Friday, February 3, 2012

christmas 2011. . .looking back

We had a wonderful Christmas this year.  Looking back, I am so thankful that I didn't get sick until that night.  I would have been so sad to have been in the hospital and to have missed being with my kiddos on Christmas day.  Just one more little tender mercy! 

The girls loved their Christmas pj's.  It was so fun finding little bulldozer jammies for Samuel, too!  With 9:00 church, we gave the girls a choice between opening presents before (and maybe being a little rushed) or waiting until after church.  They chose to wait.  However that morning they slept until nearly 7:00, then waited a while for Grandma and Grandpa to arrive, read the Christmas story, opened presents, ate breakfast, and still had time to get ready and arrive early for church.  A Christmas miracle!

The highlight of this Christmas was the train that was set up under the tree.  Each year, the girls get a snow globe to add to their collection.  Instead of a snow globe, a train set arrived for Samuel.  I don't know how much our little man got into the train this year, but his sisters LOVED it!  Actually, I'm not sure who was more excited, the girls or daddy!  Complete with a whistle, chugging sounds, and real live smoke coming from the stack, it was a hit.  The girls and their daddy spent hours over the holidays watching it, controlling the speed, and loading/unloading cargo from the flat car.  I'm pretty sure a wonderful new Christmas tradition was born this year. 

Of course, everyone was thrilled to receive their very own New England Patriot shirts.  (And it's a good year to wear them too, eh?  Go Patriots!)  We get a good laugh over our little Patriot fans.  Their daddy has trained them well.  We frequently hear about conversations that they have with the boys in their classes and on the bus, with our girls vehemently defending their beloved team.  The other day Ryenne was putting a stack of Sports Illustrated into her backpack.  When I asked her why, she said it was so she could find trivia questions for the boys on the bus ride home.  Seems they have a lot of football talk.  I had to laugh when the Patriots qualified for the Superbowl and Ryenne said, "This reminds me of the Superbowl in 2009, when the Pats played the Giants then, too.  I remember Dad was so sad after they lost he would hardly even talk!"  I didn't even remember that they'd played each other, let alone the year.  She makes her dad proud!

Ryenne was beyond ecstatic when she found none other than an ipod in her stocking.  Holy Cow!  We have a pretty funny video of the discovery.  She thought it would never happen, and I admit, neither did I.  Being the technology geek that I am, I swore our kids wouldn't have one for quite some time, but that Santa!  I'll tell you what. . . .

Actually, my fears of ipod infatuation have been fairly unfounded.  Dad has put lots of parental controls on it (no Internet, no texting- we're mean parents like that!) and she has been really responsible about how much she uses it, mostly at bedtime to listen to music and as an alarm in the mornings.  The best feature has been the Facetime feature her dad set up for her so that when he's out of town, the girls and he can talk and see each other at the same time!  They are loving that and it has helped them feel more connected with him while he's away.  The first night they used it, Claire was a little confused.  She asked him, "Where are you?"  He told her he was laying on his bed (meaning in the hotel), and she ran to our bedroom, came back and said, "No you're not, I just checked!" 

Emmy couldn't be happier with her new chalkboard/whiteboard set up that she now uses to teach school.  This gal of ours spends about 99% of her free time being a "teacher".  She loves having an official white board, along with clips to hang papers for her students. 

Kate was thrilled with craft supplies, a Scrabble game, and a lime green ripstick (the only thing she'd asked for this year)!  The big girls received a ripstick and the little gals a scooter.  Lucky for them, we haven't had any snow and so they've gotten lots of practice.  Many evenings find them out on the patio in the dark, wearing their headlamps, and working on their skills.   

Christmas afternoon we made the trek to see all the Grandparents, and everyone had a marvelous time playing with cousins.  Like normal, we celebrated into the night and didn't get home until late.  After we got home, we had a good laugh when we found Kate asleep on the floor by our bedroom.  A sure sign of a Christmas well celebrated! 

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