Whew! We survived a very busy weekend. I took Friday off for my birthday -- but more so just to get ready for the first two rounds of Christmas. I took the kids to daycare and spent all day running errands and baking. By the time I looked at the clock it was 3:45 in the afternoon, and I hadn't sat down yet ;)
On Saturday we went to my cousin Jodi's house in Cedar Falls for Christmas with my mom's side of the family. There were eight kids there (including our two). Ages ranged from 9 months (Brandon) - to 2nd grade (my cousin's son, Zak). The family get-togethers with this side of the family are always lots of fun. There's always WAY too much food... and I'm mad at myself that I didn't think to take a picture of all the food! Goodies/treats are always in abundance, and it's always so hard to figure out what to eat! I think for treats there were rice krispie bars, pumpkin pie, two kinds of brownies, peanut butter cookies, some kind of pretzel deals with m&m's, puppy chow... and I know I'm forgetting some. We had ham and potatoes and green beans and bread and soup and vegetables...and more!... :) YUM. But as much as Jaden loves to eat, he would hardly eat lunch because he wanted to keep playing. Because Jodi has three kids of her own, there is no shortage of toys in that house :) The whole basement is a kid's playroom practically.
When it was time to do presents, Jaden was all about it! This is the first year that he really completely understands presents. His first Christmas he was still a baby, last year he got excited for one present -- and then wanted to play with whatever was in it and didn't want to take the time to open the rest of his presents. This year... he totally gets it! Brandon of course just cared about the wrapping paper ;)
On Sunday we went to church and then headed straight to Aplington and Cody's parents' house for Christmas with Cody's mom's side of the family. Again we ate too much food and again my kids did great. Everyone had a good chuckle at my expense... we all started drinking wine when we got there, and I got to drink my absolute FAVORITE wine - Raspberry from the Eagle City Winery near Ackley. This was the wine I was drinking when Cody proposed to me at the winery :) I really don't drink at all anymore - the acquired taste I once had has almost completely disappeared. But this wine is like juice to me... so... four glasses later... ;) I told Cody's dad that the ONLY thing I wanted for Christmas was my own bottle of Raspberry wine! :D
Both our kids passed out immediately on the drive home. I felt like doing the same thing!
Now onto this week! Today I picked up a gingerbread house making kit that I'm hoping to do with Jaden tonight. Thursday night (the night before Christmas Eve), Jaden and I are going to make a birthday cake for Jesus! This is a new tradition I really want to start and keep up. Then Christmas Eve we are going to the 5:00 church service with my parents and then back to our house to eat Jesus' birthday cake. Instead of leaving cookies for Santa, we're going to leave part of the cake for Santa. This way I can teach Jaden that even Santa celebrates Christmas because of Jesus :) Then Christmas morning we are going to get up and open presents just the four of us at our house... and let the kids play with their new things for a little while before heading to my parents' for brunch, presents and naps ;) After naps we are heading to Aplington for more Christmas with Cody's parents and sister and our niece. The day after Christmas we have another Christmas in Aplington with Cody's dad's side of the family at Cody's grandma's house. Whew!! Good thing I love Christmas!