Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Day

This was quite a different Christmas from last year.  Instead of freezing temperatures and the threat of snow, we had sunshine and fifties.  It was perfect!  The kids were excited to see that Santa did come during the night.  He gladly ate his cookies and left them a note in return.  Santa was also kind enough to let Doodle, our Elf, stay one more day so he could watch the kids open presents.  After checking out their stash from Santa, we had breakfast and then it was time to open the rest of the gifts.  I think we all did well this year!  Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve

We packed a lot in over a short time on Christmas Eve.  We wanted to get home in time for the 5 o'clock service so we headed out of Cole Camp right about 9 am.  I was hoping the whole time that Josh would nap and he did finally fall asleep about the time we hit Mayflower so I guess it is safe to say he got in a cat nap.  We got home in time for me to get in a quick run and then for us all to get ready for church service.  The kids got to sing a song and it was clear that Josh's Sunday school class must have practiced more because he knew more words than Emma.  We couldn't really hear them over the band but they sure did look cute.  When we got home, the kids spread their reindeer food (left by Doodle) on the lawn and then we had dinner.  After dinner, we got cookies ready for Santa, wrote a letter, watched the Grinch while sipping hot chocolate and then read Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Whether Emma and Josh were tired at this point, their Mom sure was.  After the book, it was off to bed so Santa could visit our house.

Cole Camp Christmas

The original plan had been to meet in Branson to go see the lights at Silver Dollar City the Saturday after our Polar Express ride.  As the weekend got closer, the weather looked like it would be uncooperative so that was cancelled and the rain did move in Friday night in Branson.  Unfortunately, while Branson had rain, they were talking about ice for Springfield (~30 miles from Branson) and north.  We weren't sure what the roads would be like for heading to Cole Camp but thankfully while the trees and grass were covered with ice, the roads were good and we didn't actually hit freezing until 10 miles from Brad's Mom and Dad.  Everybody arrived Saturday night and the cousins had fun getting reacquainted.  On Sunday, we opened gifts and then the kids played Monday before heading home Christmas Eve.

Polar Express 2013

The 20th was really a busy day between Josh's program, Emma's party and then we were off to Branson for a ride on the Polar Express at 4:45 pm.  This year we did reserved seating, which is so worth the extra money.  We had our own reserved table and got served hot chocolate in real mugs that we got to take home.  Josh was a little concerned beforehand about the bobos and his response when Emma first spotted the bobo was priceless.  They had their backs to him when he entered the train car and the kids were enjoying their cookies and cocoa.  I was just about to start recording on my phone when Emma turned and noticed the bobo.  She announced this to Josh and his reaction was to cover his cookie.  He then went so far as to wrap it up in a napkin and hide it until the bobo was gone.  The bobo ended up sitting down next to Emma and thought she was pretty funny.  The kids were so excited to see Santa and are looking forward to next year.

Emma's Christmas Party

After Josh's program, we packed up and headed to Emma's school for her Christmas party.  When we arrived, they were decorating gingerbread houses.  Josh lucked out because they had hot chocolate but since Emma doesn't like it, it was all his.  Josh also got to go down and see his friend Marion real quick and they gave each other big hugs.  I think he is looking forward to being at school with her next year.

Josh's Christmas Program

As a Senior this year, Josh got a speaking role and was one of the Wise Men; he made sure to let me know he would be the one in red in case I didn't recognize him.  Ross was the Innkeeper; Pierce was Joseph; Anna Beth was Mary and; Holdyn was the star that guided the Wise Men to the baby.  Josh's line was "We bring you gifts of gold and spices" and he said it so loud and clearly.  Josh didn't even use the microphone and I could hear him better than all the other kids.  After their program, they sang songs with the rest of the kids in the school before heading back downstairs.  Ross really wanted a bow tie from Josh so we got him one for Christmas and as an added bonus, they can now be twins. 

Christmas Cookies