Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Christmas 2011...

Ahhh, another Christmas come and gone, another year come and gone…way too quickly…

I had the great fortune of having a lot of time off left to use at the end of the year. I love doing this for a number of reasons…I’m usually pretty burnt out by then and really need a break, there is always so much to do around this time of year, the kids are off school, and I am so busy at work in January and February so it’s nice to really rest and relax before jumping into the craziness. So the week before Christmas I was off for a couple of hours for the kids’ Christmas parties, and then off the following day, and then off from the Friday before Christmas right through January 2nd. Another nice thing was that my dad came up that Tuesday before Christmas and was up here the whole time as well. It was a glorious vacation!

The Friday before Christmas we just hung out around the house and finished getting ready for Christmas. I took Ryan to get some last minute things, including his present for Kylie, and then we spent the day wrapping presents and just playing. On Christmas Eve the kids and I baked the rest of the cookies, John and I finished wrapping presents, and I baked the cake that I was bringing for Christmas dinner. We went to church where the kids sang (John and I had been working with all the kids for the past three weeks on two completely new songs…it was stressful but fun :) ) and they did such a great job! The service was great and it was good to see everyone on Christmas Eve.

After church we went over to Max and Erma’s for dinner. I was trying so hard to make the night as stress-free as possible, so having dinner without having to cook or clean-up sounded perfect! I tried to get us reservations at Bucca or La Scala, but they were booked. So I called Max and Erma’s a few days before to let them know that a party of 8 would be there Christmas Eve for dinner. I was really surprised when we pulled into the parking lot and it was pretty much empty! It’s weird that some restaurants were completely booked, but others were empty…not what I was expecting, that’s for sure! We ordered our dinner and poor Kylie’s stomach started hurting again…really bad. She laid down on the floor while we tried to eat our dinner as fast as we could. A server (not even ours) was really nice and brought her some ginger ale and crackers, which helped a little.

After dinner we came home and Kylie started feeling better, so we went over to my parents’ house so that the kids could open their presents from them. They had so much fun and got some really neat gifts! They got a really nice block set to play with there, the boys got Bobcat hats, Kylie got a microscope and piano book, Josh got a Brain Games book, a reading book, and an electric drum set, Ryan got a little drum set and an activity book. Colton got some Gerber Graduates food :)

After that we headed over to our house so the kids could open the presents from each other. The boys got their Bears outfits and huge inflatable goal posts. Kylie got her art set and her Monster High journal. And of course all the kids got their pajamas :)

After the kids went to bed, John and I exchanged our gifts as we normally do on Christmas Eve. I got him a Bears flag and a new cordless drill. He got me a Bose wireless speaker (that I connect with my phone when listening to Pandora or iHeart radio), my slingbox app and a memory card that has wifi in it so I should be able to upload pictures as I’m taking them.

The next morning Kylie and Josh came in around 5:30 AM and I told them they had to wait until it was light outside. At 7:00 they came back in (even though it was not light outside) and I told them that they had to wait until Ryan woke up. John and I got up and got some food ready, etc. and Ryan woke up around 7:30. My parents came over and the kids started opening their presents! Joshie got his iPod touch, little football helmets, sweatpants (the kid lives in them), a suitcase, a sleeping bag, and a new backpack. Ryan got little football helmets and tons of footballs, along with color changing cars. Kylie got a karaoke machine, shoes, a suitcase, a sleeping bag, a fashion design pad and a make-up case. All three of the kids got new sleds. Colton got a toy piano and a bath toy.

