Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Christmas time!!! Madgie and Patch came up to spend Christmas with us and we had so much fun! When they first arrived, we went to see Star Wars with the kids. Everyone loved the movie and it was fun to see it all together. Madgie brought up a new game called Head Bandz, which was really fun. You can see by this picture how much she enjoyed it!
And we went bowling too.  It was Matthew's first time doing it and I would say he enjoyed it immensely!  Patch helped him roll it down the lane.
I should have known he would love it because this is really just another way to throw a ball!
And when the pins would knock down, he would put his hands up and yell "Yay"! 
Ben had fun bowling.
It's like riding a bike for Madgie as she showed us her moves - she was on a bowling team when she was younger and she was considerably better than the rest of us (we stayed close in score, but the rest of us were only close because of the bumpers on the sides of the lanes!).
So many balls - this guy loved the magic machine that brought up new balls all the time!
Abbey helped him out too.
Good roll!
Happy with her roll.
Having fun and feeling good!
We also went to the Museum of Science and Industry.  Madgie is showing Matthew all the trains!  "Choo Choo!!"
We were there for the Christmas Around the World Exhibit.  It's really a cool exhibit as they decorate trees from each country and they are all around this big beautiful tree.  We realized that Madgie and Patch have been to most of the countries displayed, so that was fun for them to see all the amazing places they have been.  And this main tree is so big that it was hard to get a picture of everyone and the tree because the people turned out so small in the picture!  But here are Madgie and Patch with the kids in front of the big tree.
Then we went to the new robot exhibit, which was pretty cool.  Here Patch and Matthew are watching robots play soccer.
Ben watching the same thing.
The exhibit was very hands on so it was a lot of fun.  Madgie and Ben work on making this robot move, which Matthew goes on tip toes to see it.
Patch and Abbey working with one while Juliette looks on.
Matthew enjoyed it, but after a while he just wanted Madgie to hold him.  We also watched an interesting documentary about humpback whales and Matthew pointed to the screen saying, "Fish, Fish!"
We did our Christmas tradition of gingerbread houses.  First we had to assemble the houses and then let them dry.
Madgie read books to the kids, especially a new one she brought up called, "The 12 Days of a Florida Christmas".
Juliette has been so excited about making the gingerbread houses.  We bought them the day after Thanksgiving because they were on sale, so the poor girl had been asking since then to make them!  Finally, the houses were ready to be decorated.  Wait, is she decorating or eating??
Probably a little of both!  Here are the girls' finished houses.
And Ben made this box (that he filled with candy) for our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie Scoutie.  
Ben and Madgie worked hard to make the cookies for Santa.
And then it was Christmas Eve and time to get ready for Mass.  These cuties were all dressed and ready to go!
Love this picture!  It sure looks like they all really love each other!  There was probably fighting immediately following this picture, but I can't remember because this picture is perfect so I will remember it that way!
Kids getting silly with the poses.
Madgie and Matthew ready to go!
We went to the Children's Angels and Shepherds Mass.  Juliette was so excited to be an angel!
And we were able to yet again convince an unexcited Ben to be a Shepherd.  Last year, he was picked to be Joseph and he did not enjoy the extra attention.  So he said he would do it this year as long as we promised he wouldn't have to be Joseph.  I said, "Ben,  you were Joseph last year.  They won't pick you again."  Well, we went to practice and they picked names out of a hat....Ben was picked to be Joseph - haha!  Thankfully, Paul jumped in and told them that he played Joseph last year so really we should let someone else have a turn.  So they asked him if he wanted to be the lead shepherd instead, which he agreed to do because he got to carry the big staff.  So here he is as the lead shepherd!
Ben with the big staff.
Juliette as an adorable angel.  I should say that Abbey refused to be in it this year.  She said she tried it last year and this year she wanted to watch instead, so she sat next to me and watched the whole thing.  Maybe next year they will all do it.  
After Mass we tried for some family pictures, which is never easy!
Kiddos looking awesome!
Love these sillies :)
Ben was also not too keen on the idea of the matching sweaters, but he went along with it pretty well.  Brothers!

Best shot we got of the family and unfortunately we didn't get one that included Madgie and Patch in it.  We needed a tripod...
Then it was time to put out the cookies.
Juliette drew a picture and made a card for Santa - so sweet!
What kind of Christmas would we have without matching PJ's?  Ben guilted me into buying some for Belle too ("Am I the only one that cares about Belle?  She's part of our family too and she needs to be included!").
Excited for Christmas!
Belle wore this for a few minutes before actively trying to get it off!
Then it was time for bed time stories.
Belle eventually gave in to the fact that she could not get them off.  We only left them on until bed time and then we took them off of her.
That's a lot of stockings for Santa to fill!
The next morning the kids came in to wake us up!
They were excited to get downstairs and see if Santa had come!
When we went downstairs, look who we found!
Daddy, please let us come down!!
I guess they were good this year!
Did I mention that we ALL had the matching PJ's?  That was not an easy thing to accomplish by the way!
Patch helped Matthew open up his stocking.  There was a little toy truck in the stocking.  Matthew could have been done right then.  He was so happy with his truck.
Abbey getting into her stocking.
Ben, who was the "only one to care about Belle", helped her open her stocking.
Then Matthew discovered that his stocking had boxes of raisins in it - wow!  He was extremely happy now...trucks AND raisins?!?
Taking it all in before we started in on the presents.
The girls were happy with their American Girl dolls, which they play with almost every day.

Matthew got a new fold up chair that is his size - perfect for all those sibling soccer games he goes to!
Ben was pretty excited for this marble run toy - he has been asking for it for a few years now.
Matthew helped Madgie open her gifts.
ANOTHER TRUCK??  Happy boy!
Paul got a tripod!!  So we were able to take this group shot of everyone in their matching PJ's!
After all the presents were opened, breakfast was served, and Matthew napped, we went over to the Acuff's for Christmas dinner.  Juliette was excited to see Cousin Andrew home from his Junior year at Notre Dame.
Matthew was happy to have found a football to play with.
And look who he got to play with....Mama Kay and Papa were there too!  So glad we got to spend Christmas with both sides of the family this year!
Ben brought over his new MIP robot.  Caroline had a similar one so they had competing robots, which was really fun.
Love these two!
Matthew got some good cuddle time with Mama Kay.
And we had an amazing dinner.  Here is a shot of the kids table!
Matthew got a new book, which he loves!
And a new shirt, which was was pretty excited about.
He spent some silly time with Uncle Brandon too.
And then it was time to put PJ's on and head home.
One of the girls Domi and I gave our moms was a painting night out.  We took them out to dinner and then went to one of the wine and painting type places and we had a lot of fun!  I love how we all had the exact same instruction, but our paintings came out so differently!

 The final products!

It was a wonderful Christmas.  Thanks to Madgie and Patch for coming up to share in it with us - it was very special to have you here.  Thanks to the Acuff's for having us all over for Christmas dinner and to Mama Kay and Papa for coming up too.  It was wonderful to be able to celebrate with everyone!  Merry Christmas!

No comments: