Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm finally catching up after the holidays.  They seemed to have come and gone so fast this year.  Even Magnolia was shocked to hear Santa was coming on Christmas Eve!  
We had our annual Gingerbread House decorating party on the 23rd.  It was a Friday, there was no school, and we had everyone who was invited show up!  I made fourteen houses this year.  Absolutely crazy.  I definitely have some short cuts mapped out for next years' party.  This one was a ton of work!
Good thing is that it's ALWAYS worth the work.  Everyone had a blast.

Magnolia sat with her friends from school, and our neighbor.
I wish this wasn't so blurry but I'm posting it anyway because this is Magnolia's best friend, Amalia.  These two have been instant friends since day one of K-4.
The older kids from the neighborhood sat in the dining room.  Their houses were fantastic and they worked so long and so hard on their houses.  It was so fun to peak in and watch them work.  Here's George with 11 year old neighbor, Natalie.

For two and a half hours we decorated, ate lunch, and ran around the house like crazy!
It was SO festive and SO fun!
We spent Christmas Eve at Nana and Papa's house.
Magnolia and George couldn't wait to open all of their presents from Nana and Papa and Aunt Emily!

Matching gnome hats for us all!  Hand knit by Emily!  
Magnolia and George give Aunt Emily her Christmas presents.
A family of gnomes!  We love our handknit hats!
The elves leave new Christmas jammies on the back porch of Nana and Papa's house.  We go home in them and M & G fall fast asleep after Twas the Night Before Christmas and leaving a plate of cookies out and plenty of carrots for the reindeer.
In the morning we wake to find filled stockings at the end of beds!  Like every year, we pile onto our bed to open them!

Tooth brushes, band aids, chapsticks, pencils, candycanes, parachutes, and of course, oranges at the bottom, just to name a few of the goodies Santa left!
These two wait patiently as we make sure all it set downstairs.  (Fire lit, coffee made, croissants in the oven, and lights on!)
Santa came!!!
Come down and see!

George wouldn't come out until he was carried...he got very scared at the last minute.
A dress up box!
A climbing dome!
Art supplies and desks!
A quick break for croissants!
Magnolia and George loved looking for their names on the packages.

And this is what it looked like when we were all done.  Phew!  That was fun!
Santa left Magnolia this gigantic horse decal.  George put it above her bed later that morning.   I love how she's looking at it in awe.
This one took no time at all to dress up like a cowboy.
Soon after our opening we had a my parents, my sister,  and my sister's family over to spend the day.  We had a lovely day in front of the fire, eating and drinking.  The older girls ran off to play for hours.  The only photo I captured is of George and Margaret.  This was the first time these two actually played together, it was really sweet!  It was a very nice Christmas.  As usual, we were so sad it was over.
A few days later we left for St. Louis to spend New Year's weekend with family.  This is the weather we had every day at Nani's.  Sunny, blue skies, and warm temperatures.  It was wonderful!
The Chicago Judys took us all out to brunch on New Year's Day.   It was so fun to be together.  The cousins exchanged gifts.  It was fun to continue the holiday celebrations!  This picture cracks me up because the sun was so glaring, just look at our two kids.  Magnolia even started to cry because it was so glaring!  It was wonderful, warm and sunny, making for a very nice trip home.