Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas at Home {2015}

We spent our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our house this year.  Eddie's family decided to have their celebration the day after Christmas so we asked Grandma, Great-Grandpa, and Aunt Naomi's family to join us for Christmas lunch and present opening.  My dad also joined us for the day and stayed a few days after Christmas with us while he recovered from a little injury.  Eddie prepared a delicious turkey dinner with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy.  I made a yummy broccoli casserole.  We also prepared some sweet treats.  I attempted gingerbread cookies and wanted to cut them into shapes and decorate them, but the recipe I used from Pinterest was a flop.  It did not call for enough dry ingredients obviously and was just a wet sticky mess.  I tried to make it more solid by putting in the refrigerator and letting it sit and then added a lot more flour, but it would have taken a lot more to fix that mess.  I did bake them as drop cookies, and they tasted decent.  We also made our traditional birthday cake for Jesus, and Eddie made some yummy peanut butter balls.  I think everyone enjoyed the food and had a fun day.

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Brody carefully supervised my cake preparations.  He is definitely my chef-in-training.  I got no pictures of any of Eddie's delicious feast except for his yummy peanut butter balls.  He was a cooking machine all Christmas Eve, and I failed at documenting any of it.  

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Mattox got to open his first present from his big brothers on Christmas Eve night. 

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Mattox (and Brody) loved his new Lego train.  Brody opened his present from Evan and Mattox.  The boys pick out what they want from each other, and Brody picked out this little zombie nerf gun set.  Sigh.  He has definitely been under Evan's influence. 

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Evan had wanted a big (and expensive) Air Hog remote control helicopter.  He found a smaller (and much cheaper) one at Ross and picked that out for his gift.  He was very excited about it. 

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Mattox has been a crawling machine this month.  He finally started crawling on his knees although he still moves slowly and often will drop onto his belly to pull himself the rest of the way to whatever he wants to get.  He is actually better at pulling himself up and attempting to cruise along the furniture.  I just loved watching him crawl around playing with his new toys. Daddy assisted Evan with setting up his new helicopter. 


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After a decent amount of play time with their gifts, the boys helped put out milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer before they went to bed so that Santa could do his thing.  Our small living room was pretty cramped after Santa delivered a large play restaurant/cafe for Brody.  When I saw that little cafe on Amazon, I knew it was perfect for Brody the chef.  He has been asking for an inside playhouse for a while.  I thought we may attempt to make a fabric one, but I don't think we could have made one for the price of this one.  It is actually pretty sturdy and large enough for Eddie to stand up inside.  The only spot it would fit was in front of the front door.  Some additional surprises were left inside for him.  The play grill is actually for his outdoor playhouse when the weather permits us to move it outside.  He also got his own broom set so he can clean his house (and mine too).  

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The kids' present piles.  Brody just had a couple of wrapped gifts since most of his was inside his playhouse.  Evan's big present was a basketball goal although he was more excited about some of his wrapped gifts.  Mattox got a giant remote control car track.  I had no idea it was 4.5 feet long.  I totally missed that on the box.  It will stay in the living room for now where he mostly plays.  I wanted him to have something like a Little People set that Evan and Brody used to have.  I had gotten rid of that little set, and I thought this Vtech set would be a nice replacement.  I just didn't know how big it was.  So far, Brody has really been enjoying it, but Mattox does like to watch the little car drive around the track and likes to eat the track too.   Mattox's other big gift was wrapped. 

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On Christmas morning, Brewster sat waiting with the empty cookie plate and letter from Santa, and the boys were super excited to head into the living room.  Eddie videoed their reactions running into the living room as Evan yelled, "Charge!"

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While Brody and I checked out his playhouse and surprises inside, Evan ripped the paper off all of his presents in record time.  Sigh.  He was most excited about his large Battleship.  Brody opened some new Lego sets.  I wanted him to have some of the Lego Junior sets because I thought they would be easier for him.  Warning:  If you purchase these thinking they are different than regular Lego sets, you will be disappointed.  They were no different than the other sets Evan has.  Brody is actually fine with regular Lego sets, but he just doesn't quite understand how to use the instructions and prefers to build his own designs.  Mattox just enjoyed playing with all the wrapping paper.

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Mattox was so cute attempting to unwrap his big gift.  For Evan's first Christmas, we wrapped his big gift which was a new Lion walker/ride-on.  Similarly, Mattox was opening a big train walker/ride-on.  The old Lion walker had to be trashed after Brody because it was left outside on our old screened porch and was ruined.  When I saw this train, I knew I had to get it for Mattox in hopes he would love trains like Brody did.  He loves that this one lights up and has lots of buttons to play music and talk.  It is a very versatile toy with many functions for development.  It has letter blocks that you can put on the side of the train, and it tells you about the letters.  

