Sunday, December 30, 2012

Post-Christmas Activities

Shawn took his own personal powder day.  (He didn't even invite me - just announced that he wasn't going into work and was skiing that day.)  He carved his initials in the snow.

This was kind of a funny thing.  Shawn went into the VolCom offices (a company that his business contracts with) and they had this book sitting at the front desk.  He was a little surprised to see his picture right there on the front cover, leading the pack.

The kids and I did a bit of movie watching and a lot of just being at home.  Amelia wanted to be sure to go ice skating over the break, so we fit that in too.  It was pretty exhausting for Peter, but he had fun.

When you've never been ice skating before, apparently, you need to take lots of breaks.
Eventually, the kids managed to leave the security of the wall and make their way around the rink on their own.

Peter and I made slow progress.

Duffy following close behind.

Pretty much everyone was still smiling at the end of it, so we'll consider it a success.

I finally took down Peter's crib.  He hasn't slept in it for months and months.  Pretty much, I just had it up because it served as a timeout zone for him, but he's generally a pretty good kid, so I didn't really even use it for that much, so down it came.  I was surprised at how sad it made me.  I just don't have a baby anymore!
It sure opened up some space in his room, though.  We're trying to move him down with Jonas, but it's a slow process - partly because it's hard for me to let him go, partly because he's having a hard time keeping Jonas' hours since Jonas always turns his light on bright and early and wakes Peter up.  So, he still sleeps up here sometimes.  Plus I haven't been ready to tackle the shared closet and dresser space down there yet.

Shawn has tried out several recipes from his new cookbook.  I am definitely benefitting from that Christmas gift!
Wee've been keeping busy and having fun.  We are all already dreading the return to school in a few days.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day

I was amazed at how long the kids slept (way past our usual 5 am) and then waited quietly downstairs.  When we finally heard them, Shawn went downstairs to find them camped out behind the gate  with their pillow pets, reading some books.  (Yep, we lock our kids in so there won't be any sneaking out to see what Santa brought.  No worries, though, they could get out easily enough if there were an emergency.  The gate just makes it so that I can hear them if they head upstairs.)
Of course, it still wasn't time to see presents yet.  Shawn blindfolded them and led them up to our room,
where he read them the day's headlines and led them in Christmas calisthenics.  Really, this is one of the most fun parts of the day for us, because the kids are just dying to see what Santa brought and we delay as long as possible.
Finally, finally, they get to walk down the hall to the living room.
Samantha was thrilled with her new bow.  Unfortunately for her, Jonas was the one who got the arrows, so they'll have to work out a compromise on that one.
We tried opening presents with our feet again.  (Anything to make the whole thing last longer.)
Peter playing in his new fort with his toy story guys.
Samantha unwrapping with her feet.
Peter just went with his hands every time.  Love the intensity on his face.
Really, this is tough.  Good thing I had my Christmas toe nails going on for the picture.
Duffy, happy with her Brave doll.
Peter and Duffy sporting their new capes.  This is the superhero side.  The other side has a prince/princess design instead.  I love the multi purpose cape.
It was a very busy morning spent opening presents and playing.  Grandpa  Ralph, Grandma Judy and Uncle Jake came over just in time to eat Christmas beignets with us.  It was so much fun to just be home, with everyone healthy and well, enjoying our Christmas morning.

At 3:00 we did have to pull ourselves together to go to the Backman family celebration at my Aunt Barb's house.  We had dinner and listened to some thoughts from my Grandpa and the kids all participated in the nativity.

Jonas was a very reluctant Joseph this year since he believed he had graduated from these performances, but it was nice to have him there for a photo with our 2 angels and 2 wise"men."
It was a wonderful Christmas, and now I look forward to a few days with nothing to do, but hang around home, play with new things and just relax.

