Friday, December 30, 2011

Grams & Pop's {Christmas 2011}

On Christmas day we headed to Philadelphia to celebrate Christmas with the other side of our family.  I think this is the first year that I haven't been at my parent's house during December until Christmas day.  It was my first time to see it decorated this year.  My parent's have a party every year and I missed it for the first time this year because it was the day we left for Brownsville.  So, better a little late than never I guess :) 

I was soooo happy to see my sister.  I am pretty sure we have seen each other less in 2011 than any year since she was born.  I have missed her! 

We had a great supper after we opened presents.  I didn't get a good picture of Emerson because unfortunately he didn't feel very well. :(  

On Monday afternoon Pop, Grams, Reagan, Robert, Ellington, and I went bowling.  Philadelphia recently got a bowling alley.  It was a fun outing especially since it rained all day Christmas day and all day Monday!

Even though Ellington has been bowling with us a couple of times this is the first time she has actually bowled too.  She used the handicap ramp and LOVED it.  In fact, she threw a little fit just about every time that her turn was over.

After bowling we went to eat Mexican and when we got home Reagan made cookies and I made homemade hot chocolate.  Yum!  What a fun way to wrap up Christmas!

We got home on Tuesday and were EXHAUSTED, but we had a great Christmas! 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Morning at Home {Christmas 2011}

We always spend Christmas morning at our house.  So, that's where we were come Christmas morning!  I guess I should pause here and explain how we "do" Santa.  We have Santa decorations, books about Santa, and Ellington has Santa clothes.  We don't hate Santa.  He's a great, fun character but that's all he his for us....just a character.  We'll teach Ellington that it's a pretend story and that Mommy and Daddy bring her gifts.  Just like we love Mickey and Minnie...but they aren't real.  I struggled A LOT last year about gifts and Santa.  After much deliberation that's what we decided to do.  One of the great things about being a parent is that outside of Biblical right and wrong whatever you choose to do for your family is ok for your family.  Co-sleeping vs. not, sugar vs. none, television vs. none, etc. etc.  The list goes on and on.  If you completely forbid everything about Santa....that's totally cool.  If you embrace all things Santa and leave reindeer food and light your driveway so his sleigh can see where to land...that's cool too!  There are two main reasons we decided not to fully "do" Santa.  The first is that I want Ellington to obey us because God has commanded her to obey her parents.  It's that simple.  She should not obey because of Santa.  The second reason is that I feel like I am a part of a generation who feels completely entitled to SOOOO many things.  I include myself in that group.  When you can make requests to a man who will just magically deliver things to you, I think that can play into feeling like you can just get whatever you want.  So, for better or for worse that is our decision. :)  And like I said, whatever works best for your family is ok too!  We also decided to do three surprise gifts under the tree (like Santa gifts, but from us).  We chose to do three to keep the number reasonable and to reiterate that the Wisemen brought three gifts to baby Jesus.  We also did her stocking and she had about 4 wrapped presents under the tree.  Robert and I haven't been able to afford to get each other gifts the last two years.  This year we still couldn't do gifts, but we did decide to do stockings for each other and it was SO fun.  We rarely buy gifts for each other so it was a fun way to show our love! :)  I have rambled on forever.  Here are the pictures!

"Finally!  A microphone!  Now I won't have to use that hotdog anymore!"

Christmas morning breakfast :)
Remember how I said in the previous post she loves hats??!!  This hat came with her new apron.  Of course, she loves it!

And the Christmas adventures stop....Philadelphia!

Big Bob & MiMi's {Christmas 2011}

On Thursday evening we arrived at Big Bob and MiMi's house in Brownsville. Brad, Julie, Connor, and Brody were already there waiting on us. Ellington was so happy to see her cousins. Every time on Thursday when we talked about where we were going she would say, "Maybe Connor be there?" and I would say "Yes, Connor will be there"...she would throw her hands up in the air and cheer! :) 

Ellington is ALL about hats these days.  She was delighted to find this one at Big Bob & MiMi's!!!

The house all lit up!

Thursday night we all drove out to a house that was MASSIVELY decorated for Christmas and then went to Diary Queen for icecream.  It was a fun start to our stay!

Friday morning got started off right....with donuts!  :)  And the hat of course!

Ellington used markers for the first time and was in heaven!

Ellington & Connor helped Big Bob decorate the gumdrop tree.

Daniel and Laura arrived on Friday around lunch.  Ellington played her first game of Candyland.  

The girls started a puzzle.  We FINALLY got the edges done, but I don't think the puzzle got any farther (at least not while we were there).  It was a HARD one!!!

We opened presents on Friday night!  We got so many great gifts and we are so thankful for them!

We were pretty lazy on Christmas Eve.  :)  In fact, the picture below is the only picture I took during the day.  I think they were watching a Christmas movie.

Sweet cousins after the Christmas Eve service.  All three did great in church!

After church we went back to Big Bob and MiMi's for a big supper!  Unfortunately in the picture below you can't see Connor or Brody, but they were there!

We had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas in Brownsville.  We started the drive back to Starkville about 9:30pm and pulled our driveway about 12:45 am.  We were soooo tired, but we had to get ready for Christmas morning! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Build-A-Bear (or a Cat!) {Christmas 2011}

We're back for our whirlwind Christmas!  I have declared today a pajama day at our house and Ellington and I will be playing with her new toys all day long! :)  This is the first of several Christmas posts.  It will take me awhile to get it all done, but I will get there!  We headed to Tennessee on Thursday and made a stop by the mall in Memphis so that Ellington could make a Build-A-Bear.  We wanted to let her make one this Christmas season and that is when it worked out best to do it.  We didn't tell her what we were doing until we got there.  She wasn't really sure what we were doing, but she was excited!

Ellington chose a cat to make.  I was actually really happy they had one she liked because earlier that day she randomly started saying she wanted a cat for Christmas.  It was random because we didn't really ask her about what she wanted for Christmas because I didn't think she would understand that and we didn't want to put the focus on what she would be getting at Christmas.  Anyway, I felt slightly bad that the one thing she did ask for, I didn't have for her.  But thankfully, she got her cat anyway!

She pushed the peddle to fluff it up,

gave it a heart,

gave it a bath,

and added a Santa hat and bells!

We then worked on the cat's "birth" certificate. :)  We decided to name the cat Jingle. 

Needless to say, Ellington LOVED Jingle!!!

After making Jingle we headed to Brownsville!