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A Very Merry Christmas || 2016

Christmas is so fun and exciting and magical when you have kids to share it with!  This year Tate really 'got it'.  In a way it was like getting to experience Christmas for the first time all over again ... times 3 since I've had that experience myself and with each of the big boys.  I'm lucky enough to get to experience it one more time with Tenley, maybe next year!

Back at the beginning of the month we all went to a local tree farm and picked out the most gorgeous tree!  It was so much fun tromping around the farm looking for the one that was just right.  The boys were given candy canes by the owner and we all were offered some delicious hot chocolate for warming up.  We used Andy as a measuring tool to find a tree that was the perfect height but were pleasantly surprised by how wide the tree was when we got it into the house!  It sure turned out beautiful with all of our special ornaments on it!

We also put up our old fake tree and used that tree for hanging all of the kids' homemade and gifted ornaments on.  It turned out so great, I absolutely loved that tree!  Why didn't I get a picture of it?!?

Tenley stayed out of the trees and presents, for the most part. For some reason she fell in love with one particular gift that was a large square package. She pushed that present all over the living room and if we'd take it away and put it back under the tree she'd rush right over to get it out again. We finally left it up on the counter for a week.  One day I put it back under the tree during Tenley's nap but guess who noticed it right away?!?  Yep, back at it she went.  Ha ha, silly little girl!

We had a wonderful time visiting Santa a couple of weeks ago.  The afternoon we went it was snowing which added to the magic!  I was secretly  hoping Tenley would be scared of Santa and I'd finally get one of those epic pictures but nope, she was totally happy sitting on his lap.  Drat! :)  Instead I was able to snap some really sweet pictures of the whole group together.

And then, after Aiden, Brennan and Tenley went with Andy to put on coats I was able to capture this sweet moment.

Anytime we'd be out driving after dark we'd keep an eye out for Christmas lights. Tate loved pointing them out and oo-ing and aw-ing over them!

Christmas Eve was a wonderful evening.  The kids got all gussied up and we took a few pictures in front of the tree before we left the house.

We met my parents and sister's family at church for mass before heading out to my parent's house for supper.  Once our bellies were stuffed we did a quick clean up so we could get to the fun of opening presents.  There were shouts of excitement, tears of joy and general happiness all throughout the evening.

The tears of joy came when Tenley opened my old doll high chair.  I was so happy that she was given that special  gift.

Tenley surprised me by knowing right away how to unwrap her gifts!  She also caught on very quickly to oo-ing over evey single gift! :)  She wanted to pick up and rearrange everyone's stacks so had a bit of a challenge keeping her out of those but otherwise she never tried unwrapping anyone else's gifts. And Tate did such a great job being patient and waiting his turn - he never whined or asked to open anyone else's gifts. Such a big boy!

We finally arrived home a little after 10:00 that night and boy was I exhausted! But Santa still had to come and leave gifts so Andy and I watched TV for a little while to make sure the kids were all fast asleep.  Brennan had left out a couple of cookies and a mug of milk and I think this is the first year one of the boys has actually remembered to do this - they are always so tired from Christmas at my parent's house.  It made for a nice late snack. :)

Christmas morning Tate woke up with a nice croupy cough.  He fell back asleep in our bed and we had to actually wake him at 8:00!  It threw off our normal traditions of Santa presents and stockings before breakfast but that's ok, it was nice to eat first before opening any presents.

Santa was good to all the kids and the big boys were very excited about their new Lego sets!  We moved into the front room for gifts from me and Andy.

We tried to clean up a bit before heading out for lunch at Andy's parent's with his brother's family there, also.  Andy's mom had  knee replacement a couple weeks ago so we kept it simple and had sandwiches and dips for lunch.  We had a nice afternoon exchanging gifts and playing cards.

We ended the day by going to my Grandma's for supper.  She usually makes soups and everyone brings the sides.  We were so exhausted by this point and Tenley was ready for quiet so we ended the evening early and headed home.

After all of that fun all that was left to do was reminisce and put everything away!  The putting away of all the new things is one of my favorite parts about Christmas - am I nuts?  It's so fun looking over everything again and finding homes for everything.

And now we are left with the wonderful memories.  The decorations are all taken down and put away and the house is full of Legos, Nerf Guns, dollies and their accessories, Thomas trains and toys - not to mention all of the new pretty Pioneer Woman goodies I was given! :)  I love the bareness of the house after the decorations are down, it reminds me of the fresh start we given each and every new year.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!


  1. I love your tree. I am hoping to have a real tree next year. I want to put all the boys ornaments on the fake tree in their toy room and then put all my favorite pretty ornaments on the real tree... I guess we will see. I love that Tenley got your old dolly high chair. I started to tear up.. what a wonderful gift.

  2. Sounds like a great Christmas! As always, beautiful kids!

  3. Sounds like a great Christmas! As always, beautiful kids!