School took me right up to the 23rd of December this year so before the bell rang I had ordered my students to take down the tree, strip the walls of work, file papers, sterilize the room, and clean the fridge. When the bell rang, well, we were ready to go...load them on the bus wave good-bye with a bigger than ever grin, lock the door and flee! I was so excited to be done that I forgot to make a few important errand stops on the way home. OOOPS! Oh well, I was to excited anticipating 9 duty free days with my family. Thursday we packed for our Holiday vacation in North Carolina with every piece of winter clothing just in case we got snow. Friday we made the 4 and 1/2 hour drive to the mountains reassuring Ben that Santa would find us. Upon arrival at the condo we all barrelled in and much to Ben's delight there was a beautiful stone fireplace...phew, Santa has entry! Adam and I have both commented on the most wonderful thing about these condo vacations is the complete freedom to really relax. No chores, no lists that always seem to double when free time is around, just family, food, playing, napping, and giggling. It was great!
Winter weather was expected so Dick and Linda abandoned their condo on the other side of the resort to stay with us just in case bad weather prohibited them from making to our place to watch the boys in the morning.
The boys were both very excited about Christmas but we managed to coax them to bed. We unloaded the presents and for the first time probably since we were little Adam and I were truly excited about the morning, we couldn't wait for to watch the boys open presents. This seems odd to me because for the 3 and 1/2 years that Adam and I have been parents we have always discussed ways to strip Christmas down and travel instead. We also realized that neither one of us likes too many toys around the house and we don't enjoy spending money on plastic junk, so Christmas just didn't seem like the holiday for us. However, now that the boys are growing and we have not purchased a ton of toys we also realized that a toy shift needed to happen, not a lot, just a little something new to inspire some different play. So, this year we made some stuff, bought a couple of toys.
Now here is the funny part, all this anticipation (I mentioned before that Ben has been playing Santa for weeks), Christmas morning arrives. Both the boys seem clueless! They wake up, ask for their snuggles, we do our usual wake-up play on the bed. Did somebody forget something! About an hour later I decide to open the door and start the coffee. Nobody follows, weird! Finally Ben walks out of the room and his face brightens when he sees Santa's bounty. It was a fun morning, we didn't overdo it. Some new stuff for the kids has inspired the kids to interact with some old toys in new ways. So we are happy.
Here are some of the highlights. Simon loved the broom and kitchen apron(he is a great helper) and Ben is enjoying the prince outfit I made for each of them. I also made the boys a puppet theater which we are looking forward to as they grow older. Adam made a great purchase of a small toy dumptruck with a trailer and a loader. Ben knew exactly what to do with these toys he practiced reversing the truck to the trailer, towing it, lowering the ramps, unloading the loader, picking up playdough logs and rocks, loading the dumptruck and delivering. Grandpa and Adam should be proud. Adam also made the boys a pantry to go with the kitchen we made a few years ago. It has rejuvenated the kitchen play, now the boys can organize all their food, Ben even requested that I make him a butter dish for his wooden block of butter.
All the gifts sent by our loving family are being used. The boys are painting up a storm-thank you Aaron and Kiki. The waterbottles are awesome and the boys love them-good call Burgess crew. Madaline-thank you as always for the beautiful Tasha Tudor books. I know this one will become a holiday tradition just like Pumpkin Moonshine has become a fall tradition. Caryn and Kevin sent some great books about reptiles and surprise...Anatomy! Gretchen supplied the boys with gorgeous tie-dyes which the boys always choose first. Rachel sent some music-we love that. Mariah and marbles...the boys love marbles, and the flashlights rock. Thank you all so much for loving us. We love you too!
Now the most fun was of course...SNOW! This started falling mid-Christmas morning. By the time we had settled down from the present hoopla we were ready to dress up and head to outside. We were lucky the day before to purchase the last sled at Ingles, I was rather irritated that it cost 12 dollars but it was worth every penny. We were able to pull the boys all over the place, speed down hills, and just enjoy the best part of winter. Ben had red cheeks and the biggest smile as he snacked on snow, made snow angels, and rolled snowmen balls. I wish I had more pictures of the first day of snow but it was coming down all day and I didn't want to lug a camera around, I wanted to play too! We spent another day walking in the snowy woods. It was so beautiful.
We hope everybody has as happy and love filled holiday as we did. Miss you all as always a ton, ton, ton!