Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Break Fun Part 2

I just had to document a few fun moments from our Christmas break. Nanny and Papa and Aunt Laura stayed through Monday night. We decided to go see the newest "Star Wars" movie together. I got a sitter for the younger two and we took Tanner with us. 
You can bet he felt pretty special. He was the only grand kid there and he loved all the attention. Nanny bought everyone big buckets of popcorn and Tanner loved getting to sit next to Uncle David.
The movie was great and we had a great time together.
After the movie, Nanny, Papa and Aunt Laura headed back to Mtn. Home. 
Uncle David stayed for a couple more days while we watched the weather to see when it would be good for him to drive home. He ended up leaving bright and early Wednesday morning. 
However, before he left- Tanner got to play one of his grown-up board games. Actually it was Dad's "Oregon Trail" card game and Tanner was thrilled to be included. 
We spent most of our nights together playing games and Tanner really wanted to stay up and play. So the night before Uncle David left, we let him stay up and feel like a big kid. It was so cute to watch him. 

Oh and this picture had to be included. Bailey got a "turbie-twist" from Santa and we couldn't wait to try it out. It was a hit and Bailey loves that her hair doesn't soak the back of her pj's anymore after baths. I sure love this girl. 

After Uncle David left, we spent the day recovering from all the Christmas excitement. It was nice to spend the day together just playing and enjoying time at home
Bailey loves her dollhouse so much. She is so cute playing with her princes and princesses.
The rest of the week was spent playing with friends and enjoying our break. 
Tanner spent one day at Cooper's and he had the best time. He actually lost his top front tooth while he was there and was so happy and proud. So fun. 
Bailey also had a play date with her bestie, Chloe. They had a great time playing with her dollhouse and playing dress up together. These two are such a mess together- cracks me up. 

In typical Tucker-fashion, he was just happy to be along for the ride. He played with friends and enjoyed his new train set. He was a great Christmas break and I'm not quite ready for school to start. Although we still get to celebrate the new year with family and friends before that happens. Yay. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!! 
We started our morning bright and early. The kids woke up around 5:15 am and couldn't wait to see what Santa had brought them in their stockings. It was so early that it was a bit ridiculous. First Tanner woke up. He came in our room and said "Santa brought me a transformer- come see." He couldn't reach it because it was up on the mantle, so we went out and handed him his transformer and said go back to bed. Then 10 minutes later, Bailey was awake and giggling with Tanner. She was freaking out about the shopkins that Santa had brought her and so we handed those to her and went back to bed. Next thing I hear is my parents- up talking with the kids in the living room. Apparently they didn't want to miss out on the fun. So by 6 am-everyone  was up and we started sorting through our stockings. It was so fun to watch the kids, they loved everything that Santa brought them. They were so thrilled. 
Then we ate a nice Christmas breakfast of waffles and eggs. Then we got ready and went to church for our Christmas service. 
Here is a picture of the kids in their Christmas best. I just love these babes. 
After church we came home and Bailey discovered a princess dollhouse waiting for her. She was so happy. It was adorable. This is what she had asked Santa for and she was ecstatic that one had magically appeared in her living room while she was gone. SO FUN!
We all opened our presents and we were all properly spoiled. 
We are so happy to have so much family here to celebrate  with us. 

Then it was lunch time and nap time.
Then Joseph and his family came back over for a nice Christmas dinner.
We had a ham with all the fixings. It was delicious. 
We ended the night by watching "Claymation Christmas" in matching Christmas pjs from Nanny and Papa. My siblings and I grew up watching this and so it was fun to watch it again with the grand kids and Nanny and Papa. They were laughing throughout the entire movie. So fun!
It was a great way to end our Christmas day! As I reflect on all our many blessings I can't believe how fortunate we are. We have so many wonderful things in our lives and the gospel helps us appreciate it all the more.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve Excitment

Christmas Eve!!! How is this day already here? I feel like the month of December just flew by. Crazy.
We started off our day by finally making our gingerbread masterpiece for the year. This year we made a train. Tucker was very happy about this development. We typically make this way earlier in the season, but like I said- this month has been crazy. 
Each kid took turns decorating a part of the train and it was so fun. 

Tanner took his icing job very seriously. Never have evergreen trees looked so amazing. 
I love these kids so dang much!

The day was full of playing and errands; cleaning and food prep. We also waited patiently for Uncle David to come over to visit. He drove over the day before and got in after the kids had gone to sleep. The kids were all dying to see him and it was very exciting when he came over.

