Home for the Holidays- Part 2

It's always hard to live almost 12 hours from my family, but it's especially hard during Christmas. There's a longing to do Christmas in our house with our kids, but a deep longing to be with family too. That's not so easy when they don't live down the road. So this year, we decided to set aside an entire day as our own family Christmas before heading out to PA to spend the 25th with my family. I wasn't sure how it would be, would it "feel" like Christmas, would I end up in a puddle of tears because I couldn't have the best of both worlds? Christmas with our little family and then Christmas with my whole family, whom I don't see very much? Well, I am so thankful to say, everything turned out great!!! Overall, the Christmas season felt like a whirlwind, but I am so thankful we got a special day for our family and then got to spend time with my family whom I only see a few times a year (and really only one or two of those times is Jon able to be with us then too due to work).

The kids were well aware of our "Family Christmas" and were stoked! We made the classic red and green paper Christmas countdown chain with a white link marking our Family Christmas on Saturday the 21st, and another white link marking Christmas day, Christmas in PA at "Grandma Shell's and Grandpa Jack's." Every day, they excitedly tore off another link and counted down the days.

Our "Christmas Eve" on the 20th. These two were crazy hyper! We watched one of the classic Christmas cartoons together, did the Jesse Tree, and kissed these munchkins goodnight to dream of Christmas day wonder! 
 I stayed up super late to finish up gift wrapping and stuffing stockings, while watching one of our favorite Christmas movies, "Little Women." (It's actually Jon's favorite). I LOVE doing this stuff. This might be one of my all-time favorite pictures this Christmas. It DID "feel" like Christmas and I might've been more excited than my kids to watch them enjoy it. 
Family Christmas morning on the 21st. 
 Mekonen kept doing this silly face. He told me it was from the movie Frosty the Snowman. Haha. They were anxiously waiting to open their stockings! 
(I apologize for the many upcoming fuzzy photos. I have many of these on our camera, not just my phone, but haven't been able to get them onto my computer). 
 Time to dig in!

 As luck would have it, as soon as they were done with their stockings, our power went out, all down our road! So no Christmas lights, and no overhead lights!! It was early and it was a very gray and cloudy day, so our already darker living room had no light. Not enough light for pictures, video, or present opening. We were able to hold off the kids for a little bit with their stocking loot, and luckily our cinnamon rolls and breakfast was already done so we passed some of the time eating. We weren't sure when the power would come back on and didn't want to have to open the presents in the "dark" if possible. We watched a Christmas movie on the lapbook (until it ran out of power).....
....and finally, they couldn't take it any longer, and the sun was shining a little more in the dining room by this time, so we moved the table out of the way, sat the kids in the corner with some blankets and brought them their gifts! It wasn't by the Christmas tree and was in a very odd spot, but oh well!! It worked! 
 Doctor set to take care of her babies. She was all about this! 
 He asked for Lego sets this year. Here is "build a Buzz." He is really good at these things. It's his spatial giftedness that his Mommy just doesn't have! 
 The baby food that came with this toy was a huge hit. She is always feeding her babies any of her random play food that's not really "baby food," so she was very excited to get some actual baby food for her dollies. 

 He loves the die-cast planes from the movie Planes. He still plays with the "cars with eyes" (as he calls them) from the movie Cars, pretty much every day! He was excited to add these to the collection! 
 Newborn surprise Cabbage Patch Doll twins. These are the cutest little things ever. They come swaddled up in a cabbage leaf! It's pretty much like they are swaddled all the time, which Evie is obsessed with. She got a boy named Darius Kolby and a girl named Abigail Audrey (via the birth certificates it came with). The kids laughed and laughed about that. Haha. 
And of course, all the lights turned on within seconds of the last gift being opened! Classic.
 A few pictures of the Christmas decorations we put up this year.
Our fireplace mantel. I LOOOVE having a mantel to decorate! 
The kids cute little corner in the living room, although I didn't get around to putting a Christmas chalkboard writing on their chalkboard. Oh well! Maybe next year! 
 Dining room (and the hutch still undecorated inside. I don't know what to do with it).
 Dining room buffet table
 One of my favorite chalkboard writings I did this year.
 Front entranceway. I love this part of our house. 
 Christmas pictures in their Christmas outfits. Evie struck this pose and I laughed and said, "Evie, what are you doing?" And she replied, "Mom, this is what Cinderella does." I replied, "Oh really?" Maybe we need to nix Disney princesses now? She's only two!
 It is quite the chore getting a decent picture of these two together. 
 Later that afternoon, we did Christmas present with Jon's parents, Grandma Magz and Boppy. Evie kept sitting there, crossing her legs all dainty-like. It was hysterical.
 I love her little head peeking out over the top of the present.
 After we spent the afternoon with Jon's mom and dad, a crowd of our extended family on Jon's mom's side joined us for dinner. I absolutely love that we can do this in our house! So thankful! 
 The "kids table." Hahaha.
 Daddy's birthday is on Christmas Day and Grandma Magz brought him a cake. The kids loved helping Daddy blow out the candles.
 I wish these pictures weren't so fuzzy, but these are Jon's grandparents, so our kids great-grandparents.

So all in all, our second "Home for the Holidays" was a success. We enjoyed ourselves and our kids seemed to have a blast. Looking forward to the many years of our growing family! Merry Christmas! 

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