Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

On Christmas morning, we actually had to wake the kids up around 7am because Jason was just too excited to sleep anymore.  After waking from the fog, Ellie remembered what day it was and rushed downstairs.  Santa was very good this year, and the kids favorite gift... the Wii race cars.  They are awesome.  Ellie has become quite good at Mario Kart now, thanks to her new wheels.  The cars are even supposed to hold up to 300 lbs, so J and I may be having some races too.

Santa also brought a John Deere gator battery powered car for the kids, which they are also very excited about.  Unfortunately, we got a big snow storm right before Christmas, which makes for a beautiful white Christmas, but is not conducive to testing out the new wheels outside.  I found that we took a lot of video of Christmas morning, but not too many pictures... oh well.  The one below is the kids modeling their new bath wraps.  There was even a froggy one for the new baby, when he gets big enough to wear it.
After our festivities at home, we all showered and got dressed for round 2, at Aunt Pam's house.  This is the annual Freed Christmas gathering, and this year, we squeezed everything into actual Christmas day.  With Christmas being on a Saturday, it seemed like people had less time off from work, so there was a lot of feting crammed into a short period of time.
Max loves hanging out with older boys...I think it is his escape from playing with a big sister every day.  And he especially loves cousin, Justin.  Justin is very good and patient with Max, including helping him open his gifts.
Ellie and her cousins were so anxious to open gifts.  I remember those days...begging my parents to open gifts before they'd even finished eating.  And Ellie got some great things this year.  Thank you everyone.
After the Freed festivities at Aunt Pam's, we headed over to Papa & Mamaw's for our immediate Freed family Christmas evening.  We had a nice dinner with our Christmas crackers (note the paper hats in some of the pictures).  And again, Ellie and Paige were very excited to open more gifts.
Baby Cole was ready for the present carnage to begin as well.  Check out that smile.

And the final Christmas event was with the Marler family, only this took place on New Year's Eve.  My sister and her family were fighting a GI bug the week before Christmas, so we elected to postpone Christmas for a week.  It was a nice low key Christmas/New Year's, where we weren't on a schedule, and could just hang out, eat, and visit all day.  What a great way to end the holiday season.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's in the box?

Don't you just love the build-up to Christmas?  I know I do.  I love everything about the holiday season, and having kids around makes it so much more fun.  As packages started arriving in the mail from my online shopping and from faraway family, the kids became very excited.  But of course, the boxes held just as much entertainment as the prospect of what could be inside the box.

And what might be in this box?.....
It was a Max-in-a-Box.  Now that is a great gift!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The First Snow

On our way home from visiting baby Audrey, the weather started to change, and by the next morning, we had snow.  This was the first real snow of the season, so even though it was freezing, we let the kids go out to play for a little while.  It is always amazing to me how kids will stay out in the cold for as long as you let them, even though their little fingers and toes are frozen when they finally come inside.  Max even took a digger while walking through the snow, and came up with his face completely covered with snow...but he loved it, giggled, and kept on going.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Visiting Santa and Baby Audrey

Before Christmas, Ellie started seeing the commercials for Bass Pro Shops' Winter Wonderland with Santa, and she mentioned many times how she thought Pop would like to take her there.  So, Pop was happy to oblige and we all tagged along for a trip to see Santa.
While we waited for our turn to see the big guy, there were lots of other activities for us to do.  The kids played with trains and Ellie got to write her letter to Santa.  She had lots of things on her list at home (nearly everything in the Toys R Us catalog), but she just picked out her most special requests for the letter...a pillow pet, a Barbie, a Whoopsie-Do doll, and a train for her brother, Max.  (Isn't she sweet for thinking of her brother in her letter to Santa?)
After she was done writing the letter, she took it to the mailbox for the mailman to pick up.
Max and Daddy tried on various hats while waiting on Santa.  Max is very into hats now.  If Jason puts on a hat on the weekends, then Max usually insists on wearing one too.  He only has one little hat that fits his head, so Santa will probably bring him a few new ones for Christmas.
Finally it was our turn.  I wasn't sure how Max would react to Santa, but he made us proud.  Ellie kept talking to Max before hand to prep him for sitting on Santa's hat, and when it was our turn, they both ran right up to him.  Ellie told him the specific things she wanted from the letter she had just written, and told him how she had been trying to be a good girl all year.  Ellie also told us afterwards that Santa said to leave him cookies and chocolate milk on Christmas eve...she didn't want us to forget.
After visiting with Santa, we all headed to Columbia to meet our new niece.  My sister was due on Christmas eve, but delivered a few weeks early.  Audrey Catherine was born on December 9th, and she is perfect.  Ellie was very excited to get to hold another baby.  Max was trying to love on her too, though he was a little more interested in playing with Ella and all her toys.

Last summer when our nephew, Cole, was born during our family vacation to Lake of the Ozarks, Max was rather jealous whenever I would hold the baby.  He would even try to pull Cole out of my arms.  This was a little concerning to me, seeing how I was newly pregnant at the would Max handle our new baby in the family?  Well, I needn't have worried.  By the next time we saw Cole (about a month later), Max was completely different.  He wanted to see Cole and kiss him, and was very gently with him.  This came out again when he saw baby Audrey.  There didn't seem to be any jealousy, and he was very sweet with the baby.  I hope this continues when our baby boy arrives in a couple of months.
Sweet baby Audrey.  Isn't she precious?!