Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Memories Day 24

For our last night, we read these books:

We spent most of the day just getting ready for the rest of the weekend. I cleaned up the kitchen and did laundry while the kids played on the computer or with Legos or Polly Pockets.

This evening we got to go to a Christmas Eve service at a church in our local town. I have never been to one because our family obligations have always been at the same time but that changed this year. It was a very special and reflective time.

Later, JB's dad came over so the kids could open up presents from him. They all got books which they are excited about. Chubbles got two search and find books with Elmo and Mickey. Lil Red got a princess book and a ballerina book and each one came with a matching necklace. Lil Man got a Star Wars Lego book that had over 200 pieces that you use to build the items throughout the book. My favorite was Legs' book. It was a Harry Potter book and it is all the inside stuff about the characters and the making of the movies.

The other gift they opened from my father-in-law was a group gift. We have finally entered the age of home gaming systems and we now have a Wii. It came with Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort and we were given three other games, Lego Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Mario Brothers. There were squeals of delight as that present was opened.

After papa left, we had the kids open their one gift from us. They know what they are because we do it every year on Christmas Eve. They all got new pajamas to wear. This is only the second time I have not coordinated them but I wasn't really happy with what I had seen this year.

Finally, at the end of the night, we put out our cookies and letters for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer.

It didn't take Lil Red and Lil Man five minutes to fall asleep. I am so excited about tomorrow. We start out with Santa gifts, breakfast and reading the REAL Christmas story from Luke 2 in the Bible. I love hearing JB read out-loud to all of us each year.

At the beginning of the month, we told them that we couldn't afford presents this year and that was why we were starting the new tradition of reading books each night and making sure to focus on a different Christmas activity each day. Well, some friends got together and presented us with gift cards to go shopping for the kids. They still think they aren't getting anything from us, so Christmas morning will be one big surprise.

Christmas Memories Day 23

Tonight we read these books:

I stayed up late last night and assembled all the gingerbread buildings with hot glue. This had been suggested to me by my best friend, K and it was quite simple. This alleviated the chance of frustration for the kids waiting on the icing to set-up the next day. They were able to sit right down and decorate. Chubbles' house did loose its roof but we decided that it was probably too heavy for the hot glue and when she pressed slightly to put on the candy, it caused the pieces to fall. I was amazed that she did not get upset but that may have to do with the fact that she was too busy adding globs of icing to her tree and Santa pieces.

After assembly but before decorating...

Decorating fun...

And the finished designs...

Chubbles' house.

Lil Red's Christmas train.

Lil Man's Army base.

Legs' Reindeer flight school. It took her three hours to finish.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Memories Day 22

Tonight we read these books:

JB took Lil Man with him to work and the girls stayed at home playing and doing laundry while I got the last few gifts for the kids from JB's dad and mailed my Christmas cards. When I got back, the girls and I made an assembly line and got six bags full of goodies ready to deliver to other families.

We filled the bags with breads, spiced tea mix, turkey noodle soup mix and snowman soup packets. We added labels with directions on how to make the soup and a cup of tea. Once all of the bags were ready to go, we picked up Lil Man and we were on our way.

My original plan was to sing carols at each house we were making a delivery but the kids did not like that idea. The first house we stopped at is some newer friends of ours who pastor a church in our little town. They just brought their two-year old home from the hospital where she was dealing with pneumonia. They had also just finished hosting family for an early Christmas.

The second bag went to some more good friends of ours that live close. JB and V have become good buddies and are always bouncing ideas off of each other. They have all teenager daughters and Lil Man has a crush on one of them. Lil Red has also made an attachment to this couple that just melts their hearts.

Bag number three was delivered to the kids' swimming instructors. They were in the middle of their family Christmas but Mrs. D was moved to tears that we would even think of them. She kept insisting that we come in and join the festivities but we had three more bags to deliver.

Our next stop was a family that goes to our church and is like another set of grandparents to the kids. Leona (or Ono as Chubbles likes to say) and Papa Rick spoil these kids with attention and she is always willing to help me out with the kids if I need to be somewhere during the day without them.

