Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Break

Christmas break?! There was a Christmas break?!?! Goodness... that flew by fast!

Our holidays started off full speed ahead with a trip to the city to pick up Jon's folks! We had the pleasure of having them stay with us over the first few days of break... and were so glad they were able to spend Christmas Eve/Christmas morning with us!

Christmas Eve photos... needless to say, we were in a mad rush to get to church on time, so pictures BEFORE hand just weren't high on the priority list!

This was the best family pic we could muster. Someday... someday... we will be able to take a good picture, spur of the moment... without coaxing or bribery! Or I will just set up the tripod and click away until we're all blue in the face - whichever has to happen first!

This was our first family Christmas here in MB ... so we wanted to start a few traditions.

Tradition # 1 - Attend the Christmas Eve service. Though I will say... it's easier said than done when kids are involved! It's late, and they are tired... so basically it's just trying to keep them quiet and occupied for an hour. I want them to understand that we celebrate Christmas because of CHRIST... and the Christmas Eve service is a reminder of that - but goodness, it ended up being more tiring than I thought it would be! Thankfully we sang a lot, so that aided in the "occupying process!"

Tradition # 2 - New pair of PJ's on Christmas Eve. Alia was pretty excited about this one... and hey, if it makes them more eager about going to bed... I'm excited too!

Poor Larren was so tired she didn't quite get what was going on, so her ever helpful sister stepped right in and took over for her!

Tradition # 3 - Banana splits for "night snack". It's Christmas... why now allow a little spoiling!

Tradition # 4 - Read the Christmas story before bed. This year we opted for a "kid friendly" version from Alia's Bible (mostly because it was getting late and attention spans were no where in sight!)... but will graduate to Luke's gospel over the next year or so.

Tradition # 5 - Opening presents PRONTO! Growing up, we were the kind of kids that woke our parents up at 4 am (at the LATEST!) to open gifts Christmas morning... but Jon's family simply slept in. So... we compromised by stating that gift opening will only take place at a reasonable hour in our house... which to Daddy would be no sooner than 11 am :)

Tradition # 6 - Christmas Breakfast Our menu consisted of hash brown breakfast casserole, a "birthday cake for Jesus" (coffee cake), and fruit. Simple enough not to stress over... and yummy enough to look forward to! AND, I might add... Jon absolutely surprised us with his mad coffee cake making skills! DELICIOUS... wow!

The rest of our morning was leisurely... the boys put toys together and the girls played with them!

We had a day or two to relax, then packed up and went south! Not as far south as we normally do... but south none the less! This time our final destination was Wisconsin - we met my family at a ski resort /water park there!

We didn't take very many pictures (and I really wish we would have!) but I'll share a few of what we did take!

Can ya tell who's room is who's?

The Ohio crew could be identified by the LOADS of gifts for the girls (and their parents!).
Our crew could be ID'd by the LOADS of online shopping purchases (this is just a small sampling. :) My poor parents get boat loads of packages starting around 1 1/2 months before they are scheduled to see us next!)

Enjoying some Auntie and Uncle time...

Enjoying the togetherness...

A present opening frenzy... that's what our first night together was!!

Alia sure didn't mind!

Our fire place didn't have a mantle... so onto plan B!

And this was like one of three shots that I took at the water park... ya get the idea, right?!


Our break was really good, but sadly enough... it was quite stressful for me. Why do I do that? Why do I let a perfectly good time with family get bogged down by stress? I'm not sure... but I'm working on it... I really am.

To counter weight the stressful moments that I look back and see over our winter break.... here's a quick recap of the times I absolutely 100% enjoyed, stress free!!

- The evening that Mom and Arnie arrived... simply chatting and enjoying the catch up time
- Christmas Eve (following the service) and Christmas morning... loved watching the girls excitement and simply enjoying our family time
- Opening gifts in Wisconsin and being with my goofy family again :)
- Sitting in the hot tub with my mom and sister-in-law, watching skiers ski down the slopes and having our hair freeze!
- Going shopping for a couple hours with my bro and being able to look at whatever I wanted to, for as long as I wanted to... KID FREE!!
- Going on a night snow tube run while my mom graciously watched the girls... totally want to do that more often!
- The drive home from Wisconsin... it went way better than I ever thought it would and Jon and I got to talk for HOURS. It was lovely!
- An impromptu overnight stay in Fargo... it was so fun and we were beyond thankful to have missed the blizzard! The stories were enough for me... gracious.

So there ya have it... our Christmas break in a nut shell. A very small nut shell, but an update all the same!


  1. Just so you know...I miss you. A lot.

  2. Renee, your a wonderful and sweet person! I know what you mean about talking with your hubby. Kyle & I always drive the 2hr to see his folk cuz the kids fall asleep and we can talk quietly with a coffee! play date soon :)

    Tiffany <3

  3. Amy.... and just so YOU know, it hurts (honestly!) I miss you SO much! What I wouldn't give for a day with you!!

    Tiffany... thank you!!! I appreciate your kind words and aren't chit chats (REAL chit chats!!) with our husbands just so amazing?! It reminds me that this marriage thing is quite a treat! I would LOVE a play date soon! Let me know what your week looks like!