Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

As promised, here are some pictures from Christmas Day. Enjoy!  :)

There is a lot more stuff under him that you just can't see, I promise.

Lillie with her loot

Soph and her treasures

Wes with MY Christmas present, a new Dyson!  :)

Harlan sporting his new robe from Papa

Wes made his famous cheese grits, eggs and turkey bacon for
Christmas breakfast, and I made biscuits from scratch! For the first time ever!

cookie cutter biscuits ... they were a smash hit,
and very yummy if I do say so myself!

Sophie with her nightgown from Papa ...
Lillie has one that matches.

Harlan with his new pj's from Grandma and
 Grandpa Rayburn

Lillie models her new pj's from Grandma and
Grandpa Rayburn

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010 - in pictures

Christmas this year found my emotions running amok ... missing my mother, my family in MS, yearning for things to be the same even though they will never be the same again, wanting to make the best of the holiday for my kiddos and alternately wanting to hide in my room and just cry.

We (I) was surprised by a visit from Wes's mother, who flew here from Seattle. I am so glad she got to meet the baby and hang out with us, and with June, who drove up from Oxford (MS) to celebrate with us (and to catch the flu, which was no good! But thanks to Wes's powers of prescription, she was all better within 24 hours!) Wes knew his mother was coming but did not share this information, and she appeared on our doorstep wrapped up like a package with a red plastic bag. The kiddos were thrilled and overjoyed. And so was June. Wes continued to lie and say he had no idea. Land spent great quality time with the kiddos and with Suzie, and she helped nurse June back to health. Too bad their time together was spent with illness. :(

As for me, I was just tormented by my aforementioned emotional meanderings. But I am okay.

Here are some pictures ... just from Christmas Eve. I'll put some from Christmas Day in another post. There was just a lot going on.

Christmas Eve Morning: Homemade snowman pancakes!
June got in on the decorating, too.

Suzie braved the cold ... for a minute.

Harlan is quite the strong man!

I came out periodically to check on things
... then went right back in.
I don't think cold/wet/slippery stuff is fun!

Sophie attacked Harlan with a snowball!

Harlan's counter attack was a little more effective.

Harlan rolled a huge snowball! It was too heavy for Wes to add
to the snowman he was working on, though.

We blew bubbles to see if they would freeze.
It wasn't quite cold enough for that.

I'm not sure what this game was, but they were having fun.
A snow face on the tree!

Lillie was working on a snow fort.

Final measurement of the snowman stack: 12 feet!
Wes named the bottom one Tiny.
Harlan named the other two Cocoa and Weirdo.
Soph, being fabulous, as usual.

June, Lillie, Maggie and Buddy. (Land and June's dogs.)
We made s'mores in the fireplace.
Definitely better with dark chocolate candy bars.

June and Suzie hung out while the kiddos
decorated cookies for "Santa."

Then Granyan showed up at the door!
Wrapped up like a gift!
And we were all so surprised.

Happy reunion! They hadn't seen each other since last January.
Long distance relationships are no fun.

Granyan meets Suzie for the first time!

Then she sat down and emptied her two bags
 -- they were FULL of gifts!

Hugging goodnight, happy to
be together for Christmas 
After big kiddos were in bed, we let Suzie
open her gifts from Granyan.

She was so excited!

Suzie tries on one of her presents
while Buddy gives Granyan some lovin'

Sweet pic.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tis the season to be jolly?

(People who have - or pretend to have - perfect families just annoy me. I do not want to be one of those people. So here is the real, true story of how I made Christmas cookies with my kiddos today.)

Although we are not traveling this season, I am determined that, in January, my kiddos will not look back and feel like their Christmas break was wasted. Yesterday we didn't do much, except Harlan, who played at his friend Sam's house then had his piano lesson. While he was busy with those things, the girls and I went to the grocery store. Hooray!

Today, (1) the kiddos were fighting and yelling at each other, (2) I'm currently being tormented by an awful cold which makes my throat sore, my ears throb, my nose run, and makes me extremely grumpy, (3) I couldn't sleep very well last night, so that makes me even grumpier. BUT I was determined to spend quality time having FUN today! We made Christmas cookies. Everyone was grumping at everyone else about whose turn it was to dump the next ingredient, whose turn it was to get on the chair to see in the mixer, whose toes (MINE) were getting smashed when people were sliding the chair around ... but we made those cookies!

 Getting ready to start

 Harlan adds the shortening

 Suzie helped, too!

 At least someone was happy!

 Harlan threw a big fit! I don't remember why.

She was a big helper.

The kiddos went to play while the cookies baked. I made the frosting (yum!), then I cooked some tortellini and discovered too late - after a frantic text to Wes - that he had thrown away the one jar of Alfredo sauce we had. It was brand new! What the heck?! So I put pesto sauce on it, which is great for me but made kiddos whine even more. I forced them to eat it, using the cookies as a bribe. They ate it -- but they were not happy about it!

Then we mixed colors into the frosting! Decorating the cookies brought more contention. There was more arguing, about who would get to use the pink frosting first, who was sitting too close to someone else, and who was licking the spoons in the communal frosting cups. Oh, joy!

Harlan, caught in the act

Still helping! (Notice she's wearing different clothes ... I'm leaving that loveliness out of my post...)

Would you like some cookie with your sprinkles?


And now they are all in their beds, in the room that they share, NOT sleeping as I told them to do. I hear giggling and scurrying and someone - probably Lillie - saying, "SSHHH!" And maybe I should be mad that they're not napping ... but I'm just glad they're finally getting along.