Stop number five was to our homeschool coop president's house. I had contacted her earlier in the day to make sure they would be home but would not tell her why, just that it was a good thing. She was excited because they really like surprises. While we dropped off their bag of goodies, I also presented them with a gift from the coop for a family membership to the OK Aquarium.

The last gift was to our best friends. I knew they were not at home but we left it on the front porch. We didn't get to see their reactions but I know they will enjoy the goodies. She texted me later and told me that I broke the no gift rule between us. I told her it was not a gift, just a "hey, we love you bunches" bag.

Christmas Memories Day 21

Tonight we read these books:

We had our last Lego Club for 2010 this afternoon. There was only seven kids there but a lot of our friends have already left to celebrate Christmas or have sick ones at home. I bet we start back strong in 2011. Check out some of these creations we had today.

After we got home, Lil Man and Lil Red got their turn baking in the kitchen. We finished up our pumpkin and banana nut breads to give as gifts.

While the breads were baking, we watched Rudolph and Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Memories Day 20

Tonight we read these books:

After a late start, I took the kids to my Aunt C's house. They got to make pizza, ice cream sundaes and play some Wii. They also got some early Christmas presents, new coats, pjs, books and Bop It. While they were having fun, I got shopping done for the kids from JB's dad. I have only one gift left to get for LIl Man and then lots of wrapping to do. I chose to get some things from Barnes and Noble and then clothes. I stopped at Old Navy, Carter's Outlet and Justice.

Christmas Memories Day 19

We made time to read these books tonight:

We spent seven hours on the road to go to Marietta, OK, and back. My mom's family was having an Christmas get-together. Lots of yummy food and great fellowship was shared. We even had a lot of my mom's cousins together so they got a group picture.

When we got back to town, Legs went to a Sunday school class party. They girls made cookies and then delivered them to fire stations and police stations.

Christmas Memories Day 18

Tonight we read these books:

Today was busy with Christmas and non-Christmas events. It started very early with JB taking Lil Man to his basketball game. They won 12-3. Once they got home, I got the kids loaded up and we ran some errands like picking up some gift cards for three different birthdays. We failed to make it to our great niece and great nephew's birthday party. I still had to get home and finish putting together chili and a dessert for the party later tonight.

Lil Red had a birthday party to go to while at the same time Lil Man had a Boy Scout pack meeting and I had an appointment. Lil Man and another wolf scout got to present the colors and I am so disappointed that I missed it. I am praying one of the other moms got some pictures for me. Lil Red is our little diva/princess but to our surprise she didn't want the cucumbers on her eyes or the avocado mask on her face during the party. She did let them paint their nails with sparkly nail polish.

Later that evening, the kids went to JB's sister's house and the two of us went to a church youth worker's party. I think I was the only spouse there that didn't work in the youth department. The men were supposed to bring chili and the women were to bring the desserts. JB will be the first to tell you that he doesn't really know how to cook but to our surprise, he won the chili contest. It was the first time we had had Elk Chili but it was really good. There was enough leftover I think we will be having Frito Chili Pie, Chili Cheese Dogs and 3-Way Chili this week coming up.

While we were at our party, the kids had a pizza and movie night with their aunt and uncle. They may make this a tradition in the years to come.

Christmas Memories Day 17

On December 17th, we read these books:

This morning we went to our last Friday coop event of 2010. Today was our Fun Class/Show-n-Share Day. One of the moms organized a bartering/trading event for the kids which tied into their studies in history. The children were instructed to make goodies or clean out their toys and price item from $1-$5. Since my kids were at my parent's house, we did not have time to make anything for the fun class and we had already cleaned out the toys to donate to other needy resources. We did participate in the Show-n-Share though. Lil Man showed off a creation that he made with K'Nex and Lil Red showed off her lapbook about Astronomy and the sun.

