"Being a family means you are part of something wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life. No matter what." ~Author Unknown

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Before Christmas(written after Christmas)

We have been in a Christmas frenzy!  What I can say for certain is that I have not wasted one second of time in the last two weeks.  Clearly I haven’t even blogged.  The kids made a list of the things they wanted to do for the season, and that list has been staring me in the face all month.  We slowly checked a few things off at the beginning of December, and then it was crunch time.  Amidst shopping, wrapping, planning, cleaning, and baking, I felt pressure to make holiday memories as well!  We succeeded in doing everything we wanted(except actually “seeing” the light show-more on that later). 

Mark and I took Lexi and Sof to see “Straight No Chaser” at the Fox theater in Detroit.  It was a chance to wear our festive gear, spend the evening together, and expose Sof to the big theater. 



Dinner before!



It was a great night.  Sof loves live theater.  I just didn’t think about the fact that the show didn’t even start until 8:00 on a school night.  In hindsight, leave the 4 year old home.

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Sof wrote letters to Santa.  As she was “writing” this one she was saying, “Dear Santa, I love you”.  She also signed her name to lots of cards which was good practice! 

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I love the first people and letters that kids make.  We need to work on that F though, no capital letters in the middle of your name with a teacher mom!


19Adrienne came to help in my kindergarten room.  We were there about 30 minutes and she said, “Well, I can cross this off my career list.”



We went to see Santa with the cousins.  I should add that we went the Friday before Christmas to the mall Santa.  Who waits that long?  I figured we’d be the only loser mom’s in line.  The bad news is that there was quite a long line, the good news is that there are indeed lots of loser moms.  To top it off when we got there Santa was on break.  How is that he can get to every single house in one night, but can’t stay on his chair without a break?  It got a little dicey.



Finally it was our time to go in.  The kids like the fake snow dome just as much(probably more) than seeing Santa.


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I refuse to pay the outrageous price for their crappy mall pictures that I never do anything with anyway.  So, my kids’ visit will live in my memory, but I was able to snap one quick pick of Em’s kids before being tackled by an elf.


When we got home Aunt Anne, Joni, and Uncle Rick were waiting with presents.  What’s not to like about that!


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Last year we discovered the drive thru light show in the neighboring county.  The kids really wanted to do it again and bring the cousins.  Em and I decided to do it one night(that was dangerously close to the actual Christmas holiday, and could have been spent getting ready).  We made it a pajama and hot chocolate trip to add to the fun.

PC237031We headed out around 7:30, stopped and Starbucks, and prepared the kids that we would probably have to wait a LITTLE while in line, but we had the Charlie Brown Christmas playing in the back and it would be worth it!


About an hour into the wait we started calculating how far(or not far) we had gone and how much farther we had to go.  Then we debated, would they let the cars go through, or would they really turn them away at 10 when it “closes”.  We were determined to make it happen, so we didn’t give up. 

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After over two hours of waiting they turned us away.  Yep, 6 kids in the back of a mini van, no lights.  Son of a light show.


Our first party was the Johnson/Culley Christmas that was at our house this year.  We had a really good time talking, eating, drinking, and watching old home movies and slides!

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It’s impossible to get all these kids still and smiling.  We did a secret Santa gift exchange between the kids.  One of Brian’s kids got Adrienne.  He went to Target and got her a gift card, but hid it in a bucket of cleaning supplies.  He presented it to her after a speech about her issues with cleanliness.



On a side note, the cleaning lady loves the new bucket, so it will go to good use.  As for Adrienne, she has been working very hard to keep her room tidy because Christmas is her last chance to earn her iPhone.  You’ll have to wait for the next post to find out if she got it:)

PC156906      We ended up in the basement watching old slides of when Mark and Brian’s parents were in their 20’s.  Hilarious!!!!  Then we moved on to videos of Mark and Brian as teens.  Equally as hilarious!

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Our last Christmas prep was baking the sugar cookies.  Adrienne can do most all of it herself now, which is great!  Actually, she could do it all, but she gets bored. 

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Lexi had spent the night at Emily’s and they happened to be making cookies also, so she chose to do it with them.  We saved two out that she decorated for Santa when she got home. 

Although the last weeks have felt rushed and frenzied, I am committed to keeping all our holiday prepping traditions.  Each one signals holiday and togetherness to us!  All of that hustle and bustle sets the stage for a peaceful Christmas Eve and morning.  Another post on that later though as this post is getting ridiculously long… 

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