Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve and Day 2011

We were so excited to be able to have Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Mark spend Christmas with us this year. It'd been a while since we had seen them, so it was nice to have some time together. We also got to celebrate Cheryl finishing her masters from Kellog, at Northwestern.

This year, we decided to do our big meal on Christmas Eve, so there would be no major cooking on Christmas Day, just playing with new toys! 

Our Christmas table, with the arrangement from Great-Grandma Tobin

And some of Brant's handiwork as a decoration!
We had gotten to Skype to Japan on their Christmas Eve morning (I think it was?!) and watched the kids open their gifts.  We had two elusive boxes that hadn't arrived yet, so we didn't know if we'd get to share opening gifts with them.  But the next morning, the Post Office came through and delivered our boxes. Boxes from Okinawa are always a hit, as there is always something special and unique in them, from a knick-knack or a yummy snack. This year didn't disappoint! Thanks so much Japan crew, we loved it all!  But the Pocky game was the biggest hit!
Opening one of the gifts, cool Japanese cartoon character figurines and  dragon!

It was starting to get late, we'd already tracked Santa across Asia and Europe, and he was in the Sandwich Islands.  It was time to sprinkle reindeer food and put out cookies and milk for Santa.

Cute bag of reindeer food, I love the fact that Brant put his initials BHDO on  the antlers, instead of writing out his whole name!

Sprinkle on one side of the yard

A lot on the other, where we thought Santa had a better landing zone.

Brady took to Cheryl and Mark quite well, and we couldn't resist a little Santa fun, but he'd not have much to do with it!

A silly photo with Santa's milk and cookies, and an extra special  treat, a Santa chocolate from our local chocolate shop
Bedtime was accomplished without too much fuss and Brant actually slept until about 7:30 the next morning. An impatient wait for Grandma to come up to see Santa presents opened, and he was off and running. Do you remember the wait to get into the living room? I do, Dad had to have his coffee in hand, video camera running, Mom all ready, it seemed forever.  And here we repeat the same! But that sight of your child, glimpsing the gifts Santa left is priceless.  Of course, we all know the real reason for CHRISTmas!

The new sled, Santa said in his letter to Brant that it was the "elves' latest design"

An amphibious remote control. It even runs in the pool! well, we've not tried that yet, but will!

This could be described as the Lego Christmas!
Moving on to Mommy and Daddy gifts, Brant got a Phanatic Pillow Pet

And he'd hardly noticed the Wii, until he got to the games

This is the gift that had driven him nuts for a week.  He just couldn't figure out what it might be!

It was an expedition set!

The tent HAD to be set up, the lantern (with campfire setting) had to be readied and the  binocular tested

Of course, Marine camoflauge is always a hit!
Where did he go?

Whew, resting on his sled.  Opening presents is exhausting!
The rest of the day consisted of a delicious baked French Toast casserole, naps, building with Lincoln Logs and Legos. Oh, Legos!  Santa left 4 sets, and Cheryl and Mark brought two more.  In the course of 2 days, they were all finished.  That boy can build!

Brady liked his new toy from his stocking, he always snuggles his  toys in his chair.
I don't know about you all, but a day or so after Christmas is a massive kid's room reorganizing, trying to fit in new toys. We had so many Legos, Brant now has them all displayed on the top of his shelves.  And I THINK I have a Lego kit organization plan.  I THINK...(have you ever tried to dig through a tub of Legos to find one specific piece?)
Organizing his new Lego firestation
So, that is a wrap up of our Christmas!  Other highlights (for those who want to know) include a new camera for Grandma, Elon shirts for Cheryl and Mark, a new Nerf gun (courtesy of little B) for Daddy, and a new Kindle for me (boys totally surprised me!)

And I guess, in the next few days it'll be time to de-Christmas, as we head back to school and such. But what a great vacation we've had!  I'm sure we'll get into some more fun in the next few days, as Daddy is still off.  Merry Christmas to everyone, and a very Happy New Year!

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