We had such a great Christmas! It started bright and early at 9:30 am (only kidding about that being bright and eary! How thankful I am that they don't quite understand enough to wake up at 4!) I've said it the past 2 years, and I'll say it again... Christmas is just so fun to watch through the eyes of a little one. This year was especially sweet and joyful watching through the eyes of my TWO precious sisters! It was a little weird without having Drew home, I'll have to say. Our traditional Christmas picture on the stairs is missing an important part of our family...
We were all up until 3am assembling the train table that "Santa" brought the little girls for Christmas. After five hours of assembling, gluing the tracks, putting together the different stuff, etc., I think I can say that I wish there truly was a Santa to do it all for us! Oh well, we will always have memories of putting it together, and the joy that both little girls had upon seeing what "Santa" had left them was PRICELESS.
The minute we walked down the stairs, Kate, with her mouth wide open, dropped her bunny and favorite book and ran over to check it out. AnnaClaire darted right over, with a huge smile. They both love trains and were very satisfied with a train table of their own. We watched them play trains for a while before moving on to checking out our stockings!
AnnaClaire could not have been happier, as she received the "chips and dippin' sauce" that she had asked Santa for. That was the one and only thing she wanted, and she was so pleased to get it! She also got a box of rubber stamps and ink, animal crackers, a Cudoroy bear, a necklace, princess shoes, a ladybug wind up thing, a princess flashlight, and hello kitty stickers.
Kate was also happy with what was in her stocking! She got hello kitty stickers, animal crackers, a Cudoroy bear, a princess flashlight, a ladybug wind up toy, a doll bottle and sippy cup, little pink bunny slippers, a drum, Chinese "puffs" (which are her favorite thing ever and we were excited to find at an Asian market nearby!) and a book. She was also very excited with all of the little things that were in her stocking. Will and I got giftcards, candy, hot chocolate mix, and other things like that. (Oh and I got an awesome Mug for hot chocolate!)
AnnaClaire had the honors to open the first present- the Chinese foot kit from PB Kids. It was from her sweet Aunt Deanne and Uncle Bill and her cousins! (Thanks again, guys!) and she loves it! This is something we have been really wanting to get her, so we were so excited when Aunt Deanne and Uncle Bill sent this! It's SO cute and a perfect thing for our sweet China girl!
As AnnaClaire was opening the first present, Drew called from Vietnam! They had spent Christmas on the beach and he was getting ready for bed. We all got to talk to him, and even Kate said hi, bye, and blew kisses into the phone! She looked very confused as to how a voice was coming out of it. She was very intrigued though and didn't want to let go of the phone! (by the way, he comes home on Tuesday... TODAY! I'm posting this on 12/30, because I couldn't get pictures to upload, but I'm just putting it under 12/25.)
We also love just realaxing on Christmas morning. Our family watches as each person opens their presents, so we get a lot of relaxing time :) AnnaClaire loved sitting up on the couch with her Daddy and brother while watching people open gifts. In fact, she thought that was even better than being the one to open them!
AnnaClaire loved walking around with her princess shoes. She always finds my high heels and will walk around with them, so we decided she needed her own pair, that fit her a little better. She loves them!
AnnaClaire and Kate had so much fun helping open presents, especially Daddy's Texas sweatshirt that they got for him! Daddy has lots of Texas gear, but didn't have a sweatshirt yet, so that was to perfect thing.
AnnaClaire had such a good Christmas! In addition to her train table and Chinese food set, she received little cleaning stuff (a vaccum, a mop, a broom, and a dustpan), a doctor's kit, a bingo game, some art stuff, a play-doh kit, books, and a Mrs. Potato Head (that's what I gave her). She loved everything she opened! She loves being a doctor and has been giving shots, putting on bandaids, checking our temperature, etc. all the time!
Kate also enjoyed all of the presents she opened! That is one thing about my two sweet sisters, they are so appreciative of everything they are given! She got doll stroller, a little diaper bag set for her doll, a cradle for her doll, a band in a box, a ball thing, some little puzzles, spice shakers for her kitchen, finger puppets (which is what I gave her), and books. Will got stuff for backpacking, and I got Ugg slippers, Texas sweatpants, giftcards, money, and lotion stuff.
After most of the gifts were opened, we sat down for breakfast and enjoyed pancakes around the dining room table! Christmas breakfast is always one of my favorite memories. I just love that time when we all sit around the dining room table and eating together. This year was very special with new little addition to our table. We have so much to be thankful for this year, especially the gift of our precious Kate!
Kate enjoyed her Christmas pancakes just as much as everyone else! She has started to get an appetite and she loved her pancakes! Oh and by the way- that's her "cheese" face, which she says when I take pictures of her!
Kate's favorite Christmas gift is her little doll stroller. It is the perfect size for her and she loves pushing it around everywhere. Actually, she is always pushing it! Could she be any cuter pushing her baby? We can tell that she was so cared for and loved in China by the way she interacts with her baby. It really is sooo sweet!
Our neighbor's relatives came home from China with their sweet Lila just before we went to China for Kate. We had met them before they had received their referral, and knew they were coming for Christmas, so we were excited to finally get to meet them! Lila is just a doll and Kate and Lila were so cute together! They had so much fun pushing their strollers together. Kate was also so sweet with Lila. Lila just started walking and whenever she fell, Kate would run over to help her up. She also wiped her nose and would hug on her. So sweet! AnnaClaire, meanwhile, had so much fun playing with the "big girls", our twin, first grade neighbors and their cousin, who is in kindergarten. They were so sweet with AnnaClaire and AC enjoyed checking out their Christmas stash!
We had such nice weather on Christmas- in the sixties, which made it very nice to be outside for awhile. Kate seemed to enjoy herself! I love that sweet angel face... isn't she beautiful?
Once we got back from the R's house, the girls went right back to playing with their Christmas presents! Kate loves her little ball thing and had so much fun pounding the balls with the little hammer and watching them drop down the levels! She is SUCH a good player!
And AnnaClaire enjoyed her new little Bingo game! It's so cute. You push a button to hear the sounds and if you have the picture of the sound that plays, you cover it. Once you've covered the whole board, you get to press the blue button, which tells you that you win. AnnaClaire really enjoys playing it!
Yet, all too soon, it was dinner time and we sat down to enjoy Christmas ham, mac and cheese, and green bean casserole. And shortly after that, the little girls took bathes and headed to bed... and as we winded down Christmas day, and said goodbye to yet another "most wonderful time of the year," I remembered that even though we only celebrate this day once a year, the joy that comes from Christmas happens all year long. We are celebrating the birth of the Savior, one who lives in us, works in us, and reveals himself to us day in and day out. So yes, this day comes once a year. And yes, the Christmas decorations will start to disappear. However, the joy that comes from His birth will continue all year long, and for the rest of the years to come!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6