Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas in KANSAS!

In attempts to document the Christmas season and not make it overwhelming I'm condensing some of the happenings. It should be noted that we (Mark, the boys and myself) all celebrated Christmas the night before we left for Kansas. We decided it was easier than trying to haul our gifts with us. Several of the gifts did make the journey but that was to be expected. The boys all received new water bottles which came in the car we us. Ian got a new backpack, which he decided to pack with some books and his and Cai's water bottle to take in the van. I got new wool mittens made out of recycled wool sweaters (a woman has been selling them at our farmer's market and I fell in love and asked Mark for a pair). These too came with us. We arrived at my folks house on Christmas Eve around supper time. We ate pizza with my brother, and then opened our Christmas Eve gifts. I grew up with the tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve, it was always pjs. This year I made Ian and Cai pajama bags. I found the idea in Amanda Black Soule's book The Creative Family . I plan on making one for Aiden in the future. We also give them each a new book in the front pocket of their bags. :) 

Christmas morning was filled with eager little boys. Not only were they excited to see Grandma and Grandpa (who they did not get to see the night before due to my mother's Christmas eve services. She's a pastor and has three Christmas eve services), they were excited it was Christmas. Add to the fact that Indiana is Eastern time and Kansas is Central, the boys were up way too early. But after playing upstairs, watching Bob the Builder and having breakfast, we finally woke Uncle Josh up to open presents. My brother still functions on a college schedule. Meaning late nights and sleeping in till noon. Must be nice.  
The boys got many wonderful gifts. It fun to watch them open their gifts. And even more exciting watching them try to help everyone else open theirs.
Before opening Grandma read the boys the Christmas story and we lighted the Advent wreath. I was surprised it stayed lit the whole time with no mishaps.
Mark and I found a great board game for my brother. Zombie Survival: the board game. I didn't get a chance to play. But he seems to like it. He can even play it solo, which is kinda cool.
Tradition has it that gifts wrapped by my stepfather, especially gifts for my brother, are hard to open. In childhood this often meant many layers of paper, boxes and scotch tape. (I should probably note the my brother has reciprocated this tradition and it has resulted in somewhat of a wrapping war)  Somewhere in our adolescent years duck tape was introduced, although I'm not sure if it was my brother or my stepdad. And now it is almost a yearly occurence for duck tape to appear on a gift's wrapping in some way. Mark has now been included in this tradition. A true sign of my stepdad's love for my husband.
One of the big hit gifts to the boys was new tools. Ian got a huge tool set, with construction and and tool belt. And Cai and Aiden each got a tool belt with a couple of tools in them. 
These belts were actually the tool belts my brother and I used while helping my folks renovate our house in my hometown of Lyons. Lets just say they bring up memories that make me smile and cringe all at once. It was several years of dirty work before we ever moved into that house.

It really was a great Christmas full of noise,
 giggles, music
and joy.  And let us not forget about the cat, who at this point was still very, very wary of the boys.  To bad my boys were fascinated and wanted nothing more than to pet said kitty.

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