Monday, December 31, 2012

Big Christmas Update

I think our family is on the upswing now.   Maybe.  We all have some congestion and coughs, so we may not be quite out of the woods yet.  But at least the vomiting, nausea and fevers seem to be gone.

This is going to be one big long post with an update on all our Christmas travels. I always feel the need to put a warning at the beginning of my long posts!

We started on the Saturday before Christmas with a surprise 70th birthday party for Daniel's dad.  Isla was so cute carrying his balloons all over the house.
 This ledge is Isla's favorite spot at Mimi and Papaw's house.
 After church on Sunday:
Mimi and Papaw and all their grandkids:

 Then it was time for our first family Christmas with Daniel's parents and siblings.  Audrey just loves presents.  She loves passing out presents to people.  She loves opening presents.  She loves watching other people open presents.  She just loves the whole process, and did not get tired of it at all over three days and four different gift exchanges.  She gives the best reactions when she opens gifts, "Oh thank you!  I just love it!"  She always seems genuinely excited about her gifts, and she is very good at remembering to thank everyone.  This year, she also added an extra touch by kissing every single one of her presents after opening.  I hope she never loses this joy, because it is so much fun to watch.

I don't think we ever got a good video of Audrey opening a present.  Here is one of her "helping" Isla.

 One of Audrey's favorite gifts of the season was this Cinderella board game.  She wants to play it all the time and has not grown tired of it yet (though Daniel and I definitely have)!  It is the first board game that has really kept her attention and that she has been willing to sit and play and follow the rules from beginning to end.
 Audrey also has been having fun with this dress up kit with earrings and jewelry and shoes and wands and stuff.  Isla is a big fan of the necklaces, as expected!

Later Sunday evening, we went to Daniel's aunt and uncle's house for another Christmas celebration...and more presents!

 On Christmas Eve, we drove five hours to my aunt's house to celebrate Christmas with my dad's side of the family.  Time for more presents!!
 Audrey helping her cousin Josiah open presents.  Audrey was always eager to open presents for others who might need some help.
 With Grandpa John (my dad):
 After my dad's Christmas, we drove another hour to my mom's house and hurried to get there in time to get ready for Christmas Eve service at her church.   We filled up an entire row, and it was a front row.  Sitting in the front row with four small children probably wasn't the best idea, but we made it!
 Here is my niece Braxen wearing the same Christmas dress Isla wore last year!
 They had battery operated lights for the kids, and Isla really liked hers.  She even raised it up high in the air during the final verse of Silent Night; it was pretty cute.
Here are the girls posing with some M&M's at Mom and Marcus' house after church.
 Before bed on Christmas Eve, Audrey, Isla and Josiah had new Christmas PJ's to open and wear to bed.  (Although we couldn't get Isla interested in opening hers, so Audrey gladly opened them for her).
 Then, it was Christmas morning!!  The girls opened their stockings first thing.
 After stockings, we had breakfast and then I read through the whole Advent book with Audrey and Josiah.
 And then, more presents!  We could nickname this the Christmas of never-ending presents!  The girls opened all their presents from us.
By Christmas morning, Isla was starting to get the idea of opening presents.  She was also learning from her sister how to give a good reaction when you see what is inside a present.

 Isla thought her present was the perfect seat.  She loves anything at this height, just right for sitting!

 We took a break and played with those presents, then my mom brought out all her presents for everyone.  Then we had lunch and my grandma and brother and his family came over, so we opened presents yet again.  I wasn't joking about the never-ending presents!

Here is my nephew Josiah riding his cool new bike.
 And my niece Braxen with her new puppy pal.
 All the kids playing with their new toys.  They really stayed occupied most of the day with all these new things around to enjoy!
 Later on Christmas, Poppa helped Audrey and Josiah decorate a Rice Krispie treat train.

And that's all of my pictures.  The day after Christmas Isla got sick and it all went downhill from there.

I am really thankful that we made it through Christmas and most of our travels before the sickness hit.  It was also nice to have my mom around to help take care of us while we were sick!


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