Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Late Christmas Recap

Christmas 2012 recap
This Christmas was quite different from previous years. This was the first year we did not spend Christmas in Houston.
My brother (his family), my sister and grandparents all came to Dallas this year to celebrate Christmas.
We had a several days of packed fun! A few days before everyone arrived my mom and I took the kids to North park for some last minute shopping and to let Nathan run around.
Here he is watching the fountain with his Mickey!
He put money into one of the salvation army collection bins and they gave him a candy cane as a thank you. He then tried to put the candy cane into the collection bin...it was pretty funny. Once we explained he could keep it, he acted like we had given him the best gift ever! He was holding it so carefully with t2 hands and showing it to everybody! He took one lick of it but he wanted ot carry it not eat it. Oh the little things in life!
We came out of Macy's and all of a sudden he started squealing and took of running. HE saw Mickey on the window of the Disney store! Needless to say he LOVES mickey!
 Amber was thrilled with the whole shopping experience
The next day my sister came into town from NY and we had a fun day going to hte zoo and then playing at our house.
Nathan and Amber loved having their Auntie Cheryl there to play with them (or hold them, in Amber's case)

At the zoo.

When we got home from the zoo Nathan was in the best, happiest mood I had seen in a long time! He was chasing the dogs around the yard and just laughing. He was jumping and falling in the leaves. 
My sister tended to Amber's need of always wanting to be held!!
Amber was quite content! 
 I missed taking some pictures of a few days before we celebrated Christmas. on Saturday morning we met my brother and his daughter at the Children's museum. Then we went back to my mom's house and baked our traditional kolachi's from scratch. Thank goodness my sister was there to entrain the kids because it took my mom and i 5 hours to get them all made. During that time my grandparents arrived in town. That evening my brother and his family had somewhere to be and Dan had a friends party to attend so my sister, mom, grandparents, the kids and i spent the evening together. We had fun playing with kids and going to get Mexican food since my sister does not get good Mexican food in NY!
On Sunday we met at Blue Mesa for brunch. They have a great buffet! WE then headed to my mom's house to start opening gifts once my brother's wife and Maeva arrived.
Here are some pictures of gift opening.

The cousins had so much fun playing together! I sure wish she lived closer so they could grow up playing together.

G-Gram had the magic touch to quiet Amber!

Nathan thought it was fun to sit on all the presents!
As usual we were spoiled rotten with all the gifts we received. Our family loves to give gifts!

The next day (actual day of Christmas Eve) we had Christmas dinner at our house. Luckily my mom kept Nathan at her house so we were able to focus on cooking. This was the first big meal we have ever hosted and it sure made us more appreciative of all the big meals our families have provided for us in the past! It is a lot of work to get everything timed just right!
After dinner my brother and his family left an the rest of us played games! While we were playing the doorbell rang and there was big group of carolers singing! They gave us a big plate of cookies after they sang several Christmas songs (our neighbor was a part of the group so we weren't taking cookies from strangers!) IT was so fun! We ate the cookies while we played games...it was very Christmasy feeling!

The next day was actually Christmas day! We spent the morning at home with just the 4 of us. We made our traditional Belgian waffles, bacon and eggs! Nathan loved the waffles  and syrup

Then we opened our presents from each other. Nathan really enjoyed the whole idea of opening presents this year!
Amber was nice enough to not cry while we were enjoying our morning!
Nathan is always playing with Dan's measuring tape so he could Nathan his own!
 Dan is the hardest person to buy gifts for, so this year he bought his own gift (I did not like this idea, I feel it defeats the purpose of giving at Christmas and being surprised, but I lost that argument htis year!) Anyways, he got a pair of ASOLO hiking boots.
Here is his "surprised" face!
 Dan surprised me with a Snoopy picture he drew!
Amber was really enthralled!
After we had enjoyed our morning we went over to Dan's mom's house.
Sadly, his sister's kids were sick with the flu and had high fever's so they had to stay home. Talk about a sad Christmas for a 7and 9 year old.
We ate dinner and opened gifts from his family. We sure did miss Audrey and Logan.
The day after Christmas we spent the morning playing in the snow. 
The boys were ready for some hot chocolate (or warm milk in Nathan's case) after playing in the cold. 
 WE had a relaxing day playing with new Christmas toys!
Overall, we had  a fun Christmas. I was so thankful Dan had several days off for Christmas, which has not happened before! It was enjoyable ot spend so much time together as a family during Christmas!