Thursday, January 8, 2009

As promised, here are the results to "The Santa Strategies."

We went over to Ryan and Tanya's house for Christmas Eve. We had yummy food, a fab program, and a great time. Have I mentioned how much we LOVE that they live here? We do!

Here are the kids waiting to open their one Christmas Eve present. (It is our tradition that the kids get to open their present from their Daddy Christmas Eve. Always p.j.'s. Of course this is so they will be looking cute in the morning in new ones instead of the old raggedy ones that they wear the rest of the year. Who wants reality on Christmas?) Merrit is still wearing her costume from the program. Obviously, she played the part of the camel.

Ta-da! All ready to be adorable come morning time.

It is a little known fact that the reindeer need a little enticement to stop. Foster doing his part by sprinkling reindeer food on our front lawn:

And Maya doing hers:

We moved to this house in December of 2006. I am not ashamed to admit that one of my biggest objections to this house is that the kids' bedrooms are all upstairs and the master is downstairs, raising the quandry of what to do Christmas morning? I didn't want them to see their presents before I was there to capture the moment forever on camera. (Also, I didn't want them to get distracted by said presents on their way to my bedroom at 3am.) The solution: Wrap them up in their room. This has become our tradition since then and is one that will probably continue on in whatever house we live in the future. Not only do we get to be there for the big reveal, but we can easily put off the kids until we are ready to get up. It was Ella's turn this year to play hostess in her room. I wish we had recorded this so that you could hear the audio. It was hysterical. They were sooooooo excited and Jon and I were having sooooooo much fun prolonging their agony.

This is what they do when they are given the green light: (Ella hung back while the dust and paper settled.)

If you look very closely, you can see a smidgen of all three kids racing downstairs to see what was in store for them. I use the word "racing" loosely. Perhaps you can tell by the annoyed expression on Foster's face that he was impatiently keeping pace behind Ella. We make them come down youngest to oldest. Another way that Jon and I enjoy messing with our offspring.

Ella's haul: She loves pretend play and being a "mommy" so Santa thought this would fit the bill. It has become a common sight to see Ella with her new baby (obviously adopted.) Strangely enough, it smells like vanilla.

Foster requested "real-live spy gear because elves are the ultimate spies and probably have really great stuff." It must be said that his stuff is the most fun for kids and adults to play with. Santa had a great time positioning his stuff just so, so that when Foster came down and crossed the laser, an alarm sounded and he was shot with foam darts. One of the other things he got is a remote control car that has a microphone built in and an earpiece that the spy gets to listen in on. It would work great if not for the giggling that always precedes an "attack."

Maya's "surprise", as requested. Her main thing is a digital camera. She has had a great time taking pics of not people, but anything nature. She also got a Planet Earth DVD game from my parents and has really enjoyed learning about animals and their habitats. She is and always has been such an animal lover and earth protector. I am sure she will grow up to be some liberal environmentalist with no chidren, but ten thousand pets.

Maya also got a High School Musical 3 dance mat also from G-ma and G-pa Foster. Ella was very inspired by the sweet music and dancing and had to get down with Vanilla and Barbie (of course, wearing nothing but her tutu from cousin David.)

Wearing their Christmas finery:

Another thing Maya got was a nail kit and book from G-ma Sue and G-pa Carson. It took me 45 minutes to paint these cute ladybugs and Maya five minutes to peel them off. Reguardless, both girls have had fun with this one.

These last two pics were uploaded backwards but, whatever. Here is Jon solving the Rubix cube that Foster got in his stocking. I think this is actually illegal, so please, no one report this.

Foster attempting to do it before handing it off to Dad.

The Foster's came over to our house for Christmas dinner and then we went to a movie and came back here for games. It was a great day!

We had such a fun Christmas that I have been in mourning ever since it ended. This is my excuse for not blogging about it sooner. I felt it would be admitting defeat that Christmas really is over to do it any sooner. I just barely finished taking down everything Christmas yesterday. Despite my sadness before doing it, I love the way the house now feels so clean without all of it!


vicki said...

So much fun! Santa leaves presents at our house the same way!

Courtney said...

I love it all! You crack me up!

Jenni said...

Like the door wrapping idea.

Card Family said...

Great photos! We have the same set up with the kids rooms upstairs and we wrap as well, BUT they have to pass by our door to get to the living room so we can hear Glad you guys had a great Christmas!

Musicmom-Amy said...

I've never heard of the wrapping of the doors! What a great idea! Looks like you had a wonderful time.

Lydia said...

Sounds like you had a great Christmas...stop your mourning! :o) I can't believe how big your kids look!!! You've been away for too long.

*I dream about that "clean, bare-house feeling" while I put up my Christmas decorations :) love it.

Lewis Family said...

Sounds like you all had a blast. I love your Christmas ideas. I may have to copy a couple for next year. What kind of parents would you be if you did not cause your kids agony! lol :)

Jenete said...

We've been waiting in anticipation for part two! Love the pics and stories...did Jon break that Rubix cube?

Tanya said...

We sure know how to celebrate! So glad we get to be with you guys. I guess you don't pay Santa extra to gift wrap your presents? Every year, Ryan freaks out when Santa wraps OUR presents. Some traditions die hard I guess.

Tanya said...

PS - I thought Lori made that tutu. It was Liz?

JenM. said...

The rubix cube survived Jon's attack and is, again, a multi-colored mess.

Thank you for pointing out my mistake Tanya. It has been fixed.

Alicia said...

Sure wish we could have celebrated with you all, also. However, we LOVED being with Dad, Mom, Jason, and the other Millers! (Also, that would have meant our family Christmas movie would have been Bedtime Stories, not Marley and Me!)

jenny said...

I have yet to post about Christmas. I just can't handle the downloading of the pictures because then I will know that soon I will be swelteringly hot again...

Jayme said...

Well Jenny you are too funny. Ella's adopted doll reminded me of the Christmas episode from the office where Toby bought the last doll from Dwight that Darryl was trying to buy, I'm sure you saw it.

JenM. said...

I loved that episode! It's funny that you mention that because everytime I see her with the dolly (which is OFTEN), I think of that.

"Do you have a problem with that?...Long pause...... "No."

I love the Office. I am so glad there will finally be a new episode this Thursday!