed and overwhelmed. Wonderful decision!

We headed over there around 3:30 and there was one child ahead of us to see Santa. Poor little girl was about 2 or so and wanting absolutely nothing to do with him. Emily took her turn and sat right down on Santa’s lap. She told him all the things she wanted for Christmas, the big one being a new bike. She also told him that Zachary loved cars and he wanted a trike. When it came time to have Zachary sit on Santa’s other knee I began to question whether or not he would do it. It took a little coaxing and arm twisting but he did it. I am sure I told him that we needed a picture for Gaga at one point. I can bribe that kid with Gaga all day long. He wasn’t too sure of the situation but we got a decent picture and that’s what counts!

After we gave Santa our list, we decided to check out all the fun things Bass Pro had set up. We rode the little carousel three different times. It was awesome! There were no lines; no waiting; no worrying about what animal we were going to sit on. The kids got to play with the remote control cars and even take target practice with the toy gun game they had set up. Zachary loved the train set they had set up.

Definitely a good experience. Definitely glad we went during the day.

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