Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015~ Part 2

Part 2 of our Christmas started around lunch time on Christmas Eve. We got home and settled in for the afternoon. We rested, we napped, we watched a Christmas movie or 2, and I got to work on making some Christmas goodies to take to our upcoming gatherings. It was probably our most laid back Christmas Eve ever. =)

Around 5:00 we got out in the pouring rain once again to head down the street to AnAn and Frankie's. They hosted us, my parents, and my grandparents and fed us chili and hotdogs. Another favorite Christmas meal for us! We had a great time together and the excitement and wildness from my boys grew by the minute. It was just a super fun night. 

All 3 boys stuffed themselves with lots of chips throughout the night... especially Layton. I think chips are what he had for dinner. It's Christmas Eve. Whatev. Ha!

We loved introducing Piper to our Christmas Eve tradition! Baby Girl didn't know everybody was coming to her house. Haha. She did great and seemed totally unphased by all the craziness. =) 

The boys always open up Christmas pjs on Christmas Eve night every year and this is a picture of me trying to force Layton to open his. Gracious. This should have been a sign to us that he would have very little interest in opening presents at all this year. 

Somehow my mom and mother-in-law picked out the exact same pjs for the boys this year! Hahaha. Garrison opened his and was like Again? The same pair? It was pretty hilarious. When they put on their pajamas at Nana's I thought they might be similar... like in color. But apparently they went shopping at the same store and out of tons of choices picked out the same pair. Haha! 

We changed the boys into pjs at AnAn's like we do every year so they'd be ready for bed as soon as we got home and then got ready for some pictures in front of the tree. Except Layton was having none of it. None. Anna took a picture of these 4 pictures straight off my camera and made a collage of them. We have laughed so hard at them. This is why you keep snapping even when the picture isn't picture perfect. #Memories

Group shot! =)
 We had the best time Christmas Eve night before heading home, putting out cookies and milk for Santa, reading the Christmas Story from the boys' Bible, and then putting everyone to bed. 

Santa had a much easier time of things this year and a much earlier bedtime. So nice!! Left to right... Garrison's, both Garrison's and Austin's, Austin's, and Layton's. 

Terrell and I have determined we have the best house and "set-up" for Santa ever! The upstairs is totally separate from our living room and where Santa delivers presents and there is no view of our family room from the stairs. It's perfect for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

The boys slept late Christmas morning and we actually had to wake Layton up but we all came down together as no one is allowed to leave their room without permission. 

My precious babies Christmas morning before going downstairs!

We had a fun and exciting morning opening gifts and stockings! We snapped a few pictures and then put the camera away. It was super special sharing all the fun in our new home. 

After finishing up our Christmas morning we went over to my parents' house for another Christmas morning. =) We ate breakfast first and then got ready to open gifts. Since it was hot Christmas Day we let the boys wear their new Hawks t-shirts from their stockings and shorts. Sigh. Such crazy Christmas weather!

Baby boy just wasn't cooperative for many pictures this year. 

We had the most fun morning at Granna and Papa's!! We were all totally spoiled and had the best time handing out presents, opening presents, laughing, and making fun memories. It was loud, messy, exciting, and MERRY. =)

After leaving Granna and Papa's we dropped a load of goodies off at home before heading over to my Nanny's house for our Christmas Day lunch with my dad's side of the fam. Other than Layton starting to melt sometime after 2:00 we had a great time enjoying good food and time with extended family.

Christmas afternoon we went home for a few hours to rest and let Layton take a late nap before going back to my parents' house for a Christmas dinner with my grandparents and aunt and uncle. We enjoyed more good food (steaks, salad, and baked potatoes this time!) and time with family. 

We were EXHAUSTED come Christmas night. We had such a full and fun few days we couldn't see straight. Haha! Terrell and I got the boys in bed as soon as we got home and then we opened our stockings from each other. That's always sort of been our Christmas night tradition. It may change in the future but this year it was icing on the cake and made us both smile and especially grateful despite our worn out and delirious state. 

