Well, here it is! My new lime green iPod! Cute huh?
It's all synced up and ready to go!
Kevin had it personalized for me. I couldn't get any closer to it for a better picture. It just was too blurry. It says, "Julie's iPod Merry Christmas." Apple will personalize iPods for free-cool huh? Click on the picture and you may be able to see it better.
Santa was good to me! Hope he was good to you too!
Christmas morning! Finally! The boys have been very anxious, awaiting their Wii-they were so sure. Santa played a trick though. He hid the wii on the floor, behind the couch. He left them underwear near their stockings-tee hee hee. We opened all of our presents, and then Quinn discovered the wii when he went to turn on the lights for our mini xmas trees. Pure joy.
Riley, opening his stocking.
Quinn with his present from Riley. Please notice how clean my living room is-it's not like that now.
Pure joy as Quinn discovered the Wii. It's certainly helpful that Quinn can read now!
It's Christmas Eve! The boys are beyond excited. We are heading over to my parents' house tonight to celebrate Christmas. I've been in the kitchen almost all day, preparing food/cookies. There's lots to do today and tonight, cuz Santa's on his way!
I prepared the cookies for Santa. There are some of my snowflake sugar cookies, and some Santa cookies I made, using Nutter Butters.
Of course, we'll all snuggle in and read this classic story, with an updated Mary Engelbreit twist. It has great illustrations!
And, perhaps my most favorite thing about Christmas Eve...A Christmas Story! I LOVE this movie! I love that it is shown back to back to back to back, starting Christmas Eve. It wasn't on early enough for me though, so I popped in my DVD, and I am enjoying it even as we speak-er, write.
I love enjoying an eggnog latte from Starbucks at this time of year. They are truly yummy. I had one today, before I got my hair done. I didn't have my camera for a picture of it, but I do have this...
Aren't they cute? They are from my Starbucks stop today. The deer is just too cute, and I love, love, love the bird. Oh, and the double good news? They were both on sale! Whoo hooo!
Pure joy! We got together with some very good friends tonight so the kids could exchange their Christmas presents. Here's Quinn's reaction to his present. Pure joy! He squealed with delight. There was lots of happy shouting, and hugging.
Quinn hugging Sebastian for his Clone Troopers dart gun.
Here's Sophia and me, with the doll I made for her. She was very happy with it. I was filled with pure joy because the doll and the sock monkey I made, were a big hit.
I have Polly Pockets at my house. I have them because I have nothing but nieces, and friends who have girls. I have a house full of boys, so lots of boy toys. I bought them so that the girls would have something to play with when they were here. Quinn quite enjoys playing with them. I bought a boy (Paulie Pocket?) Boys are interesting creatures.
Here's Quinn. He cross-dressed the boy.
That dress is his color! Look at those biceps!
We laughed and laughed over this. Kid humor. He really has NO idea.
Most of you may already know that I am a teacher by day. I teach 2nd grade. One of my favorite things about this time of year is this special art project.
I can't take credit for this. I "borrowed"-teacher language for stole- this project from the teachers next door to me. It's really beautiful, and the parents love it.
This student colored theirs very nicely. Click on the picture for a closer look. It's super sparkly!
Look at that! This project is made with a clear overhead transparency, permanent pens for coloring, a pattern underneath to trace and color, and the magic...tin foil. That's what gives it the sparkly appearance. I so love this project, so thanks Kay and Jane! Oh and special thanks to my awesome parent, Sheri, who traced and cut out all of the circle frames for me-saving the circles for another project! She's so awesome, and she even reads my blog!
I don't know about you, but I always think about Christmas as it was presented to me when I was a child. My parents always made it so nice, and my brother and I did not want for anything. I've tried to keep some of the same traditions with my own kids. Cookies for Santa, hanging the stocking, decorating the tree together-which was usually great except for the time my brother pulled the tree over! We both got sent to our rooms for that one! Oh, and my mom would redecorate the tree when we went to bed. My brother and I couldn't sleep the night before. We would talk to each other from our bedrooms late into the night. It was the one night we didn't try to kill each other. We also woke up at the crack of dawn, and would eagerly awaken my parents. It seemed like forever before we could get to our new toys. My dad always had to set up the camera, make coffee, etc.
Anyway, I thought I would show you my parents' house decorated for Christmas. This is quite the display on the front yard.
Here's the walkway to the front door. Inside, it's much the same. Christmas in every corner. It's nice, and it feels like home.
Oh, and their tree, "the prettiest tree we've ever had." My mom says that every year. She also places all of her ornaments on the left side of the tree so that she can see them from her chair.
This is a real tree too. They drive up to the Santa Cruz Mountains and cut one down every year.
