Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas Lexi William and Kate!

We were busy, but in an enjoyable sort of way throughout the entire Christmas season. This year, Christmas feel on a Tuesday. I took the Monday, Christmas Eve off from work and we started the morning with homemade buttermilk pancakes, homemade whipped cream and bacon. They were the best pancakes I have ever made and this will be a tradition moving forward.

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Most of the morning was pretty low key. Lexi and William were giddy-excited that Santa was coming tonight. Lexi exclaimed,’Ahh tomorrow is the day I get my Barbie Dreamhouse!’ I had to remind her that just because you ask for something doesn’t mean you get it. You two were so excited, you were pretending it was Christmas morning and opening gifts and acting surprised. William goes, ‘I got a Mickey!!! Lexi shrieks ‘I got a tablet!!’ LOL!! I died! Where do you come up with these crazy ideas?!?!

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I started getting ready at like 10:30, because it takes a long time to get myself and 3 other kiddos ready 🙂

Kate took an early nap and we were out the door around 2:45 to head to Church. We met Grammy & Papa, Grandma Terri, Grandpa Bill, Great Grandma and Auntie T there.

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After, we headed over to Uncle Pats for Christmas Eve with the Tansey’s. It was a fun celebration as all of the cousins were there, so you kids had a blast running around with all the other kids. Santa made a surprise appearance and brought each of you an early gift. William and Lexi were in disbelief and Kate was terrified. Santa brought William a Paw Patrol set, Lexi a LOL surprise Pearl set and Kate a Minnie Mouse purse and cell phone.

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We headed home around 9:30 and since Pat’s is so close to home, nobody fell asleep. Both Lexi and Kate went right up to bed and were out in a couple of minutes. William helped set out cookies and milk for santa and some carrots for the reindeer. Daddy was also outside flooding the ice rink and William wanted to make sure he had the Grinch dust (green glitter). He says, ‘Dad, the grinch isn’t real–he’s just a character.’ Dad responds, ‘I know, but we’ll spread it around just in case’. William yells through the crack in the door, ‘Ok, Don’t forget to get the roof! You are so sweet buddy!

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Christmas morning, I was Shocked that you all slept in past 8:30, especially considering how excited you were. You came into our room and Daddy got the camera set up before we headed downstairs! William b-lined for his Heatwave and transformer trailer for Santa and Lexi was excited about her new table and desk chair and her Barbie’s and Hatchamals that Santa brought her. Lexi bounced around she was so excited and wanted to just rip through everything that had her name on it. However, she was very pumped to give everyone the gifts that she had picked out for them. She searched through the piles to find the items for her and requested that everyone open the gifts from her first. William was much more methodical and wanted to open and play with everything before moving onto the next. Kate was in the kitchen most of the morning eating, while everyone else was opening gifts. Girls gotta eat! She did come in every once in a while and loved her new Minnie Mouse doll, stroller and Unicorn Fingerling. Lexi’s was over-the-moon excited about the Lego hospital kit she received.

IMG_2570-COLLAGEWe spent a good 2 hours opening gifts before eating breakfast, cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit. Then we spent the next several hours putting together Lego kits (Lego hospital and the fire truck) cleaning up and getting ready before heading over to Grammy and Papa’s house around 4.

There we visited, ate some meat pies and enjoyed the next round of gifts.

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Then, on the 26th we were hosting the Sampson’s at our house for our Christmas celebration so we started cleaning the house and getting ready for Christmas celebration #4!

All-in-all it was a jam-packed couple of days, but filled with so much love, gratitude and so much to be thankful for.

Love,

Mama

Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas Activities 2018

Dear Kiddos,

Christmas was no shortage of magic. The anticipation of the season is so exciting to me and I love everything about it. I love the lights on the houses, I love the decorations, (and actually decorating) the baking, the shopping, the music, the process of thinking about gifts and finding good deals, going to church, coordinating adorable outfits, wrapping gifts–everything about it is magic and I hope that you feel the magic and enjoy it as much as I do.

This year, we hosted Thanksgiving so I resisted and didn’t put the Christmas tree up until after Lexi’s birthday party, but the rest of the decorations came out on the evening of Black Friday.

