Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Evening

Though it was so much fun to spend the day out and about with family, it was good to be home again.  Gavin was so tired after a long day with no nap - he went to bed at 5:30!  Logan, though tired too, had a little more umph left.  Justin and I spent the quiet hours of the evening helping Logan put together his Avengers puzzle, building his new Lego dinosaurs, and drinking hot chocolate (coffee! for me and Justin).

For awhile there, Justin and I just sat back, sipping coffee, and watching Logan play inside of his own little dinosaur world.  Not before too long it was time to tuck him into bed.  Then, we had the house to ourselves, silent and cozy while we watched old episodes of LA Ink on Netflix.

It was a chance to reflect back on the day, to see how amazingly blessed I have been by God.  I know I don't have more than some, but I also know I have so much more than others.  At that moment, it was so easy to feel gratitude for God and all He has done in my life.  I not only have so much, but I have so many opportunities to share it with my family. 

It was a very merry Christmas this year.  We are blessed beyond belief.  I pray that all of you out there experienced the abundance of love that I did this year.  Merry Christmas!

Gift #136 - a child playing quietly with his gifts
Gift #137 - Cuddled up on the couch with hot chocolate, Netflix, and Justin

Continuing the fun at Gigi's house...

We always end up at Gigi and Papa's house for a big Christmas dinner.  These are Justin's grandparents, so we share our meal with not only Gigi and Papa, but also Mimi and Papa and Justin's Aunt Holly, her husband, Mike, and their son, Spencer.  It is always a pretty good time, and this year was no exception!

I love Gigi's house because she always decorates so beautifully - it just feels like Christmas in her house!  And this year it smelled like Christmas thanks to a pine fresh candle.  Seriously, her house comes straight out of a magazine - I swear!

Spencer is quite a bit older than Logan, but he's still pretty great about including Logan in whatever he's doing.  This year Spencer got some new X-Box games and had brought them over to play.  He was great about handing over a controller and letting both boys get in on the action.

Of course there was also Molly to play with (see previous post - just scroll on down).  And Logan brought his dinosaurs over to the house with him, so those kept the boys pretty busy.  Particularly Gavin.

After a scrumptious ham dinner in which Logan barely ate and Gavin ate his weight in pineapple, it was time for just a few more presents.  Logan and Gavin had the routine down by this round.  They were both excited to help pass out presents.  Holly read names to them, and they did the running.

Presents were pretty simple and full of fun.  They included a few coloring books, some more dinosaurs, and a couple of cars.  There was even a puzzle and a Spiderman action figure.

Best part of unwrapping presents at Gigi's house is...BOWS!

It was a pretty fantastic visit to Gigi's:  good people, good food, and of course, good gifts, too!  I love my family!  I never cease to feel blessed to have them in my lives, to be able to spend holidays - especially special ones like Christmas - with them!

Gift #132 - the smell of Christmas from a pine scented candle burning
Gift #133 - a delicious Christmas dinner shared with family
Gift #134 - pretty packages wrapped up with shiny paper and curly ribbons
Gift #135 - loving and generous grandparent-in-laws and great-grandparents

Puppy Love

This is Molly:
She is still a puppy - only a few months old.  She belongs to Barb and Norm - Justin's grandparents and the boys' great-grandparents.
Everybody is in love with Molly - especially my boys.  In fact, because of Molly I have spent the last six weeks convincing Logan that even though he asked Santa for a puppy, he wasn't going to get one.  The story I weaved was one of Santa, Dad, and I discussing that Logan and Gavin weren't quite ready for a puppy this year.  He decided that that was okay, because he had Molly and every Sunday he gets to play with Molly when we go to visit Gigi and Papa.  Turns out his excitement to see and play with Molly is stronger than the lure of presents, because when it was time to leave Mimi's house (and all those fun presents), he was ready because it meant it was time to go to Gigi's house and play with Molly!
Gavin seems to like pretending to be a puppy more than play with the puppy.  Case in point:

And it didn't stop there!  He wasn't satisfied with just Molly's bed.  He decided to take over her house as well...
He was more than happy to share the house with Molly.  He even encouraged her to climb in with him.  And though she gave it a shot, in the end she decided he could have the place!

For me, the best part of having Molly around is the fact that she keeps my boys very entertained and all I have to do is hang out and watch the fun.  Occassionally I have to step in and protect poor Molly from my over affectionate children!

Molly is definitely a fun addition to our extended family and our Christmas day!

To Mimi's House We Go!

One of the best things about Christmas is getting to spend it with family.  Shortly after the festivities were over at our house, we packed up and headed to Mimi and Papa's (Justin's parent's) house.  There the boys got some time to celebrate - and open more presents - with their grandparents.

Before it was time to open a few gifts though, both boys had to make a stop at the piano and bang out some "Christmas tunes" for us...

While they enterained themselves at the piano, us "grown-ups" gathered around in the kitchen for coffee and more of my cinnamon roll casserole.  It wasn't long before Logan was begging to open presents though!

Again, Logan wanted Justin to be the first to open a present...but only because the bag the gift was wrapped in said "coal" on it and he wanted to see Daddy open coal for Christmas!

Turns out there was no coal in this bag, but there was a very nice set of new tent pegs!  At this point, we decided to pass out all of the presents before trying to open any more.  Logan and Gavin were very helpful to Mimi and Papa.  Logan did his best to read names and pass out, and Mimi or Papa would hand a gift to Gavin and tell him where to take it.  Both boys thought this was a pretty fun game!

The boys had quite a few BIG boxes to open!  Logan had no trouble tearing into his gifts, but Gavin still needed some help getting started on each one.  While everyone else opened, I manned the camera and assisted Gavin.

Turns out the boys have pretty awesome - and generous - grandparents!  They ended up with cars and a cool mat to play with those cars on...

And there were dinosaurs!  Real-life looking dinosaurs...and funny ones with eyes that popped out when you squeezed them!

Then there was a large, colorful fish pillow for each boy, and Gavin found himself the new owner of some monkey-themed cuddles!

There were also puzzles for Gavin and Logan and a new game called Pallina.

Justin and I got some pretty great gifts, too.  Aside from the tent pegs, Justin ended up with a dip station (exercise equipment) and a gift card.  I got some comfy pj's, fuzzy slippers, and my favorite, a gold necklace with a cross on it.

Mimi and Papa got to open some pretty great gifts, too!  Papa got a new hunting chair that Gavin was ready to claim as his own!

In fact, Gavin loved Papa's new hunting chair so much that when it was time to pack up and head over to Gigi's house for Christmas dinner, he tried to take the chair with him!  He stood up, figured out how to fold that little chair right back up, and headed towards the door with it!  Luckily it didn't take much and resulted in no fit throwing when we convinced him to leave it at Mimi's house. 

It was a quick stop at Mimi and Papa's house really, but it was a fun one.  It was a wonderful reminder of how blessed I have been to marry into such an amazing family and how blessed my boys are to have such loving and fun grandparents!

Gift #129 - family that lives close by
Gift #130 - the smell of freshly brewed coffee
Gift #131 - loving and generous in-laws and grandparents