Christmas 2016

Our Christmas was filled with family and that is truly all I wanted.  It makes me so happy to have everyone together to celebrate the season and Christmas Eve was exactly that.  We went to church, had a German dinner and spent the rest of the night laughing, talking and playing with the kids.

And Dylan who is our early riser, our alarm clock, who is up before the sun every.single.day…chooses to SLEEP IN on CHRISTMAS MORNING!  We all were up, sitting around in the living room drinking our coffee and waiting for him to wake up.  Jacob was being such a good boy and being SO patient, waiting for his brother to wake up, before tackling the pile of presents.

After making some intentional loud noises, grinding more coffee beans to refill our cups, Dylan graced us with his presence and the madness began.

Look what Santa brought him…The Stinky Truck!

And this little cheeseball was having so much fun!

Our living room looked like an explosion went off and with the exception of taking turns for a few laps around the house with Dylan on his new plasma car,

we hardly said more than a few words to the boys all day since they were too preoccupied with their toys.

And that my friends is a wrap on our Christmas…now I need to get cracking on Jacob’s birthday!  See you soon!

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Visits with Santa

Last year Jacob was a bit hesitant with Santa.  This year however, he was very excited to see him and tell him all about the “Stinky Truck” he wanted.  Thanks to commercials on the kids channel, he learned about this robotic garbage truck that moves, talks and swallows matchbox cars and burps…The Stinky Truck.  At first I kind of rolled my eyes at it and figured he would move on to something else when it came closer to Christmas.  But he didn’t.  We had three encounters with Santa and every single time he told him he wanted a Stinky Truck.  I knew then I had to find one.

Our first visit with Santa was completely unplanned.  I was returning something at the mall and when we were coming down the escalator we saw Santa.  So we walked by and stopped for a minute to wave and let the boys get a good look at him.  Jacob was so excited and dancing around.  It was early, the mall had just opened and there was no line, so I decided to take the boys to go sit on his lap.  At first Dylan was jumping and dancing along with Jacob just a mere few inches from Santa’s lap, after Jacob climbed up onto his knee, I started to lift Dylan up and he completely lost it.  I froze for a few seconds trying to decide if I should save Dylan from the jolly man in the red suit or back away so they could snap a picture. Yep, I backed away for the picture…

I then quickly rescued Dylan and listened to Jacob chatting Santa’s ear off.  Of course I ended up paying a ridiculous amount of money for this picture, but it is kind of priceless. And for the record, I did feel a little bad for Dylan, but he got over it real quick.

The following week, we went to the Bernardo Winery for their Holiday Nights.  This time there was a long line for Santa, so Justin and I were taking turns standing in line, and walking around with the boys.  One time when I was walking with them, we scored a bench next to where Santa was so the boys climbed up and danced to the music while watching all the kids have their turn with Santa.  Jacob and I asked Dylan several times if he wanted to go see Santa and each time he shook his head, nooooo.  When it came our turn, he was actually okay with it, so I put him on his lap and stepped back for the picture.

Our final encounter with Santa was at the Rancho Bernardo Inn for their December Nights.  This time my parents were with us.  Usually Santa is on their outside patio next to the fireplace, but it was raining so he was moved inside of one of the ballrooms.  When it came our turn, Jacob hopped up and I started to put Dylan on his lap and he decided he was not going to like it again.  So I put him on my lap and we did the family picture first,

then I slid him down to Santa’s lap for the boys picture.

And not only was Santa there but Elsa made an appearance too!  So the boys had a nice little visit with her.

I wonder what next year will bring when we see Santa…

When we were not busy chatting up Santa Claus we were busy preparing food and baking in preparation for Christmas.  And I often find myself wondering why we only make this stuff one time a year?

First up on the agenda was Gingerbread cookies! The boys were great helpers with this one.  They couldn’t wait to get their hands on that dough (yes, they were clean!)

When working in the kitchen, Jake really likes to help, or I should say he likes to do it himself!  Every step along the way he says “I can do it!” and takes over, and he really is pretty good at this.

They both had fun with the cookie cutters

Then the best part is decorating them

The hard part was convincing them that we couldn’t eat them all because we had to save them for Christmas!

The day before Christmas Eve, my mom and I started getting all the food prepared for Christmas Eve dinner and made Oma’s sweet rolls for Christmas morning as tradition calls for.  It was a little bittersweet since Oma went home to Heaven just about 2 weeks before.  This is definitely a tradition that will carry on.