I didn’t haul all the bins out until you were sleeping but then popped my earbuds in and listened to Christmas music (Jim Brinkman’s Piano Instrumental–my fav) and had the house twinkling in delight when you woke up the next morning.

The following Sunday, we headed over to Ivy and Claire’s house to do some cooking baking. We made sugar cookies and some peppermint cookies. You all had a great time, but honestly probably had more fun just playing with your cousins.

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IMG_2187-COLLAGEThe following weekend, the whole family went over to Grammy and Papa’s house for breakfast and Christmas Jammies. Grammy created a scavenger hunt for each of the kids that took them around the house and ultimately led them to their Christmas Jammies.

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The following weekend, we set up the Christmas tree. I usually like to do this by myself as it is a process to put the lights on and then the ribbon and then the ornaments, but figured I would give it a go with you awake and let you enjoy some of the fun too. Lexi was into it for about 5 minutes, but William helped the entire time and loved every moment of picking up the ornaments and finding a spot for it on the tree.

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In the past our elf, Sparkle Minnie has arrived on December 1st, but this year she was sick and didn’t arrive until about December 10th, and she brought a friend, Sparkle Mickey, to keep an eye out on you guys. She also brought you a book, the Giving Tree and asked for your to do a Good Deed everyday as a reminder that the Christmas season is about more than getting gifts, but being thoughtful and considerate towards other people. Lexi definitely understood the concept and we would talk each night about what good deed she did throughout the day. Some days it was sharing her magenta marker with a friend at school or playing with someone who was feeling sad. Other days it was doing William’s chore of unloading the dishwasher, or throwing away Kate’s diapers for mommy and daddy. It was so encouraging to hear how you were being intentional each day about how you can be thoughtful towards others.

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December 8th, we went to Breakfast with Santa at Lexi’s school. Uncle Dustin, Kenzie and Grammy and Papa joined us for some pancakes and crafts. Kate hated Santa, but William asked for a Heat Wave transformer and Lexi asked for a Barbie Dreamhouse.

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We also baked cookies a couple of times and decorated a gingerbread house. We made pretzel hugs, spritz and molasses cookies.

IMG_2380-COLLAGELexi and William both helped pick out gifts to give each other and loved helping wrap them up. Lexi picked up a green lego car kit for William and William picked out a Barbie car for Lexi. We also listened to a lot of Christmas music and would sing Silent Night and Away in a Manger each night before bed.

William had his first Christmas program at Preschool. You looked so handsome and I was proud you actually sang a little bit.

IMG_2396-COLLAGELexi had her annual Dance program. So fun to watch you dance–this is the first time that I’ve seen you smile while you were dancing. In the past, you have always been very focused on the moves and the teacher, you haven’t been able to smile so it was fun to see you ‘perform’

IMG_2453-COLLAGEThen, Lexi had two program’s at school. The first one was just for kindergarteners and you had a little saying you had to memorize and say during the program, ‘B is for Bethlehem, crowded and old, birthplace for Jesus, prophet foretold. Then, there was another one in the afternoon with the entire school where you sang a couple of songs. You also had an advent party in your class and I was able to volunteer for it. There were 4 stations that groups traveled to and I ran a game: pin the nose on the snowman.

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Whew! Lot’s of activities, but so much fun! I’ll create another post for Christmas itself.

Love,

Mama

Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017

Dear Lexi, William and Kate,

This was my favorite Christmas yet. It was so fun to celebrate and see all joy and excitement through your eyes.

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Usually, I’m super eager to get all the Christmas decorations up (well before Thanksgiving) and this year I just didn’t feel the rush. Life is pretty crazy with 3 little kids, throw in learning a new job and life is just hectic. I officially gave myself the pass to be low key and not feel like I need to do everything and be OK with that. The holiday season kicked off for us on Thanksgiving when Grammy B gave matching Santa Jammies to the three of you and Ivy and Claire.

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Then the following week, Santa and Mrs. Clause visited mom’s work and you got to sit on his lap and take a picture. Lexi asked for Hatchimal Collectables and William talking Spiderman. They also had cookies to decorate, pictures to color and could meet Dancer and Blitzen.

