Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Festivities

We had LOTS of Christmas festivities this year and have so much to be thankful for. Our holiday began with going to church on Christmas Eve with my family. There was a crazy snow storm going on outside, but it was really neat that we got to have a white christmas. After church, we went back to Gigi and Boom's house, had a delicious italian dinner and then opened some presents with them and Meme. Even sweet baby Lila got some presents:)

I love this outfit! She'll probably wear it home from the hospital--it's just that darn cute. I am officially 24 weeks now, so she'll be here soon. We cannot wait to see her sweet little face.
Jared and I got an awesome new Nikon camera, hence the reason for so many pics on this post.

Gigi and Maddie all dressed up after church. I loved her red ruffle dress. I can see Lila inheriting a lot of precious hand-me-downs:)
The next morning we awoke to see that Santa had visited our house during the night. It was so 6:30am Jackson woke me up by saying, "Mom, Santa came and he ate all his cookies and drank all his milk!"
Santa brought Jackson and Madison lots of neat this firetruck...

and play kitchen....

and many fun things in their stockings. But by far the biggest hits of the day were....
yep, you guessed it, the vacuum cleaner

and janitor cart! No joke--this is exactly what he asked Santa for and he was SO excited that it actually made it down the chimney and into our house.

Madison's favorite thing by far was her baby doll and stroller. She hasn't stopped taking care of baby since Christmas morning!

Jackson did take time to open a few (although not all) of his presents that were under the tree. He tried on these cool new cowboy boots for a bit, but then had to get back to cleaning. As he told me earlier in the week, "Mom, I am one cleaning dude--I will clean allllll day."

After enjoying all of the presents from Santa, we headed over to Gigi and Boom's house again for lunch with my Papaw and Granny.

Maddie got a fun kawasaki.

And Jackson got a nifty farm set. They liked these toys, but were blown away with a present left by Santa.

He left them a note saying that there was a special gift in the backyard.

So we all went outside and lo and behold there was a brand new swing set! Jackson was seriously overjoyed! He just kept hollering "It's a swing set!!" and had a huge grin on his face.

Watching the kids play on the swing set was probably the highlight of our day. Jackson tried out all kinds of things,

while Maddie went down the slide about 20 times.

After a short rest, we headed over to the Hays' for some more celebrating. Of course, the vacuum cleaner had to make the trip, too.

Jackson got a huge kick out of seeing Pa Hays vacuum...

and had a total blast playing with his two favorite uncles.

A big treat for me and Jared is that we got to meet Roxie, Pa's new fiance.

Jackson's favorite part of the night, though, was when the big boys broke out the marshmallow guns and mini-helicopters. I still can't believe that Memaw let them play with those toys inside the house!

J also loved trying out his new scooter from Memaw and Poppy and had so much fun riding it down our sidewalk yesterday.

Maddie got some really cute things too, like this monkey that takes a banana bottle...

and this cute little pink rocking horse.
Thank you all so much for such a memorable Christmas. We are so very lucky to have such great families.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


On Christmas Eve we talked Jared into staying home from work and all of us headed out to the Gaylord to see the Ice Exhibit. It was so cool! Uncle Andrew came with us--thank goodness...Jackson and Madison were so goofy! Here's J with his uncle and the grinch.

The Gaylord was fantastic! It was such a neat place. Here's J with two toy soldiers on stilts. He was so intrigued with them:)

The gang in front of the ice sculpture--virtually impossible to get both kids to look at the camera at the same time.

Madison checking out the cool train.

The theme of the ice exhibit was 'The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.' Here's Jackson giving us his best grinch face.

Inside there were so many neat things to see. We saw the whole land of whoville and then came upon these really awesome slides made entirely of ice. Andrew went first, then here came Maddie, and then it was Jackson's turn. He got about half way down and just stopped. There were so many people who thought it was just hilarious and he seriously was just frozen on the freezing cold slide.

They had to break out this really long pole to pull him down the rest of the way! The whole time I was at the bottom hollering his name and waving my arms trying to get him to look at me. I thought maybe if he saw I was down there he wouldn't be scared. It was quite a scene!

After he got off the slide he was much more in his element. Climbing. Seriously...the kid will climb ANYTHING. Even ice.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Memaw's Birthday

Memaw's birthday was on Sunday and we all got together to celebrate. Here's the whole gang before we headed out to dinner at Carrabbas.

Miss Madison watching the festivities...

and Jackson helping Memaw open all of her presents.

Happy Birthday, Memaw!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Breakfast with Santa

Saturday morning we all got up early to go have breakfast with Santa. There were lots of things to do before he got there and the kids had a really fun time. They played the bean bag toss game for a minute or two...

and then moved on to do some crafts. Here's Jackson with the candy cane that he made.

After listening to a man read "Twas the Night Before Christmas," Jackson discovered Santa's cool sled. He climbed all over it and made sure it was in tip top shape for Santa and all his toys.

When Santa arrived Jackson walked right up to him just like last weekend. I think he was a little surprised that Santa didn't recognize him, but he quickly got over it. What the kids didn't really understand was why they didn't get to sit on Santa's lap first this time.

They both did good again--no tears at all...

and Jackson told Santa again that he wants a "yellow vacummer and Maddie wants a pink backpack." Sure hope Santa comes through cause this kid is not kidding!

First Christmas Program

Jackson performed in his first program last Wednesday at school. The 2 - 4 year olds sang 5 christmas songs, complete with motions, and it was soooo cute! We were really excited to go watch him! He'd been singing all the songs for weeks, so I knew that he could sing them, I just wasn't sure if he would. He did so good, though, and we were all very proud. Here he is on the front row...singing and clapping along.

We roll pretty deep around here and Jackson had a pretty good sized fan club attend his performance.

Even Daddo took off work to come see his little guy in action. Jackson was so excited about this--he woke up on Wednesday morning and said, "Will my daddy come see me today?" When I told him yes, he just got this huge grin on his face. Almost made me cry it was so sweet.

Jackson has had the best teachers this year. Here he is with Ms. Christine. Apparantly the way to make him crack up for a picture is to ask him to say, "spaghetti and meatballs!" Who knew?!

Thanks, Ms. Christine!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Santa came to town!

As previously mentioned, my parents had their big Santa party this past weekend. Taylor took lots of great pictures of the night, so I wanted to share some highlights. The night began with Santa arriving in a fire truck. So fun!
Jackson ran right up to him and gave him a big hug. Might have been one of the sweetest things yet.
Then he led Santa by the hand into Gigi and Boom's house. I'm pretty sure he thought that Santa came just to see him:) He was the first one up on Santa's lap and promptly began telling him what he wanted for Christmas.

Then it was time to let some others have a turn. We had kids of all ages. The youngest was only 3 weeks old.

We also had an engagement take place on Santa's knee! That was a first for a Raines Christmas party!

People came in from all over--here's my cousin Shelly with her family. They drove in from Houston just to come meet Santa. Their girls all wore matching tutus--too cute!

My cousin Leslie and Aunt Glenda flew in from California and it was so good to see them.

The Hays group with Santa--Jackson even smiled!

The Raines fam with Santa. Wish I could scan some old family photos with Santa for y'all. They were something special in the late 80s and early 90s!
We all had so much fun and were sad when the party was over.

Santa and Mrs. Claus had to get back to the North Pole, though, and get busy on all those toys.

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