Merry Christmas!

It appears that Santa came last night. He left a few presents in the fire place. It is a good thing that it is not cold outside and the fire does not need to roar in the fireplace.

The children left Santa a Coke this year along with the required Penguins. They were very generous to Santa and left him an entire package of Penguins to eat this year. The entire package! That was very thoughtful of them. It looks like Santa ate more than one…

This is what everything looked like before the ravenous children started their prowling. Actually, the children are old enough now that they let us sleep in and they know not to tear into anything before mom is awake and ready with the camera. I think one of us even got a shower this morning. It is great.

There are lots of presents under the tree because the family with extended family is just that large not because we buy that many presents for all the children. When you start adding in just a single present for each of my siblings and each of the children from them, it starts to add up. If they are of any reputable size, it takes up space under the tree. So by the time you got my family and Ben’s family under the tree, there were a lot of presents under the tree.

Every year Santa’s Cinema Club brings us a big basket of movies and various movie theater candies and/or foods. This year, Santa did not disappoint us. You will notice the movie in this picture is the entertaining Madagascar 3. It came complete with a rainbow afro wig that was desired by two of the three children. It would prove to be entertaining throughout the day’s events.

Santa’s Cinema Club brought us large array of movies and TV series on both DVD and Blu-ray. These are sure to bring lots of enjoyment and entertainment for the months to come. The movie theater candy, however, is not guaranteed to last that long. It will bring a lot of fun for a little while to come. A good variety for family movie nights and afternoons or even mornings. Anyone want to join us for The Lorax? Or Buck Rogers? Or how about ET? Let us know and we will schedule a date.

Everyone think back to the previous post where I mentioned Lance’s conversation with Santa. He asked Santa for a single thing. Only a single item. Santa told him that he hoped he would was a good boy this year because that was a mighty big request. Well, Santa came through for this little boy.

Santa gained a box stroking and a hug and cheering and all sorts of good stuff from this little boy. This boy was very happy! Santa delivered this little boys biggest and only want for Christmas this year. He was one happy boy.

Of course, Santa does close consultation with all parents and knows exactly what precautions they would want on major things like said device received by Lance. Hence the Otterbox Defender that was also received, in the color green, of course. It was received with just as much excitement as the much desired item itself. I love that child.

I am not sure when unwrapping gifts became such a production for this child, but this was only the start of it for the day. His brothers unwrapped twice as many in half the time. It was a bit surprising. A knife? Yes, that was involved. Neatness? Yes, that too was involved. Short of getting a mathematical equation out to make sure it was done correctly every time…I love this kid too…

Santa was good to Andrew as well, evidently. I am not sure he knows what to think of his gift. Is he wiping a tear from his face? Maybe he should be. I think this might be the next best thing to a set of car keys and being able to actually drive, right?

Kyle’s look of determination is just priceless. Did Santa use extra strong tape on his gift? I am not entirely sure, but he was making sure that we all knew that it was hard work unwrapping it. I love this kid…

It is a shame that this is blurry, but I wanted to include it anyway because there were not any other pictures of the actual Santa gift once he got the box open. Usually there are lots of pictures of them, but for some reason there were only blurry pictures of Kyle this year after he got his box open. It must have been all the excitement once he saw what was inside the box. He was almost as excited as Lance was. Santa was very generous to them this year. 

Santa brought Ben a new t-shirt with a computer programming saying on the front. He looks happy about that. I am not sure if the sentiment being conveyed in the saying is 100% true or not.

Just so that you do not think that it is all about the electronic gadgets at our house, because it is not, check out the face on Kyle when he opened this gift up. That is a hard core book. Paper pages and all. The face he made was priceless. Yes, it was a book with real paper pages and he was so excited!

Now the excitement lasted only a few minutes when he announced that he was missing the second book in the series and he could not actually read the book that he received yet. Oh no! I thought I was doing good getting a book that he did not have. I cannot always keep up with the books that they have and have not read. Evidently this time I did do good by getting a book that he had not read yet, I just jumped ahead and got one ahead of another one he had not read yet. I could have sworn I had seen him reading the other one. Oh well, I guess we will take a trip to the book store and grab the other one and he will have a complete set to put on the bookshelf in his room. That is not a bad thing, right?

Kyle even gets excited about new books full of sheet music to play on his viola, Bob. Now, if I could just get him that excited about actually playing. Let me rephrase that. If I could just get him that excited about actually practicing his viola, Bob. This book is full of inspiring hymns which is something he was asking for so maybe this will help with the motivation. It is beautiful music. I cannot wait to hear it flowing from his viola strings.

Lance was just as happy to get a set of Legos as he was the electronic gadget as well. He loves Legos. This is a three-in-one set that he can build multiple vehicles out of a single set.

He actually got two sets of Legos as well. He could not wait to get them out of the package and start putting them together. Legos are wonderful toys. This mother approves.

You never know what will be the biggest hits out of the gifts. Sometimes the simplest gifts are the ones that gain the “hug” worthy moment. Kyle actually hugged his new pajama pants. Who would have thought? He needed a replacement pair as his had a hole in them. He had another pair but he wanted ones just specifically like the ones that had the hole in them. This gift was “hug” worthy. He was happy.

Children should be well dressed. Lance was delighted to receive another Doctor Who t-shirt that referenced the weeping angels.

Kyle wears a fez now. He had a bowtie, but now he has a matching bowtie and fez set. He was very happy!

