Merry Christmas everyone!
It has been such wonderful couple of days...so here's a recap so you can enjoy with us!
Wednesday night we went to dinner at Left Bank in San Jose with Brian's boss and a few coworkers. It was in a really cool part of town called Santana Row. It reminded me of the Plaza in Kansas City...but I liked it better! It was a little smaller but so beautiful! There was an awesome Mexican restaurant in the center of it all that had a 5 piece band playing to those who were eating outside. Yep. People eating OUTSIDE 3 days before Christmas...so cool! It was really great to meet some of the people that Brian works with...but it was a tad chaotic! There were 8 adults and 5 toddlers...in an upscale restaurant! We all survived and there were no spilled drinks, but I think we owe all of that to our smartphones! :) It was great to get out of the house and meet other adults! Brian's boss is incredibly sweet and great to talk to! The kids had a great time meeting other kids, too!
Thursday and Friday were full of running errands so we weren't out shopping on Christmas Eve. We got some last minute gifts, things for the stockings, picked up my (still broken) sewing machine, supplies for Vera's wreath (read further for info on that), and went out to eat on Friday night. I have a question for the people out here...what is it with the BROWN salsa?! Not tasty...the closest I have had to good Mexican food out here is at Chili's...and that is SO SAD! I miss Mi Ranchito :(. We also haven't found a Mexican restaurant with queso dip...sad story! For those who know me well, you know this is a travesty.
Christmas Eve we cleaned the house to get ready for Santa and I started some small preparations Christmas Lunch/Dinner (take out rolls to rise, thaw ham, bake sweet potatoes). We all had a lengthy nap (3 hours, Hallelujah!) and then it was time to get ready for church! First, I will say we had an awesome dinner that consisted of Chicken Cord en Bleu casserole...go here for the recipe:
... it was awesome! A super-easy go-to meal! Ok...so on to the Candlelight service!
The kiddos got 'dressed up' (we don't really have any dressy clothes at this point) and took a few pictures in front of the tree! They are getting pretty cheesy, don't you think :)?
The church we attended was the same we went to last week. It's called Jubilee and it's located about 5 miles from our house, so it's super easy and quick to get to. It is also the first 'Mega Church' that we have ever been to. It has a separate building for all the admin stuff, the older kids, and a bible college. Whoa. The candlelight service started at 6pm and there was no childcare open...so we brought the IPad and my IPhone :). Now, yes, I want my kids to pay attention. However, I am also a realistic mother of two toddlers. They can only sit still for so long! I'm glad we brought them, too, because it was a 90 minute service...and I loved every minute!!! There is something 'other-worldly' about a mass of people all singing their hearts out to Jesus...it's unreal! Christmas music has also ALWAYS been my favorite...so it was a double bonus...people praising Jesus with Christmas music!! My favorite part of this church? The worship team! There are about 40 people on stage singing every service. It's awesome! They have a choir, multiple soloists and a huge band...with a cello! Brian and I both agree that Dan Deeble (our pastor at Heartland) can NEVER be replaced. He has a God given gift...no doubt about that. But I love the music at this church and they have a lot of fellowship at this church (basketball, MOPS, etc.)...so we will go a couple more times :). The kids did great. They had their moments, but the IPad always helps, and Myah loves to sing, so she had a blast!
When we left church we went to Target to get cookies for Santa (Brian was very excited about this). We went home and put out some cookies for Santa, Cheerios for the reindeer, milk and water, and read two books. My parents sent this AWESOME book that they recorded for the kids. You turn the page and my parents read the book to the kids...such an amazing way to stay in touch 3000 miles away! After 'reading' that book, we read "The Night Before Christmas". I know a lot of people of have this tradition. For as long as I can remember, my dad read us this exact book to us on Christmas Eve and in 2006 Brian and I got the book (the year we married). We have read the book to the kids the past 3 years and will continue to do so and hope to pass on the tradition!
Finally it was time to get the kids to bed! Surprisingly, they went down really easy and didn't even get out of bed! Brian and I had some wrapping to finish (he doesn't like to do ANYTHING ahead of time...). Then Brian set up the train set my dad gave us and we set up the presents. We are so blessed to have so many people in our lives that love us. We received gifts from all over the country (Maine, New York, Kansas) and we feel so lucky. I knew my great grandparents growing up and I'm so excited my kids get to have the same wonderful privilege.
I 'caught' Santa at our house...check out the picture...
He also left a note and ate all the cookies :)!!
Myah woke up first at 5:30 am. Not bad at all...I remember waking my parents up at 4am :)...I'm counting myself lucky! She came in and said "Merry Christmas, Mommy" and then asked to open presents :). I sent her to wake Eli up (which took about 15 minutes) and then we went to open presents. Growing up, we had a great tradition where we 'had' to eat (cinnamon rolls or monkey bread) and open stockings before we could even SEE the presents around the tree! We tried to do this by putting up a sheet at the doorway to the living room...but we were realistic enough to know that there was NO WAY we were getting the kids to wait until breakfast was cooked before we got to the tree...so we went straight to the gifts! I have a video but I'm still trying to figure out how to post them, so check back for the video! The kids were great waiting their turns (one present at a time) and it was hilarious trying to get them settled down after almost every present opened!
|Waiting to open up presents after tearing|
through their stockings!
|Daddy had to jump in and help sometimes...|
|My GGma Bedore sent the kids|
some remote control cars...
they were a HUGE HIT! Thanks,
|I think Brian had more fun putting|
the train track together than the kids did!
|Isn't he so cute?!|
Opening presents took about an hour (not bad for our smallest Christmas :)) and the kids had a great time! We all got some wonderful gifts! The kids got cars, airplanes, hats, books, puzzles, games, a train set, a tea party set, candy, money, cups, and lots more! Brian and I are really loved as well and got some gifts from my parents! I got my first Chi and we got some money! Gotta love money! We Skyped with Brian's family and the kids did a great dance for them and showed them some of their toys! While I was getting lunch ready, I remembered I didn't have any aluminum foil to put on all of the food. So, Brian offered to go to the store. During the time he was gone, I cooked and the kids played with their toys. It was really relaxing...which should have been my first 'clue' :). When Brian got home, he asked why the kids were so quiet. We walked into the living room and Myah was playing with the train set (Good girl!) and Elijah was sitting over the candy bowl downing his 4th or 5th chocolate! He was off his rocker for the rest of the day...there was also a lot of diaper changes...at least he didn't throw it up!
We had a delicious lunch and nap time. When we got up, the kids played with their toys and I started working on my newest project...a yarn wreath for Vera's room. I've seen these all over Pinterest and I enjoy a challenge and DIY projects so I was really excited to make one! It cost less than $10 to make and I think it turned out alright! It will be on a soft green wall, so the colors will pop! Here's what it looks like:
|Myah set up a tea party...the boys|
were very excited!
We finally got to catch up with my family on Skype right before dinner. I miss my family a lot right now, but in just a few short months my parents will be out here! I am so excited!!! We watched Elf while eating dinner and then it was time for bed! While it was a great day, I am so tired!! Brian wants me to watch Dexter with him...but I'm thinking watching the back of my eyelids seems like a better idea :). I hope you all had as wonderful a Christmas as we did! We love you all and don't forget to tell Jesus 'Happy Birthday!'