Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas 2015

Well, here we are on the other side of Christmas.  Well, any good church raised person knows that Christmas is not over but to society in general it is over.  The remnants of Christmas merchandise are in clearance aisles in stores looking rather depressing, the heartwarming commercials are gone from TV and I even have seen a few real Christmas trees pitched out on the curb already.  That is the saddest sight of the season in my opinion!  It all is over kind of fast for me.  This year I didn't even spend one relaxing evening watching a whole Christmas movie.  Not one movie!  Geez, this toddler and baby business is really time consuming and leaves little time for leisure. 

We had a standard whirlwind Christmas.  It went something like this:  pack, unpack, kids went sledding, cousins, church, presents, overstimulation meltdowns, really late bedtimes, presents, more overstimulation, skipped toddler meals after spoiling appetites with candy because no one was paying attention, more presents, more overstimulation, pack, unpack, Christmas light tour, more cousins, more presents, more fights over having to eat meals, coming home to a house trashed with toys we already have, total CHAOS.  It was fun though.  I miss being young and carefree at Christmas but creating the fun for your own kids is pretty special. 

I always find that I wish I took more pictures after Christmas.  Here are a few that I have. 
My parents were ushers at church on Christmas Eve.  I helped and the kids kind of did too.  We handed out the bulletins and candles and passed the offering plates.  I was able to fulfill an urge I have had since childhood.  In the entrance of the church are the ropes that ring the church bells.  No child would dare go near those ropes when I was a kid.  You did NOT mess with the ropes.  Well, my dad was told to ring the bells so I jumped at the chance.  Those bells are heavy.  It was harder than it looks!  But so, so satisfying.  The picture above is all of us in our church clothes. 

Ben got a Lego police station with a little jail cell.  I ordered this for him a week or two before Christmas after he kept talking about bad guys and jail and was always wanting me to conjure a jail out of legos or duplos for him. Oh, no problem!  I'll just invent a jail out of legos!  Give me the 30 seconds you think it should take!  Here you go! Done!  I think he picked up on it from kids at school and also a Lego cartoon on Netflix about policemen.  It has really held his interest since he opened it on Christmas Eve. 

Ben got his garbage truck!  Santa communicated with Nana and made sure he got what he asked for.
Tessa received this handmade doll bed from my grandma.  She sewed the blanket and pillow and a little mattress for it.  It's a bit small for a certain baby in the house!

Tessa's favorite things to play with still include "treasures" a.k.a handfuls of little choking hazards and other junk.  This was at my parents' house and is a mixture of beads, my brother's old micro machines and some Shopkins (the latest kid craze...look it up...it's really weird but right up Tessa's alley).  Not all of these came home with us but the Shopkins and some beads did.

This looks like quite a huge snowbank but it contains most of the snow from the farmyard piled in one spot.  I grew up playing on piles like this at home and at school.  All the kids in town loved to play on "the hill" where the city snowplow piled the snow from the city streets.  It might be flat in Eastern ND but fun is still had!  And actually, at the farm there is a real sledding hill since there is a creek bank in front of the house but this was more convenient.

This was on the way to the farm before Christmas.  We broke the elf touching rule because Ben was worried about him being scared.  So cute. 
This was taken on December 27th before we headed home.  That day is my dad's birthday so Milo Timothy took a quick picture with Grandpa Tim. 
I am already thinking ahead to the new year and trying to think of a way to get this house under control.  The kids got a lot of new toys.  The popular "right" thing to do around Christmas is donate a bunch of stuff to charity to make room for the new but when I think about what could go around here I realize that they really do play with all of their toys.  And, anyway, I think "charity", whatever cause you might choose, is probably a bit overwhelmed with second hand crap right now.  Between the fall rummage sales and Christmas donations I doubt anyone would want anything.  I tried in November to donate a bag of clothes and no one would take it because they didn't need. it.  We have that much excess in America.  Also, I don't know if others would agree, but I kind of feel like making a big show of bringing your kids to the homeless shelter or wherever and having them hand over toys is kind of smug.  It's like, "Oh, everyone, look at our privileged family, sharing our unwanted old junk with you because we are getting a bunch of better stuff!" and then feeling really good about yourself.  It seems more tactful just to send a check in the mail to the coordinator or do something anonymously. So, anyway, some sort of system is needed around here regarding toys but I don't know what.  Of course I sneakily throw away plastic kids meal junk and broken crayons when no one is watching sometimes but that's about all I am ready to part with right now. 
In conclusion, here is a picture of one of my gifts from Justin...
Do you know what this is?  It is my leg in cat patterned leggings.  Oh YEAH!

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