Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

Christmas dawned bright and early and lucky for us it was even a white Christmas (the only day I find snow to be acceptable and wanted....)!  Trevor and I were up, but no kids.  Hmm... Someday they'll be waking us up, but today we had to wake them up!

First things first, we had to go through our stockings.  Ryder didn't even get halfway through his before he had eaten 2 or 3 pieces of chocolate.  We had to help him get through it and by the time it was all dumped out he said very calm, but happily, "cool."  He could have been done then.  He was content.  Brody exclaimed over every little thing, but was ready to open presents.  He knew the drill.

 The kids were not overly indulged, and many of their presents were things they needed like socks, shoes, and underwear, but they were pleased with everything.  I am always so proud of how happy Brody reacts to everything he receives.  He is very appreciative of everything, even the not-so-fun things he gets.  With two boys so close in age, things tend to come in twos.  They often get the same thing because mom, dad, and Santa know all too well that it is easier that way and their are a lot less fights.  The biggest hit of the day were these remote controlled Thomas the Tank Engine trains.  They drive as well as any remote control car, but of course are way cooler because they are Thomas...and they actually steamed!
Trevor and I had decided that we were not exchanging gifts this year.  There really wasn't anything either of us wanted or needed.  We had both recently bought some new clothes, so we were good to go.  I literally got him nothing.  He literally did not follow this agreement and surprised me with a Kitchen Aid stand mixer that I have wanted for years!  I could not believe it.  It was a thing of beauty.  Seriously.  As awesome as it was, I could have strangled Trevor...also, SERIOUSLY!

After that we went over to Trevor's parents house.  All of his family was here this year.  We hadn't done much for anybody except made these homemade board games, and they were a great hit!  As simple, and relatively inexpensive as they were, they were probably one of the best gifts we have ever given.  We were there only briefly, so the boys could open their gifts there, and then we were off to my mom's for breakfast and for the boys to open their gift from grandma there.

At 'Red' Grandma's we also had a homemade board game to give, but then it was time for our traditional stuffed french toast.  It was kind of a small and sad gathering.  My brother Spenser and his wife Stormy weren't there, and just a week before my other brother, Kade, entered the MTC to start his mission training before serving his 2 year church mission in Peru.  We enjoyed the few that were there, but I'll be so glad when we are all back together again.

We left my mom's, got home, had a nap, and then headed back to Trevor's parents for a Christmas dinner.  We were able to enjoy that and then just visit.  We eventually busted out the new game we had made and played several (loud) rounds before coming home.  As far as gifts go, it was a smaller Christmas all around, but I think it was one of the most enjoyable Christmas day's I've ever had- especially with Trevor's family this year.  I say every year that I don't care about the gifts so much as being with everyone, and this year it was really true.  It was fun to laugh, play, and enjoy each other's company.

Despite how busy Christmas day tends to be, and how fast it is over, I wish that every year could be as fun as this one was.  Or I'd take a year even more fun too....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

'Twas the night before Christmas
and at the Waite house,
there was something{s} stirring,
but it wasn't a mouse!

Excitement was hung all over with FLARE!
For St. Nicholas was coming and soon would be there.

The kids each opened 1 gift in a zap.
Jammies and slippers to wear during their long winter's nap.

Soon we all nestled snug in our beds,
and visions of sugar plums danced in our heads.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Activity

Just days before Christmas we woke up to find, Dash, our elf on the shelf, had brought us a fun little project to do as a family.  It was a gingerbread house kit.  We haven't ever made a gingerbread house before so this was a new and fun thing to try out!  There was just one problem....

Dash was sitting on top of the box the gingerbread house came in.  Not a big deal, right?  Wrong.  Remember we aren't supposed to touch our elf or he loses his magic.  What to do?  What to do?  I asked Brody what he thought we should do.  He put his fingers to his chin and thought hard for a minute before exclaiming, "I know!"  He glanced over at the hutch holding some of our dishes and said, " we should just get a plate and scoop him on it!"  That was a great idea I told him, but he made me think of one even easier than that.

Out came the kitchen tongs.  Dash was safely removed from his sitting position on top of the box and delivered to a perch on the branches of the Christmas tree where he could watch us decorate the gingerbread house to our heart's content!

Brody and Ryder got busy right away pulling out all the contents of the box.  We are not ones to go out on a creative limb, so we looked at the different examples of ways to decorate the gingerbread house and let Brody pick the one he liked so we could roughly have a guideline.

