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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Christmas 2013

Wow...Turner's birthday party (almost 2 months ago) was so fun, but I couldn't look at the invitation on this blog any more!!  I got a new phone before Christmas, and I couldn't get my photos to upload to my I didn't want to blog without them...anyway, now I have finally fixed it at the Apple Store and it is almost a month after Christmas!  Ugh!  Catch up time for memories' sake!!
We started off the season with a picture with Santa from our trip to Reynolds Plantation at Thanksgiving
Then, in mid-December we put the kids in their Christmas pajamas and headed out to the Train Depot in Calera to meet friends for our second annual North Pole Express train ride.
The boys waiting on the train
So fun!
Our calm family waiting to see Santa and Mrs. Claus
Eating cookies helped pass the time
The boys were so excited...Collins not so much:)  But Santa and Mrs. Claus were vary gracious and the boys loved every minute of telling them what they wanted (which was funny...they both wanted the same one thing "Pirate Island" from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Santa thought that was easy enough...and we didn't tell them they could ask for more:))
These 2 crazies helped me cook and bake lots and lots for this Christmas.  A new thing we added this year were these fruit Santa hats that I served when I hosted Christmas Bunco.
Festive and you can't mess fruit up:)
We also got crafty in our time off from school.  Mostly for John Burke's sake...that boy loves to draw, cut, paint, anything crafty.  So we made these handprint gift tags.  They used their thumbs and pinkies and then I went back and added a few touches.  I thought they turned out pretty cute and were very easy!  My kind of project.
A couple of nights before Christmas our wonderful neighbors Ken and Helen had us over to celebrate.  My children are obsessed with them, and I know why!  They indulge their every story and play with them whenever they knock on their door.  We are grateful that they are so kind and patient!!
Best picture I got of Helen - look how the kids are surrounding her
Neighbor love
The boys modeling the clothes Mr. Ken and Mrs. Helen got them.  Of course they gave them fun toys to open as well.  We are spoiled by them!  Here is Collins with the baby doll they gave them

Later that night Mrs. Helen helped me wrap the rest of my gifts.  Look at those bows!

On Christmas Eve we attended our church service at Covenant.  This year the boys sat in the service with us, and they did pretty well.  Not ready for every Sunday yet, but it was a good start and neat to have most of our family together to sing Silent Night and worship.  They were mesmerized by the candlelight service, and still needed one-on-one as they almost knocked over the candles more times than I could count.  Not my most serene Silent Night experience, but it was worth it!
Then we headed to our friends' house.  Joy was our hostess and John Burke shamelessly cuddled up to her...of course:)
We had a great meal and then Amanda's husband played some Christmas songs and we were able to sit and enjoy before the madness of the next day.  What a blessing!
The next morning Heath and I had to wake the kids up at 7:30.  It was so nice and probably the last year that will happen.  Here are the brothers excited and anxious to walk downstairs and see what Santa brought them.
Pirate Island!!  Thank you, Santa
And more girl toys are finally arriving into our home
Enjoying the toys

They were at SUCH a fun age to watch them marvel in all the toys and magic of the season.  I also love what a great job their school and our church did at casually down-playing Santa and making it about Jesus' birthday and birth.  It made it easier for us to keep re-directing to Christ, and I know this will get harder as they are older.
Heath and I gave each other a trip to Pasadena for Christmas (next blog to catch up on), and I teased him when he still gave me this.  However, it is fabulous!!  Random, yes.  But I highly recommend.  It keeps towels, bath robes, etc. so warm and cozy - like pulling out of the dryer.  Win for Heath!
After breakfast we got dressed and headed to my parents' house for Christmas lunch with the family
Fun times with cousins and aunts and uncles and Uncle Derek even brought his puppy to share

View of the kids table
Cousin Caylen with Abby and Holder's dog - two puppies made John Burke's day!
And we all got special time with my grandmother, Nanny
Love her!
Then we headed down to Andalusia for Christmas dinner - here are Pap and Tappy with Ellie, Cameron and my three
Spoiled with even more presents!!  
And Princess Collins got this surprise!  A pink mini Cooper.  Luckily she has a helpful brother!
We were thankful for all of the gifts, but enjoyed precious time with family the most this Christmas.  On a tractor ride with Uncle Jay the next day

Sweet Ellie taking care of Collins...
In the back of the blue "tractor".  Fun memories!
Merry Christmas Recap!!


  1. We've got a Minnie lover too! Santa brought us that little Minnie shopping cart as well. Isn't it fun to have little girl stuff in the mix? Love reading about your fam.

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