Many happy memories have been made over Christmas Break 2011.
The first Saturday of the break started with a party where the boys decorated Christmas cookies.
I wrote about the cookie party here, but I didn't show you the photos I took with my phone using the hipstamatic app.
Santa was at the cookie party. One of the funniest moments was when Santa asked Will about his "big brother" shirt. Santa asked him if he wanted any more little brothers or sisters and Will said "Nah, one is enough!" and we all got a big laugh out of it.
After the cookie party, we went to the Dallas Arboretum because we'd heard that Santa's reindeer would be there. Sure enough, Santa had left Dasher at the Arboretum while he attended the cookie party. Will was able to pet Dasher, but Ben didn't really want to get that close. The boys were pleasantly surprised to see Frosty the Snowman at the Arboretum, too.
On Sunday, we had our annual Holiday cookie exchange for the ladies from our church. The ladies never disappoint with their delicious cookies. So pretty and tasty!
We made several trips to Wal-Mart and Target to get a few last minute things for Christmas gifts.
While in Wal-Mart the boys found this police car, which Santa did not bring to our house on Christmas day (thank goodness!).
Mark's still good friends with one of his childhood friends Durwood. I think it's pretty cool that they've known each other since they were born. Durwood has a little boy the same age as Will and each year Will, Ben and Dade exchange books at Christmas. This year on Thursday the 22nd we met up at a restaurant that's midway for both of us and the boys traded books.
Since we made the drive into civilization, we stopped by Whole Foods before we headed home. We don't have a real tree and I think they are so beautiful. I took a quick pic of the boys in front of one.
On December 23rd we went to visit my grandmother and great-aunt at the nursing home. My uncle and aunt met us there. We had a wonderful visit and enjoyed our time together. After the nursing home visit we decided on the spur of the moment to take the boys to see the Chipmunks movie. They had been wanting to see it and we didn't have anything else to do so it worked out perfectly.
On Christmas Eve we celebrate with Mark's family. We have a breakfast/brunch at his parents' house.
I gave my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law a pretty mug with their initial on it from Anthropologie. I printed monogram initials (from Martha Stewart) that I had seen on Pinterest and attached it to the box.
It's the A, B, C gifts--Andrea, Brandee and Carol
Now that Christmas is over, I can finally show you the beautiful bracelet we gave my mother-in-law. It has the names of all of her grandchildren. It was my sister-in-law's idea, and I think it turned out so much prettier than I had imagined. We purchased it from the Vintage Pearl. My mother-in-law loves it. She has worn it almost every day since we gave it to her.
Really, I don't need to say anything about this photo. It makes my heart happy.
After church on Christmas day, we stopped by Mark's brother's house. Will and Maggie checking out Maggie's new DS.
We own some land that connects to the property of Mark's brother and his wife. This is where we plan to build our forever home. The area to the left of the photo where the cedar trees are is where we hope it will be. Obviously the trees will have to be cleared, but it seems like the perfect location. I have a lot more photos to show you from our walk in the woods on Christmas day, but I'll save that for its own post.
After Christmas, I was lucky enough to have some free time to meet up with some friends for lunch and shopping. We enjoyed lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.
We shared the tiramisu cheesecake.
Mark and I had to run some errands in Dallas and we ended up at the Dallas Galleria mall. The Christmas tree is ginormous!!!
I think Will and Ben would have had fun ice skating but we'll save that for when they get just a little older.
On Thursday night, Will lost his first tooth! I'll admit that it made me a little teary-eyed. I can't believe he's old enough to lose teeth. My little boy is growing up! He's putting his tooth in a special pouch (actually, it's a James Avery jewelry pouch) so that it doesn't get lost and the tooth fairy can find it.
He's getting ready to put it under his pillow. We had to google the going rate for the tooth fairy. Apparently the tooth fairy is more generous than when we were kids!
Now here's some holiday randomness!
I like egg nog once a year and this reduced fat version was a bonus.
We gave in and bought the holiday edition Coke cans. We rarely buy soda for the house, but it was a holiday treat.
Run, don't walk to your nearest Target and get some Peppermint whipped cream. It's amazing on hot chocolate.
Happy Holidays dear friends amd Happy New Year!