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IMG_9346-COLLAGE We eventually got the decorations out and Lexi and William LOVED helping set everything out and put ornaments up on the tree. Eventually, I replaced most of them so they were more dispersed throughout the tree (I’m OCD like that) but it was so fun to listen to Christmas music and see how you get into the spirit of the season.

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Our elf, Sparkle Minnie returned again this year and of course got into some mischief.

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Then, on December 15th, Lexi had her first school Christmas Concert. I cried. I just couldn’t handle all those sweet, young innocent voices up there. It just made my heart so happy.

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Then the following day, we headed over to Grammy and Papa’s to celebrate Christmas with the Bothwells. You kids were SO SO SO excited to see Claire and Ivy and give everyone the gifts we had picked out. It was a great relaxing afternoon/evening filled with lots of Papa Flashlight Tag, Ya-ba-da-ba-do’s, nummy food and laughter and matching spiderman jammies.

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Later that week, Lexi had her Christmas dance recital, we decorated a gingerbread house, Lexi and William had fun playing Santa and his reindeer and snowman pancakes for breakfast on Christmas Eve. We went to the Christmas Eve celebration at Open Door with the Sampsons (William feel asleep) before heading over to the Menter’s to celebrate with with the Tanseys.

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Then, on Christmas morning, you miraculously slept in until about 7:30 and were just giddy with excitement. We have you come straight into our room without getting a peak of the tree so we can all see it together.

IMG_9542-COLLAGEOpening presents was SO much fun. Kate was not having any of it and ended up back in bed around 8:00 and missed it all, but Lexi and William each took turns and were so excited for the gifts that each other received. William wanted to open and play with each toy as he opened it, which really extended the gift opening time while Lexi wanted to open as many presents as fast as she could

Couple of highlights include: William: Talking spiderman from Santa, Beatuy and the Beast Lego Kit, Digger Set, spiderman slippers, magnatiles, a sled, spiderman lego kit, Mickey’s garage, Mickey little people

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Lexi: Hatchimal collectables from Santa, Stephanie house lego kit, magnatiles, hot-loops, stain glass art kit, Minnie and Daisy Little People, Aqua Beads, Osmo Creative Kit for the iPad, pants, underwear, socks, puzzles

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Kate: backpack, some new spoons, sippy cups, bathtub toys

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We spent the rest of the day lounging in our pajamas, eating snacks, playing with toys and putting together legos.

The following day, we hosted the Sampson’s for Christmas. We had some nummy food, laughed a lot and had fun exchanging gifts with each other.

One of the funnest things about the season was Lexi starting to understand the true meaning. She spent a lot of time in school learning about Jesus and the story of his birth. Our elf brought has a little people manger set and some good books about the Christmas story that we really enjoyed reading.

Merry Christmas my little angles. I love you.

Love,

Mama

 

Chirstmas, Lexi, William

Christmas 2016

Dear Lexi and Bood,

Merry Christmas my sweet little kiddies. Every year Christmas gets a little more fun as you both ‘get it’ a little more each year. It is also fun to start to create traditions that you will both look forward to each year.

Usually, I’m super excited to get the house decorated for Christmas and usually can’t wait until Thanksgiving and this year was no exception. We had our first snow the weekend before Thanksgiving and that prompted the decor to come out of the boxes. I held off on the tree until after Thanksgiving but you both had so much fun ‘helping’ me put up the decorations.

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We also started listening to Christmas music on the radio to and from school, which you both thought was pretty awesome. Favorite songs are Jingle Bells, Rudolph, Frosty and Winter Wonderland as well as Away in a Manager and O Holy Night because those are Grammy and Papa’s favorites.

We read many Christmas books that sparked lots of very good questions like ‘Why does Santa come down the Chimney? Why doesn’t he walk through the front door? How do Reindeer Fly? What is a manger? Why didn’t they go to the hospital? How come we don’t eat cake on Christmas if we’re celebrating Jesus’ birthday? How do elves make the presents? Why are elves little? Very inquisitive little mind you have there Lexi bug!

