First off – a big congratulations to Kris who finished his first semester of nursing school just before Christmas! He received good grades and even was told by his Clinical instructor that he’s going to make a good nurse. Woo-hoo! Kris starts semester number 2 on January 15th. 1 semester down, 3 to go!
Christmas 2012 has come and gone. It was pretty great for us. The kids were spoiled rotten again. I don’t think they know or appreciate just how good they have it! We celebrated Christmas with Grandpa, Grandma, Krystle, Pierce, Ayla plus Mike and Elysia on Saturday the 22nd at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. First we sat down to a wonderful meal together. Super yummy! Then shortly after Grandma decided it was time to open gifts. The kids hadn’t even asked if we could do that but I think Grandma was itching to get going. There were squeals of delight over their gifts. There really were some big hits that day. The rest of the afternoon/early evening was spent playing with new toys. James received a pair of real drum sticks from Mike. And Mike even gave him a little impromptu drum lesson. The look of idolization on James’ face was priceless! A real drummer! Real drum sticks!
Before the evening got too late Krystle had Annika go up to get one last surprise for the kids. She came down with four more packages. Once opened we found 4 sets of matching pajamas for the cousins. Too cute! Of course we had to put them on and get a nice cousin photo.
The next day, Sunday, was another big day. This time it was Christmas with Nana, Papa, Carrie, Adam, Isak, Hans, Dusty, Melanie and Mabel! We went down right after church so we were there with plenty of time for lunch. After a yummy lunch (where we ate some of that Swedish sausage that the kids helped make the week earlier) it was time again to sit down and exchange some gifts. Wow – with that many little kids it is like a paper storm going on! We were trying to keep it somewhat organized but those little fingers just can’t wait to tear open that paper! I had a hard time keeping track of who was opening what and who is was from. More squealing over gifts, of course.
After a nice afternoon of visiting, watching football, playing games and with new toys, it was time again to change the kids into their new pajamas and try to get a picture. Unfortunately, we waited a bit too long this day and Levi was tired and not interested in participating. And there was no way we were changing his mind that night!
Shortly thereafter Kris and I bundled up Levi and got ready to head home. We had intended to leave all three kids there overnight since we were planning on coming back the next day to go visit Great Papa at the nursing home. But with Levi being so tired we thought it was best if we just took him with us. He was fine with that…until he figured out that his cherished La-La (Annika) would be staying there. He threw a gigantic fit, crying and wailing for his La-La. We said good-bye to Annika multiple times, reassured him that we would see her the next day, tomorrow, right after we wake up from sleeping, etc. but he was having none of it. We had to hold him down while we got his seat belt buckled and then he cried a good 20 minutes of the drive home. My poor baby. We tried distracting him with Christmas lights, singing songs, more reassuring explanations, etc. He eventually settled down but he didn’t fall asleep until we were almost home. And the next morning when we asked him if he was ready to go back to Nana and Papa’s house and see Annika he jumped up to get his coat and shoes on. He was SO ready.
And so that’s exactly what we did. We headed back down to Nana and Papa’s house where we had a bit of lunch and then we caravaned it down to southern Minnesota to visit Great Papa. Great Papa looked great and we had such a nice visit with him. He opened a couple gifts, got our Christmas card posted on his wall and we had some nice conversation. We even got a few pictures in of him and Kris and him and the kids.
After our visit we rushed back to Nana and Papa’s house to get ready for church. Uncle Jim was preaching that night and we wanted to make sure we were on time. Annika was wearing her new dress from Target (from their Neiman Marcus line that went on sale 50% off right before Christmas – she was in love with that dress for weeks and never thought she’d get it because I’m too frugal to buy her a $100 dress but then at 50% off plus some other discounts and she was in dress heaven!) and the rest of us tried to look good too. It was a nice service with Nana and Papa being up in the choir. A nice surprise was one of Kris’ cousins was there too attending with her husband and family. We don’t see them often so that was really nice! After the service we took a couple pictures in front of the Christmas tree and then we headed for home. We were all hungry for dinner and managed to find a Taco Bell open on the way home. We had a lovely Christmas Eve dinner of tacos in the truck.
Then it was home and into bed for the kids. That wasn’t too hard! They knew Santa might make a visit so off to bed they went. And Santa did make a visit to our house! I knew the presents were down there by the tree so when I woke up the next morning after hearing the kids up and about I just laid there and listened. Surely they would come bounding into our room any minute now asking us to get up so they could open presents, right? Nope. I laid there for an hour before I finally got up at 8am. I had just heard James exclaim “Oh boy!” downstairs and thought I should go investigate. Turns out Levi was still sleeping and James and Annika were having fun playing together with their new toys they’d received on Saturday and Sunday. They were playing right next to the tree and the Santa presents but left everything alone. Wow! What great kids! Kris and Levi stumbled downstairs not too long after and we settled down to open the gift they each received from Santa. Here is Annika. She was pretty excited to get Olivia’s House from the Lego Friends collection.
After the Santa gifts were opened we had our traditional Swedish pancake breakfast. And then we sat down together again to open the gifts that we gave each other. The kids had a whole other pile of presents to open from us. By this time I could already see the present fatigue setting in. They’d already received so much that they really didn’t even want or need anything else. We could have ended Christmas there and they would have been just fine.
After our presents were opened we let them play again for another couple hours. We had no plans for this day so everyone just stayed in their pajamas and played with their new toys. Just after lunch I lured them all into the living room so we could open our stockings. Yes, even more presents. There are just little gifts in the stockings though…plus candy.
Then the kids settled in for a few more hours of play. I wasn’t feeling too hot that day so I spent most of the day sitting on the couch cross-stitching. You can see the kids and Kris’ stockings in some of the pictures. It’s about time I finish one for me! Later that afternoon we skyped with Gramme so she could see the kids open their gifts from her. Yep, our fourth gift opening of the day! Gramme really got the kids some great gifts though and they were so excited! And they love seeing Gramme on skype too. A bonus this time was that Krystle, Pierce and Ayla were there too so we got to skype with them too!
And that was our Christmas 2012. It was so great! James said it was his best Christmas ever. And it really was awesome!
The rest of Christmas break from school was spent being lazy at home. We had a few playdates with friends but for the most part we just stayed in. It was nice to have some extended downtime. Of course now we’re back to our normal life of work and school. I’m sure we’ll throw a few adventures in there too!