Sunday, December 27, 2009

Santa came.

Waiting to see what Santa brought...

Lucky Luke... Santa brought him some deodorant! (Or is that, lucky us??? - We haven't had any problems with this yet... but just don't want to chance it!)

Chad already distracted by some Star Wars something

D in his new winter jacket that Grandma Paula sent him - (with Reed's jammy pants on his head!)

Reed's new CARS Geotrax set

Macy's new art set which she loves!

Santa brought us some strategic games (Othello and Mastermind) to go along with the class that Luke is currently taking on strategic games.

New puzzles... always a favorite (granted it's 4 days later, and this puzzle is still poured all over our kitchen table. It's hard!)

The Zhu Zhu pets, Chunk and Pipsquek, taking a "nap" (says Reed). Much better and cleaner than the hamsters I had as a kid!

Well, even if "Christmas Eve Santa" told the children that they were on the naughty list, the real Santa still managed to show up and make it a super Christmas! We hope that all of you had a great Christmas as well and were able to remember the true meaning of Christmas mixed in with all the craziness. Love to all of you... and we wish that more of our family could've been here to share it with us! We love you!

Christmas Eve at our house.

Haley and Santa









Chad, trying to put all his weight on Santa



Me and Santa

Jordan, Aaron and Reed trying to track Santa

We were lucky to be able to host Christmas Eve also. Susie had had surgery the week before, and was totally on bedrest, and Christmas Eve was the first day she was able to get out of bed, so we were happy to have her and her family come to our house. We were also happy to have some of our friends over. We had some yummy food, played some games, did a fun white elephant gift exchange with the kids, and of course, enjoyed our visit with Santa. And apparently most of the kids were on the naughty list for not cleaning up dog food that they spilled on the floor.

Sugar Cookies.

A tradition in my family growing up (and another way to entertain the kids) is to make sugar cookies and then let the kids decorate them. When I was a kid, my mom did this with my kindergarten class. I LOVE this tradition (and so did my kids, it's something they look forward to every year!)... but I really don't enjoy the rolling and cutting out process of the cookies. I'm just not very good at it for some reason.

And the entertaining of the children begins.

I try to find some sort of activity for the kids to do while they are on break. The first one we did, besides baking all the goodies for the neighbors, was to make gingerbread houses. They LOVE doing this! We buy boxes of cheap graham crackers and frosting, give them lots of candy options and just let them go to town. Fills a few hours, and totally entertains them and any of the other children that happen to stop by!

A caroling we will go!

Notice that all the treats are hiding in the over. This is because in the last week, Cooper has eaten half a box of Golden Grahams, some chocolate pretzels and a whole package of Biscotti that friends of ours made for us. If we want anything protected from the dog, we have to hide it!

Something we've noticed while living here is that friends and neighbors love to bring treats and carol throughout the month of December (and I''ve started to get really bugged if someone shows up the evening and isn't "bearing gifts". No offense... you just sort of get use to it!). So, not to be outdone by our friends and neighbors, and also to share our love with them back, we made lots of treats and headed out! The kids really enjoyed it, and next year I think that we have to be more organized and planned out ahead of time.

Waiting for the Sunningdale Santa!

Every year, right before Christmas, Santa comes to visit one of the neighborhoods in our area. All of the children wait on the street and Santa comes, being towed by a tractor, followed by a fire truck, handing out candy canes to everyone. It's really cool... and I'm pretty sure this might be the real Santa... he sure does look like him.

Happy Christmakkuh everyone!

So, one of the traditions that we've made up (okay, it's mostly that I've made up), is the celebration of Christmakkuh. It tends to take place the Sunday before Christmas and it's when we have friends and family over, eat brisket, play a little driedel, and celebrate the Jewish in all of us. Hey... I grew up in Beverly Hills... what do you want?????

Reindeer Reed

Reed's last day of preschool before Winter Break, found him learning how to be a reindeer. He got to wear reindeer antlers, eat like a reindeer, and they even practiced their reindeer flying skills. So, here is Reindeer Reed!

Jingle all the way...

Luke's 6th grade choir did a Christmas performance with the 7th/8th grade choir, and it was really nice. They sang some Christmas classics, and even did a reindeer rap all about Christmas Eve from the reindeer's perspective! Love it!

Counting the pearly whites!

Reed went for his first dentist appointment. He was pretty good about it, as long as he didn't have to sit in the big chair. So, they had him sit backwards on my lap and lean back into the dentist's lap, and then they were able to count his teeth.

Getting ready...

One of the things that I do every year, which is totally for me (really, it is! I never scrapbook for myself, so this is all for me, even though I send them out to all of you!), but really drives me crazy, is to make my own Christmas cards. Every year they get crazier and crazier and one of these years I'm just gonna do a digital card, but I wanted to take a picture of the beginning. Here are all the papers, just waiting for me to do something really cool with them.

(Getting to December now) The annual making of Candy Calendars

One of the traditions that Derrick grew up with was, making candy calendars. It's kind of like an advent calendar. You use leftover Halloween candy, or whatever you have, and make a calendar that starts at Dec. 1 and goes all the way up to Christmas, getting to eat a piece of candy each day. Lots of fun, and this is something that the kids look forward to every year... and it's not even about eating the candy, they just like making the calendars!

The Pilgrims and the Indians...

As I mentioned in the last post, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year, and we had a great time! We had the Pet Ducks and the Susie's and a good time was had by all!