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GRANDPARENTS Fill the World with LOVE

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

I must say, this Christmas had to be one of my favorite.  Both kids loved everything that had to do with it.  They loved all the decorations we had in the house.  Skylar was so helpful and Madden stayed away from all the tree ornaments.  Walking around and looking at Christmas light every weekend night was something the kids couldn't get enough of.  Our Elf on the Shelf...Frankie was a HUGE HUGE hit!  Skylar was just in love with him and every morning Frankie was the first thing we looked for.  I think he even help keep her on her best behavior for most of the month.  Madden also loved Frankie and whenever you asked him where he was, he would always know and point in his direction.  It was just great having both kids (mostly Skylar) understand the holiday and really get so much joy out of it.

 As it has been for years now, we celebrate Christmas Eve at my parents house.  Along with the tradition of spending Christmas Eve their, the tamale tradition continued as well.  Usually every year I help out, but this year I was keeping the kids occupied while everyone else went to work.  They spread four dozen tamales in what seems like record time.  Jake and Gabe deserve the gold medals as the both of them stuffed and folders each tamales perfectly.  Aunt Sandra and Toni's sauce was the best we had, had in years.  In the end everyone said this years tamales were by far the best and people couldn't stop going back for more.

The kids had a blast hanging out with all their little cousins.  Skylar was playing catch with the boys and spending a ton of time with cousin Carmen.  

Hanging out with Unc.

The highlight was the kids opening their gifts of course.  Madden and Carmen wanted to open anyone and everyone's gifts.  Skylar just kept asking which present were hers, while all the older boys just begged for their present to be picked next.

Skylar picked out a special new lovie for her new baby cousin.

Of course, both Skylar and Madden were exhausted and past out on the drive home.  We carried them both up to bed and Jake and I put out all their presents from us and Santa.  Skylar has been asking for a baby crib from Santa all month long.  She wrote Santa a letter, told Frankie to tell Santa, and even told Santa himself when she saw him.  So that is what Santa brought her.  Madden (who is still only speaking 5 words), got a Jake and Neverland Pirates push car. Needless to say, no complaints from either of them on their presents from Santa.  Skylar eyes just lit up when she saw her baby crib.  The smile on their faces made our morning.

By 7:30 AM my parents and Uncle were at our house for breakfast and presenting opening.  Skylar was opening present after present, while Madden wanted to spend most of the morning in the playroom with his old toys.  He would pop in and open a quick gift and then was back to the playroom.  By the end Madden still had 4 or 5 unopened presents, while Skylar was sad she didn't have any more to open.

Skylar's new baby from Mom and Dad.  She named her "Sophie" after her best friend.

Lucky for us the day after Christmas Jake's parents made the long trip down to spend a couple days with us.  Which of course meant, more present opening from all the NorCal family. The kids got spoiled all over again by our NorCal family.  Being able to spend a couple days with Jake's parents during the holidays was a great way to end our Christmas.

New beach chairs from Uncle Jessee and cousin Nico.

Holidays are so important to me. I treasured how much my parents did for us during the holidays and I want to make sure my kids get the sames joys out of it as I did as a kid.    

Skylar's Preschool Christmas Performance

For the whole month of December Skylar had been coming home and singing Christmas songs she had been learning at school for their Annual Christmas Performance.  Jiggle Bells and Joy to the World were her two favorites and the ones we heard her sing the most.  For the performance at her preschool they have all five preschool classrooms in the chapel and have everyone sing together.  I think Jake and I were more excited on the day of the performance then she was.  I wasn't too sure if she totally understood that she would be singing in front of so many people.        

Here she is walking in with her class. 

We were lucky enough to get sits in the third row, so she would be able to see Jake, Madden and I.  

I must admit that when they starting singing their first song, it totally brought tears to my eyes.  She just looked so grown up up there and I couldn't be more proud of her.  

"Joy to the World"  

 "Go Tell it on the Mountain"

During their Jiggle Bells performance, Cassie got her bell stuck in Skylar's hair. Skylar was a pro and continued singing and jiggling her own bell, even while her teacher attempted to get the bell out of her hair.

"Jiggle Bells"

"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"

Skylar's classmates

After the peformance all the kids went back to their classrooms and welcomed the parents for a little party.  The kids snacked on bagels, muffins, cookies and juice.   Madden pulled himself a seat and joined the table with his big sister.  I think he loves going to Skylar's classroom just as much as Skylar does.

We gave our presents to Skylar's teachers and thanked them for everything they have done for her so far this year.  Jake and I are so proud of Skylar in her first Christmas Performance and I'm looking forward to many more to come.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Family Photo Session

For our annual Christmas card I wanted it to be all about the kids.  I wasn't even planning on putting any pictures of Jake and I on it, but after I got the photos back I was so happy with so many of the photos I had a hard time picking just one.  

We took the photos very early in the morning, because usually that is when the kids are on their best behavior.   I had a vision for exactly what I wanted, but like usual, working with toddlers never goes as you hope.  Madden was a complete mess after the first three pictures.  He was crying, refused to sit and take a picture with his sister.  He needed to have Jake or I holding him, which was ruining my vision of a holiday card with just the kids.  Thankfully our photographer is awesome and we just let the kids roam around and play and that is when we got our best shots.