After the kids were done with presents, we took our time getting ready and headed over to my sister’s house for my family’s Christmas. We had a really nice brunch and opened some great presents. My sisters got me the necklace I had desperately wanted from Tiffany’s :) I think I’ve worn it almost every day since I got it :)

After presents we headed home and the kids stayed in the car while John and I switched out the presents. Opened ones inside, wrapped presents for his family in the car. Then we headed over to his sister’s house (after I made myself a huge glass of iced coffee…I was dragging!). We had a great Mexican-themed dinner and the kids had a great time playing with their cousins. We opened presents in phases while we waited for John’s brother and his wife to get there. Once they did, we had our big gift exchange. I really enjoyed this year because the kids pretty much drew each other’s names…Kylie drew Colton, Josh drew Ryan, and I drew Josh. I liked being able to get the kids extra gifts :) I got the bowl set I had wanted, along with a whisk and poultry shears (can you tell the theme of my Christmas list this year? :) ). Colton took a little nap while we were there, so he honestly was really good…I thought the day was going to be such a pain with him because of lack of sleep, etc., but it actually turned out to be totally fine! We finally left around 9:30. When we got home we all crashed! We didn’t even bring the gifts inside…just the kiddos :)

The next morning we got up and just started cleaning up the house. We put toys together, threw out boxes, and put toys away. It stunk because we literally spent the whole day doing this, but in the end, it made for a much nicer week not having to worry about all of it.

The rest of the week was wonderful! The only thing that stunk was that I had a stomach ache Tuesday and Wednesday, so I wasn’t able to fully enjoy my days off with the kids. And the whole family was supposed to go to the CJB game Tuesday night, but I just didn’t feel well. So instead, John, Josh and Ryan went with our neighbors. Kylie went out to dinner with my mom, and since Colton went down pretty early, I was actually able to rest for a while.

We stayed in pretty much the whole week, with the exception of eye doctor appointments and dentist appointments for the kids, which took three days to get through :) But there was lots of playing, resting and just not being busy!

John took some guys from church and went down to Athens for an OU basketball game on Friday. Unfortunately, one of the guys was sick and all the time in the car with him got to John and he woke up Saturday morning really sick. We were supposed to go over to the neighbor’s house for New Year’s Eve, but she was under the weather, so they cancelled. I decided that I was going to take whomever wanted to go with me to dinner at my favorite Chinese restaurant. It ended up being everyone (plus Kylie’s BFF Rachel) because John was feeling better. We really had a great dinner (outside of Colton screaming when he wanted something…not crying, just screaming to get attention – which I’m sure all those couples that were trying to have a romantic night out enjoyed). But when we got back home John crashed…he was out! So the kids and I played games, watched TV and made milkshakes. Ryan went up to bed fairly early and Kylie’s friend ended up falling asleep. Colton ended up waking up to eat right before the ball dropped, so I got to toast and kiss three of my kids at midnight :) After that I made beds on the couch for Kylie and Josh, fed Colton and put him back to sleep, and then crashed myself!

New Year’s day and Monday were more days to rest. John was still a mess Sunday morning so I took Ryan and Kylie to church. Our children’s pastor preached which was such a nice treat! We came home and I made John some homemade chicken noodle soup. Between the soup and the meatloaf we were having for dinner, I felt like I was cooking all day! John started feeling better and I even got a little bit of a nap. My dad came over for some meatloaf (of course…one of his favorites) and it was a great ending to New Year’s day. Monday we spent the day taking down some of the Christmas decorations and then had dinner at Mellow Mushroom with our neighbors (it was good to get out of the house, but it was FREEZING!).

Coming back to work was hard…I really had such a great time with the kids and Colton is at such a great age now that being home with all of them is not near as hard as it used to be. I couldn’t help but think about how much easier next year is going to be…I might actually get to take a few more naps :)

1 comment:

Sherry said...

Wow!! Deb that is the best blog ever and I so enjoyed living your holidays through you and the pictures!!! I am so sorry you , Kylie and your hubby were sick though, darn huh? but everyone in your family is so caring and loving, you take care of each other and to me that is what it's all about.
Sounds like you all had a wonderful Christmas and the gifts wow, exchanging and opening til it wore you all out, what fun huh?
Fantastic blog and awesome pictures, thank you so much for letting me feel a part of it all!!!!