We had an excellent Christmas Celebration this year! Keeping with tradition, we made cookies for Santa Christmas Eve. This year Grandma and Grandpa J joined us overnight, and Grandma taught us to use a cookie press:The kids' Gingerbread House:
Little Cuties (yes, Kate's a cutie, but I'm talking about the orange in her hand in the pic below!) made a huge splash in our home this year! The kids ate so many oranges I couldn't begin to count. However, I DID count one afternoon when Owen polished off 11 (yes, eleven!) little oranges!
Kate has discovered the love of reading and happily will bring her books, plop in your lap, and sit patiently, listening to stories. I am amazed at her attention span at 20 months. She can ~ and wants to ~ listen to a whole Bernstein Bear book; seems I remember the boys sitting through books, but much shorter books at 20 months.
Christmas Eve we had a feast of ham, baby potatoes, and multi-colored beans:
Then bathtime and new jammies (pants in the boys' case) from Grandma and Grandpa, and we're all set to put out the milk, cookies, and carrots for Santa and his reindeer:
We've put out cookies, within arms reach, for the last 5 years. Kate is the first kid to take advantage of their close proximity and taste Santa's treat:
Might as well enjoy some of the Reindeers' treat too:
Owen asked Santa for an "indoor soccer ball" and was thrilled Christmas morning when he spotted it (wrapped and all) under the tree! "There's my soccer ball! I know it! I got it!!"
He was equally thrilled that he got a new Seahawks shirt:
Collin asked for a big Buzz Lightyear "with wings" (for the second year in a row) and was beyond words that it arrived this year after he'd forgot to put it on his list (for the second year in a row). Thankfully he was also excited when he opened new sheets (and bath towels and jackets and jammies!):
One of my most precious moments from this holiday season occurred about 10 days before Christmas. The boys were concerned that Kate didn't know how to open gifts. "Remember her first birthday, Mom? We had to help her!" So one evening they searched the house, then wrapped empty boxes so she could practice. It was adorable! And it worked! By Christmas morning, she was a pro:
Second on the Most Wanted list for both boys this year: Bakugan. I still really have no idea what they are or what you do with them (they are little transformer-like balls that open when you throw them or when they hit a magnetic field, and there's a game association?), but after all the gifts appeared to be open, Collin looked at Kevin with a sad face and said something about really wanting Bakugan. They were the last gift, tucked in back, and the boys were delighted to open them begin to play right away:
Grandma made Kate a new outfit:
We then spent the afternoon at my sisters with her family, my brother and Janae, Grandma and Grandpa Y, my Great Grandma, my uncle David, Lynn, and her daughter Jessica, my brother Kramer. The kids played outside till the sun went down, and we did gifts after dinner and bath. Here they are in jammies waiting for "Santa David" to pass out the gifts:
Collin, Owen, Marley, Taylor, Jessica, and Kate (up on Grandpa's lap)
Merry Christmas 2009