Sunday, December 28, 2014

Enjoying Our Christmas Celebration

Good morning, it's the 3rd day after our Christmas morning and all the preparations, gift buying, food prep and everything that goes with celebrating this season is now past for another year and the clean up is getting ready to happen.

We enjoyed a wonderful day together.  The day started particularly early when Hannah popped into our room at 1 a.m. happily declaring "Santa's been here!!".  I got up and looked with her and said "Yes, I'm glad, but it's too early to have Christmas morning right now. Go back to bed".  She did and around 5:45 when I got up she was fast asleep along with everyone else, including Bea who is in the pictures I took before anyone came out to see their gifts.

The girls gifts and stockings are on the couch, Bea fast asleep in the lounge chair, Santa's cookies and eggnog are gone along with the carrots for his reindeer.  The tree still full of presents, just waiting for everyone to get up.

Kevin got up with some help from me, and he was fortified with a cup of coffee.  Then Cameron was called in so he could see his sister's as they came out to see all Santa had brought them. Hannah was the first out, then Lauren came out still a bit bleary eyed after Hannah woke her up.  Both quickly came alive as they checked out their Christmas piles.

Hannah's up with a smile and wave, Lauren's not quite awake, but has a big grin, both girls checking out their piles.

Lauren is thrilled with her Darth Vader Doll she had on her list,  Cameron getting some help from Bear and Bea

It's time for Kevin and I to look through our stockings, again the dogs have to be part of this.

Hannah with her new Nerf Bow, the mess as everything is being opened.
After everything is opened.

Cameron was thrilled with his Santa treasures, and now it was time to open the gifts under the tree. We enjoyed seeing the many things everyone had chosen for each other and carefully wrapped and placed under the tree.  The handmade gifts from the girls were really special.

Grandma and Poppie stopped over a little before 11am and spent some time visiting and we opened a few more gifts together.  Then it was time to Facetime with Amber and Eddie, to wish them a Merry Christmas and catch up on all they'd been doing.

Cameron's gift from Grandma and Poppie

Lauren's new robe

Grandma and Poppie visiting

Hannah's new robe
Time to Facetime with Amber and Eddie

We spent the rest of the day eating, enjoying our gifts and watching a couple of the movies that were part of our treasures.

Tree after, no more presents

It was a wonderful day, and all too soon it was over.  It's so weird with all the build up when it's now behind you.  So we prepare for a new year to start soon, enjoy the remainder of Cameron's time off from school and the girls are busy playing with their new toys.  We had a slight blip in this whole wonderful scenario yesterday morning when Hannah woke me up to say that Lauren's urine was "a funny color, it's all pink".  I try to watch Lauren's diet to keep her healthy and in the almost 4 years she's been with us we've been really successful at this.   Perhaps with a lot more of the Christmas goodies the balance in her system got off a bit and Kevin had to take her to the ER where she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection.  The doctors and nurses at the hospital were really nice, and made Lauren feel comfortable.  There are a lot of unpleasant memories for her associated with procedures from past kidney and bladder problems she's had, so she was clearly scared as they headed into the hospital.  She's already feeling and doing much better with the medication they have her on and as she clears, we'll have to be more vigilant again with diet and vitamin intake.

So for now we'll enjoy a few days of peace and quiet before it's time to start removing all the decorations, and returning to life as usual.  Hope this Christmas found everyone happy and healthy and we send our greetings and pray God's blessings for you in the coming new year.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and God Bless you all for 2015

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Cameron's Visitor

This last Sunday Cameron drove the two hours down to Lakeland, Florida to pick up his friend Jessica to come and spend some time with us.  With the long drive it seemed better to have her come up here and stay the night so she could have some time to visit.  In preparation we moved Lauren to Hannah's room, and set up a bed for Jessica in Lauren's room.

Cameron had left earlier in the morning so they were able to return just after noon.  We visited, watched Christmas movies, most of which Jessica has never seen!!  That's hard for our family to understand as we love so many that become a part of our annual celebrations.  We had a chance to just relax and get to visit.

Prep and Landing - Jessica's first time seeing this

Bea enjoying the extra company as they watched the shows

Then Sunday night we all climbed in the truck to take a drive and look at Christmas lights.  With the exception of a few inspiring displays, the light shows seemed in short supply this year.  That was disappointing, but we still had fun searching and seeing the few that really put on nice displays.

On Monday, Christmas came early as we exchanged gifts to Jessica from us and enjoyed opening the ones she brought.

Opening our presents

Drawing Jessica made for Cameron.  Boba Fett, his favorite Star Wars character.

We spent some time together before they needed to get back on the road to get her back home, so Cameron could make the drive back before it got too late.  Jessica took with her our gifts for her mom and they had a chance to share those before Cameron headed out.  It was short, but it was a nice visit especially for Cameron and Jessica.

So the Christmas countdown continues, with "one more sleep til Christmas Day".  (Line from Kermit the Frog aka Bob Cratchet in the Muppet's Christmas Carol).


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Almost Christmas

Ever since the lights went up on Thanksgiving day, we've been decorating, shopping, enjoying Christmas preparations, gift wrapping and of course watching lots of Christmas specials and videos.

Me putting up garland on front door

Garland and lights over garage

Hannah and Lauren enjoying the advent calendar Baba and Grandpa sent online

Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar to be opened daily until Christmas

House with lights on

As much as I plan and prepare, it always seems to come down to last minute card writing, gift buying or food shopping that I managed to forget.  So as Christmas quickly approaches, I'll show some of this years Christmas decorating.

Cloisonne Pear Ornament
Mantel decor

More "mantel"  decor.  We have stone shelves right now, not a true mantel

 Drama mask ornament

Father Christmas ornament

One of my lace and jewel ornaments I made

More decorations by the fireplace

Main tree and decor

Angel ornament my parents bought in Germany before I was born

Candle lights, more of my home made ornaments and a Santa Head Ornament

From my favorite Dickens story, my Ebenezer Scrooge Ornament

 Wax head angel that my parents got in Germany and for years was our tree topper as I grew up

Decorations on top of my craft cabinet.  The doll house was made for me by my grandfather.

The tomato cage tree I made for the back sun room decorations.

So the countdown continues, and the girls are so excited for Santa's visit.  I think I'm almost ready, just checking my lists again for any last minute items that might need to be taken care of.

Hope your holiday preps are going well, and you have a safe and Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hannah's Recital

OOPS, I'm a little late in posting this.  Hannah had her first violin recital last Saturday evening.  She began taking lessons last August at a Music store called Music and Arts and her instructor Yvonne Benneti has been wonderful with moving her along and encouraging her to pursue an instrument she's learning to love as she develops the skill needed to play.

Despite being nervous, she was also excited about performing the piece she'd practiced so consistently in preparation for this recital.  So after sitting through about 12 other students playing various instruments such as electric guitars, piano, cello and a few other violinists, it was Hannah's turn.

She was playing a duet with her teacher of Silent Night.  She got past the nerves, played really well and even seemed to relax and enjoy her time there.

  Well done, Hannah!!