Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014

The boys would tell you that this was the Best Christmas Ever. As always, they received only three gifts, but they were well thought out and much loved by the boys! I have to admit that the girls got a few more than three gifts each, but I justify that by telling myself that we needed more toddler girl toys. 

It's become a tradition for Mark and the boys to set off rockets sometime around Christmas day. This year they went to our local high school's field to set off their rockets on Christmas Eve.

In the evening we went to our church's Christmas Eve service. It was simple and beautiful as always. After church we got Chinese takeout, had our final family advent devotion, then opened stockings.

On Christmas morning we opened all our gifts and then hung around the house in our PJs while the kids enjoyed all their new things. Lucy especially loved her new keyboard and the boys spent a few hours building their new Lego sets. Then we went to the playground so they could try out their new scooters. While we were there we met up with a family we keep seeing around town (playgrounds, library, etc). My boys and the other boy (K) have always really hit it off well together, so all the boys were very excited to see each other. They begged if he could come over for the afternoon, and to their amazement, both moms agreed. So K spent the afternoon at our house. 

In the late afternoon (after we dropped K back at his house) we went to our dear friends' home for dinner, movies, and board games. It was a great ending to a wonderful day!  

Tommy and Ben got blow-up boxing gloves in the stockings, so they passed the early part of Christmas morning (as they were waiting for the Official Gift-Opening Time to come) beating each other up. 

Baby X with her new walking toy. Hopefully this will help her gain some balance and strength so she can start walking soon!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Season Fun

This has been a fun Christmas season! We took off the whole month of December from school so we could have more time to relax and do Christmassy things. Our tradition has been to sit down together the weekend after Thanksgiving and come up with a 'bucket list' of holiday things we want to do over the next month. This year I was realistic and rather minimalist in what I added to our list and I'm happy to say that we checked off almost everything on our list!

No Christmas season is complete without a trip through Willow Glen to look at all the amazing holiday lights with a stop for hot chocolate in the middle. 

Found an awesome Christmas tree while doing some shopping

Gingerbread houses

Paper snowflakes

More paper snowflakes with watercolors

We got outside as much as possible this month. It rained a lot, so that meant lots of puddle stomping.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

El Toro Hike

This weekend Mark and I had the opportunity to go for a hike .... without kids! We hiked up El Toro, the highest peak in our town. It was one of the foggiest mornings I've seen in a long time (in the picture below you can even see the tiny water drops floating in the air!). I've been told the view from the top is amazing, but we couldn't see anything but clouds. All the same, the view was pretty spectacular. At the top of the peak it was totally sunny and we were above the clouds. It was just like being in an airplane. It was wonderful to be able to go on a hike, just the two of us.