Director Jewels: 2013

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas in Photos - Holiday Recap Part 3 {2013}

 Catching up on our Christmas recap? Part 1 is here, part 2 is here.

We stayed up far too long Christmas Eve night, getting all of the gifts arranged under the tree and setting up the kitchen playset that was the "big" gift for the kids this year. Addie got to play with it a little early, since she doesn't sleep unless I am sleeping!

Christmas morning dawned and we read the Christmas story from the Bible to the kids while they climbed around on our bed, then we got diapers changed and headed out to have the most fun morning ever.


They were both pretty excited about the new kitchen and played with it for a long time before they even wanted to look at anything else.




Eventually, we moved on to stockings and other gifts. We overdid ourselves on gifts this year again, after saying all year we would simplify things. It's just so much fun to give gifts!



Hooded towel that I sewed.



The saddest Christmas story ever: we gave Lincoln the Doc McStuffins playset pictured above, and we think Addie threw out Lambie with the Christmas wrapping trash. Sad, sad face.



Aftermath.

Once we were all thoroughly gifted and had had yummy French toast made by Daddy for breakfast, we got everyone dressed and ready and headed to my parent's house for the afternoon.



The kids were a little worn out as far as opening presents, but still enjoyed themselves.



My mom made a firetruck blanket for Lincoln and a princess blanket for Addie. They love them!


We stayed through dinner, which Andrew cooked for us. Spaghetti and homemade alfredo sauce and crusty garlic bread - it may not be traditional, but it was delicious.



Lincoln ate probably three plates of spaghetti, which is so rare right now in his stage of toddler pickiness. It was amazing.


We rounded out the evening with some Paw Patrol and took everyone home for some much needed rest!


It was busy - but it was fun. I'm glad we get a break, but I know before long I will be wishing Christmastime were already here again!

Christmas in Photos - Holiday Recap Part 2 {2013}

Catching up on our Christmas recap? Part 1 is here.

It's fun having a little family at Christmas and we are trying to institute some fun holiday traditions to use through the years of childhood. One of my favorites is the Christmas Eve pajama gift. We let the kids open their pajamas from OshKosh when they opened the final book in our Christmas book advent.


The almost matching reindeer pj's just kill me. They were being such hams that I took a ton of photos.








Lincoln also insisted on wearing the blue hat - he calls it his "Christmas hat," even though it was given to him at a baby shower before he was even born. He's funny.


Andrew made root beer floats for all of us, and we all ventured downstairs (where the real, actual TV is) and watched Mickey's Christmas Carol while slurping them out of Batman cups. We started this tradition last year and I think it is around to stay.



Not bored of all the photos yet? Read part 3.

Christmas in Photos - Holiday Recap Part 1 {2013}

Christmastime was so so busy for us this year! I assume it will only get crazier as the kids get older (and more of them join the clan). This post is mostly a photo dump - and there are so many photos I'm doing it in three segments!


The weekend before Christmas, we went to the annual celebration at the church Andrew grew up in. The kids sort of helped decorate the tree and added to the general chaos of the event.



I designed Addie's ridiculously over the top flower headband - is it not adorable?


On Christmas Eve morning, we went to Andrew's parent's house to have lunch and open gifts. The kids are mesmerized by the choo-choo train that drives on their tree. So cool.


Cousins.



The first gift Lincoln opened was a firetruck. He was pleased.



Despite the grumpy photo, this rocking horse is already well-loved.

After our first Christmas party, the kids were sleepy. We drove around town for awhile and let them both sleep before heading to my grandparents' house for another celebration. We weren't able to stay long as it was getting close to bedtime and we had some fun things planned for the kids at home before bed, but Lincoln had a good time once he got over the sleepy grumpy state he was in when we arrived.


He was most impressed with his new flashlight (a tradition) and VeggieTales Larry Boy car.


Not bored of all the photos yet? Read part 2 and part 3.

Baking Christmas Cookies with Toddlers

This post was meant to publish before Christmas - however between last-minute crafting, sick kids, and no sleep, that did not happen. Christmas recap post coming soon (I hope)!

Doing anything with a toddler is an adventure. If it involves messes, there's no way to predict what will happen. Regardless, a few days before Christmas, we decided to be adventurous and bake sugar cookies with our little ones.


Family traditions have to start sometime, and it might as well be early! Lincoln was thrilled when we asked if he would like to help make cookies. His response was something along the lines of "Inky help, yes! Make - EAT COOKIES!"


Miss Addie wanted to be involved, so we pulled her high chair close to allow her to observe. Making the dough in my wonderful (brand-new-gift-from-hubby-for-Christmas) KitchenAid mixer was pretty simple. Lincoln loved dumping things into the bowl. There was flour everywhere by the time we were done.

We split the cookie-making process into two parts, since toddler attention spans can be short. We mixed the dough in the morning and came back to the project later that evening. Lincoln was very excited about using the rolling pin and the cookie cutters.


Adding sprinkles was pretty exciting for him, as well. He really wanted to eat all of the dough without bothering to bake the cookies first, but still had fun with decorating....for about ten minutes. Addie started losing interest too, once she realized we were only giving her cookie cutters to chew on and no actual (super fun) messy things.


After the first batch was baked, Lincoln of course started begging to eat all of the cookies.


He practically inhaled the yummy baked treat, begged for more, and was quite upset when we told him we would not be consuming all of the cookies that night. Addie was offered bites of cookie, but really wasn't very interested. Both of them decided to abandon the project and start throwing toys around the living room playing.


This left Andrew and I the fun task of finishing up the cookie project while trying to keep the house and children in a non-chaotic state. We were mostly successful, though we did have a lot of toys to clean up when we were done.

Our efforts were kind of scattered. Some of the cookies were impressive. Others were not.


Either way? We had a fun time. We made a memory. More than once, we looked at each other across the kitchen table and said we are all kinds of crazy for ever deciding to do this. But it was a family adventure - and a tradition that we can keep up for years to come.


I bet that next year, I'll have somewhat more eager little helpers.
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