We began this Christmas break with a surprise birthday party for Jaron. His mother and step dad secretly flew in from Kentucky for his surprise and for the state playoff game the next day. He was totally surprised and so glad they could be there for the big game. At the party were Jason & Lacey, Timothy, Kim & Paul, the boys and me and Jaron. We ate at Genghis Grill, one of his favorite restaurants. Jaron's mom brought a cake shaped like a football and football themed cookies from Kentucky. They were awesome. Happy 35th Birthday, old man!
We didn't win the state championship, but the Raiders had a great season. We are so proud of the players and all of their hard work. Maybe next year we can have another run at the title!
We enjoyed spending the first part of Christmas break with Kim and Paul. They were there for Christmas morning and Christmas dinner. Jaron's brothers and their wife/fiance joined us and Kim and Paul for Christmas dinner. We celebrated Christmas Eve at Jaron's Dad's house and enjoyed playing Lego's and opening presents. The celebrations continued with Sunday at Jaron's grandparents and at my sister's house with my entire family.
The boys got some awesome gifts including a trampoline, Lego sets, football table, a baby ride-on four wheeler, an indoor basketball goal, a Build-a-Bear longhorn, Wii games, and the list goes on and on. They were grateful for their presents and were deserving. Good boys! Jaron and I were spoiled by his mom and step dad and his dad and step mom too. We are blessed.
I would say our most favorite present was the gift of the time we got to spend with each other this holiday break. We had two full weeks together and loved every minute of it. Many days we were lazy and never got out of our pajamas! Many other days, our house was full of company and busyness. Timothy, the boy's uncle, had a break from college and got to spend many nights with us...the boys absolutely love it when he is here! Jaron and I decided that we need to win the lottery because we totally love being at home with our boys. I guess you have to play the lottery to actually win!
Here are some photos of Christmas at our house.
Spending time with family
Manna enjoying holding Parker on Christmas Eve.
Ryan and Cannon exchanged presents they had got for each other on Christmas Eve. They were so sweet and kind in the gifts they traded.
Jason and Lacey joined us for Christmas Dinner.
Parker's favorite gift from Santa! He had a little trouble working it, but his brothers were quick to "help."
Cannon's favorite present. Good gift, Manna & Paul. There have been many basketball games in the kitchen since it was unwrapped.
The Santa Mantel
Each member of our family has a hand beaded Christmas stocking hanging from the chimney. Jaron grew up with stockings that looked like these, so when we started our family, we decided to make ones like them. So every time a new baby came along, Jaron and I sat on the couch and hand beaded and sequined a stocking. We love them and the special meaning they have.
The Santa and frosty fireplace screen. We inherited this from Jaron's parents. My boys enjoy it just as much as Jaron and his brothers did growing up.
I found this Santa silhouette at a thrift store for $2! It went perfect w/the rest of the Santa decor on the mantel. A little secret, instead of attaching it w/nails or screws, I just hot glued it to the bricks. It peeled off fine after Christmas.
Dear Santa, I can explain... I took a piece of burlap and wrapped it around a board for a super cute addition to the mantle. Instead of paint, I used a Sharpie to write the words.
Our Santa stocking hangers were a hazard for Parker (pull the on his head), so I just wrapped greenery around them and kept them up.
I got a huge sack of vintage decorations at a thrift store in town that a little old lady had just donated. This Santa was only one of the neat things inside! In the background, you can see the boys pictures with Santa. We put their new picture up every year. We had nine displayed this year. It is so neat to see how much they have grown. Our favorite one is of Ryan screaming his head off in Santa's lap. Poor Santa!
I got a new Santa snow globe from Paul to add to the others he has gotten me in past Christmases. I just love Christmas snow globes.
The whole mantle. If you look closely on the TV, you can see that it is J-Wow and Snookie on Regis and Kelly...nothing says Christmas like Jersey Shore.
The Christmas Trees
This is our main tree. It is decorated w/a ton of ornaments that we have collected over the years. Each year we buy the boys a new ornament so when they get married they will have 20+ ornaments to put on their tree so it won't be bare. (Look closely and you can see Paul w/his apron on busily getting ready for Christmas dinner!)
The dining room tree. This little guy sat on top of the buffet. I placed some of the vintage Christmas decorations from the thrift store find on the tree for a reindeer theme.
Our starfish we found on the beach this past summer in South Carolina.
The silver kitchen tree. I love this tree because it reminds me of the silver tree we had in our house when I was little. I so wish I still had that tree, but this one is a fine substitute. I usually decorate the silver tree w/my vintage tin cookie cutters, but I just ran out of time this year. I used some burlap for the tree skirt. I liked the burlap and silver together.
The table looked so nice with my Friendly Village china that I received from Paul. I was proud to use them and continue his family tradition of the china being used for Christmas dinner.
Some of the many sweets!
Look at those Christmas cookies! I wish I could claim those as my own, but they were flown in from Kentucky. Manna buys them from a really talented lady there. They are too pretty to eat!
Other Decorations Around the House
I love these vintage Christmas ornaments I found for pennies at an antique mall.
Another one of the little old lady's donations that I scooped up from the thrift store! There were about a dozen of these little birds with hand glittered wings.
With visions of sugar plums...this was a Hallmark ornament that we bought for the tree this year, because we thought it looked like our three little boys. I repainted two of the boy's hair here to look more like Cannon and Parker. :)
Manna's Hallmark Toymaker ornament for this year. She has given Jaron and I one every year since we have been married. I hope Hallmark doesn't stop making them!
My pawpaw's wooden tool box makes a great holder for all of our children's Christmas books.