Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dreaming of a White Christmas

We made our Christmas spirit last a few weeks by spreading out our holiday activities. To get a bit of a white Christmas, we made a week-long trip to Colorado to see friends. And so, instead of opening all our presents on Christmas morning only to leave them all behind for a week before playing with them, we opened a few presents every day during the week leading up to Christmas. The last few, including the stockings and the amazing Ewok set from Tanya and Aaron, we saved for Christmas morning. Then everyone hopped into the car and we were off on another crazy road trip. And shortly after we returned, we were visited by Grandma Kate for more Christmas adventures.

Fun leading up to Christmas:

Sebby jumped in to continue our Chrismas countdown calendar. This year, I (wisely) developed an easier way to "open" doors. Much better than laboriously cutting cardboard doors with an exacto knife. These bulbs dangle from a string - the other sides have the dates. You can flip and unflip as you like!

Attempt at a family portrait.

I taught the boys finger-weaving, and almost immediately they began going through balls of expensive fuzzy yarn at an alarming rate. Then one day shortly after that, we found Misha with two chop sticks, sharpened in the pencil sharpener, studiously following along with knitting video on Youtube. Soon, he was making scarves for his teachers for holiday gifts. No kidding.

One of Misha's home-made scarves.

This was Misha's very first knitting project! It was for me. :)

A Christmas Eve elf. I love this picture.

Homemade origami ornaments. I love these. (The wonders of Youtube.)

Many of our early-open gifts were board games. Sebby fell in love with Pandemic, and now he's on a first-name basis with all kinds of world cities like Jakarta and Sao Paulo, not to mention Kinshasa and Chenai.

Cards for teachers

And snowflakes!

Yes, you can wear sweaters even in Texas.

One of Sebby's best gifts was a build-your-own tent kit. Since Sebby is constantly building tents out of anything he can find (boxes, blankets, pillows, furniture), we knew he'd love this mega set of life-size tinker toys. Heck, Josh and I love it too!

I love this picture for the inspiring story of brotherhood behind it. Misha and I had gone thrift-store shopping, and Misha picked an adorable kangaroo to give to Sebby. However, the Kangaroo was so alluring that Misha kept debating keeping the animal for himself. In the end, he wrapped it up for Sebby. Last summer, I had given Sebby my old Stitch toy (I had given Misha something else). Sebby could tell that Misha really wanted Stitch, and as Christmas approached, Sebby remembered this fact. Here they are opening their thoughtful gifts for each other!

My cute turtle necklace from Josh.

More homemade gifts - a magnet train for my parents.

Onto our week in Colorado, with its frosty air and crunchy snow on the ground!

Asleep on the road trip with his new bongos.

Josh with his college friend Chris Gross.

A walk in the mountains! It was colder than it looks. ;)

Sebby wearing my coat.

Ice skating with Nikita.

Two little elves: Sebby and Santa, at the Gross's.

A visit from Grandma Kate:

More Christmas fun was in store when Grandma Kate arrived: another round of present-opening, making sugar cookies, and playing games.

I love her expression when Misha took her queen.

Piano practice - Christmas songs!

Pizza night at Bud and Ashley's.

Reading homework.

Beautiful cookies!

Posing with presents - a photo frame and wine glasses from Grandma Kate, and I'm wearing my dragonfly necklace from Josh.

(I do have more photos, but I'm just so slow to download my big camera, so this will have to do for now!)

Update: a few more pictures to add from my other camera! These are in no particular order, as evidenced by the boys' haircuts.

A "lock-picker's" lock - translucent!

Sebby asked me which animal I liked, pretending he choosing one it for Misha. Then he proceeded to give me the beloved armadillo. 

New jammies from Grandma!

Yay, train sugar cookies!

Tanya and Aaron gifted us a HUGE Ewok set!

The tent-builder kit unveiled. Below, you can see how much we have all had with it.

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