We have been very busy again (so if you would rather skip this post, feel free...it is picture packed.)
At the beginning of the week before Christmas we made Holiday Houses with Graham Crackers and a variety of candy. It took an entire can of frosting to make the candy stick and to get the houses to stand for any period of time. The boys loved it and it gave us something to do. I think we will make it an official tradition.
Benjamin and his Holiday House (his roof ended up falling in.) Alex and his Holiday House (his whole house fell apart before too long.)
We invited Taun's parents to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning with us. We had a delicious dinner, played games, listened to The Story of Jesus' Birth, watched "The Polar Express", had hot chocolate, left banana bread for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, and then had a delicious breakfast in the morning.
This is our elegant table for Christmas Eve Dinner. We had parmesan chicken, baked potatoes, rolls, salad, vegetables, and some bubbly (ie. sparkling cider)
I found some cheep games at the Dollar Store. (They were like the peg games you play at the Cracker Barrel.) The pegs were snowman and reindeer shaped and Benjamin LOVED it!
I used one of my Nativity sets to tell the Story of Christ's Birth and my boys loved the visuals. (Benjamin even understood the story.)
Santa drank all the hot chocolate and ate all the homemade banana bread. The reindeer ate the carrots and Santa even left a note for the boys. He thanked them for the treats and for being such good boys this last year. Benjamin really got a kick out of this.
We were definately blessed this year and had lots of presents under our "Charlie Brown Tree." Both of the boys sure enjoyed opening all the presents. Benjamin even opened all of Gracie's.
Santa left us quite a loot this year with the traditional cereal and toothbrushes, the orange in the toe of our stockings, and many other fun games and toys.
We had a delicious breakfast on Christmas morning, complete with egg and sausage casserole, muffins, fruit, and juice.
Here is the not so elegant Breakfast Table Setting.
Grandma Beddes dishing up her breakfast.
Grandpa Beddes slept in the warm and cozy blanket while the rest of us ate breakfast.
Benjamin enjoying his muffin. YUM!
Alex cheesing it for the camera while he eats his breakfast.
Gracie also slept in while we ate breakfast. She LOVES her swing.
We decided to go to Grandma & Grandpa Davis' house on Christmas night. We always have tonz of fun there and love seeing all the cousins.
Benjamin waiting for the ride to start. They pull the sleds with the four wheeler all over my parents yard. The kids love it and I am so proud of Benjamin for getting back in the sled even after what happened to him last year. (He fell out of the sled and got run over by it. He almost needed stitches by his eye.) Way to go, Benjamin!
Benjamin, Maddy, Phoenix, Kade, and Cougar waiting to take the ride of their lives.
Beddes Family Christmas Party
Most of Taun's siblings came to the Christmas Party this year at Taun's mom and dad's house. We missed seeing Shanee and her family but everyone else was in attendance. For some of them it was the first time they have seen Gracie. She was the hot item of the night and lots of the cousins wanted to hold her. She was a doll and was really well behaved the whole evening.
Colten and Gracie (Colton is Taun's older brother Matt's oldest...he is a real sweet kid.)
We played some games that Taun's mom put together...everyone who played had a great time. There were a few party poopers who will not be named (Taun.) He did hold Gracie so that I could play so I guess I will quit complaining about it.
During one of the games, my BIL pulled the card that said he had to sit on my FIL's lap and sing "You are my Sunshine." He was a good sport about it and sat on his lap but I am still waiting to hear him sing. The funniest part about it all is that they are NOT biolocically related!
New Year's Eve
We went to the 2nd annual Davis Family New Year's Eve Party at Grandma & Grandpa Davis' house and as usual grandma (my mother) was prepared with fun activities for the kids. One of the things they did was make their own crown or tiara. They sure had a good time creating great head gear.
Benjamin sat by his favorite cousin, Cougar, and created his orange crown.
Benjamin sporting his crown complete with name.
Alexander loved his "hat."
Some of my nieces insisted on making a little tiara for Gracie. She looked adorable in it and they had a great time making it for her and then taking pictures. They actually did a good job on the little thing.
Thanks Mom for making it so fun for the kids all the time.
We had a delicious dinner of prime rib (YUCK!), Malibu Chicken, baked potatoes, salad, rolls, and cheesecake.
Thanks to all who were around to prepare all the food and to Pam for being so organized about it.
After dinner we played games and of course before too long we pulled out all the munchies and snacked on them all night. We had taquitos, meatballs, 7 layer dip, my brothers famous salsa, cookies and more cheesecake. YUM! YUM!
On New Year's Day we all got bundled up and went sledding on the hill by my grandparents house. Benjamin went down a few times but once he got snow in his face, he was done. He just watched the rest of us go down the hill for the remainder of the time.
When I said "us" I meant all of us. Taun and I even went down a few times. It was a blast! I might have peed my pants a few times but no one could tell because we were all so wet by the time we were done. Snow pants would have been handy.
Alex was waiting with 2 cousins for a turn to ride in the big sled. Aren't they the cutest!
Grandpa is always a trooper and is so willing to do whatever it takes to make sure even the littlest ones have a great time.
This is just after I got to the bottom of the hill. There was so much snow...it was perfect!
Several people waited at the top of the hill to help the little ones get on their sleds and head down the hill.
Look at all that snow and the great hill for sledding.
Alex was all suited up and ready for some fun. (He enjoyed it way more than anyone else did.)
Here is a video of when Benjamin got snow in his face. (It is not for the purpose to place the blame on any one person, but instead to show what happened.)
Alex even carried his own sled up the hill just so that he could go down the hill again. What a cute kid!