And what fun is baking without a little bit of Champagne!

The food was wonderfully delicious!  And it always amazes me how quickly it all disappears after you spent days making everything.  Maybe that’s why we only do it one time a year.  But to me the preparation part is just as fun as the celebration part so it is all well worth it!

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Star Wars Christmas

The boys have really gotten into Star Wars.  They have never seen the movies, still a little too young for them.  But they have several Star Wars books filled with short stories that explore the world of Darth Vader, Storm troopers, The Death Star, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, R2-D2 and C3PO. Those stories are among Jacob’s top picks before bedtime.  And they love to play Storm troopers, where daddy and Jacob are Storm troopers with blasters made out of legos and they are looking for the rebels and chasing RD-D2 (played by Dylan) and blasting off in their rocket (the tee-pee).  Such imagination with these boys!

A few days before Christmas some friends came over with early Christmas presents for the boys.  They got a baseball tee, a drone, and some snugly blankets with Superheros and Star Wars characters on them.

But the favorite thing for both of them were the light sabers.

They immediately started playing Star Wars

Then Dylan finally let us correct the way he was holding his light saber and it was game on!

So Star Wars paraphernalia along with Superheros, Cars and Toy Story are quickly taking over our house.  I am excited for the day (or I should say weekend) when the boys are older and we can have a Star Wars marathon.  It has been years since I’ve seen the original movies and I’m not even caught up on all the new ones.  In the meantime, we will keep reading the stories and perfecting our light saber skills.

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Choo Choo Train

I know I’ve said this many times…I love this blog.  It is my memory book, it is my place to do something with some of the thousands of pictures I take that tell the stories of our lives. Pictures have always been special to me and even more now that I have a family of my own. However, I am finding it harder and harder to make time to keep up with this blog.  I’m not quitting, and will try to keep this up for as long as I can.  And I am hoping that someday I can make some kind books out of this to give to my boys when they are older.  Someday, in my spare time…and right now is one of those rare moments when I have a some time to myself.  Because, I’m almost to scared to say it out loud in fear that the magical moment will end, but…BOTH of my boys are currently napping!  Jake stopped napping a long time ago, but he woke up really early today and has a birthday party to go to later this afternoon.  When we came home from school, I told him that if he wanted to go to the party he needed to lie down and just rest, after much debating and arguing I finally got him to lie down, and it worked, he was asleep in about 5 minutes!  So I found myself wondering what to do, and instead of doing the usual picking up, cleaning the house or laundry, I decided to make another cup of coffee and sit down with my computer and tackle the Christmas photos. So lets see how far I can get before someone wakes up…

Last year, Papa J gave the boys a train to put around the Christmas tree.  It is a very popular thing in our house.  They kept asking and asking daddy to set it up, so one night, while I was giving them a bath, daddy set up the train.  After they dried off and got their pajamas on, we played with the train for a while before going to bed.

At first they sat and watched it go around a few times while Dylan kept saying “Choo Choo” and doing the signs.

Then they started getting squirmy and had to get closer and follow it around the tree

And this is what happens when I try to get them both to look at the camera and smile.

It didn’t take long before Jake had to take control as the train conductor and make it go himself.

And Dylan was happy just chasing it around the tree.

A few days later, while Dylan was napping, Jacob was playing with his Legos.  I suggested that he build a bridge over the train tracks or buildings that the trains can drive by.  He thought it would be better to do with his BIG legos, so he got those out and got to work.

I just love his imagination and watching him play.

Then Dylan woke up…please excuse the post nap hairdo and the travel hairdryer (I was in the middle of unpacking from being out of town and he was “helping”)

I just can’t resist this smile.

Then Jake thought it would be fun to put the legos on my toes

And that tickles, so I was giggling and it made him laugh.

And this is an angel that Jake made for me at school from his footprint and hand prints. I love it and plan to display it during all the Christmases to come.

The “Choo Choo” train is such a fun part of our Christmas and it warms my heart to see how excited the boys get when playing with it. One of these years I want to take them on the Polar Express, they would LOVE it!

And wow!  I actually got a whole post done and they are STILL sleeping…lets see how much more I can get done, there are plenty more Christmas pictures to tackle.  Stay tuned!

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