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Mattox couldn't wait for Daddy to open it for him. 

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My little choo choo train rider.  When you unattach the seat, you can stand and push it like a walker.  The only disappointing thing is that it seems to be too narrow and top heavy and may fall over more easily when being pushed.  Hopefully as Mattox masters his cruising abilities, he will be able to push it without falling backwards.

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After we opened presents, we moved Chef Brody's Cafe upstairs and set it up with his kitchen inside.  It takes up a lot of room, but it is large enough to fit a lot of stuff inside.  I have all of the dress up clothes bins inside along with his kitchen set.  Eventually, the grill will be moved outside, but Brody loved grilling for me.  Evan was enjoying playing his new Wii-U game, Splatoon.  This is the first game he has actually connected online to play with others.  It is like a giant simulated paint ball gun battle.  

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Then, the boys opened their stockings. 

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No candy for Baby Mattox except a candy cane.  He hasn't eaten it though.  He got a new baby phone and car keys.  He is ready to roll. 

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Brody the minion got a minion toboggan, a movie, candy, and underwear.  It has been a tradition for Santa to bring them cool new underwear.  I couldn't wait to see him in those little striped ones.  Haha!  Evan got a Star Wars toboggan, a movie, candy, and underwear.  

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After the family arrived for lunch, the boys sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and blew out the candles on his cake. 

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While waiting for dinner, Papa, Great-Grandpa, Aunt Naomi and Sam talked and listened to Christmas music.  Cousin Grady always heads for the train table.  Thankfully, Santa brought him his very own train table.  Grandma enjoyed hanging out with the boys upstairs.  

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After lunch, Papa read us the Christmas story from the boys' Lego story book.  The boys listened and waited patiently to open their gifts. 

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Mommy helped Mattox open his gifts from Grandma and Aunt Naomi. 

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Cousin Grady loved his new CAT construction train.  His daddy used to work for CAT so I knew he would love this.  Brody got a big box of K'nex building sets.  He likes building with these little linky toys he collected from kids' meals, and I thought he would like these.  They are a little advanced, but he and daddy have already built a big hot air balloon. 

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Evan got another large Lego set from Grandma.  It is a space shuttle with a transport truck to haul it to the launch station.  Baby Mattox got a baby laptop.  Aunt Naomi loved her new Guess bag.  

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Mattox has some separation anxiety and stranger anxiety issues and usually cries or gets fussy if people he doesn't know well try to hold him right now.  However, he does not fuss at all for Great-Grandpa.  He seems to love him, and Great-Grandpa loves holding the babies too.  We were so glad Great-Grandpa joined us this Christmas.  
Our day after Christmas celebration with Eddie's and Grandma's family was fun as usual.  We enjoy a potluck style lunch with lighter party-style food and desserts and then enjoy a festive game of "Dirty Santa" where we all exchange miscellaneous gifts.  I took few pictures this year as I was too busy talking and catching up with everyone so it doesn't really need its own separate post to describe the highlights of the day.

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Great-Grandpa and Uncle Matthew are definitely look-a-likes as they sit watching the action.  Cousin Jacob enjoyed being the center of the show as he drew the numbers for the Dirty Santa game. 

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Cousin Hudson was the lucky one who got to pick the first present.  He is always out to snag any food gift cards.  Little cousin Clara enjoyed running around and loving on the little zebra stuffed animal Grandma gave Mattox.  

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Brody enjoyed playing with the slinky Grandma gave him as his little gift for the party.  The younger kids don't exchange gifts yet.  Cousin Grady loves his big cousin Brody. 

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And sweet little Elisabeth picked a pretty flower and gave it to her mommy.  She and her cousin Clara are best buddies. 

3 comments:

  1. Looks like you all had a great Christmas. I had no idea that Eddie was such a chef. That's awesome!

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  2. That's so cool that Eddie cooked your whole Christmas dinner. And I think Rachel got the same ride on train you gave Mattox the Christmas she was eighteen months. She LOVED it.

    It looks like you had a lot of family to celebrate with which is so wonderful.

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  3. Don't you just hate it when real life and wanting to be present for the day/event gets in the way of blogging/picture taking. Ha ha! I'd say no worries about missing Eddie cooking and missing a few shots from the after party. I totally felt the essence of your holiday. It was very well represented!

    Spencer got a little train similar to Mattox's the year he was one. My kids are STILL playing with that train. Seriously. Not a single day goes by that they don't both play with it. For a long time Spencer would go no where in the house without riding it. I hope Mattox loves his just as much.

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