|The girls were very curious about this tree cutting business|
|Tree farm fun|
|Pictures with Santa in the mall|
|Can you tell Eden was excited?|
|Carousel with Gramma|
Soon after we got home, my mom was able to come and visit! My brother, Ryan, moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma so she and my Dad came to help him with the move. Mom made the 3 hour drive over to Rogers while Dad stayed to help with construction. We loved having Mimi for a few days! We were able to ride a Christmas train while she was here. I've always wanted to ride the Polar Express, drink cocoa, eat cookies, see Santa, the works. Unfortunately, I started coming down with a stomach bug right about then and did not get to enjoy it very much. Luckily, the girls and Mimi had a great time! I spent the next day, lying in bed being miserable. I was so grateful my mom was here to take care of my family while I recouped. Once I was feeling better we were able to tie quilts for Eden and Lydia's beds. I made the quilt tops last summer when I was in Utah. We didn't have time to bind them, so I may put it off long enough that I have to take them with me to Utah this summer to finally finish them! The girls also had their first ballet recital. It was so stinking cute. I about started crying from amusement and pride!
|Meeting Santa and the trainstation|
|Christmas train selfie|
|Our graceful ballerinas|
|Candyland with Mimi|
Next, we were able to head to Stillwater for the weekend. Mom, Dad, and Shane were all there to help Ryan. His new house was a true fixer upper. Nate helped lay floor, paint, build fences, install appliances. The girls and I were of no help, but we didn't want to miss the party! We did talk my mom into taking a break from texturing walls to check out the Wondertorium which turned out to be a great Children's museum. The girls had a ball! We were sad to leave after only a weekend, but Shane was able to come back with us for a few days. I'm sure he was bored out of his mind just hanging out with me and girls all day, but he didn't complain. Eden and Lydia talked him into several rounds of hide and seek. He discovered that you can hide on the couch every time and never move and they still think its great! We went for a swim at the Community Center one evening and it was so nice to have an even ratio of adults to kids. Man, I miss that! We also stayed up late philosophizing, eating popcorn, and watching terrible Christmas movies. Good times!
|"Dad, you're squeezing too tight!"|
|They loved pretending to give the babies checkups at the children's museum|
|The girls got to meet Mrs. Clause and decorate cupcakes at the Wondertorium|
|Making treats with Uncle Shane|
A few day before Christmas, Shane flew home. We haven't stayed home for Christmas for probably 5 years. I was really excited to avoid the stress of travel and enjoy a quiet Christmas at home. (Who was I kidding? With our three girls, quiet is not a word used to describe our home!) Christmas Eve did not really go according to plan and was a bit of a bust with weeping and wailing maybe even nashing of teeth throughout the day. But we had a delicious lasagna dinner, told the story of Jesus Christ's birth, put on new pajamas, and spent time together so it was still a win. Christmas morning my cinnamon rolls were also a bit of a bust (my yeast was bad and they didn't raise as much as they should have.) but with all that butter and sugar and yummy cream cheese frosting, they still were gobbled up. Our plan was to open Santa gifts, eat breakfast, go to church, and then open the rest of the gifts. The morning went mostly according to plan except Lydia refused to even look at her gifts from Santa and was in tears because she was hungry. "My body hurts! I need to eat some breakfast!!!" So we rearranged and ate breakfast first and then opened Santa gifts. Eden and Lydia both got new strollers for their baby dolls and were in heaven! Adeline mostly just loved the wrapping paper. After all the gifts, we had a delicious baby back rib dinner made in my new Instant Pot I got for Christmas. This thing is magical! If you don't have one, put it on your wish list for next Christmas. My ribs were fall off the bone tender in just over 20 minutes!
|New jammies for Christmas Eve|
|I made Nate a new pajama shirt with this quote from his favorite Christmas movie|
|Oh how I love making Mommy and me outfits!|
|New books for all to read|
For New Years, we were able to go back to Ryan and Courtney's place. The kids enjoyed playing with cousin Carter, and Nate was able to help with some more construction. We had quite the feast for our New Year's Eve party with eggnog milk shakes, crepes with a variety of toppings, chips and dip, and fried mini corn dogs. But we're old and boring and didn't even make it to midnight. We tried but ended up going to bed instead. Somehow I managed to not get any pictures of our weekend. We're so excited to have more family living close by and hope to see them often!
Other Christmas time fun included ice skating, taking the kids to see the movie Moana, and having a fondue party. We had a busy holiday season, and feel extremely blessed that we were able to spend so much of our time with our family.
|Enjoying the new tea set from Gramma|
|Did I mention we loved having a 65 degree Christmas?|
|We took the girls "ice dancing"|