Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Day

After our Christmas morning at home and then going to mass, we hit the road for my parent's house. The kids caught a quick nap on the way.

When we arrived it was nonstop high energy and fun. After hugs and shouts of joy to their cousins,the kids immediately went to see what was in their stockings. Gram and Papaw love stuffing the stockings and they filled them up with lots of goodies this year!

After checking out the stockings, we sat down to our Christmas feast. There was so much deliciousness. I was excited that we had leftovers for a couple of days after too!

Gram and Papaw with the did that happen!!

After stuffing our faces, the kids could not wait any longer to open gifts!! We were very organized this year and although it took a few hours it wasn't too chaotic! With 9 kids...organization is key! We opened gifts by family and everyone was pretty patient waiting their turn. It was so much fun to watch the excitement on the kid's faces. I really wish I would have video taped my nephew Joshua...he had the best screeches and expressions!

Even Lola, my parent's dog, liked her new Gator jersey! The kids received so many wonderful, thoughtful gifts. I'm still trying to find places for all of them. I think we might be making a trip to Ikea for some new shelves tonight!

The kids finished the day by singing and dancing to songs from their Christmas programs.

It was definitely a fun-filled family day full of happy memories!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve we headed to Damian's parents house. The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and celebrating Christmas. We missed Damian's brother and his family and his sister and her family but the rest of us had a great time eating, laughing, and doing our annual Kris Kringle gift exchange. It was about 80 degrees the kids had fun playing and running around outside. They also sang some Christmas carols! It was a wonderful day!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Morning

We have had one of our best Christmas' yet! It's hard to believe the weekend is over. It's a good thing I am off all's going to take me that long to organize all the toys and get my house back in order. I tried to tackle a little today and I was overwhelmed. It was so nice to have Damian off work today to continue our weekend of fun. We did a little shopping,(and got the BEST deal on shoes for the kids at Stride Rite!!) played with new toys ALL DAY (I put together Polly Pocket and Legos for hours), and relaxed a lot. I almost forgot it was Monday! I just hope this week goes by very slowly and I can get everything done. We have a playdate at the park, ice skating, a bonfire/cookout with friends, and a trip to Kissimmee to see my family all planned for this week. Let the holiday fun continue!!

Here are just a few of the almost 300 pics from Christmas morning. There are more to come from our evening with the Hillens and afternoon with the Robbins.

Since Max and Emma have been so good this year, Santa was extra generous.

Emma received a guitar, a telescope and microscope, Razor scooter, and some fun stocking stuffers(DS games, Taylor Swift cd, Justice scarf, earrings, chocolate, new toothbrush, notebook, Wii game). Max loved his blast crashers race track, legos, scooter, and fun stocking stuffers too(lego hero factory, Wii game, battleship game, toothbrush, angry birds gummies,cars notebook, power ranger samurai). (the stocking stuffers are my favorite part--I definitely get that from my parents!!)

After they played with their new toys from Santa, they opened their gifts from us. There was a lot of smiling, screeching, and laughing all at 6 a.m.!!

Here are a few things that I better write down so I don't forget:

Emma kept explaining everything to Max and they were just so excited. It was so sweet. I loved hearing their conversation all morning. Every time they would open a gift they would hug us and say thank you so much! So sweet!

I ended up waking the kids up at 5:45am. I wanted them to be able to enjoy Christmas and not be rushed before church at 9 am and then leaving for my parents. I have never seen them hop out of bed so fast. Max was practically walking in circles upstairs! I remember the excitement I always felt as a kid when I would wake up and see all that Santa left for is the best feeling to witness all of that again through my children.

The absolute best thing that happened on Christmas morning was when Max, during gift opening, knelt down, lifted his head high and shouted "Happy Birthday, Jesus". He did this out of nowhere and my heart melted. He remembered what this day was all about!! Damian and I couldn't help but smile and know that we must be doing something right. I have had some very serious discussions with Emma lately about Jesus and what we believe as Catholics. She has asked some tough questions and it makes me so proud to be her mom and teach her about our faith. Also, to hear them sing with all their hearts at church and ask to sit in the front pew...again makes me so proud! Not only do they sit quietly they participate in mass.

