Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2016

Philip and I were both very excited for Christmas morning this year. Ainsley is at such a fun age, and this is the first year she actually understood the holiday. She had specific things she asked for (including her Santa gift she has asked for since June) and she anxiously stared at the presents under the tree. The morning after I had wrapped all the kids' presents, she came into the kitchen and said "Mommy! there are princess presents under the tree!" (I wrapped all her gifts in disney paper). I laughed and told her the princess gifts were her special gifts Mommy and Daddy picked out just for her. she was so excited. 
We tried to spread out our Christmas celebrations, so as not to cram too much into too few days. Our first Christmas was at Joys house the Saturday before. She made us breakfast for dinner and Santa knew the kids would be there and brought them lots of presents there:) 
Christmas Eve morning we celebrated with Dana, Brian, and Lindsay. Uncle Bri always knows what gifts the kids will love, and this year was no exception. Ainsley got a princess castle and Parker got a little 4wheeler. 
We hung out at home that afternoon and then went to Christmas Eve Service at our church that night. Mom, Dad, Aunt El;en, GG and Dana met us there, along with several friends. It was a beautiful service and we let Ainsley come to 'big church' with us, and she loved it (and almost caught her hair on fire).
After we got home, we set out cookies for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. Ainsley was so excited and wound up for Santa come, there's no telling what time she actually went to sleep that night. So Philip and I tried to be extra quiet while we assembled toys and stuffed stockings. 
Christmas Morning didn't go like we thought it would. We were expecting Ainsley to wake up at the crack of dawn bounding down the steps. But Parker instead woke up ay 6:45 and we let him play in his crib until 7:15 when we went and got him, waking A up while we were up there. side note- she does NOT like being woken up. So bleary eyed she walked down the steps to see if Santa had come, only to go straight to Parker's gift first and talk about what Parker had gotten. She finally realized her beloved Ariel doll was waiting for her and then all was right with the world. 
We spent the morning opening gifts, eating, playing, and just enjoying the morning. Philip's mom and my parents came by, and the kids were in toy heaven. Each family member got their own light saber (ainsley had requested a purple one and Philip actually found one). so there have been lots of fights and attacks in our house lately. Her hatchimal hatched after lots of coaxing, and I am surprised at how much she has enjoyed playing with "Baby Rey". 

Christmas night we went to my parents and celebrated Christmas and had dinner there. It was so fun full of so many thoughtful gifts, lots of laughs and lots of spoiling. 
We celebrate Wilhoite Christmas tomorrow night so I will have our last Christmas to report then:) 
This year's Christmas was so special to us. It was one of the best ones we have had. The kids are at such a fun age. And I admit I struggled with helping our family stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. It's so easy to get sucked into the gift aspect of it all, because buying and giving gifts to a 3 and 1 year old is absolutely wonderful. Philip and I were filled with so much joy Christmas day and my heart is so full when I look back on pictures and see the magic of the holiday. 
We are so grateful for our family who love us and our kids like they do. We are grateful beyond words that that tiny baby that was sent to Earth, born to a virgin, and grew up to be our Savior. It's the best story in history and the more I learn about Jesus and get to know Him, the more grateful I am. 
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas- we sure did:) 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pre-Christmas Shenanigans

We had so much fun doing all things Christmasy:) 
We went to Nanny's house for a cookie decorating day with Anna Beth and Emma. Mom had lots of cookies for them to ice and sprinkle and the girls tuckered out before the cookies ran out, so Mom and I had to help a little. Ainsley just wanted to eat the sprinkles. But it was fun (and a bit messy) 
One of my friends who lives a few streets over, has a Santa come to his house every year. He invites lots of kids over, Santa knocks on the door, comes in, lets each kid sit in his lap and talk to him, then reads them a story. it's really cool. and Ainsley hopped right up in his lap and told him she wanted "an ariel doll with a heart that sings and a mermaid tail". Santa asked her how she grew so much from last year, and she said " I eat my carrots". haha. Parker snuck popcorn out of the kids bowls. 
Mom and Dad got Matt and I (and families) tickets to the Polar Express this year! Ainsley was so excited to go. She was hoping we would see Billy and pick him up, but we told her Billy was already at the North Pole. We took over the back part of one of the trains and the kids had so much fun. Pop chased them around the back and they weren't confined to their seats thankfully. Santa, Mrs Claus, and Frosty all came by to say hi. 
When we got back and the train stopped Ainsley said "we're back at the station Anna Beth we have to get off now".  :) 
Dad and I took the kids on our annual shopping trip for Nanny :) It gets less productive every year, but also more fun :) 
Anna Beth came over one morning to make gingerbread houses. They weren't the prettiest. and Ainsley just ate the gumdrops. and parker the walls. but we tried, and it was fun. 
I love the festivities leading up to Christmas!