The Rest of December

Christmas morning.  
So far it's the same sequence of events every Christmas morning: Noah wakes up around 7:00, and comes in and declares, "IT'S CHRISTMAS! CAN WE GO DOWN NOW.  I DIDN'T SLEEP AT ALL LAST NIGHT*".  
*Noah is always the first one asleep every night.  About 3-5 minutes after he is in bed, he is asleep - Christmas Eve is no different.  I love that he thinks he never sleeps on Christmas Eve.  Grant, however, was so funny this year.  I kept going in to check on the kids and see if they were asleep, and Grant didn't fall asleep until about 10:30.  I would go in and his eyes were squeezed shut, and when I would get close I could here him sighing.  I could tell he was trying REALLY hard to fall asleep, but just couldn't.  He told me one time when I was checking him, "I'm trying to keep my eyes closed so I will go to sleep, but it's not working.  I'm just so excited about Santa Clause, cause I love him." :)  So funny. 
Anyway, we tell Noah he has to wait for the babies to wake up, and then we can go down.  Then he begs to let us go wake them up.  We make him wait about 15 minutes, and then he gets to wake up Ava and Grant.  After everyone is awake, I get to go down first to make sure Santa remembered us, and to grab the camera.  Then I get to come back upstairs and tell them how awesome it is down there.  Now they are SUPER excited, and we FINALLY let them downstairs. 
 Ava's Santa loot
Lots and lots of princess dress-ups.  Santa found this incredible find on Craigslist for $60!!  Just the Belle dress was $85.  Ava wears most of them almost every single day.  She has about 20 wardrobe changes a day.
 Grant got a pulley and a wooden truck.  The elves who prepped our house had to get a really tall ladder and nail in the beam for the pulley. 
 Noah got a new bike.
And everyone got a new slide.
 Seeing the slide for the first time.  Ava and Noah immediately ran for the slide.
 Grant, of course, LOVED the pulley.  He didn't even notice the truck inside until later.

 Next, opening PRESENTS!
 Noah got a Kendama, a padded weapon (for karate) and Calvin and Hobbes books (his favorite gift - he reads them everyday).
 Ava got some Grimm blocks, some snap beads and some roller skates.
Grant also got some Grimm blocks, some bungee cords and a Dolley.
Until the kids have their own money (I don't think it makes sense to spend my money on a present from them. I want it to REALLY come from them), they have to make presents for each other.  And to be honest, those are some of their favorite presents.   Noah made Grant this cool sword out of pipe insulators and duct tape. Grant LOVES it......probably a little too much.  It actually hurts quite badly to get hit with it.
Noah made Ava this crown.  He was so cute while making it.  He kept all the supplies in his room, and if Ava even got close to his room he made her leave so she couldn't see her present.
Grant, with my help obviously, made Ava this wand. Grant made Noah an Activity book with coloring pages (made from pictures of him and our family), mazes, dot-to-dots, etc. 
One of the coloring pages.

 Princess Ava - Christmas morning bedhead and all.  I think all my pictures from when I was little, I had crazy hair too.

 The slide was too tipsy on the ladder, so we put it on the stairs.  It stayed there for a couple weeks before going outside, and the kids spent HOURS on it.  BONUS! If my stairs were 2 feet wider, I would have left it there.  It was actually very convenient to have there.  Things did get a bit crazy (piling pillows at the bottom and then jumping from the top), and I'm just grateful no one broke any bones.
 Grant LOVED LOVED LOVED his dolley.  He carried all the boxes outside for us after opening present, and he still ties everything up with his bungee cords and hauls things all over.
 Two-way dolley contraption they rigged up.
Christmas afternoon nap.
One of Adam's favorite places to take a nap - in the sun, on the tramp.
The rest of the day was very low key.  The kids just played with their new things, we skyped with family, and just relaxed. I didn't even make any meals.  I didn't realize we never sat down for a meal the whole day, until the following day. Oh well, obviously we didn't starve and everyone found food (we had lots of left overs from Christmas Eve). 
As you can see, we had a great Christmas day, and Christmas season.  
A couple weeks ago we chopped down the tree behind the tramp so we can build the slide platform.  It was an old plum tree that only produced about 3 plums a year.
 Eli passed through on New Years Eve, so we made him help with the slide platform.  After the tree was down and the yucky ivy was chopped off the fence (which is about to tip over - this Springs project), Adam dug 4 holes for the posts.   He filled the holes with cement and let them dry over night.

 The next morning they put down the floor and attached the slide. 
Cute little feet hanging over the edge.  
January weather in California is heavenly.  We are constantly amazed at how we can work outside, and dig holes in unfrozen ground all winter long.  It's awesome, although we really need some RAIN.
Adam just added the roof and some of the railing, so slide is coming together. Our neighbors told me the other day they have been counting the different objects that have been put down the slide so far.
 Random picture.........but, we have a hummingbird feeder right outside our kitchen window and all day long we get hummingbirds that come eat there.  During the winter we only have about 4-5 regulars, and most of them have these brilliant red and pink heads.  They are so pretty.  This chubby little guy looks like he's been slurping down too much of our sugar water.
It's so fascinating to me that you don't see the bright color unless they are facing a certain way, or the light reflects it.

 New Year's Eve we went bowling with some friends, the Tidwells.

The kids got pretty good at the ball roller, and I almost broke 100!  That's pretty good for me, considering it's been probably 15 years since I've been bowling.  Did I mention that the bumper bars were up?  OK, that probably helped me.......a little.  

I found my other memory card, so I will get November up and then sign off 2013.


mammasweet said...

For a small fee, Rob will help you get your game over 150. We love you. It looks like your Christmas was perfect.

bethany said...

I can't believe you found that lot of dress ups for 60 bones. I've been trying to collect them for my girls. SO JEALOUS

The Yoder's Four said...

That slide is SWEET! So is the dolley and the pulley and the princess dresses! Your kids scored big this year!

Mary said...

What thoughtful gifts, says Min. We sure miss you guys. And that good weather!