Trevor and I did pretty much all the icing and let the boys put on all the candies.  Being that they are 4 and 2, there was no pattern or order to the candies, but it didn't matter.  They were having a blast.  Just the day before, in the news we heard all about a shooting at a school where 26 (i think) children and teachers were killed.  It literally made me sick to think about.  Even more sick to think of how the families were doing.  Especially at this time of year.  Decorating this gingerbread house was made even more special.  Trevor and I just treasured the moments (even the mess) and were feeling grateful for our little family.

At some point in the decorating, Ryder left the table and took the liberty of helping himself to licking out any last drops of icing left in the bag we had put on the floor out of the way.  He was happy digging into the icing, and Brody was happy to have all the creative decor left up to him!

The finished project was super cute and graced our table as the centerpiece until after Christmas.  The only problem was Ry asking almost daily if he could eat the candy off the house!

A Christmas Countdown

Remember back when you were a little kid in school and you made those paper chains to countdown for Christmas?  Well, I do.  It was so fun to tear off a link of the chain each day in anticipation of Christmas, and then counting down how many days until Santa Claus would come.  Sometimes I even got a little too excited and would rip off more than one.  Then even though my chain may have said there were only 5 days left, it really was 6 or 7.
I decided this would be a great craft for my kids to do.  I am normally not one to do crafts because I can be a {bit} controlling.  It takes almost super human strength for me to sit back and let my kids do their thing.  Its one of my major faults.  If point A should connect to point B, I like for that to happen....not point A to point B,C, and/or D even though that is just letting my kids be creative.

I got out the paper and cut the strips myself and put them in a pattern so I had some control, but I gave them their own glue sticks (even Ryder, the 2 year old!) and let them get to work.
Ryder really could only put the glue on the strips and I had to link the chains for him, but he was in heaven!  He created his countdown in true Ryder fashion.  It was fast, a little all over the place, and of course without an ounce of patience he would shout as I put the link together, "Nuh-er one!"  Meaning another one.  If I ever dared try to guide him, he would get angry with me and say, "No!  I do it!"

Brody could glue his links and put them together all by himself.  He worked at his countdown just typical to his personality as well.  Meticulous, patient, and long.  Ryder was finished way ahead of Brody.
Once they were finished each boy had their Christmas countdown hung up on their door.  Each day, the boys remind me that they need to cut a link off and then afterwards we count how many days are left.  I think we'll make a chain every year now.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Holiday Cards

Every year I think, "this will be the year we send out Christmas cards."
Guess what, folks?
Its not going to be this year.

This is as good as its going to get.
Merry Christmas from the 'growing' Waite family!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A Holiday Visitor

On Thanksgiving night, we were at my Mom's house hanging out with the fam when we decided to read a new book to Brody and Ryder.  This book was extra special.  It was The Elf on the Shelf.  As I sat on the floor and read it for all to hear, we learned all about the magic of the elf and the job that he or she does. 

If you have never heard of the Elf on the Shelf, let me give you the shortened version.  Sometime during the holidays, an elf may come to live at your house.  This elf is Santa's helper.  He watches the girls and boys in your home to see if they are being naughty or nice.  Each night the elf returns home to the North Pole to report back to Santa.  But be careful!  This elf CANNOT be touched!  If he is touched, he may lose his magic and won't be able to fly back to Santa.  Each morning before the kids wake, the elf will be found in a new spot.  Oh, and don't forget, you must name your elf!

Brody caught on to the story pretty easily.  I asked him questions after we read the book and he knew the correct answers.  We decided our elf would be named Dash, and we'd have to leave red grandma's house and go home to see if he had come.

Sure enough, Dash was sitting in one of our stockings (and yes, my Christmas decorations had been put up the previous saturday...I was super anxious!).  The kids were SO excited.  Uncle Spenser and Aunt Stormy had come over and Brody kept telling Spenser, "DON'T touch DASH!"

Now each morning the boys come running into our bedroom to tell us where Dash is that day.  He has mostly perched on different spots up high, but he has gotten into a little mischief.  One morning Dash was on top of a picture frame holding a dry erase marker because he had drawn mustaches and horns on the boys' pictures.

Just today, Dash had built himself a chair and table out of the blocks and was sitting there with a small bowl of cereal.  I guess Dash had the munchies.

 Dash has become a fixture in the Waite home now and we'll be sad when he leaves us Christmas eve, but we look forward to all the Christmases to come when he'll visit.