we kept busy during the christmas break.
saw lots of friends and family, went lots of places.
but we also got to spend a lot of great time at home in our pjs and sweats.
this was my favorite part about holiday break...
just being lazy and hanging out as a family!
on that first weekend before christmas, we saw the nutcracker ballet.
this was the only stealth picture i took.
before the actual production began.
no pics during the performance.
it was so pretty though... like candy for my brain.
something i won't forget for a while.
hopefully my girls won't either.
(they better not... i shelled out $40+ for their tix)
sweet middle girl was all of a sudden "STARVING" at the end of intermission.
luckily i had a granola bar in my purse.
i typically don't have snacks in my purse but this time i'm glad i did.
jeez... she was sorta freaking out.
i was getting annoyed that she couldn't just wait 'til after.
so we quickly went out to the hall and she scarfed it down.
this picture reminds me how sweet and little and innocent she still is.
yes, i can get very frustrated with her... but she's still just a little girl.
and my heart and head have to constantly remind myself to be gentle with her tender spirit.
of course christmas wouldn't be christmas without some family time.
and the cousins had way too much fun being with one another.
i'm so glad they have cousins the same age.
they don't know what a blessing it is... actually, they do.
they all call each other BCFF (best cousin friends forever)!
they were able to be together, i think, a total of 4 days during the holidays.
that's pretty good for one span of a week considering they only see each other once a month usually.
you wouldn't think a 45 minute drive would be too far to see them more often...
but with everyone's schedules and separate lives, it's tough to find time.
hopefully we can make it more often now in the new year.
they just LOVE being together, all those 7 kids... and i love it too!! :)
oh yeah... and us adults always have a good time too.
here's a rowdy game of battleship going on:
you may have noticed my brother in the shades.
he's not really that cool.
he's not a superstar.
unfortunately, he had to have eye surgery on christmas eve day.
but being who he is... he made fun of himself... and allowed me to make fun of him too.
isn't that what little sisters are for?!
i lovingly dubbed him Quasimodo.
depended on whether the shades were on or off.
as you can see, i think i'm pretty funny.
luckily he does too.
our own little family christmas gathering was lovely too.
i just love these three little girls so much!
and when they're lovin' on each other?
oh, be still my heart!
it makes me feel like i'm teaching them at least something.
you know... to love well.
that, or how to take a good picture.
we gave them a few small gifts this year.
nothing big, nothing expensive.
a couple articles of clothing, little etch-a-sketches, and a build a bear outfit for each of them.
as part of their stockings, they each received a blue t-shirt.
i made the little owl appliques in the 11th hour.
i had planned it a while ago... and of course didn't actually execute 'til the night before.
i stayed up extra late and quickly stitched on those sweet owls.
it was worth it to see how excited they were to have "matching" shirts!
(clearly this picture is taken before hair brushes were used)
and since then?
it's all baby h ever talks about!!
"when we go to disneyland and i see cinderella... blah, blah, blah"
it's pretty awesome!
well, we watched one of my most favorite movies!
yup, the sound of music!!!!
of course we all sang along. ;)
my mom and i did a major overhaul of all the lego goods.
sorting, organizing and building.
it was pretty epic... and fun, for the nerdy, follow the instructions girl that i am.
had a chocolate fondue with friends.
yes, it got messy.
do you even need to ask?
the girls "inked" daddy's back.
it looks painful, doesn't it?
but those red marks are mostly just the baby of the family scribbling with a red marker.
is this toughening him up for the real deal?
only time will tell.
maybe it's just our way of letting our kids become practiced tattoo artists. ;)
this mini adult (ummm, WHEN did she grow up?!) had four sleepovers!
she stayed up late at every one...
and woke up early at every one.
it made for some cranky days.
but shhhh... don't tell her friends.
i actually made her nap one day.
(she'd KILL me if i told anyone outside of our house)
we all dressed up like james bond characters.
here's the ladies.
i had some major falsie eyelashes on.
man, did those take some getting used to!
it was fun wearing a cocktail dress b/c i hardly dress up like this.
as for my husband... well...
i never force him any more to conform to my idea of how he should dress.
i gave that up a few years ago...
and honestly, it's been quite nice.
he wears whatever he wants.
and i don't really care anymore!
case in point...
he decided to dress as james bond, circa the 60's sean connery "beachy" look.
i think he pulled it off great.
(and don't tell anyone... but he's actually wearing my shorts!)
tobogganing and just plain horseplay in the snow.
we put a lamp in there...
brought in all of our build a bears and beanie boos inside.
plus, sleeping bags, all sorts of blanket and pillows.
i can't believe i let it last that long without me going crazy and trying to clean it up.
messes bug me.
i'm making strides, people!
it was awesome though.
and the girls played in there straight all three days.
it was so fun!
our entire christmas break was fun... and, more importantly, relaxing.
full of family time!
i'm sad to see it go...
but we have a whole multitude of great memories now to get us through 'til summer.
or at least 'til the next long weekend.