Christmas 2015 was so much fun and filled with family, good food, and some of the best memories! And we are still tired. =) We are so blessed and so thankful God sent His Son!

*And I woke up every morning over the holidays praying for those in our church family, our community, and my "blog family" who have lost someone they loved or are facing something difficult. I know Christmas can be really hard some years but you are not forgotten.

Christmas 2014~ Part 1 and Part 2

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015~ Part 1

We had a really wonderful Christmas this year. It was busy and full, exhausting and fun, rainy and WARM. We may have had some terrible weather but our Christmas was one big blessing and fun memory after another. Our hearts are full and we are so grateful for our amazing time with family as we enjoyed this super special holiday and celebrated the birth of our Savior.

Christmas kicks off for us every single year on the 23rd when we have Christmas with Terrell's side of the family and this year Terrell was able to be off on the 23rd and didn't have to go back to work until today! This was a first for us and we LOVED it!! Yay for extra time off for daddy! =)

*Quick side note: Wednesday morning Terrell stayed home with Austin and Layton while I took Garrison to the eye doctor in the pouring rain. He'd been complaining with headaches and his eyes hurting after computer lab, reading, homework, etc. so we wanted to have his eyes checked out during our break. Looks like our oldest inherited his daddy's eye sight so glasses are coming soon. He's not super thrilled about it but I think being able to see better will go a long way towards him being okay with them. He's mostly nervous and self conscious but hopefully he'll adjust quickly and so will family, friends, and classmates. He's definitely not one for being the center of attention and of course doesn't want to be laughed at, so this is a big deal for him. We're hoping to pick up his glasses this week so he can start getting used to them before school starts back. He won't have to wear them playing sports unless he wants to and he won't even have to wear them playing outside or around the house. So that's a plus. He can also start wearing contacts whenever he's ready... or we think he's ready. The good news is that his eyes are healthy and that glasses will make a big difference for him. So we're thankful for that and hoping this is a smooth transition for him.*

Wednesday afternoon we made our way across town in horrible rain to Nana and Pops' house to kick off Christmas!! The cousins made "melted snowman" cookies and played with stickers and games and whatever they could think of before dinner. It was actually a pretty quiet afternoon believe it or not. Terrell's mom made lasagna for us that night like she does every year and it was delish. I love having a big variety of food over Christmas. Our annual lasagna Christmas dinner is one of my favorites!

After a huge dinner the cousins all got their new pajamas from Nana and after getting everybody changed it was picture time!

Before opening presents Nana read Itsy Bitsy Christmas to the grands. Such a sweet story! Things got interesting with Layton but all the big cousins did great. =)

After finishing up with story time it was time to open presents. The kids were thrilled and sooo excited! We made a huge mess and had lots of fun giving and receiving. =) It was a wonderful start to our Christmas and such a blessing to be able to be together with family but then drive 10 minutes back to our very own house to sleep in our very own beds. Being back home is still the best. It still hasn't worn off, we still don't take it for granted, and we are still so, sooo thankful. 

Christmas Eve morning we were up bright and early and ready to go back over to Nana and Pops' house for their annual Christmas Eve breakfast. A special tradition we enjoy every single year. I think this year's breakfast made my 17th attended. Possibly 18th. I've been a part of the family for a looong time. Haha. As the family has grown my in-laws have started transforming their garage for the big occasion each year. 

My big boys were super excited. And due to the extra warm temps I gave in and let them wear shorts like daddy. Sigh. 

My parents and my sister are invited each year to the family and friends breakfast so of course we had to make lots of pictures of our newest little member!

Piper's Santa outfit belonged to our niece Shannon before Kara passed it along to Anna. So we got a picture of them together. =)

My family. Thank you Jesus for all my boys. (Notice how I was the only one pretending like it was cold outside. Ha! At least we had a cold front the weekend before Christmas and we're supposed to have another one for New Year's.)

Kara's fam who was all dressed up for their Christmas Eve service at church later that afternoon. 

And the whole group together! 

