Monday, December 31, 2012

Snow Day!

The day after Christmas I was finally able to take a breath.  The kids and I just stayed home all day (a truly rare occastion) and chilled out.  Some of the time, we really chilled out, as in went out to play in the 28 degree weather!

There was still lots of snow on the ground and the kids were so excited that they could hardly contain themselves.  We tried to wait until the temp got into the 30s since their mama is a bit of a weenie, and then we put on every snow item we owned and ran outside.  They loved it!

First, they jumped on the snowy trampoline where Lila did a faceplant!  Then, they headed over to the playground and had a ball.

They loved sliding down super fast and crashing into the snow!

Later that afternoon, I remembered that Jackson's ski pants could be let out 2 inches.  Thank goodness, because look at these highwaters!

It didn't take long before little sister was following her brother's lead.

The smile didn't leave her face all afternoon.

It was one of those days that we will talk about all year. 
Having a snowy backyard to play in doesn't just happen every day, ya know:)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

It was a stormy Christmas Eve.  Thank goodness Santa and his reindeer made it to our house before the storm hit.  Around 1am, we heard loud thunder, followed very soon by a 5 year old boy crawling into our bed.  On his way to our room, he'd seen that Santa had been here.  He told me, "Mom, Santa made it!  Can we go see what he brought us?"  Oh, my.  I told him that it was super early to be doing all of that, so could he please wait a little longer.  His response: "Ok, how about in 30 minutes then?" about 5 or 6am?  By some miracle, my oldest went back to sleep.  At 6:07 am he woke up and whispered, "can I go wake up Maddie now?"  When I said yes, he ran up the stairs.  It's what Christmas mornings are all about.  Very soon, they both came running back downstairs and we turned on some lights.  Almost immediately, Jackson found a note from Santa telling him that he couldn't fit his gift down the chimney, so he'd left it on our back porch. 

How exciting! A gift too big for the chimney?

It was so dark outside that you can't see it, but when we looked out there, we found a huge basketball goal!  The smile on J's face was priceless.

Since it was still raining outside, he just had to admire the goal from afar.  No problem.  He quickly found his other big gift from Santa--a Kindle Fire!  It's so cool!  It has tons of games and it can play Pandora Radio, too.  Needless to say, Jackson loves it.

Madison very quickly found one of her two requests from Santa--an American Girl doll!  Actually, it's called Today's Girl, but she can't tell the difference and was just as excited about it:)  She was equally as excited to see that he'd also brought her three new outfits for her doll, including a soccer uniform, ballerina outfit and ice skating costume.  Very fun!

Santa also brought Maddie this really neat castle tent, which Daddy put together in a jif.

While Daddo was working on the tent, Maddie remembered to check out the cookies.  She was glad to see that Santa had eaten 2 of the chocolate chip cookies that we'd left for him.

Around 6:45, little Lila woke up with a huge smile on her face.  She loved getting her very own nail polish and new panties, too!  It's the little things in life, really:)

She was also very happy to see that Santa had brought her everything she'd asked for: a baby doll crib and baby doll highchair and twin baby dolls.  Hooray!

Maddie was all smiles when she finally saw that Santa had brought her other top request--Baby Alive Walk with Me.  She said, "I've been asking for this all year!  Since Teagan's birthday party!"  Actually, Teagan's party was in late October, but I guess to a 4 year old girl that probably feels like a whole year.

A few minutes later, Santa's top Elf had gotten the tent set up for the girls. 

Three very happy kids:)

After we'd checked out all of the great gifts from Santa, we stopped to eat some yummy cinnamon rolls (thanks, Memaw!), cheesy eggs and bacon.  Then it was time to exchange gifts with one another.  Jackson gave the girls these precious princess nightgowns. They loved them.  Good get, J man.

He also gave us this present that he had made at school.  It's his hand print, with his name, grade and school name written on it.  Priceless.  And one of my very favorite gifts of the year.

Then the kids opened some more presents that they had chosen for one another.  Maddie got these mini-princesses from Lila, Lila got Sleepy Time Dora from Maddie, Jackson got a cool Captain America shield and mask from Lila.

A few hours later, we arrived at Gigi and Boom's house for lunch.  They were busy cooking up a storm in the kitchen when we arrived.
And what a feast it was!  Really, really good food.  My favorite part was listening to my dad and Aunt Glenda tell crazy stories about holidays when they were little. Needless to say, they come from a VERY colorful family! 
About halfway through our meal, we noticed that the rain had suddenly turned to snow!  The kids were beyond excited and so were we. A white Christmas!
With our bellies full and hearts happy, we settled back in the living room for a quick family pic taken by a fabulous photograher, J Hays.  He did great!  And with my big camera, too!

