December was one of those months that left me with tons of blogging material yet no time to blog. I have a ton of stuff to share and document for the only type of scrapbook my kids will ever have, so we'll be playing some catch up for a bit! We had friends come and visit over the holiday and we had tons of fun, but before I share all of our fun galavanting around the city, let's start with Christmas!
First of all, here was our Christmas card. I love them and it's 99% because Nicole took such awesome family pictures this fall.
Because we had friends in town, we crammed a ton of family celebration into just a couple of days so that we could spend the rest of our days exploring the city and hanging out with our guests. We started out with Christmas with my extended family. It was a quick visit, but I'm so glad we were able to see my aunts, uncles, cousins that I only get to see once or twice a year. (Or perhaps, I'm so glad they get to see me. Especially my Uncle Richard.)
My cousin Erin and Caroline! Isn't this a cute pic?
My sister, cousins Michelle and Erin, and sweet Caroline!
Gram Gram and Caroline!
My cousin Michelle and Grandma Trickel
On Christmas Eve, we enjoyed a wonderful Christmas lunch at my in-laws with more aunts, uncles, and cousins. I didn't take any other pictures besides this one, but it's a great one, isn't it? Grandpa Forrest is reading the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 before we opened stockings.
Okay, so I just visited my mother-in-laws facebook to share a few pics. Here's Eli and Caroline!
And the annual game amongst the men on Derek's side of the family. The boy in the middle is Brad and Mary's foreign exchange student, Brian.
Later in the day, we had Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Brad, Aunt Mary, cousins, along with our friends for a chili dinner and some fun Christmas games before the candlelight service at church. Just look at all of the fun Derek is having! :) He was actually being a good sport and was just being silly because he thinks I take a ridiculous amount of photos. Which is probably true.
Last year, the kids made their dads into snowmen. This year, it was Christmas trees! I am 100% positive that the kids had more fun, but the dads are all such good sports!
At the candlelight service at church. I wrote more about our perfectly imperfect Christmas Eve a few posts back. This pic was pre hair catching on fire!
So onto Christmas morning!
It was Jackson's idea to get Derek a baseball glove!
Jackson had a very Lego Christmas. :)
Caroline and her loot.
This is the perfect little doll!
After we opened presents at home and Adam made some delicious pancakes, we traveled up to my parents house. My sister is the official photographer in that jurisdiction and has been out of town since Christmas, so I'm (not so patiently) waiting for her to share her pics. Until then... I only took two.
Now taking Uncle Applications! We have two openings. ;)
Here's the Christmas gift run down: Derek and the kids bought me a weekend travel bag-- exactly what I have been wanting. Goodbye high school duffle bag! My gift from my parents was my heated floors in my new bathroom and Derek's mom bought me a massage and pedicure-- and including a coupon for free babysitting! I bought Derek a new army backpack, which was a nightmare to track down because his beloved backpack isn't retail, it's only one that is given as an enlistment gift. He got some computer nerd things and a new guitar. Oh, and a baseball glove!
The kids had a very board game Christmas. Together they received Mouse Trap, Sequence Jr, Robot Turtles, Zingo, The Ladybug Game, and Jenga. And they each got a sled! Jackson got several Lego sets, the Lego movie, and a Lego sorting container. He scored an oversized stuffed Ninja Turtle, along with Ninja Turtle jammies and a piggybank. He was most excited about the plastic plants and figurines for his fish tank that were in his stocking. Isabelle got a large, stuffed Minnie Mouse and several jammie sets. Jackson picked out 4 Frozen figurines and she really liked those. She got a MagiClip princess castle and a few new dolls and clippy dresses. Her favorite new toys are Toothless and his friend from How to Train Your Dragon.
I bought Sticky9 magnets for seven people this year. I love them! I made my dad a photo mug with pictures of the kids showing their Chiefs pride. The kids made more handprint canvases and we gifted some Kansas City goodies to our friends-- Roasterie Coffee and a Joe's KC BBQ (formerly known as Oklahoma Joe's) gift card.
Our Christmas was wonderful, not because of the gifts, but because we got to see our kids smiles and hear their squeals. And mostly because we were able to share the time with our loved ones and celebrate the birth of our Savior.