Our Christmas and the days before and after were fantastic! We were so incredibly busy leading up to the holidays......magnet school applications, preschool activities, photo shoots & editing, Dan wrapping up things at work and of course baking! There was one week that was so crazy, it was go-go-go until we drop. But we made it through! The Thursday before Christmas was Dan's last day at work and then he had 11 days off to spend at home with his favorite girls. We baked TONS and tons of cookies and goodies to give out to our neighbors (and of course eat ourselves!) and the girls helped me with almost everything.....they are getting to be good little bakers! We decorated ginger bread houses for the first time this year and it was actually a very fun process and not nearly as messy as I thought it would be. Our evenings were spent wrapping presents and watching Christmas movies and spending good quality time together. I love having Dan home! We got a fun gift from my brother and sister in law this year......The Elf on the Shelf, which was a lot of fun for the girls leading up to Christmas. (Thanks Mike & Robin!) They had a great time trying to find their elf every morning and I'm looking forward to next year when we'll have more days to hide "snowflake" (the girls named him)
Christmas eve we had a yummy feast of marinated steaks, roasted root veggies, wild rice pilaf and fancy macaroni and cheese and then we made sugar cookies for santa. The girls did so great with the sugar cookies! This was the first year that we didn't have a sprinkle disaster.....craft trays are very handy. All three girls got to open their matching Christmas pajamas and their ornaments for 2011. Maddie got a glass cupcake, Charlotte got a ballerina and Eleanor got a little pea in a pod. Then it was off to bed. Dan and I had hoped that since we didn't have a bunch of stuff to assemble and I had already wrapped all of the presents that we would be able to go to bed at a decent time. Not so. The train table took longer than expected to put together, and I had to do all of the ribbon and bows on the presents which took a good long time. We were in bed around 1:30 in the morning. Yikes.
Christmas morning the girls woke up around 7:00 and were very excited to get to opening presents! They played with the train set a bit and opened their stockings while Dan and I waited for the coffee to brew! I wanted to have the present opening go a little slower this year so it wasn't just an insane whirlwind of wrapping paper and so that we could actually watch the girls open their presents and see their reactions to everything. We took turns opening things and it worked out really well. We actually got to a point where they girls were off playing with some of their new toys and there were still presents under the tree to open. Dan and I got to sit back and relax a little and watch each other open our gifts. Then the girls came back and were ready for presents round 2. I made french toast with Hawaiian bread for breakfast and we lounged around in our pajamas playing with toys all day. Dinner was a repeat of the night before......which is why I made so much food on Christmas eve......leftovers! We had a really great Christmas!
The next couple days were spent playing with new Christmas toys. The girls got to make cakes with their new easy bake oven, they did sticker faces, doll dressing, Christmas candy eating and played lots of games. We played UNO together as a family and it was really a lot of fun. I love that the older my kiddos get the more entertaining and fun they get. Favorite gifts were: Maddie- train table, easy bake oven & pet shops. Charlotte- Dolly w/ clothes, princess dolls & hair stuff. Eleanor- Candy (she stole from her sister's stockings) that she ate constantly.....you could find Eleanor with either candy in her mouth & hands or candy all over her face, pretty much all day! Dan- I'm not sure what he'd say his favorite was, but I'm partial to the Chicago Bears jacket, sunglasses & suede slippers that I got him. Me- I really liked the necklace that Dan got me and my new camera flash. It was a super wonderful Christmas this year. I loved having Dan home, spending time all together and making new memories. The girls had a blast and of course are looking forward to next year. Merry Christmas! (belated)
The girls helping me bake
Eleanor got mad because I took her marker away
(she was coloring while we baked)
Ginger bread house decorating
Our sugar cookies for santa
Obviously Santa liked our cookies.....he left us some loot
The fun has begun!
Santa brought Maddie, Charlotte & Mama American Girl dolls.
Yes, I got one too!
Easy Bake Oven
It was actually a lot more fun than I thought it would be
The girls (dolls) helped
We let the girls eat their ginger bread houses before we threw them out
It was like eating slightly sweet concrete