Andrew received a shirt marking his winning moment for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November. He wrote a 50,000 word book in 30 days. He did it. His mother bought him the shirt that said he did. I am impressed by any stretch of the imagination. I confess to registering with NaNoWriMo two years in a row now. I have not written a single word. So for Andrew to actually register and write 50,000 words, I am seriously impressed especially with his workload at school.

No Christmas is complete without at least one board game of some sort being exchanged, right? Lance has wanted Jenga for several months now. Now he just needs to get his brothers or someone else to play with him.

Lance wears a fez now because fezzes are cool. Lance will have to grow into his fez a little but he was happy to have his matching bowtie and fez set as well. Like I said, all children should be well dressed.

Andrew was not left out in the being well dressed category. He received a t-shirt about science and magic. It is very fitting for him.

There was another t-shirt for Kyle that was fitting for his personality. Perfect for any Boy Scout, right?

Another shirt for Kyle that had him raise an eyebrow. His uncle actually got the same t-shirt. “Hey man, I’ve got your back!” A little stick figure humor.

The Piano Guys are a big hit around this house and Andrew received a CD of their music. Let their piano and cello music delight the pianist and cellist in you my son.

No well dressed child is complete without a little mathematics problem, right? Wrap your head around that one, Andrew. You can thank your father for that one.

Homemade Egg and Cheese McMuffins? Yes, it is possible. In the microwave is even better in my opinion. This little gift will make it a quick and painless experience. Or that is what it claims. It makes the egg the perfect size for a biscuit or English muffin.

This is a wonderful thing in my opinion. We have have an egg poacher for the microwave that works wonderful in principle. I love it for cooking eggs quick. I have yet to actually poach an egg in it, but if I need to cook an egg for a sandwich for myself or for breakfast or whatnot it is perfect. I just have not figured out how to poach an egg in it. That is not really a concern for me since I am not a fan of poached eggs to begin with. We also have an egg boiler that works wonderfully as well. So I am a fan of these little things…

Andrew was as delighted to receive a box as he was when he was a wee little lad. Just kidding, there really was something in the box. The papers in his lap. He received the license to the software he used to write his 50,000 words in November. The software? Scrivner. It is actually quite nice and relatively affordable. Highly recommended as an alternative to Word if you are looking for something. It allows you to write, take notes, and other things all in the same program.

Ben got something he was really excited about. Again, you never know what will be the big hit gifts. This was a double basket pot. An 8 quart double steamer and strainer pot. He can easily cook spaghetti and strain it or can steam tamales. The possibilities are endless actually.

A new blender? Yes! He was smiling about a new blender. Did you know that finding a blender with all metal gears is actually quite the challenge these days? You do not have to go expensive, but you do have to look for them. This one is bigger than the old we had and have had since we got married. This one, however, has all of its parts so it will not leak and spray all over the kitchen. That is good news, right?

The box that contained the “experience” to go with the previous two gifts. This box was heavy but worth the weight. It was full of all the non-perishable goods to make spaghetti and tamales. The boys are excited about this. They cannot wait to send mommy out of the house so they can have spaghetti and tamales.

The duct tape wallet. I received money to go shopping for a new wardrobe. After losing a lot of weight (35 pounds) and keeping it off for a while, I have only a few clothes that fit. It was in a nice shiny gold duct tape wallet complements of Kyle. I am grateful the entire gift is not wrapped in duct tape like last year. That was an experience in itself.

There was no duct tape involved in the wrapping of gifts this year, but that did not mean that the boys and daddy did not have some fun and use a lot of creativity wrapping my gifts. Here is one that is wrapped in…yarn? Do not mind the fact that they caught me scratching my ear. Budding photographer, maybe. Timed perfectly? I think not.

Now, I have to say that after the duct tape experience, I was not going to go down easy. There was going to be some play back on this. I knew there was going to be yarn involved as they asked where it was. After consulting with my friend, Linn Macie, she decided that I should sit there and knit something with the yarn as I took it off the gift. Clearly, that it was that thoughtful of them to give me yarn, I should use it, right? Well, I was not going to be that mean and take that long, but I did sit and wind the yarn nice and neatly into a ball. I can knit with it now…later.

The new cargo net to go in my new to me car. We bought a new “used” mini van before Thanksgiving because the old one was giving us too many problems and the last one won it a trip straight to the dealership for a trade-in. I never had a cargo-net for any of the cargo areas we have had. This one’s cargo area is up higher like the Jeep Grand Cherokee we owned. I thought it would be nice. Here is my cargo net.

The really funny thing with the cargo net is that it came with a warning. It came with a warning inside the package to have the dealer install it properly. What? You have got to be kidding me. Let me just tell you that there are four hooks in the back of my minivan and there are four loops on my cargo net. I am quite capable of putting a loop over a hook myself, thank you very much. No dealer installation required.

I got a set of much desired large mixing bowls. There were four of them in all. I am not sure this was the intended use of them, but the kids sure did get a kick out of this…

As I got whacked by one of these…a crocheted Angry Bird I had done…Evidently, I was the Bad Piggy and I was getting bombed by the Angry Bird. Thank you very much. I guess I should be grateful that it was only one of the crocheted Angry Birds as there was more than one. I love my children.

All in all it was a fabulous Christmas. A lot of fun was had by all. The kids were happy. Daddy was happy. Mommy was happy. That makes a lot of happy.

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