I love receiving Christmas cards and the "Christmas letter." I love hearing about all of the things families are doing together, and the accomplishments in their lives! I know there are definite opinions about Christmas letters, but I have to say that we are big fans of the Christmas letter, and we do one every year, although our format is a little different. If you are looking to read a Christmas letter, go HERE, and you can read ours!
Anticipation. This time of year is full of anticipation. The boys are anticipating, whether or not they will get a wii. Kevin is anticipating if he will be disappointed in the Disney Christmas Day Parade, again this year. I am anticipating my beautiful green ipod. There's anticipation all around. Will people like the presents you so painstakingly chose for them? Will the weather hold out? Yes, indeep lots of anticipation. I actually feel like I was double dipping in anticipation. For many weeks now I have anticipated this...
There it is, with much anticipation. My very own copy of the Mamma Mia movie! It was quite the drama to get it. I had to go to 2 Targets (they had a special edition I wanted.) The first Target was completely sold out of the special edition. Grrrrr. That meant I had to go to the hated mall Target, with too many Christmas shoppers. I was feeling very nervous as I waited for what seemed like 20,000 people to get on the escalator (two story Target) to get downstairs. I get on behind these two slow women-imagine all they wanted to do was talk! The nerve! So I had to, ever so patiently, wait for them to vacate the escalator. I could see the movie from the escalator-one last copy of the special edition. My stomach was rumbling in-you guessed it, anticipation. All of a sudden one of the chatty women says, "Oh, that's right Mamma Mia is out today!" Apparently, she could see it too. Inside I am screaming. I'm thinking to myself, "OK, I can take these women. I am not leaving here without my special edition. I'll run and beat them to it!" Lucky for me, they went right, and I went left, straight to the rack where I proudly grabbed my very own personal copy of Mamma Mia The Movie. The End.
Presents! Who does not love the act of giving? That feeling of happiness when you have given the perfect gift. The smiles, the squeals. It's priceless. I'm sorry, I sound like a Mastercard commercial.
Every year I have the boys choose their own roll of wrapping paper. I then wrap all of their presents in that paper. Riley chose dots and Quinn, stripes. I like the look of that. It also compliments the blue, white and red paper I chose for Kevin and I.
Riley's presents. By the way, isn't that monkey the cutest?
Quinn's presents. Oh yes, it is so much fun to give...
That said, I am also a big fan of being the receiver (and I don't mean in football). I'm hoping for one of these beauties-a green one.
This here is my favorite accessory for Christmas! It's my advent calendar. The red cabinet was a Christmas gift to me from my in-laws. I used to fill it with chocolate, or the pieces from our Lego advent calendar, but I have since moved on. I bought a small box of vintage Christmas ball ornaments-really small ones, and a small tree. I put 24 ornaments into the cabinet (you know, one for every day), and behind door 25 you ask? Well, that's the star for the top of the tree. I love it, and Riley loves to decorate the little tree with the ornaments.
Day 13! 12 days to go-The Twelve Days of Christmas!
The boys have their own advent calendar. This one is Playmobil. It's a pirate set. Every morning, Riley gets up and adds to the display. Then he sets out the next days box, and I don't think he even peeks at the next day's treasure. He's so organized.
Here's a closer look. The pirate is sleeping. Such a great pirate camp!
Of course I love a Christmas Tree! This is our tree this year-it pretty much looks like this every year, as it is not real. It's real fake. It's 3 easy pieces and up it goes, and the lights are already on it! We especially love the bendability of the branches to make ornaments fit.
I'll try and get over to my parents house this weekend. You HAVE to see their yard, oh and "the prettiest tree we've ever had."
I love Christmas crafting! I have several projects going right now that I can't show you...yet. I CAN show you these though!
Plain little cardboard houses-err, churches.
A closer look.
They ended up like this! Cute? I really liked the way they turned out, all glittered up. They make a glitter mess, but hey, I like glitter (sorry mom), and I have a Dustbuster, so I'm good.
Closer look. I participated in a swap at Say it With Letters. These little houses were my contribution. I have received 3 of 4 ornaments back, and I'll post those pictures once I get the last one. The ones I have gotten are pretty cute though.
Santa pictures!! Who does not love Santa pictures? The Santa at our lousy mall is the best thing about the mall. He's very authentic. We went Tuesday after school for our pictures, and Santa was in really great spirits-promising to bring the boy any colored "weed" they wanted. They needed to clarify that they want a Nintendo Wii, not a weed. He understood and said he would do what he could. Here's hoping! By the way, there's no crowd on a Tuesday afternoon. On a weekend, you just can't get near Santa, and I do believe his spirits may not be all that festive after a crazy, crowded weekend.
Say it with me....Awwwww! Oh, and I did not make my 10 year old sit with Santa, he wanted to, and as long as he's willing to sit, I'm willing to buy the pictures.