Before we could get to the presents, the kids ran out back to catch a few snowflakes. 

Then it was time to dig in to the presents.  First up, gifts from Aunt Glenda.  She had their pictures on each of their gifts--how cool!

Both girls loved their new very real baby dolls from Gigi...

and Jackson was all smiles when he opened his new Razor Scooter.

It was a beautiful, albeit cold, afternoon!

We ended the afternoon by enjoying this amazing snowflake cake made by my sister-in-law, Lyndsie.  Champagne cake--delish!

It was soon time to go reload the car for our third christmas celebration of the day.  We grabbed all the kids' snow gear as well, because they were dying to go play outside.  Soon after we got to Memaw and Poppi's house, the kids bundled up and had a snowball fight in the backyard with Daddo and
Uncle Andrew.

Aren't they just the cutest snowbunnies you ever did see?  I know, I'm a little bit biased:)

Since only Maddie and Jackson had been skiing before, we had to stretch the clothes for all three kids.  Hence, the reason Lila is wearing rain boots!  They worked, though, and she was happy as could be.

We feasted, yet again, on very good beef tenderloin and then got ready to open the gifts under their tree.

The whole Hays crew was there for the occasion, including Aunt Bina, Pa Hays, and Cousin Chris.  Maria was there, too, but had to leave early to go take care of the babies at Presby Dallas.  We were sad to see her go, but glad we at least got to see her for a little while.

The kids got the coolest gifts, including some that had their very own ornaments on them!

Lila loved her new cupcake light-up purse from Aunt Lyndsie.  As Jackson says, Aunt Lyndsie gives really good gifts!

Pa Hays was very generous with all of his grandkids and great-grandkids.  We captured Jackson giving him this sweet hug.  Love it! 

It was a very Merry Christmas for all of us.  Thank you families for everything.  We love you all.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, we joined my mom, dad, sister, aunt and cousin for church.  I guess the service, was good, although I really didn't get to hear much of it.

Jackson was good as gold, while the girls were both lacking in the good behavior department.  Maddie talked in a normal voice throughout the service.  Lila was good for about half of it, but then got really upset and started hollering at me VERY LOUDLY, so we had to make a quick exit...from the 5th row, of course.  I was beyond embarassed.  When we got in the car and were driving to dinner, Dad had to make a phone call to Santa.  He told them about the kids' behavior and Santa told him that they had one more chance to get back on his good list.  They HAD to be good at dinner.  Thank goodness they came through!  We were so worried that the girls wouldn't have any presents from Santa on Christmas morning!

After dinner, we put the kids in their Christmas jammies and went to look at fun Christmas lights. Before we made it there, though, all 3 were fast asleep.  And it was only 7:48!  We promptly did a U-turn and headed home.  Afterall, Santa's helpers are busy on Christmas Eve.
After we put the kids to bed, we wrapped the last few gifts and set them under the tree...

then we set out his cookies and milk just as we promised the kids we would do.

One of our last jobs was to make sure to put out the reindeer food that the girls had made at school.

I'm sure all of the reindeer appreciated the treats! 

Stay tuned for the much anticipated Christmas morning:)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Countdown to Christmas

Whew!  Christmas got here quick this year!  We tried our best to take a good picture of the kids with Gigi and Boom for their Christmas cards, but instead of smiling nicely, they were much more inclined to do this...

Goofball City!

A few days later, we had our first family gathering with Papaw and Sharron.

The weather was still really nice, so Jackson talked Boom into playing some baseball.

He didn't have to twist his arm too hard.

Lila, Sharron and Papaw enjoyed watching the game and got in a little swing time for her, too.

Last year, Papaw recorded Frosty the Snowman for the kids.  They love it so much and had fun listening to him tell the story again this holiday season.  So, it was really exciting for them when he brought Rudolph this year.  What a wonderful keepsake.

After they listened to the story, it was time to tear into the gifts.  Yay!

Then, they got to give them this really cool blanket.  It was a big hit.

After dinner, the girls entertained everyone with many holiday songs. 
I think this one was "Santa Claus is coming to town."  They rocked it.

There were smiles all around that night.  Love these two more than words can say. 

Stay tuned...
Christmas Eve is coming up next!

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