Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best of 2011

2011 was an exciting year for our family! We built a new house, Eli started a new school, and we had many fun adventures along the way. Here's a look back at our year :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas-2011

Christmas morning we all woke up and rushed to see if Santa had been to our house. Of course, he had!

Eli's 3 gifts from Santa this year-a violin, a Mack, and a Nerf gun

Eli was excited about all his gifts from Santa, but I think he really enjoyed the Nerf guns the most. 

A certain Daddy was happy about those as well :)

Eli got a few small gifts from us, nothing major, but he was pretty excited about the new sword from Daddy. They love having sword fights together and pretending like they're Peter Pan and Captain Hook.

Our morning was very relaxed and laid back. Eli would open a gift and then we'd play with that toy until he wanted to open another gift. Most of his gifts he got from us were games. Yes, we will be that family that has "Family Game Night" once a week. 

At one point, Eli stood up and we noticed that he had a bow on his booty. He said, "Look, I a pwesent!" It melted my heart because I remembered many Christmases where I wished for a little baby and now here we were celebrating his 4th Christmas with us. Thank you, God, for your wonderful gift!

Zue-Zue came over to see what Eli got from Santa and from us, and she stayed for a little while and played some of Eli's new games with us. Eli quickly caught on to UNO Moo! It's a cute game for preschoolers and we all really enjoyed it. (We've since moved on to UNO Attack, and he loves that game just as much, too!)

One of the impulse buys I got a few days before Christmas was a superhero cape and mask set. It was only $5 and I thought Eli would enjoy it. He loved turning into Super Eli :) When I get my sewing machine, I plan on sewing a huge "E" on the back of his cape.

Probably one of Eli's favorite games was Don't Break the Ice. We must have played this game 10 times this day. It's great for his hand-eye coordination.

It was a wonderful Christmas! There are so many things I'll remember about this Christmas-Eli's reaction when he saw his 3 gifts, playing all his new games with him, watching the Christmas parade as a family, our huge Nerf Gun battle we had with each other-but my favorite memory is being able to celebrate our first Christmas in the new house with each other.  God has blessed our family so much this year, and everything we have is because of him. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas as well! 

Christmas Eve-2011

After we left Mamaw and Papaw's house Christmas Eve night, we hurried home so we could bake cookies for Santa. I know Santa is a fan of chocolate chip cookies, but it's so much more fun to use cookie cutters and make sugar cookies. Santa didn't seem to mind because he gobbled them all up!

Probably Eli's favorite part was puting the sugar on the sugar cookies. He may have gone a little overboard, but they sure were pretty!

While the cookies were baking, we read our last two books from under the Christmas tree. This is an idea I've heard about for a couple of years, but Pinterest reminded me of it this year. I took 25 Christmas books that I already had and wrapped them up and put them under the Christmas tree. Every night Eli got to choose a book and we read that book before he went to bed. It was one way we counted down to Christmas. This is a tradition I will definitely continue doing every year. Not only does it foster a love a reading (something near and dear to my heart), but it was so sweet getting to share these Christmas memories with our little man. We read a variety of Christmas books, some had been given to him over the past few years as gifts, and then I bought some new ones to add to our collection. My favorite nights, I must say, were the nights he chose books that talked about the birth of Jesus. It was so wonderful to be able to share with him the real reason that we celebrate Christmas. 

All the books we read this year!

After our cookies were finished baking, we poured Santa some milk and set out three cookies for him on his cookie plate.

Eli wrote him a note...

Then I let him enjoy one cookie before bed :)

His favorite part was the "spwinkles" :)

After he finished his cookie, it was time to go sprinkle our reindeer food on the ground outside. We wanted to make sure Santa's reindeer knew where to land, especially since this was the first time they were going to be at our new house. He and Daddy had lots of fun sprinkling the reindeer food outside. Then it was time to go to sleep so Santa Claus could come!

We all settled down for bed and went right to sleep because we knew Santa wouldn't come until we were all asleep. I left my camera out charging for the next day and when I woke up the next morning, I had a surprise! Elfis must have figured out the self-timer on my new camera, because he left us one last picture before heading back to the North Pole. We can't wait to see him again next year :)

Christmas at Mamaw and Papaw's House

Christmas Eve afternoon we went over to Josh's grandparents' house to have a late Christmas lunch with them...I call it "lupper" :) We normally all get together and play Cajun Christmas with each other, but this year, we just opted to let the kids exchange gifts. That was more fun anyway! 

When we got there, Eli, Peyton, and Josh started a game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos. They had lots of fun playing together. 

Eli and Peyton are best buds and play so well together. Peyton is so patient with Eli. I love watching the two of them together.

Jordan and Addison arrived next, and I just couldn't quit taking pictures of this sweet little girl. 

Ariane, Peyton's mom, and Addison

A sweet little smile from Ms. Addi

Peyton and Addi are like brother and sister

Eli, Addi, and Peyton
(We were missing Grant this year. Next year though, we'll have Baby Brett-Sara and Shane's baby-in our pictures, too! How fun!)

After we all ate some really delicious food, we let the kids exchange gifts with each other. By this time, it was just Addi and Eli, because Peyton and his mom had to go to another Christmas party with her family. Addi and Eli had fun opening their presents though and got some really cute stuff.

Hurray! A wood building train kit. 
Sounds like a great Dude Night activity 
(that's what Daddy Dates are called around here)

Addi got a kitchen from Mamaw and Papaw
(In fact, Little Miss Betty Crocker got several kitchens for Christmas! One for each house she visits!)

From Mamaw, Eli got a Cars lunch box, two new cars, and some jeans from Old Navy.
We've discovered that Old Navy jeans fit my skinny minny the best. 

Yay! Two new cars!

Jordan and her mom gave Eli his very own digital camera
Now he can take pictures with Momma!

Our family gave Addison a growth chart.
It's my latest painting project I've tried, and I have to say I love making them!

Addison and Eli immediately started playing with their toys. Addi loved talking on her phone and being a pretend doctor. Jordan is in nursing school right now so Addi loves playing with her stethoscope. Jordan thought Addi would love having her very own stethoscope, and she was right!

Eli's camera didn't have batteries, but he loved pretending to take pictures.

It was such a fun night. I love watching the kids play together and make fun memories. Hopefully next year, Grant and Brett will be able to be here, too! 

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