Our Elf on the Shelf returned this year and we named her Sparkle Minnie. You really got into her and always found her right away in the morning.

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Santa came to daycare and you both reluctantly sat on his lap. Lexi was very insistant that she wasn’t going to but would stand next to him, but I think the teachers and kids at school convinced her otherwise. William didn’t like it, but sat long enough for a picture, but did proceed to talk about it for several weeks after ‘Santa’s lap’. You wrote an email to Santa and asked him for Legos and then asked him for Shopkins when you sat on his lap.

IMG_7699 You also did some cookie baking with Grandma and Auntie Sheila. I was supposed to join you but got snowplowed into the driveway and you were done by the time I got there.

Lexi also had her first Dance reicitel and did 2 ballet songs and 3 tap song! It was so cute to watch her perform!! You look kind of angry here, but I promise, you really did like it!

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As far as actual Christmas celebrations go, we went over to Grammy and Papa’s on Christmas Eve to have some snacks, watch the Vikings/Packers game and open presents. You both looked adorable in your little Christmas outfits and loved opening gifts. After that, we headed over to my Aunt Jean’s house to celebrate with Grammy’s extended family. You had a great time playing with your cousins McKenna and Natalie! We topped the day off with a church service. Considering it was 9:00, and an action packed day, you both did great! Lexi got to hold her own candle and loved singing the Christmas carols. William loved the people watching and singing and being with Papa. Christmas day we have our annual tradition of staying home together as a family all day. You both woke up around 7:30 am. We headed downstairs and saw that Santa had stopped. Lexi wanted to open presents as fast as she could. William wanted to open and play with every present before opening another. Santa brought William some power tools, a workbench and some Legos and brought Lexi two Lego sets and Shopkins. We spent the rest of the day lounging around in pajamas, taking naps and playing with all of our fun new toys. IMG_7744

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Finally, on the 26th, we celebrate with Daddy’s family. Everyone came over to our house and brought some yummy appetizers. We hung out, enjoyed each other’s company and opened presents. You were both spoiled with so many wonderful gifts by so many people that love you.

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It was another wonderful Christmas season.

Love,

Mama

Chirstmas

Christmas 2015

Lexi and William,

Merry Christmas! What a fun holiday season we had with both of you! Each year gets more and more fun.

This year seemed a little more relaxed than years past. Fewer places to run to and people to see. This was the first year that momma’s cousins and aunts and uncles on Daddy’s side didn’t get together. It was a little sad not to see them, but hopefully we’ll find another time to all get together.

We started setting up our Christmas decorations a little before Thanksgiving this year as mama was very busy at work and needed a little more time to do them this year. Lexi LOVED getting the boxes out and looking at all the decorations and trying to decide where to put everything. She would say, ‘This is a great spot for this, isn’t it mama?’ There were also lots of ‘Owws and Ahhs’ as we took things out of the bins.

I had asked Lexi several times if she wanted to go sit on Santa’s lap and the answer was always a strong NO. You liked to talk about him, but had no interest in seeing him or sitting on his lap. He even came to visit at school one night. Lexi stood next to him and gladly took a candy cane, while William sat on his lap and cried. We did also see him from a distance at the mall one night, but that was about as close as we got to physical interactions with Santa. One evening, we did write an email (or as Lexi refers to them: emu) to Santa in which Lexi asked for an Elsa palace and an Elsa and Anna doll. He responded back with a video, which Lexi was thrilled about–much more comfortable with the virtual interaction.

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Throughout the season, we thoroughly enjoyed listening to Christmas music. Lexi loved Away in a Manager and O Holy night as those are Papa and Grammy’s favorites. She also really likes Jingle Bells, Rudolph, Frosty, Let it Snow and Winter Wonderland. They were top requests of songs to sing and books to read at bedtime.

We also enjoyed some cookie baking with Grandma. Lexi loved wearing her Santa apron and using the rolling pins, cookie cutter and sprinkles–an absolute fav!