 On Christmas eve we had everyone over for a Mexican food dinner. We grew up having Mexican food at my Aunt Ginny's house so this was a fun tradition to continue. Aaron and Stephanie joined us as well. Joseph and Julieta were over and we were only missing Sarah, Johnny and their family-(they went to Utah for the holiday). 
After a delicious dinner, we re-enacted the nativity with all the little cousins. This was pretty comical. Tanner and Bailey, however, took their roles as "Joseph" and "Mary" very seriously. We were kind of cracking up watching them. So cute. 

Oh and before we started the re-enactment, we had each of the wise men gather the most valuable thing they could find to bring to baby Jesus. Their selections were pretty awesome.
Emmett brought a princess carriage, Black brought a princess jewelry box and a couple of transformers and Tucker brought a shoelace "snake".
They were all very proud of their selections and it was so funny to watch them all present their gifts.
I always love reading Luke 2 and it's become more and more entertaining as the kids get older.
After our nativity, Stephanie and Aaron took their boys home to finish their preparation and all their family traditions.
Next up for us was our traditional gingerbread smash.
These kids didn't hold back, despite the fact that we had just finished decorating it that morning. They happily demolished and devoured it together.

Then Joseph and Julieta took their boys home and we finished the last of Christmas Eve traditions.
We opened our package from the pajama elves and the kids got their Christmas pjs.
After getting their pj's on, I read them the book. This is another of my favorite traditions. Pretty cute story and the kids love it!
Then we sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn. 
And said goodbye to our elves. This year our elves were pretty quiet. We did the "light the world" challenge and the elves helped us stayed focused. It was so nice. And despite me not making elaborate setups each night for them. the kids still loved finding their elves each morning and seeing what the challenge was. They loved sharing the light of Christ and serving those around us. We will definitely be keeping our elf visits Christ focused.  
Tucker gave his reindeer a crazy hug and then attempted to feed him some of the carrots we laid out for Santa's reindeer. So cute. 

Then it was hugs and kisses for everyone and the kids were off to bed. They went happily and fell right asleep. 
Then we watched a Christmas movie and finished with our Christmas Eve preparations.
I was so excited for the next morning that it was hard to sleep. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Break Fun Part 1

Wednesday the 21st was our first official day of Christmas break. We spent the morning at Miss Jessica's house taking our traditional "Christmas Pjs" picture. Jessica is amazing and I love how it turned out. Seriously- isn't it beautiful!!!
Then it was home for some relaxing fun. 
Then on Thursday, the 22nd, we drove down to Fayetteville to go to the Stewart Family lights with the cousins. Joseph and Julieta met us down there with Aunt Laura and the boys.
The Stewart family lights is a huge privately funded light display. It's totally free and covered in inflatables and lights. It's pretty great. It's been on our NWA bucket list for a while, but Christmas time always gets so crazy and we've never been able to go until this year.

First stop was the train ride. The kids were thrilled to see Aunt Laura. (She'd flown in a couple days earlier, but we hadn't had a chance to see her yet). 
Tuck was too obsessed and excited about the trains to look at the camera. 
After Uncle Joseph and his crew left, we met up with our Fuhriman friends. We sure love these people. 
How cute are Annalise and Bailey? 

It was a fun night and a perfect way to start our Christmas break.

The next morning, we hopped on the Arkansas Missouri railroad for the Christmas Express Train. 
We went with a bunch of friends and it was so fun. This is probably my favorite Christmas tradition. We typically go at night, but this year we decided to try the day trip and it was just as much fun. 

Cooper and Tanner are such cute friends. 
Bailey and Chloe
And I can't forget this crazy little boy. 
I love that the train car was all lit up and decorated. Santa's elves also served cookies and hot chocolate. 
We even had a visit from the Big Man himself. Tucker looks unsure in this picture but when he saw him walking down the train car towards us, he freaked out and started yelling "SANTA"!!!! It was hilarious. 
We sang Christmas carols and chatted with our friends and had such a great time. 
And the best part- Aunt Laura got to join us for the train ride so that made it even more special!
These kids thoroughly enjoyed the magic and it didn't matter one bit that it was during the day instead of at night. SO FUN!
Oh and we snagged a group shot before leaving. Look at all these adorable friends. We are so blessed!

Oh and miraculously, our letters from Santa showed up today- just in time. So fun!

Stay tuned- tomorrow is Christmas eve and Nanny and Papa are coming over tonight to celebrate with us!