Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Enjoying The Season

Vacation. Loving it! Playing games. Watching movies. Pulling out new toys. No schedule... I could get used to this life! We are now home from our trip, but we're still really enjoying our break from school. (Actually, the girls would be happy to do school again, but mom is kind of enjoying this break and plans to take advantage of every free minute!) Here's a glimpse of some of the new toys and fun...

Toy Story 3 Operation. Daniel busted this puppy out on day 6 of the rain as an early Christmas present to himself Allison.

Lite Brite. One of Natalie's birthday presents... a toy I've always wanted! How fun for both of us.

The Keyboard. Santa brought this present! The keys light up as you play. It is lots of fun, and I plan on re-learning it during my free time. Ummm... well, some day!

Today we brought out the Madeline magnetic puppet theater from Grandma that you color in yourself. It was a perfect activity for a rainy morning, and the girls played with it for about an hour; (That's impressive for my girls!) We then popped some popcorn and watched the Madeline movie Daniel bought the girls during Sierra's afternoon nap. Great Madeline day!

And, another hit -- a magnetic dress-up Cinderella and Belle from Auntie and cousins for Natalie's birthday. Don't they look lovely?

Hope you're enjoying some family time and some rest before the New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

At The Gym...

No, not a grown-up gym to work-out, (though I definitely could use a workout after all the junk I've eaten the past 3 months!). The name of this gym is Tumble Town, and the owner happens to be my mom's neighbor of 32 years! With her grandkids visitng, (her daughter and I have known each other since we were 3 and 2!), she invited us to tag along for a morning of play at the gym. We arrived to find this...

Wow! This place was awesome! And then... duh, duh, duh...we found THIS:

Let me tell you a little bit about that castle. Give me a minute while I compose myself! It is a parent's kid's dream place! Guess where that slide lands you? In a foam pit! There is another secret slide into a ball pit, along with secret rooms, a rope to climb, and a mini draw-bridge!

Too, too fun!

Daniel, Allison, and I LOVED the rope swing! (We even went home and watched "Bridge to Terabithia" which is a great movie with a fun looking rope swing!)

Sierra and Natalie seemed to like it all.

Racing like snails!

What a fun time! We were invited back any time we are up north. Not sure how we got so blessed! But, we will definitely be back!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

So, I debated and debated about bringing stockings up to Grandma's house. This whole Santa Claus thing is so confusing to me. I finally decided to leave them at home, but found Grandma had some stockings for the girls here!

That was wonderful... until I realized on Christmas Eve night that I had no gifts from Santa. We scrounged around and came up with some bubbles. Bubbles!?!? Really?!?!? My girls have tons of bubbles at home and play with them all the time. Well, we'll make the best of it!

Natalie's response to Santa: "Guess what, Grandma? Santa brought me bubbles! How did he know that's what I wanted?" Too precious! Can't they stay 4 and 5 forever?

Opening presents is always so fun with little ones. I love that the girls really have no expectations, and don't even really ask to open presents. They're very mellow about the whole thing, but still love to do it. I'm sure a day will come when that all changes!

It was such a cozy time; rain outside, but warm and bright inside.

Grandma got each of the girls special dolls that were a big hit!

Sierra was very content just being in a room with family, and playing with wrapping paper. Ok, so 1 is a fun age, too!

We got a fun globe, (among other things!), that will be great for homeschooling.

Sierra was very generous with her snuggles; especially with Uncle Nate and Grandma! All the excitement is tiring for a little one!

But, she still had energy to walk-off with Mama's water bottle. Oh, have I told you how much she's walking now? Pretty much all the time, with an occasional crawl. I am SO happy to have a walker!

Before dinner, Grandma did the girls' hair and let them dress-up in some of her clothes.

Dinner: prime rib grilled by Uncle Nate... doesn't get much better than that! We were all shocked at the amount of meat Allison ate.

It was a small family gathering, which was perfect. Cozy. Casual. Yummy. I sat at the table feeling so incredibly blessed.

Even Sisers appreciated the yummy dinner! Until next year, prime rib...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve

Every Christmas we seem to alternate between staying home and going to San Mateo to visit Grandma and Grandpa, (my parents). This year we're up in San Mateo, and it feels SO good to get away! We arrived the 23rd, and began Christmas Eve with our traditional brundy casserole and sweet breads for breakfast.

As always, Grandma worked away and we thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of her labor!

This year, my mom invited some of her dear friends who bless us every year with William Sonoma peppermint bark and hot chocolate. Oh, yummy!!! We are so spoiled. It was great to see them!

The afternoon was spent playing games, cuddling, going for a walk, church, and our traditional Swedish Meatball dinner. I LOVE traditions... I LOVE family... and I LOVE Christmas time!

Allison (and Papa), had fun doing magic tricks they learned with the book they found in Grandma's closet!

The girls each opened one present: a dress to wear on Christmas day!

Uncle Nate provided wonderful giggles all around!

The girls are lucky to have their very own Santa Claus for a grandpa! Hope you had a blessed Christmas Eve!
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