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The official celebrations started the weekend before Christmas. We went over to Grammy and Papa’s house with all of your Aunts, Uncles and Cousin Ivy. We had our traditional meat pies and had so much fun playing with cousin Ivy and opening the mounds of presents! Lexi got a Frozen puzzle, princess matching game, pajamas, James the train, a train switcher and many other things. William got an ornament, pajamas, a basketball hoop, Little People Zoo and several other things. It was so fun to watch each of you open gifts. Lexi requested that we do ‘teamwork’ in opening all of her presents and William loved all of the paper and boxes to wrinkle and climb on. He was also super into the zoo and the noises that all of the animals were making. Lexi also LOVED handing gifts out to everyone–and then telling people what was inside before they opened it.

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On Christmas Eve, we had a fun and relaxing morning at home playing. Then after naptime, we headed over the Grandma and Papas to celebrate Christmas with Grammy’s side of the family. It was an off-year as most of grammy’s siblings were with their other side’s of the families so there wern’t any other kids there, which was pretty disappointing to Lexi. After William feel asleep at Grammy and Papas, Mommy, Daddy Lexi and Auntie Sheila went to church. Going to church on Christmas Eve is one of my favorite traditions in Christmas. The church is decorated beautiful and the choir is there singing songs and everyone is so happy and friendly. I loved that Lexi wanted to come with us. She loved singing along to the Christmas songs and was so proud holding the candle when they shut the lights off to sing Silent Night. When they started to sing, her eyes got HUGE and lite up when she looked at me and said, they’re singing Papa’s song! You’re sentimental mom teared up several times throughout the service as I was reflecting on how blessed we are to have such a good, safe life and to have two beautiful, healthy and smart little people.

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After church, we headed back to Grammy’s said goodbyes and headed home. You both were sleeping when we got home.

On Christmas morning, you both woke up around 7ish. Lexi comes into our room like any regular morning and says, “Mama, it’s morning time.’ I responded, that ‘It’s Christmas Lexi! What does that mean? And you lite up, ‘Santa came!!’ I quickly fed William while Daddy got the video camera set up. We made it two steps down and you peaked through the spindles and stated very deflated, ‘There’s no Elsa palace?’ I quickly reminded you that maybe Santa wrapped the Elsa palace. We should go take a look. We headed downstairs and you went to the biggest present there and said, This is my Elsa palace.’ We read the tag and it said to Lexi from Santa, so we started to open it, and sure enough, it was the Elsa palace. Lexi was so excited and kept banging on the box. As soon as I said, we could open it after we opened all of our other presents, Lexi was quick to start looking at other presents. Lexi also got Frozen dolls for the palace, more Frozen puzzles, Minion puzzles, some clothes, dry-erase board and markers, Minion movie, books, more Thomas the train cars and a whole slew of other things I can’t remember. William got a Little People Farm set from Santa, a backpack, some pajamas, a Thomas engine and Inside Out. You also both got a lot of train tracks and train accessories to share. Although Lexi loved opening gifts, she wanted ‘teamwork’ with most of them and had just as much fun handing out gifts to all of us. The rest of the day was spent building train sets, watching movies, doing puzzles and playing with toys in our pajamas. It was a super relaxing and fun day!

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The following day was celebrating with Daddy’s family. Everyone came over around 5. We enjoyed some appetizers, delicious  Chicken Wild Rice Soup made by Grandma and lots of other nummy food.  Then we all passed presents out and opened them at the same time. It was a little crazy but also fun. You each received a piggy bank, lots of coins to put into it and Thomas the train gear. Lexi also received a Thomas plate and cup, T-ball set, Annie and Clarabel cars and a talking Gordon. William received some cars, egg shakers, balls and rattles. Everyone had lots of fun visiting and creating videos on their phones where they switch faces with another person. It brought lots of laughs and entertainment.

That wraps up Christmas 2015. It is such a magical time of year. I have such strong memories of Christmas and the traditions we had growing up and hope that Daddy and I are able to create the magic for both of you. I tried to help involve you in the process of picking out gifts for others and want you to learn that gift giving is often more fun than gift receiving. I also hope that we can instill the magic that comes for the true meaning of the season and celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Merry Christmas my two sweet angels!

Love,

Mama

Chirstmas, Lexi

Christmas 2014

Sweet Babes,

Merry Christmas.