Christmas Eve

Since we were already for Christmas, we decided to take a ski day.  Shawn was really excited when he found out that dressing as Santa would get him in for free.  (The funny part about that is that we literally have more ski passes than we can possibly use this season, but getting in free was still a big deal.)  Admittedly, it was pretty fun skiing with Santa.  It was like skiing with a celebrity.  Everyone was yelling to him from the lifts or shouting hello as he skied or snowboarded by.
And we are soooo close to total independent skiing by all of the kids.  I think Shawn can just about taste his dream.

After a full day of skiing, we were off to our annual Christmas Eve celebration with Grandma Cathy and Doug.  (Unfortunately, I left the camera in the box of presents we brought home from my parents' party, so we're back to poor quality phone pictures.)

Everyone looks forward to the delicious ebelskivers, and the girls love to help with the cooking.  (I'm really hoping that some of this rubs off so that one day Shawn and I can turn over all of the meal prep to the kids.  That would be awesome.  I can dream, right?)
Samantha took a turn...
...and Amelia took a turn.  Actually, Shawn and I both took a stab at it as well.  One day, maybe we'll even make them all by ourselves.  Although, this system where Cathy makes all the batter and we just show up to pour it and cook it, is a pretty good deal.
After our yummy ebelskiver dinner, it was time to open presents,
and take some silly pictures.

Peter enjoying some hot chocolate while waiting.
Jonas, of course, unwrapped a pair of underwear from us, but also got some cool new waders and a fly fishing rod from Cathy and Doug.  (These were actually part of a late birthday present, so he got to open extra things.)
Cathy's Christmas presents are usually done in themes, so it is always fun to see  how it all ties together as each person unwraps their present.

Each of us got a new apron with our name on it, a cookbook and tools to go along with our particular cookbook.  We should be busy the next little while trying out some new recipes, making cookies and cakepops!

We always end the evening by opening new Christmas pajamas and reading The Polar Express (I think we can all still hear the bells jingling) and 'Twas the Night before Christmas.

I love these crazy kids and once again feel grateful for time spent with family and the fun of our Christmas traditions.

Home again where we are all ready for Santa's visit.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

December 23 - Marsh Family Christmas

Seasons Greetings...

and a little Christmas Craziness!

The 23rd is always the date of my family's Christmas party.  My parents set it up that way years ago so there would never be conflicts with other family parties on Christmas Eve or Christmas.  So far, it has worked out.
First, we start with a big dinner.  There are far too many of us to actually sit at one table, so there are multiple tables.  Here are the 4 big kids.
The little girls got to sit at the bar.
And all of the big people (and Peter) got to sit at the big table.
Then we move on to present opening, followed by reading the Christmas story and singing carols.  We finish up with my Dad sharing his thoughts and then a family prayer.  I love the spirit we feel at the end of the night.
This photo cracks me up because it is just so typical.  Both Robbie and Jonas find a book and totally disappear.  I love how they are sitting at opposite ends of the couch here.
The kids could hardly stand the wait, but they were very patient.
Since Peter was the youngest in attendance, he got to open his present first.  Ainsley was there to help him out.

He was so excited when he saw what it was.  If you remember here, he was very upset that I wouldn't get him Slinky that day, so this was pretty awesome. (If people ask him what he got for Christmas, Slinky is almost always the first thing he mentions.  Yeah, I'm posting this way past Christmas, so that's why I know that.)

Ainsley is always so fun to watch.  Just look how excited she is about her Little Mismatched socks.
Duffy was pretty happy, too.  Anything to add to her wardrobe ensembles that will make her look "fancy."
Lots of playing with Slinky.
Jake was pretty excited about the Keith VanHorn figurines that Shawn got for him.
Jonas was really happy to get something other than underwear.  For the last couple of months I have literally begged him for gift ideas.  I finally threatened him that if he wouldn't give me any ideas he would only get underwear...
...and I followed through.  Believe me, by the end of Christmas, he was so tired of opening pairs of underwear that I hope next time I ask him what he would like, he'll give me some actual ideas.

Rob trying out his Christmas gift.
It is always nice to spend time with family for the holidays.  Although, it sometimes seems like a lot of work and effort, I am grateful for our traditions and grateful for our connections with our families.