Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Celebrations 2016

Eloise & Preston had an amazing Christmas!  Having children really brings out the magic of Christmas.  I cannot tell you how fun it is to get these two dressed up in their Christmas best.  They looked cute at every celebration we had this season. 
We kicked off our official Christmas celebration with Papa Jim the weekend before Christmas as we always do.

Next up was Christmas Eve by Grandma Sandy & Papa Mike.  Thanks to Grandma Sandy, the kids all had some fun Christmas-themed headbands and Christmas light necklaces.  They were a hit!  Eloise was beyond thrilled to get the Barbie house that she has been wanting from Grandma & Papa. 
After a fun night with the Kalins & Backer families, we headed home, put the kids right to bed and played Santa. 
Brad found this awesome website where you can download a photo of your living room & Christmas tree and a Santa photo will be added.  We told Eloise that we were going to try to capture Santa with our camera so when she saw this photo, she flipped out!  She loved it and even brought it to school for Show & Tell. 

Time to unwrap those presents!
Eloise was so surprised to get all the Troll toys because, "how did Santa even know that I loved Trolls and wanted these toys?  I never told him when I saw him!"
Preston is all about Mickey these days and loved some of his new toys.
In case anyone had a doubt, this beefcake is born to play sports!
Time for stockings!
Picking out stocking stuffers is just as fun for me as shopping for the big gifts.  I even fill Brad's stocking every year. 
Last Christmas, Eloise was fascinated with the idea of someone getting a lump of coal in their stocking if they were bad.  When I saw this candy this year, I had to pick it up for her.
Preston got a drill set from Santa and was ready to help Brad put together all the toys. 
 To wrap up our Christmas celebrations, we headed over to Grandma Carrot & Papa Kevin's house. 

Eloise got a FurReal Pet from Auntie Lo & her boyfriend Greg.  She named it Twinkles and loves it.

Grandma found Bubbas a "BUBBA" sign made of antlers.  Perfection!
We finished out the night with eating the last of the Christmas cookies that Eloise decorated a few weeks ago.  They were delicious!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Cookies at the Clark's

Last Sunday, Grandma Carrot & Papa Kevin had us over for our annual Christmas Cookie Party.   Grandma made 6 dozen cut out sugar cookies the day before so that we could focus all of our energy on decorating.  Of course, there still was a lot of frosting taste testing and cookie sampling going on throughout the day.  Eloise & Grandma made cookies to look like everyone in the family!  See if you can find them in the mix here.  
Confession: I bought the kids matching chef hats in hopes that I could get some cute pics but BOTH of their heads were too big for these "young child-sized" hats.  Oh well! I just propped it up on Preston's big ole head and snapped away.  
Note the thickness of that frosting application! That is the handy work of Papa. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Fun So Far

We may only be halfway through December but Eloise & Preston are having tons of Holiday Fun! We started off the Christmas season with a North Pole Breakfast celebrating the return of our Elf on the Shelf, Ms. Lyla Zig Za.  She brought Christmas pajamas, Advent calendars, Donut ornaments (because she knows Preston & Eloise love their donuts), some Christmas frames and candy.  The breakfast was a huge hit with the kids.  I love making the magic happen for Eloise.  She absolutely loves all of this!
Next up was Donuts with Santa at St. Mike's the first Saturday of the month.  This is the first year that we have gone to this event at our church (we got married here & both kids were baptized here) and what will be Eloise's school come next Fall.  It was great!  We have met a few families in the past few months from Soccer & Gymnastics that are also St. Mike's families and Eloise was excited to see some of those familiar faces there too.  Eloise was so excited to meet Santa and tell him what she wanted for Christmas - Barbie House & Barbies.  Preston was super freaked out by Santa so Eloise told Santa what she thought Preston should get for Christmas - trucks, cars & boy toys.  After seeing Santa, we all enjoyed some donuts, Christmas crafts and games.  
 Eloise to Santa: "I want a Barbie House and one Barbie to put inside it"
Later that day, Eloise helped me finish putting the ornaments up the tree.  It's true what they say that you never know how much of a control you are until you are pained by watching your kids put up ornaments.  I'm did a lot of editing after the kids left for a special outing.  Preston & Eloise were treated to a ride on the Polar Express by Grandma Sandy & Papa Mike.  They had a blast! 
And then the morning of a at-home photo shoot, we had our 1st snow.  They were thrilled!
I set up cute little Christmas bed scene in our guest room/craft room for some fun Christmas pajama- themed photos.  I won't spoil the surprise from some of our family members with all the photos I took in this setup but here are some favorites of Eloise & Preston. 
Santa made his annual visit Eloise & Preston's school last Friday.  The event starts with Santa's arrival on a fire truck from the local Fire Department followed by a parade back to the school.  My mom was able to sneak away from her clinic to join the fun.  Eloise couldn't believe that Santa even knew Grandma Carrot! 
Preston was still freaked out but tolerated Santa long enough for me to snap the best photo ever.  Don't worry, I printed this one and framed it immediately.  I may have also made it the background on my phone.  It is epic! Eloise was so excited to get a Christmas Barbie from Santa.  She told me that he really listened to her when she saw him a few days earlier and decided to bring her an early gift because she has been "so good."  Preston got a cement truck and he loved it!  It makes an authentic beeping noise when it backs up and he loves it.  
We had some friends over for a little Holiday dinner party this past weekend.  We threw out all Christmas traditions and opted for making pizzas for the kids,  ordering in delicious Thai food, and having the kids decorate store bought Christmas cookies for dessert.  Oh yeah, I also did a little mini photo shoot for one of the families that came.  What can I say, I can't help myself!  Claire & Caden were so cute!  Kudos to their mom Amanda for wrangling them between shots!
 Eloise & Claire wanted to take a BESTIE! photo.