John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas Time Is Here....

NOT REALLY! I am late getting our Christmas festivities in my blog, as usual!

Our Christmas festivities began on Christmas Eve. I was greeted on Christmas Eve by a laugh. Samuel was kind of moping around and whining. I finally asked him what was wrong. He said his stomach was hurting. I asked all the "mom" questions and he said no to each one. He finally told me that his stomach was hurting because he was afraid he was on the  Naughty List. He then got so upset he started crying and looked at Kobe and said, "Thanks a lot Kobe! You made me mad and now I am on the Naughty list!" I laughed until I cried. I guess reality of Christmas Eve was very real to him since it was finally here. Nothing like waiting to the last minute! 

We had plans to go to my grandmother's house that evening for dinner and gifts. Each year while we are gone to Granny's house, Santa stops by. He leaves all of the kids brand new Christmas pajamas and a note telling them that he stopped by but saw we weren't home and ready for bed so he decided to leave some new pajamas and he asks us to make sure we go to sleep so he can come back by with some goodies. 

This year was no different... EXCEPT... This is the first year that Kobe knew the truth about Santa. The first thing he asked me about was his Christmas pajamas. He wanted to insure that he would still be getting those. I assured him that I would lay them out as always and that he would just know that they were from me and not Santa. I did remind him that we didn't want to ruin it for Samuel so we would just all play along. He quickly came up with a bright idea and suggestion. He said I should pretend to leave something inside once we are in the car and then go back in and get it but really go back in and lay out the pajamas. Well, thanks Kobe. I never would have thought of that without you! I reminded him that I always "forget" my purse or the dish I am bringing with us and that is when I always lay them out. It was one of those "light bulb" moments.

 We used to all draw names and buy each other gifts...but our family has gotten HUGE. I have four kids and my cousin has two I always ended up drawing two of my own kids names and it just got to being a bit much so thankfully, we decided to stop drawing names. My grandparents get gifts for everyone (which I wish they would only do for the kids...but there is NO telling my grandmother that!) and we all bring gifts for them.  We all sat down to dinner and I sat with my PawPaw. He sometimes has a hard time remembering common things and so that time with him is something that I know I will cherish one day. The kids began  going crazy getting excited as soon as they were finished eating so we went to the living room to open gifts. My grandmother did such an amazing job. She buys for about 20 people and I don't know how she keeps it all straight! She got Callum and Kobe a gift card to GameStop and Kobe some pajamas and Monopoly Millionaire board game. She gave Callum some pajamas and a pull over. Haley got some makeup and a jacket, scarf, and gloves. Samuel got his most wanted item of the year: Pop the Pig board game, a remote control Jeep, and a cute little pair of jeans and a sweat shirt. John and I were pleased with our gifts as well. We always take granny and pawpaw a couple of gift cards to their favorite restaurants as a gift from us. We had our annual Christmas wrapping paper war where everyone throws wrapping paper everywhere...and then... we make all the kids clean it up! Once the mess was gone my grandmother sat down at the piano (as she does every year) and began playing Christmas songs for the kids to sing along to. She loves for them to sing with her around the piano. Sam was NOT shy at all about getting up there and singing loud! A great time was had by all but we needed to get going... after all... we had surprises to get home to.

Singing around the piano

Paper Fight is getting started!

Once home, the kids found that Santa had come while we were at Granny's house. He left a note with their pajamas telling them that they might want to get those comfy pajamas on and check on the dining room table for a surprise that I had left for them. On the dining room table I left an envelope with each of their names on it. I Santa instructed them to get their new pajamas on and then open their envelope and meet up in the living room. While they did that I went to the kitchen and popped popcorn and made hot chocolate. I then met up with them at the warmed up car. They each handed me their golden ticket (except Kobe...he couldn't find his. We later found it in his pocket!) for the Christmas Express (our SUV) and were boarded into the vehicle. We had Christmas music playing and we drove to one of our favorite traditions on Christmas Eve...the house on Lonnie Drive.  Once there, I distributed popcorn in little clear plastic cups that I had drawn on to make them look like a snowman and cups of hot chocolate. 

