Saturday, January 12, 2013

Christmas Day!

After days and days of anticipation, Christmas Day had finally arrived!!
Abby, Landon and Nolan ran down (or in Nolan's case, slid down) the stairs to see what Santa had brought...
They each had one big present that was unwrapped so that they could play with it as soon as they came down. Abby got an "American Girl" doll (aka Target knockoff) complete with a armoire and a few outfits, Landon got a V-Tech transformer Car/Dinosaur and Nolan got a riding Zebra.
Every new toy was thoroughly examined and they all seemed to meet their expectations...
Abby and Landon were very excited about their new LEGO kits...
And the final haul...(Nolan was a very thorough toy examiner and made sure that not only his toys were acceptable but that everyone else's were too!)
After a lazy day of playing with our new toys and playing outside in the snow, we sat down to a yummy Christmas feast!
I enjoyed Christmas a lot this year and I think it was in part due to the fact that we really stuck to the "3 gift rule" for each child. We have always done the "3 big gifts from Santa" each year, but then we ended up getting a bunch of smaller things so the kids seemed to have a million toys to open up on Christmas Day, half of which they never really played with again. This year, we still did a few smaller gifts but used those for our "12 Days of Christmas" leading up to Christmas Day and it was fun for the kids to open up just one gift each day and really enjoy it. This also prevented the mounds of presents on Christmas day and I think helped them to enjoy the presents they did get a bit more. I think this will be the start of a new tradition for our family!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

T'was the Night Before Christmas...

There was a lot of excitement in the air as the day began to turn into night and the kids knew that the most magical night of the year was approaching. We began our Christmas Eve festivities by opening up a new pair of pajamas...
After the traditional pajama photoshoot, we drove around town for a bit to look at Christmas lights (but with the snow from earlier, we decided not to venture too far from home.)
When we returned home, it was time to open our traditional family game present ("Headbanz") and enjoyed playing it before reading the Christmas story and watching a few short Christmas movies before bedtime.
We sent the kids to bed around their normal bedtime but Landon was up singing in his room until well after 10 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus were anxious to get started on setting up the toys for the next day so they were relieved when that little man finally succumbed to slumber!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's a White Christmas!

Its not too often that we get to enjoy a white Christmas in Maryland, but this year, our dreams came true. On Christmas Eve it began to snow and Abby and Landon anxiously donned all of their snow attire to be able to play in it. They gathered up some snow from the trampoline for a little snowball fight...
And then gathered a little more to build a little snowman too!
Then just a little while later Jason and I looked out the window and saw that Landon and Abby had built this snowman all by themselves!! We thought they did an amazing job!
They ended up playing out in the snow for several hours on Christmas Eve and it was a great way to bring in the holidays!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

More Snow!!

The day after Christmas brough us even more of the white stuff!
So Abby and Landon decided that it was time to build a snowman in the front yard too...(although I think Landon spent more time trying to eat snowflakes with his tongue than actually helping to build anything!)
Jason had the whole week between Christmas and New Years off from work so it was nice to be able to enjoy the snow without having to worry about traveling in it!

Temple Lights

Right after the gymnastics holiday show we headed down to the Temple to see the lights. We met my sister Tasha and her family there and had a wonderful evening enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas at the Washington D.C. Temple. Right after this picture was taken my camera battery died but at least I was able to get one shot of these holy grounds.
After touring the Visitor's Center, seeing the various Nativity sets from around the world and listening to the Nativity story outside, we escaped the cold by enjoying a night out to dinner. It's always fun to get together with the Ladner family and the cousins sure do love being together too!

Gymnastic Stars!

On the Saturday before Christmas, Landon and Abby were in a gymnastics holiday show. Of course Nolan couldn't be left out of the action either. While we were waiting for the show to begin, he decided to put on his own little act...
Landon was the first one to show off his tricks...
Then came "Miss Gymnastics" herself...
(She's doing a backbend into a flip in this photo.)
This was Landon's last time doing gymnastics. He loved it, but with Abby moving up to the next level, I just wasn't in the mood for waiting around the studio for 2.5 hours every Thursday night. Abby is excited about her new class though and Landon is looking forward to doing soccer again in the Spring!