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This is officially you’re third Christmas, but the first one where you sort of got what was going on. We had all sorts of celebrations with families and were very busy. The first was with all of mommy’s aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids on papa’s side of the family. I think there were over 80 people there! Santa came to visit you and all of the other great grandchildren. You were pretty scared of him and refused to sit on his lap. It didn’t help that he arrived just as we got there so you were a little overwhelmed in general but after the fact, you talked about him and continued to tell me how much fun you had. The following day, we celebrated with papa, grandma B, and your auntie She-She, Dustin, Uncle Joe-Joe and Auntie Angie. You had a ball playing with papa and brought every gift that anyone opened to show him. IMG_5125

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IMG_5116 Then on Christmas Eve, we went to church. You did pretty good with the exception of needing to go to the bathroom twice during the service. Then we went to celebrate with mommy’s aunts, uncles and cousins on mommy’s side of the family. You loved playing with your girl cousins and had fun singing and dancing with them. IMG_5130

On Christmas morning, you slept until 9 am (even though I was up at 7:30 and excited for you to wake up). As we went down the stairs and you peeked through the spindles on the stairs and saw all the presents under the tree, you said ‘Oh my! Oh my goodness!’ So sweet. The opening was a little different than what I expected. We had to keep putting presents in front of you and try and get you to open them. You weren’t too interested. You mainly wanted to play with the toy kitchen from papa and grandma that we had set up.

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Untitled After a nummy breakfast, we spent the entire day in jammies and playing with your new toys. You loved all the extra attention from mom and dad as we sat down and played with you and weren’t distracted with other house chores as we normally are on a regular day. Untitled

Untitled Finally, on the day after Christmas, we had Daddy’s mom and dad, sisters, cousins and grandparents over. The boys played hockey and you and Ashley and Courtney had so much fun playing legos. Through all of these celebrations, you were spoiled with gifts–but a few of your favorites have been your train set, new Thomas books and your toy kitchen (and food). In addition to the actual celebrations of Christmas–you have really gotten into singing some Christmas songs, specifically: Jingle Bells, Rudolph and You Better Watch Out. You know about 80% of the words and do a pretty good job singing them. You’ll even play your xylophone while you sing. You also loved all of the Christmas lights on people’s houses. As we would drive, you would get very excited and kick you legs and point and say ‘wook mommy, wook’. You also LOVED the train that went around the Christmas Tree and would ask to ‘wake it up’ about 10 times a day. You sat on the ottoman (Lexi’s seat, as you would call it) and watch it go around and around and around. It never got old. We also made and decorated some sugar cookies with Grandma’s help. You were sorta into it but were more interested in just playing with Grandma. Untitled

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Merry Christmas love bug. I hope your excitement for Christmas continues to grow and you able to enjoy the magic of the season.

Love,

Mama

Chirstmas, Lexi

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas Lexi Lou!

You definitely made the ‘nice’ list this year and were so spoiled with wonderful gifts from your family!

Our first Christmas celebration this year was mama’s dad’s extended family. You were such a trooper with all of the people that were there, and had fun playing with all your second cousins–there are 7 of them now and 4 more on the way!

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The crew has grown quite a bit since 2007... 10 new cousins, 8 second cousins and 4 more on the way
The crew has grown quite a bit since 2007… 10 new cousins, 8 second cousins and 4 more on the way

Your second celebration was on Christmas Eve with mama’s family. We went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, ate meat pies, opened presents and then went to church (which you did great in and loved the music and were hamming it up with everyone around you).

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Christmas morning, Grandma and Grandpa B came over for breakfast after they dropped Auntie Sheila at the airport. And we hung out all day and played with all of your new toys: table and chairs, baby dolls, your playhouse, books, a new giraffee (which you don’t like, but felt like we needed to have a back up for you) and a couple of other odds and ends.

Then a couple days later, we went over Great-Grandma and Grandpa S’s house to celebrate with Daddy. You loved all the attention from your big cousins, Ashley and Courtney.

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It was a wonderful, busy couple of days and you are so loved by your family.

Love,

Mama