We had a huge, delicious breakfast together and a fun morning spent with family and friends. And before we left to go home I snapped a quick picture of my littlest actually posing pleasantly and voluntarily. Baby boy was NOT a fan of having his picture made this Christmas. Haha.  
We had such a great kick off to Christmas with the Selph side! We ate good, laughed a lot, enjoyed new presents, and had a wonderful time together spent celebrating Jesus and His birthday. 

Next up, our whirlwind of Christmas 2015~ Part 2!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Weekend Before Christmas

The weekend before Christmas is one of my favorites. We've started Christmas Break, we're counting down and looking forward to all the fun and celebrations of Christmas week, we have a special Christmas service at church, and we enjoy our annual Christmas lights tradition that now includes a scavenger hunt! 

This year the tradition was possibly more fun than ever before because the big boys were sooo excited and into it!! We made pictures in front of the Christmas tree and then they gathered their supplies... a blanket for each of them, a flashlight, their bingo cards, a pen, a book, and then I provided the bowl of snacks. =)

An early supper, baths, and pjs are a requirement before heading out.

This year we decided to use BINGO cards versus a checklist. They were simple, easy, and fun since they had all pictures plus the goal was 4 down, across, or diagonal. Even though they eventually tried to find them all it was nice just to get BINGO. The cards we used can be found here.

Since Layton isn't quite ready to participate in the scavenger hunt, baby boy just enjoyed the lights and his snack. =)

Mama and daddy were excited too! This has always been one my favorite traditions to do with the boys... and now they've finally caught on!! Haha!

Since our neighborhood has tons of lights we decided to save it til the end and didn't start our hunt until we got to town... and then it was on! Some things we found right away and others took quite a while. We actually reached a point when Terrell said, Man this is too classy, we need the tacky stuff! Hahaha! We rode around all over town and the very last thing we found was the word JOY. I may have squealed the word joy really loudly when I saw it and freaked out our driver. Haha. We were sweating that one for a while because one brother can't find every single picture on his bingo card while another doesn't. That just wouldn't be okay. 

Coming back to our neighborhood was pretty fun too. We had almost everything on the bingo cards right here in our own neighborhood... but then it wouldn't have been much of a scavenger hunt so I was glad we did our neighborhood last. We like the search for everything the most. It's what makes the whole experience super fun. That plus the snacks. =) Even Layton squealed over the lights from time to time. It was a fun night for the whole fam. The boys crashed almost immediately after we got them home and in the bed. Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt success!! (Here we are enjoying the tradition last year.)

Sunday was a great day too. We had a wonderful Christmas service and Sunday School lesson celebrating the Gift of Jesus. I love the Sunday before Christmas. It's my second favorite Sunday of the whole year. =)

Since Layton wasn't up for a posed pictured with mama and daddy we snuck in a family selfie. =)

Sunday afternoon all the guys in the family were busy assembling an early Christmas present for our boys! Our little playground is finally complete!! The only thing left is the wood chips and outline. We can't thank our dads, Frankie, and my uncle Terry enough!! Between clearing the land, leveling the land, and then eventually assembling the playground itself, this turned out to be HUGE project involving lots of man hours and we are just so, so super grateful for everyone's help and contributions to get it done before Christmas. The boys are so excited and have already played on it! It's going to be a favorite Christmas gift for years!

Last night my parents invited us and Anna's fam over for supper for a little pre-Christmas get together. Their house is totally decked out and the boys love it. And they can't get over how Papa got that star way up high. Haha! We had a great time together and it was nice to enjoy a little calm (if you can even call it that!) before the Christmas craziness really starts!

The boys also LOVE their train. One day we'll put our train around our tree again. This year we were afraid we didn't have the space for it and that Layton would constantly derail it. Ha.

We had a really great weekend before Christmas. So thankful for the blessings we've enjoyed this year and so grateful for the Gift and Hope of Jesus! If I don't get another chance to blog, Merry Christmas from my family to yours!! May you enjoy your family, your traditions, your celebrations, and the love, hope, peace, and joy that Jesus brings. Have a wonderful Christmas Week!