Christmas morning with my family of four was so very special to me. I am so blessed to have such an amazing hubby and absolutely amazing kids too! There is more fun to come with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins...oh my!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas cuties

These precious children are the best gifts I've ever received!

I am one blessed Mommy!

fifty years

I just realized I never shared these pictures from Damian's Aunt and Uncle's 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration a few weeks ago at Maggiano's in Orlando.

We had the best time!

Merry Christmas from the Hillens

I just love opening mail this time of year! Christmas cards are so much more fun to receive than bills!! I ordered our family cards from Tiny Prints this year and I absolutely LOVE them!! I also LOVED our family pics my friend Heather (check out her super cute blog) took for us...I plan on getting a new blog header with these pics. I was beyond impressed with the selection and the customer service at Tiny Prints!! I addressed them for our family and friends on Monday and hope to get them mailed very soon! I usually write a letter to send to my family but I've been so busy with my first graders and after school activities(not to mention trying to tackle the never ending laundry pile) with Emma and Max this week that I just about collapse at the end of the day!

I saw that some other blogs I follow shared their Christmas cards and thought it would be fun to link up with Walk With Me by Faith for the Christmas Card Carousel.

Merry Christmas and many blessings for 2012 from our family to yours!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mommy and Me Monday: Princess Edition

After a very busy but extremely fun weekend I am so excited that we have five days of school and then we will be off for two glorious weeks!! Now I just have to get through this week of craziness without losing my mind!! I plan on trying to enjoy every minute and believe me I've prayed for some extra patience with my first graders!!
Yesterday we went to Bippidy Boppidy Boutique with Emma and my nieces Hannah, Rachel, Allie, and Elizabeth at the Magic Kingdom and let's just say that it was beyond precious and my little Princess is still smiling this morning!!

Here's one pic! There are about 200 more just waiting to share!

**I just realized I have the same sweater on from my last mommy and me Monday. I promise I have different clothes but this one is new! ha ha!**

Sunday, December 4, 2011

our Christmas tree

Friday after school I rushed home so we could make it to the Christmas tree farm in time. It closed at 6pm. We made it to Lazy Lay Acres with about five minutes until closing time. We wanted to cut down our own tree but by the time we got there it was so dark. We noticed that there were also not many trees to choose from to cut ourselves. I was bummed but sometimes the best laid plans don't always work out. The mosquitos were awful and I noticed $80+ price tags on already cut trees that were not what we were looking for...they seemed a little dry. So we headed to another tree farm about 15 miles away that was open later...Ergle's! We've been there before(to get our pumpkin) but they don't have many to cut yourselves and it was so dark so we couldn't go out. We decided to look through the fragrant frasier firs and find our tree. The kids had so much fun and couldn't wait to get the tree home to start decorating!

Emma said she was freezing and Max was being sweet trying to warm her up. I gave her my scarf too!!

Love my boys!!

Let's get this's so big!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Here comes Santa Claus...

Last Saturday we took the kids to Bass Pro to visit Santa. Times sure have changed for us. It seems like yesterday they were screaming when we tried to place them on Santa's lap for a picture. I still remember the year Emma was 2 or 3 and she waited in line nicely and when we got up to see Santa she walked right on by him and said "No, thanks!" This year they could hardly wait to tell Santa what they want for Christmas and how good they've been. Emma was so sweet and let her brother go first. I love how she has her hand on his back!

Then it was her turn.

They love the nutcrackers!

Max wanted to take that train set home.

The kids had fun playing with the games/toys they had set up around the store.(I just deleted some cute pics of Emma with the pink Red Ryder gun--her great uncles would be so proud!)

The carousel was new this year and was so cute with the reindeer, moose, and polar bears.

After seeing Santa and playing games it was time to write their letters. Max only asked for Legos. (I think because he knows how to spell Lego!) Emma asked for a few things too!

Mailing their letters to the North Pole.