Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December wrap up

Even though Christmas has come and gone, we are not quite done celebrating.  Grandpa Quincy and Fran came into town so we had a little more Christmas to enjoy.
Duffy was excited about her "light suit."  She and Amelia are trying to find the perfect opportunity to wear them.

There were plenty of gifts to open for everyone.

Also in the December news - we are so excited to see the progress on the Olympus pool.  Can't wait to get in there!

While Quincy and Fran were in town, Shawn and I went skiing with the big kids while the little kids went to lunch and hung out with their grandparents.  Not that I don't love skiing with my little kids, but it was sure fun to not have to look after anyone and be able to just go up and down the mountain...
Sometimes, with 9:00 am church, we leave the house in a bit of a, well, a mess. We came home from church one Sunday to find this.
While Woody and Jessie relaxed on the couch with Bullseye looking on,
Evil Emperor Zurg stood over Hamm as he wiped the table,
and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head cleaned up the kitchen,
and Rex and Slinky worked together to sweep the floor.
Sometimes, these Toy Story Guys are awesome to have around!

And finally, we wrapped up 2013 playing games with the Dunford's on New Year's Eve.  It was the off year for our every other year big party, and it was nice to have a small celebration with our kids and friends.  We ended the evening with fireworks.  Happy New Year to all!  Excited to see what 2014 has in store!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Morning

You are about to embark on an extremely long Christmas blog.  I know the date says this was just yesterday, but in actuality, I'm writing this a couple of months late and in my desperation to get caught up, I am just going to blitz through it.  So, unless you are a loving and devoted grandparent to the Stringham children, no one here expects you to hang around and get through the whole thing.  You've been warned.
Santa brought Peter the last remaining "Toy Story guys" that he didn't have - including Evil Emperor Zurg.  Apparently, his presence alerted all of the other Toy Story guys and they came in for a rescue mission.
Here's Buzz sliding in...
...while Rex looks on in fear.  After all, Evil Emperor Zurg has his ray gun pointed directly at
Woody and Jessie, who he has tied up and left hanging.

It would appear that Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (aka one-eyed Bart and one-eyed Betty - although they showed up with both of their eyes this day) were stealing Santa's cookies and drinking his milk.  They were caught in the act.
And even poor Slinky was tied up, blindfolded and stuck in a Santa hat.  Man, while we all slept peacefully, these Toy Story Guys were having a rough night.

I'm pretty sure Fred the Elf was only here as a spectator and was not part of the crimes committed.
Maybe Peter shouldn't have asked for Evil Emperor Zurg.  He sure did cause a lot of problems...
While all of this was going on upstairs, I found my little kids lying quietly in the hall downstairs reading books.  Once I showed up, they got the big kids up and were ready to see what Santa had brought.
A typical example of brotherly love - Jonas using his blindfold to whip his siblings.  Yep, we know how to start Christmas morning off right.
Samantha's look of indignation.
Amelia's enthusiasm.
Finally.  Well, almost.
Now we can head upstairs...
...where we begin the torture with Christmas morning calisthenics.  Crunches, 
a little yoga,
and stretching.
Then it was time for the reading of the headlines.
This makes the kids absolutely crazy, but Shawn and I enjoy the whole thing.
And after what seems like forever, we set them free to see what Santa brought.  I absolutely love this action photo with hair flowing and happy, excited faces.
Peter could hardly believe what was going on with his Toy Story guys.
Pretty awesome when a bag of sugar cookie marshmallows is such a big hit.
Yeah, they are really tasty.  You can see Samantha wasted no time in digging into her bag.
Checking things out.
New clothes.
Messy hair.  All the things that make a perfect Christmas morning.
Oh yes, and surly teenager.
I guess she really loves those marshmallows.

Buzz was showing some serious strength to hang there from his zip line for so long.
Happy faces.

Peter decided to step in and help his guys out.

Peter's words: "Now, the gang's all here!"  He hasn't stopped playing with his guys yet.

Samantha making an intense study of the rainbow loom.  I am so excited to have all of those little elastics spread all over my house!  Oh wait. No, I'm not.

We lost Jonas to a book rather quickly.

So, my salt shaker got broken at the beginning of the month and I had asked for a new one for Christmas.  (Yeah, I know, I dream big.)  This is what Santa left in my stocking.  Everyone thought it was hilarious.  However, I may need another one to use in some company.
Nice to see that even the big kids never really lose the desire to play with toys.

Yes, we required some present opening with toes only.  Always a fun tradition.  Keeps things nice and slow.

One of the great things about Christmas is that there is finally some time to just sit and do nothing.

Amelia in her new puffy.  You might think that it was a little warm to wear her coat inside all day, but we discovered when we turned off the fire that in fact, the heater had quit on us.  It was a little chilly.

Also a good reason to put on the new slippers.

My parents and Jake stopped in to take in the chaos and deliver even more gifts.

And Darth Vader showed up - in his dinosaur pajamas.

We gave the little girls "Flutterbyes", which were a Huge hit, although we realized very quickly, there were some possible hazards.  After this, everyone in the room with long hair had to have it pulled back.

Seriously, everyone loved these.

It took a bit of practice to learn how to control them -or at least sort of control them.

You can see here that Samantha was still learning how to master the flutterbye.

I think she's actually frightened here, as the fairy approaches her.  We were all cracking up.

Those little buggers, er, fairies, were a little wiley.

Between the flutterbyes and Peter talking with his darth vader voice all morning we were all thoroughly entertained.
I only wish he could use the force to clean up this mess.

One last look at Fred before he heads back to the North Pole for another year.  We'll miss him.
It was a wonderful Christmas day.  After presents, we had beignets and spent the day lounging around.  Perfect.