Friday, December 27, 2013

Cousin Christmas Part: a gathering for joyful Christmas celebrations

We decided to have a small party to exchange gifts among the cousins this year.  We also had the excitement and thrill of having Royell and Adam's family participating.  Their kids are so much younger than their actual cousins, we all thought it would be a fabulous idea to include them in our exchange among the kids.  Due to the celebrations being right after our block of church, we decided to have the party at our house.  Holly and her boys and mom arrived at the house before we could get home anyway.  Royell and Adam pulled in as we were getting things into the house, and we made a merry group of family traipsing into the house.  We began the celebration by gathering around the table to decorate Christmas Trees.  It was both delicious and entertaining.  Afterward, we gathered in a circle and had a fun game of Pass around Parcel.  It is quite similar to a combination of a cake walk and musical chairs, but the person who has the gift when the music stops gets to unwrap a layer and get a small gift.  The person who is in at the end has the 'best' gift.  Then, the kids gathered round to play a variation of Don't Eat Pete called Don't Eat Rudolph.  The kids all had a lovely time. 

Games: Pastime during Christmas celebrations

Grandpa and Grandma Creps' basement was finished just in time for our family Christmas party.  Therefore, the majority of our time was spent in the comfort of their carpeted rooms.  This year, mom had a number of games planned, and we played them with enthusiasm!  The first game is, I believe, part of Minute to Win it.  We wore pantie-hose on our heads with a golf ball in the end of one of the legs.  The goal was to be the first one to knock over an entire row of water bottles. 
Zane competing against dad.

Me against Angie.

This is Zane against Adella. 

Of course, Adella's head was too small to keep the hose on , and I just helped her hold on while she swung the ball around.

She won too!  Well played daddy!

The next game was a ring toss.  We had to get the rings on the antlers.

Girls versus the guys.

Testing out the antlers.

We also had a small gift exchange. 

Zack got a Madagascar short.  Adella got a princess stationary set.

Zane opened a Yahtzee, and I got some soft socks and body spray. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Santa: giver of gifts

Our city often has great opportunities.  This year, Santa visited the library where we were able to visit him.  This year was so sweet.  As we came close to the big man, both Adella and Zack got really quiet and we could see the sparkle of excitement twinkle in their eyes.  What sweet children we have!

Kid Christmas Tree: a distraction from the family tree

Gingerbread Houses: a sweet architectural structure of tradition

Since Zane and I were married, I have loved the idea of creating gingerbread houses each Christmas.  Of the nearly five years of marriage, I think we have made them a total of two years.  I know it's not really a tradition yet, but I really like doing this... on the most part.
You can tell how Peyton would much rather play than watch me try to get the structures up.
Making the walls from scratch is no big deal, and I thought I would "glue" them together with this idea I found on Pinterest.  It's a basic sugar water mixture, but in the end I found it was easier just to hot glue the suckers together.  Trust me.  The actual building is the worst part of these!

Adella made quite a lovely home, but she was more interested in eating extra candy pieces.

Zack's house really turned out to be a drenched rooftop.  He put pieces onto the roof, slid them off, then proceeded to eat them and lick the icing off the house. 

We had Adella's friend over for the decorating party because we had an extra house.  It was a blast to watch these kids make their homes. 


Christmas Photos: Our unprofessional snapshots

I like to take our own fun pictures of our kids in their Christmas clothes so we can use them for the Christmas card.  Every time I choose to snap pictures of my kids, I get frustrated and angry because I haven't taken enough pictures for my kids to realize they need to actually look nicely and hold still.  So these were the only photos which slightly turned out.  I am in love with the first one of Zack, but the others are just fine too.  We decided to use the last picture for our cards this year.  I will post the card later; when I can get on the other computer and find it. 

Big Little Man: Oxymoronic phrase describing a two year old

It seems like forever, yet it has only been two years since our little man came to us.  Zack is definitely wild and energetic.  He is very difficult to keep up with, but there is something always fun going on for this guy! We were able to celebrate his birthday with friends and family.
Opening a package of presents.  Luckily there were plenty of peanuts to keep him occupied so we could save the gifts one more day.

Adella got a special gift too!

He loves Curious George.

A train set!

Thanks for the computer Grandma!  You can see how excited he is!

Opening a new car mat from mom and dad.

The birthday display.

Did I mention it was a pirate themed party?

Everyone had a special map to help them find their very own buried treasure.


Checking out their spoils!