Warning: Picture Overload.
We had a wonderful Christmas celebrating as a family of four and also with our extended family. The boys really understood the true meaning of Christmas this year and were also excited about Santa. Bryan had a busy work schedule at the beginning of the month so that he could be off December 24-30. His group rotates working every other Christmas, so we made plans to be in Houston for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day since he was not working.
We started off our festivities with presents with our little family. The boys picked out gifts for each other and also got a small gift from Bryan and me.
Joshua with his pose-able Spider-Man from Caleb
Caleb launching an Angry Bird into the sky (look above his head!)
Joshua knew that "Angries" are Caleb's favorite!
On the morning of Christmas Eve we drove to Houston to begin our time with extended family. We went to my parent's house first. Joshua decorated gingerbread men with my Mom. Caleb declined to participate as he was engrossed in playing Angry Birds :)
We all felt like this gingerbread man looked like he had been in a knife fight.
Playing at Granny's house in the silly Santa hats
We attended the 4pm Children's Mass at my parent's church. By the time we arrived the only available seats were on the FRONT ROW! Our boys typically go to Sunday school or nursery each week at our church, so they are not accustomed to being quiet and still for a long service! We were nervous but they did great. Joshua fell asleep so his behavior was perfect ;) Caleb was a little wiggly but overall a great listener with lots of entertaining commentary and questions. He was very concerned about "What does MULTITUDES mean??" from one of the readings.
All dressed up for Christmas Eve Mass!
We let the boys open a few presents from my parents on Christmas Eve. They were dying to rip some wrapping paper!
Joshua with his plush characters from his latest favorite, the movie Frozen
Caleb playing with his Angry Bird swimmer balloon
Delicious spread of food that my Mom prepared. YUM!
Setting out cookies & chocolate milk for Santa
After Santa delivered all the presents (which required minimal assembly, praise the Lord!) my Dad and Bryan decided to sample a bottle of brandy. It had been in my parents rarely used liquor cabinet for something like 15 years. They were pretty excited about it but quickly reported it tasted like kerosene.
The boys slept horribly on Christmas Eve-- Caleb was awake starting at 4am, woke up his brother... it was rough. We managed to stall them until close to 7am.
Waiting to come down the stairs to see their gifts
Caleb's favorite gift - the "big guy" character from Angry Birds
Joshua with his Little Mermaid Castle
Caleb also got a Kindle! It has great parental controls on it and he feels like a really big deal!
The boys opened more gifts from my parents.
Joshua got costumes from my parents!
Dressed up as Prince Charming
Tough guy Batman
After breakfast and Santa gifts we headed over to Bryan's parents house. We were joined by all the aunts, uncles and cousins too!
Group picture with Pop Pop and Gran Jan
Will was thrilled with his tool set and wanted to chop down trees outside right away
Precious Charlotte and her new 'kissy' face trick. She is about the same height and weight as Hannah. I can't wait for the two of them to play and be friends!
Joshua was kind enough to show Charlotte how to play with her Cinderella Castle.
After gifts and a yummy meal we had an activity planned by Gran Jan. It was a 'snowball fight'-- Texas style! Jan bought about 100 fake, soft snowballs from Hallmark. Each family got a bucket and we had a war in the backyard! It was a lot of fun!
Craig getting aggressive
Poor Bryan and the young children-- have no idea that Uncle Craig is about to attack!
Of course Caleb pretended to be an AT-AT walker from Star Wars during the battle (because they battle in the snow in one Star Wars movie)
Pop Pop and his mini-me, Zach
We were so blessed to spend time with our families this Christmas and truly missed getting to see my brother, Haley and the kids this year. We know that next Christmas will look much different as our boys will grow up and develop new interests and we will also have a precious baby sister to celebrate!