Thursday, December 29, 2011


Jason took the kids to see Santa without me this year!  He took them the first time to our church while I was on vacation with girlfriends....

and the second time while I was prepping Christmas dinner!  Thankfully, the kids did great and there were no long lines.

Madison and I continued the tradition we started last year of building a gingerbread house.  She loves it!

Building it and eating it..

I think our house turned out pretty darn cute.  The kit came with most everything, but halfway through decorating she asked for sprinkles.... I had hearts so we added those. It was just the touch we needed!

I let the kids open their Christmas pajamas before church on Christmas Eve.  Tyler ripped open the box, dumped out the pajamas, and played with the box... typical I guess!  Tyler's pajamas were actually Madison's from last year.

I found the matching ones for Madison at the Gymboree outlet!  Tyler can wear these next year and the new baby can wear Tyler's from last year!

We met our good friends at church for the "families with young children service."  It was a crazy chaotic service. They don't have childcare Christmas Eve so even Tyler was in the service with us.  He was trying to climb everything!  After service we shared Christmas Eve dinner with some of our favorite people.  None of us have family in town so we decided to get together.  This was our first Christmas without extended family.  I was really sad about it at first, but getting together with good friends was all I needed!  The kids had a ball too!

We got home kinda late so Jason took Tyler straight to bed while I helped Madison get the reindeer food and Santa's cookies ready.  She also insisted that Santa have hot coco and not just milk.  So we whipped that up too.

Christmas morning Tyler woke up at 5 a.m.  I know it's because I had to get him up an hour early from his nap for the 4 o'clock church service and I put him to bed late.  My kids just don't do well off schedule.  I got up with him at five and rocked him for about 45 minutes.  He fell back asleep until we finally woke him up at 8 to get our morning started.  Poor Madison laid in her room for about thirty minutes yelling... "MAMA... MAAAAAMAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!"  I sent Jason up to get them while I got my camera ready.

Tyler ran down and straight to his new grill.  (Thanks Aunt Lori!)  He checked it out for a minute, but needed his morning milk before proceeding!

In our house Santa sits out the kid's gifts.  The gifts from everyone else including mom and dad are wrapped.  I fully expected Madison to just tear into everything, but she stood reserved.  I was so surprised!

Once Tyler returned Madison slowly started opening her gifts.

Tyler loves to clean up. It's crazy.. he is a big helper to me.  I'll change his diaper and hand him the dirty one and he always goes and throws it away without being asked.  If there is a piece of paper on the floor he'll just pick it up and throw it away!  When I take off his shoes he immediately grabs them and puts them in a basket I keep downstairs for the kid's shoes.  It really is kinda crazy.  It was no surprise when he took over trash duty and made sure to clean up wrapping paper behind himself and Madison.  This was a very clean Christmas!

Madison wasn't as thrilled as I was over her new sheets!

Madison was trying to figure out this gift from her granny... a savings bond she gets for her birthday and Christmas each year.

Santa left one last big gift in the garage!

Look out neighbors!!!

I made cheesy grits and monkey bread Christmas Eve... (I baked the bread Christmas morning.)  It turned out so good!  It all baked while we opened our gifts.

I snapped this with my cell Christmas Eve.. before it was baked!

I made our Christmas dinner sides two days before and baked them while Jason cooked the Turkey Christmas day.

Twice baked potato casserole (I prefer sweet potatoes, but my hubby likes regular!).  I also did fresh green beans.  I was going to make corn casserole, but I figured with just the four of us we had plenty!

Let me tell you.. Jason's first turkey was perfect!!!  He snapped this photo for my brother!  We normally dress up when we are with family on Christmas.  However, this year it was an all day pajama kind of day!

I snapped all these pictures during the day to keep family updated on the happenings in our home halfway across the country!


We had a very Merry Christmas.  It's amazing to me how much changed over this past year... and what an amazing blessing we have in store for our family next year.

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