This house has a HUGE set up of lights. It is synced with music and you put your radio station on the station that the sign in their yard tells you to and then you get to watch the lights dance to the tempo of the music. I really enjoy this. Carol of the Bells is one of my most favorite Christmas songs and so I always get excited when that one comes on. This was probably one of the highlights of the Christmas festivities for me. The kids loved it, and that made me smile on the outside and on the inside.

Creative Kid Snacks Blog

Their "Golden Tickets" (SOURCE)
I know this one is kind of dark but it is the boys in the car once we got to the Christmas lights. I love it because they are so happy and have a "thumbs up".

This one just cracks me up!

Even Buster Bean watched out the window!

Once the Christmas light show was all over we headed home to leave some homemade cookies and milk out for Santa. We left apples and carrots for the reindeer and we even sprinkled reindeer food on our lawn. 

Sam and Kobe came up with this note together.

I talked to the older kids this year and asked if they would rather have more things left out unwrapped from Santa or if they would rather me wrap their things up under the tree. All three of them said wrap them! So, this year I only sat a few little things out from Santa and wrapped most all of their goodies. Christmas Eve night was ROUGH. John wasn't feeling well so he was up and down all night. Kobe and Samuel woke up at 2:30, 4:30, and 7:00 wanting to unwrap gifts. We made them wait until 8:00. Once everything was unwrapped we headed over to my parent's house for Christmas our pajamas! We have never gone in our pajamas before, but this year, we just wanted to be very comfortable.

Santa Came!

It was cold, raining, and windy. We got over there and we helped my parents finish up the food and then we all sat down to eat. The kids took turns going around the table telling what all they had gotten for Christmas. Finally, their favorite time of the day... present time at Nana and Poppa's house! My parents insisted on playing "Santa" and handing out the gifts this year. The boys made forts and surrounded themselves with the gifts that were being brought to them. We all had a great time being with my parents and hanging out BUT a couple of little boys I know needed a nap from waking up too early...three times! So we headed home. We all took naps! I got up and started preparing for a birthday party that we were having at our house that night. I made all party foods. Pizza crescents, cocktail weenies, a deli tray (bought that!), cookies, and of course birthday cake! The guest of honor? JESUS! My parents came over and we all celebrated Jesus' birthday. We had a very fun time and they got to look and play with all of the toys the kids had gotten earlier that day. 

Some small little things from Santa for Callum and Haley. In the middle is the RAINEY gift I put out each year. It is a bowl of popcorn, candy, and movies for our family to enjoy. I took a permanent marker and wrote RAINEY FAMILY CINEMA on it a couple of years ago and we sit it out each year to be refilled. This year the movies were: The Dark Knight Rises, Diary of a Wimpy Kid : Dog Days (prank pack that came with fake dog poo, the cheese from the cheese touch, and a fake ice cube with a fly in it), Brave, and The Amazing Spider Man.

Chief celebrate Jesus' birthday too!

Two little boys I know "stole" this tray off of the party table and took it to the living room to eat! I think their faces are priceless! CAUGHT IN THE ACT! You can see what Sam's shirts says: Hello, My name is Trouble!

This year, I decided to get my house back in order a lot sooner than I normally do. Normally, I wait until after New Year's but I just couldn't this year. I was ready for some normalcy. As I began to take down all of the decorations, I thought I would post some pictures of the ornaments that my kids made this year. There are MANY, MANY more that I have collected over the decade of my mommyhood. I love them all. They all make me want to cry when I unwrap them each year. I couldn't take pictures and post them all so I decided I would just go with what was made this year.

 Snowman Ornament that Kobe made me last year. His class didn't actually make any ornaments this year. He painted all of this by himself and it is so special to me so I wanted to include it.

Ornament that Samuel made for me at school this year.

Once all was said and done, we all had a good time. We had a great time of family and fellowship and just enjoying being with each other. 

Our Tree 

The boys' Batman themed tree. Their favorite part? The Batman helicopter tree topper!

Me and the boys!

Samuel's beginning collection of Nutcrackers. He has developed a love for Nutcrackers so we started buying him one a year and writing the date on the bottom.

I say it every year, but THIS was the best Christmas ever.

Christmas wore this little boy out!

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