Monday, December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas to all!

After a very full Christmas Eve, the kids and us slept a little bit before Christmas morning.  And when I say a little bit, that's exactly what I mean!  Jackson woke up at 2:20am and was so excited that he couldn't go back to sleep.  At 2:40, he journeyed downstairs, saw that Santa had come to our house, and came to wake me up.  I very nicely asked him if he would like to lay down in our bed and GO BACK TO SLEEP!  And bless his heart, the kid really tried.  But he was still awake at 4am, which means I was, too.  He asked to go see what Santa brought him and I let him.  Twenty minutes later he was waking me up again asking if he could put on the new Texas Rangers fuzzy socks he had found.  He came back to bed shortly thereafter and finally went to sleep at 5am.  Then at 5:30, guess who was poking me?  Yep!  Little sister was awake now!  She asked me to make her a palette on the floor, so I got out of bed once more, trying very hard not to wake Jackson, and made her one.  That lasted about 5 minutes before she started asking to climb into our bed.  So now we were rolling 4 deep and I was still getting no sleep.  Lila just laid in the bed, wide awake, and started singing "Happy Birthday Jesus.  I'm so glad it's Christmas!" in her soft, sweet voice.  It was hard to be mad at them--they were both just so very, very excited.  At 6:30 everyone was awake and we all ran out to the living room to check out their loot.  And oh my, Santa was really good to them! 

There was a Barbie Escalade for Lila, cheerleader baby doll, helmet and pads and Holiday Barbie and a cool Barbie SUV.

Jackson got this awesome trainer that even has a strike zone to throw into, along with a hitting trainer, new jacket, basketball and pretty sweet radar gun.  He was so pumped about all of it.  And why wouldn't my little sports nut be?

Pretty quickly, Lila noticed that Santa even remembered her little sister.  He brought Cameron a warm snuggly outfit, three bottles (hopefully she'll like one of them!), new pacifiers, and this cute giraffe toy.  That jolly old elf is so thoughtful!

He also left the kids a note, thanking them for the cookies, milk and reindeer food.  Their pictures were nowhere to be found, so we guess that he took them with him.

I bet our elf, Johnny, also hitched a ride on his sleigh, but before he did, he wrote the kids this cute note.  They get such a kick out of him being in our house the whole month and are already looking forward to him coming back next year.

Lila got plenty of good snuggles in with her new water baby doll...

and I even wrangled both of these kiddos for our annual Santa hat picture, too!

After breakfast (thank you Memaw for the yummy cinnamon rolls!), we opened the presents that we'd bought for one another. 

Lila loved all the Sophia the First dress-up stuff from her brother, and Jackson thought his new work-out gear was pretty awesome, too.  His daddy and I gave him the new basketball shoes, which I don't think left his feet for about 3 days straight after Christmas!

And just for funsies, we got the kids matching Fox shirts.  Lila was so cute when she opened hers.  She said, "I have never had a fox shirt in my whole life!"

Before we got ready for our first outing of the day, the kids just had to take the Cadillac for a spin.  Jackson drove Lila around for a little while...

but pretty soon little sister was at the wheel.  And she did great!

A little while later we were at Gigi and Boom's house.  Merry Christmas Madison!!

Santa brought Maddie a soccer goal and golf clubs.  I asked her to show me her swing, so she did.

And nearly took off Jackson's head when she swung it like a baseball bat!  Oh my, I think we may need a few lessons first!

She also got this super fun karaoke machine, which all three had fun singing on.

It was a great Christmas and I loved being able to share it with these folks...

and these, too!

Lila loved her newborn baby doll from Gigi and has been practicing for the real deal ever since bringing her home that night.  In fact, she's strapped into Cameron's new carseat right now!

We came home for a few hours and most of us took a much needed nap. Then we packed up again and headed over to the Hayses.  After dinner, we all sat down and opened our gifts.  This is the calm before the storm of wrapping paper that literally covered the floor soonafter.

Lila really liked her new stick horse, which she named Hayley!

Jackson really loved his new Mavs jacket that he got from Uncle Andrew and Aunt Maria.  He was also seriously excited about the Sidekicks tickets that he and his daddy got from Uncle Scott and Aunt Lyndsie.  They went to the game on Friday night and had a total blast.  The perfect gifts, for sure!

Everyone got a kick out of this bear hat for baby Cameron, too.  Both she and Lila got the matching boots, but those didn't quite make it in the picture.  They are adorable, though!

I think Lila's favorite gift of the night, though, was this horse from Memaw.  She loves it so much.  Her new Anya doll from Frozen was lucky enough to get to take a ride on her!

Merry Christmas from the Hays Family!  We enjoyed being with y'all and look forward to a fabulous new year.  It's baby time now!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Every year we look so forward to Christmas, but when it gets here, we are all just worn out.  So, I decided to take a little bit different approach this year.  On Christmas Eve we just hung out at the house all day--no running around town, just chilled down time.  Perfect.  Lila took a nap and when she woke up it was time to get everyone ready for church.  Thank goodness our church has a 4:00 service, because that worked out perfectly for us.  These two rugrats clean up pretty well, I think!
J man offered to take a picture of Daddy with his (almost) three girls. I think he did pretty good, and no, I didn't tell him to shoot from the waist up!

We got to church about 25 minutes early and were able to get seats with Gigi, Boom and Maddie.  This year I didn't bring anything to entertain the kids.  Last year, I thought I was so on top of things.  I brought snacks, toys and their leappads.  That all backfired on me big-time when they began arguing over them DURING the service.  It ended with Lila screaming crying, hitting me, and then we had to make a hasty exit.  From the front of the church.  Can you say "embarrassed?"  So, this go round, I told them that there that would be singing and then they would listen to the pastor speak.  And they would not talk.  A novel concept, I know.  And ya know what?  They did AWESOME!!  All three of them. 

So happy to share this special night with my parents.  My favorite part was watching all the kids sing Silent Night and hold their candles.  It was really too precious for words.

After church, we headed home.  Lila and I went to Carrabba's to pick up dinner, while the boys stayed home to wrap some presents.  We had a really nice meal in our dining room (so fancy!) and then it was time to enjoy the birthday cake we had made for Jesus.  The kids love this tradition, so even though we are literally drowing in baked goods over here, we went ahead and made the gingerbread cake.

After cake time was over, we all got to open one gift.  Jackson had made something for me and Jared and really wanted us to open it.  I gotta say, it's one of my very favorites.  How sweet is this kid?  Love him.

Jackson opened the card game SET and Lila opened her personalized princess book.  The book talks all about Princess Lila, who lives in the Kingdom of Murphy.  She has a white horse named Emma and wears pink gowns and diamond tiaras.  She loved it!

Then it was time to make sure Santa's reindeer got fed.  Jackson put out the carrots and celery...

while Lila very meticulously spread out the sugary oats she had made for them.  She must have spent 15 minutes making sure she got it right!

Afterwards, we changed the kids into their Christmas jammies and then got out Santa's milk, cookies and pictures.  The kids thought it was funny to taunt Santa, but they didn't really eat or drink any of his goodies.

They were so excited to color him pictures earlier that day.  I'm sure he loved them, too!

Then it was time to load up in the car and head to Deerfield in Plano to look at Christmas lights.  To say they liked this would be an understatement!  There were plenty of other people with the same idea, so we were moving really slowly through this neighborhood.  The kids were thrilled beyond belief when we let them stick their heads out of the moon roof to be able to see a little better.  At one point, Lila looked at her brother and said, "Jackson, I will love you forever.  Merry Christmas!"  Then they hugged and she kissed him on the cheek.  Oh my.  Melt this mama's heart.

I didn't get too many good pictures of all the incredible houses, but the lights really were worth it.  This neighborhood was amazing.  We saw dancing Santas, reindeer flying over the street, a huge Grinch who was set up in a deer blind--they thought of everything.  It was a magical night for all of us and one we won't soon forget.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Santa came to town!

A few nights ago it was cold (but not raining!) and we were all excited for the big guy's arrival at our house.  It's a tradition that was started by my parents when I was about 3 years old.  We started it up again when Jackson was 3 and have loved being able to create magical memories for our kids.  I thought long and hard before deciding to host it this year, mainly because I am seriously pregnant, as in 36 weeks!  I finally decided that I just couldn't deny my kids this amazing time, but there was no way that I could do it on such a large scale as in years past.  This time, I just let the kids invite some of their friends and I asked everyone to bring a side dish, appetizer or dessert.  Now don't get me wrong, it was still a lot of work, but it was the only managable way for me to do it!
I bought crafts to keep the kids busy--they had their choice of Christmas coloring pages, ornament decorating or writing a letter to Santa.  This worked for the younger ones...

not so much for the older ones.  They had wrestle mania in J's room and it was crazy...

with a capital C!

A little while later it was time to put on our their antlers and head outside to try and find Santa.

The kids sang a few Christmas carols and walked/ran down our street in search of Old St. Nick.  And then we spotted him!

Lila and Caitlin were so excited!!

Madison led him back to our house...

and then all the kids gathered around him to listen to a story.  Lila was the lucky girl who got to hold his jingle bells.  Very cool!

After fielding a lot of questions from the little ones, Santa read "Twas the Night Before Christmas."  Lila stopped him during it and said, "Santa, are we on the naughty list?"  Ha!

Needless to say, she was not shy around Santa at all!  She promptly told him that she would like a Barbie SUV, wedding Barbie, Big girl car for her to drive and a cheerleader baby doll.  Her list has been the same for the past month.  Let's hope he comes through!

Makes my heart happy:)

And so does this.  Gosh, J sure looks huge compared to when he first started sitting on Santa's lap!

They are all growing up so fast.  Big smiles from this reindeer girly, too.

It won't be too long before Baby Samantha gets to really enjoy Santa Claus, but this year, she snoozed for most of the party.

Like I said before, we let the kids pretty much make the guest list.  Not surprisingly, Jackson wanted lots of his Cubs buddies with him.  He was stoked that Garrison, Matthew, Caden, Cole and Ian were able to be there.

Merry Christmas from our soon-to-be expanding family!

Baby Cameron, all of these people love you to the moon and back...

and can't wait for you to be in the family pictures with Santa next year!

After lots of good times with Santa, we handed him the letters and said goodbye.  He flew back to the North Pole just in time to make the final preparations for Christmas Eve.  I know two kids who are sure hoping that he swings by their house tonight.  Fingers crossed!

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