Even though this December was busy, it was not overwhelming. Neither of the older boys had projects for this month's exhibit night and they were down to one sport (swimming) for the month. Rory and Cal continued on with their normal rhythm at play group. We were able to spend more after school afternoons at the park and just hanging out at home. And best of all, I loved that I was able to spend one afternoon on the computer and get almost all of my christmas shopping done.
We decorated the house early and listened to Christmas music exclusively for the month. This past summer we got a shipment from my grandparents of his collectable Christmas village houses. It was fun to put them up and think about my grandpa and watch the kids study the houses. Cal liked to pull over a stool to get up close. Surprisingly, none were broken.
Even though with swimming and homework, Finnan's days were not as relaxing as mine, but he still found a lot of time to read. This kids always seems to be reading.
And this Christmas-loving cutie turned 5. He loves Christmas more than anyone else I know. He always asks for Christmas decorations for his birthday and this year he memorized all of the book Olaf's The Night Before Christmas to perform for anyone that would listen.
Cal has been trying to sneak into the older boys' room at bedtime. We keep giving him a chance to bunk up with them, but within minutes of going to bed, he is out of the room looking for us.
We headed down to Florida at the beginning of the boys' holiday break to celebrate Christmas with Weggi, Paw-Paw, Uncle Michael and Aunt Rebecca. Since I was still having flashbacks to our 2003 Suburban's break down on the way back home from Florida and I would be making the trip by myself, we decided to get a new car before the trip. I have now added one more gray Honda Odyssey to road. The boys were way more excited about the new van than I was, but the dvd player was a life saver on the trip. The weather in Florida was very hot, but Weggi and Paw Paw made their house feel like Christmas and we had an early Christmas dinner, tons of Christmas cookies, and presents under the tree. The big surprise under the tree was Amazon Fire tablets for the boys from Uncle Michael and Aunt Rebecca. I think Finnan's reaction summed up their combined sentiment, "I can't believe we got our own tablets! I thought no one would ever get me a tablet." And they repeated saying this about every half hour.
We got back from Florida with plenty of time to prepare for Christmas. We found more UPS boxes waiting for us, one of which was from Aunt Phyllis and had these animal hats for the boys.
And they enjoyed decorating gingerbread cookies, which my mom sent home with us.
Honey sent the boys matching Christmas shirts. I had them dress up for their visit to Santa and took a few pictures before. I think this was the most successful photo shoot I have ever had with the boys, so I needed to include all of the pictures.
Rory then wanted to pose with his beloved inflatables, but Cal wanted nothing to do with them.
We went to visit Santa at the North Dekalb Mall. Cal was very excited until he actually had to go up to Santa.
The boys' matching shirts also got a lot of attention at Christmas morning mass. Finnan really wanted to sit in the front row and I reluctantly agreed. For a while it was all going fine and Cal was being strangely well behaved. Then when the priest was giving his homily from the middle of the aisle, Call made a break for the end of the row and started walking in the middle aisle with the priest. Even though I was the closest to the aisle, there was no way I was going in the aisle to get him, so Atticus backtracked a couple of rows and and got him and brought him to the cry room. Then the priest came up to me and asked if the older boys and I could bring up the gifts. So, the rest of us got our turn walking down the center aisle. I think we got 100 comments on the way out of church on how cute the boys were and how precious their shirts were!