This afternoon was Lil Red's dance class where the parents could come in and observe in the class. They showed us their jazz and tap dance and the costumes for each. I am not sure of the name of the song for tap but it is in a 50s style and they will be wearing a pink and black halter-type costume and cat-eye glasses. They are dancing to "All The Single Ladies" for jazz and will be wearing an all gold costume and have big rings on their fingers. Lil Red loves her dance class but I did notice we need to work on her skipping skills.

That evening, Legs babysat and I took the three little ones to Woolaroc for their Wonderland of Lights. We drove through the animal reserve but it was too dark to see any animals. The main buildings and grounds were covered in thousands of lights. We enjoyed a tractor pulled-wagon ride, observation tower and snacks. I also took some pictures inside the lodge of some of the animal trophies like a giraffe, elephant, rhino, alligator, etc.

Christmas Memories Day 16

All the kiddos are back home so tonight we read these books:

My mom took Legs shopping today and they found the cutest boots. She is very proud of them and has worn them everyday since.

Before the other kids got home, Chubbles and I went to the library for preschool storytime where she got to deliver her gift to Ms. S. Chubbles was so proud and insisted she carry the gift in all by herself. Ms. S was so surprised and said all the goodies would be enjoyed at her house.

Chubbles took a good nap so I took advantage and got some cleaning done before the noise started back at our house. It didn't take long once they got home, no more silence. While the kids were settling in at home, I took my mom and we went and did all of our Christmas dinner shopping.

Christmas Memories Day 15

On December 15th, Chubbles and I read these books:

The other three kids were still gone today but it was reported that they made and decorated cookies at grandma and grandpa's house. Chubbles and I put together a gift bag of goodies for the Ms. S, the children's librarian. Ms. S does a great preschool storytime and Chubbles looks forward to it every Thursday. We made banana nut bread, turkey noodle soup mix, spiced tea mix and snowman soup. The last thing was for her son at home.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Memories Day 14

Today, Chubbles and I read these books.

Chubbles got to spend part of the day with one of her friends. Another mom had offered to watch the kids so I took her up on it and spent the time with my best friend, K. We did some shopping, eating and just plain ol' good girlfriend time together.

Our family was blessed this year to provide gifts from Santa by either re-gifting an older sibling's toy (Barbie house for Lil Red) or a donated toy from a friend (Nintendo Game Boy for Lil Man and Vanity for Chubbles). Legs wanted a new Bible and had previously picked one out at Mardels. Today, when Santa's elves went to get it, they were out but the elves spotted a horse-lovers Bible. I can't wait to see her reaction on Christmas morning at the unexpected gift.

Tonight, Chubbles and I added more ornaments to our tree. We couldn't find our ornament hooks so I got some more today and we finished adding our special ones. I was told that the other three kids decorated grandma and grandpa's tree today too.

Christmas Memories Day 13

On December 13th, Chubbles and I read these books.

You may be wondering why I said it was only Chubbles and I reading these books. Well, the other kiddos are at my parent's house for a few days. This is an annual tradition and grandma's rule is that you have to be potty trained to come without mom or dad. They went to see Christmas lights tonight and will decorate the tree one day and make decorated cookies on another day.

Chubbles and I didn't do much Christmas related but we did see some pretty Christmas lights on the way home from taking the kids to my parent's. We did get some great cuddle time with each other while everyone was gone.

Christmas Memories Day 12

We read these books on December 12th.

It isn't Christmas related, but JB, Legs and I got to go see Tim Hawkins live in Claremore. He did some stuff that we knew and could quote as well as some stuff from his new dvd, Insanitized. I now have some great ideas for Legs for her birthday.

That evening we drove through the campus of the local Baptist Children's Home. They tell the Christmas story in eight stations starting with creation. When you enter, they give you a cd and then you play that as you drive to each station. At the end, you return the cd and donate as you wish. They do this every year but for some reason we have never gone in the 8 years we have lived here so it was a must for us. We knew quite a few of the volunteers working that night. I failed to get any pictures.