December 2013

With the start of December it was time to say goodbye to one holiday and family and get ready for Christmas and more family.  While Oma, Opa and the Tuinstras had to head home early on the first, Noah had a flight out later that day so we took advantage of our time with him.  We like to get our tree the first weekend in December, with the first falling on a Sunday we headed out to do just that.

Tree shopping

Found one

After finishing off some more leftovers it was time for Noah to go.  When we got home from the airport we got to business decorating the tree.

With the tree and house decorated it was time to get down to the important business of writing their lists.
Frozen dolls, fish, new buddy, books...

Spiderman, Hulk, dinosaurs, monster truck....

A week into December we got our first real snow.  We bundled up and got right to work shoveling and playing.
My little helper

She could spend hours out here

Work was keeping Sam extra busy leading up to Christmas so we tried to get in some fun activities when he was available.  One evening we headed to the live nativity in our town and another morning we headed to Krispy Kreme for a treat.

Watching the donuts


Each year I make a calendar of the kids for the grandparents.  Had yet to get a picture for December so I forced the kids to have a little photo session  (both my cameras flashes went out so we did the best we could).

The way I like it

Their way

Just one more

Another "tradition" we started living hear is going to our town's "Country Christmas".  The kids enjoyed doing some crafts, drinking hot chocolate, talking with Santa, and meeting a reindeer.

Making an ornament

Asking Santa for something not on her list

He would like a firetruck

Hudson, Annabelle, and Prancer

Annabelle was very busy this month getting things ready for her teacher and friends at school.  She made a cute notepad for her teacher Ms. G, and candy cane reindeer for her classmates.

I again was lucky enough to attend her holiday class party which had games, snacks, and a craft.

The weekend before Christmas the kids got an early gift; a puppy.  We had been looking for a few months, and found one with the timing working out for it to be a Christmas present.  Lucky for me Grandma and Grandpa were going to be visiting with their dog giving me an excuse to get all the gear for our puppy without the kids suspecting a thing.

Annabelle playing with her "puppy"...no idea I'm heading out to get her a real one

Annabelle and Lucy

Lucy enjoyed the snow as much as Annabelle

Winning Sam over (didn't take much)

After getting their puppy we left her home with Sam (to rest after all the excitement) and went to a fundraising event where we got to do some crafts, decorate cookies, and talk with Santa (again).

Cookie time!


I had one more surprise for Annabelle that weekend, tickets to the Nutcracker.  With her new dress on we headed downtown to see our first ballet.

All dressed up

Ticket in hand and ready to go

Hudson, Daddy and Lucy had some of their own quality time while Annabelle and I were at the ballet.   Hudson and the puppy were finally getting along...they both just had to be asleep. 
So much cuteness

Before we knew  it was Christmas Eve and we were waiting for the arrival of Grandma and Grandpa as well as Santa.
Watching Santa's progress online

Santa was here

Ready to rip into the presents

Went straight for the biggest ones...ceiling fans for their rooms

Enjoying the show

Switch-n-Go Dino...a new favorite

Installing the kids' gifts

Grandpa and Huddy time

Picture with their favorite gift...Lucy

The following day Sam's brother and kids arrived and we did the present thing all over again.  We had a great few days with them mostly just hanging out and letting the kids play.  We also took a trip up to Bogus to go tubing (our kiddos first time).

Sam cooking breakfast for the crowd


Silly kids

Getting some fresh air

Keeping warm

Relaxing with Despicable Me 2

Kids and phones

The boys spent a lot of their time building legos and keeping Lucy away from said legos


Done tubing...had a blast

Charlotte's birthday was a couple of weeks away so Annabelle spent some time planning a little party for her.

After a few days family had to return home and Sam took off to Seattle for a Seahawks game.  The kids and I enjoyed a quiet day as the kids made plans on how to spend some Christmas money.  When Sam returned home we headed out to do just that.

More Switch n Go Dinos

Annabelle used her gift card to get another

Build a Bear....

....or Twilight Sparkle

We said goodbye to 2013 in our usual fashion with food, movies, dancing and a countdown.


Nothing keeps you awake like dancing

Or just running around

Watching the Potato Drop in Boise and the Ball in New York

Lucy ringing in 2014

Just two more...
Mr. Hudson Head

Our little Ballerina

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