Christmas Day 2012

In an attempt to wrap up the week-long break between my last post about Christmas Eve and this one, it's follow up, I'm happy to report that Christmas did indeed arrive in our family :)
Here's the proof from Christmas Morning, in our jammies and bed head with our two favorite gifts. 
They were definitely excited for it to finally "be Christmas" but the gifts under the tree thing hasn't really set in with either of them.  They don't know yet to come racing out of their rooms and to look for gifts and we're enjoying that for as many years as we can!  Frankly, they were more excited to wake up and watch Mickey Mouse than if they'd known the fun that we had in store for them :)  We took advantage of a pretty peaceful start to Christmas morning.
My two handsome men.
Sorry about the red-eye in all the following photos, I'm just too lazy to go back and fix them all :)
Stacie and I, sporting this year's matching pj's.  Really, we've grown more exicted about this recent tradition than just about any other!  There were some years in our lives when we would have DIED to be in the same pj's!  But not now :) Funny how that changes with time!
Ava giving Ollie some Christmas kisses :)
Best Dad I could ask for (or pray for) to our kids.  They have such a treasure in him, God has been very good to them!
We have a traditional (healthy) breakfast on Christmas Day, Monkey Bread and Coffee while we open gifts.  It may not waistline friendly, but it never disappoints!
Because the mountain of gifts were begging to be opened and we had some company coming for an early Christmas dinner, we wasted no time letting the kids dive in.  Carter was more than ready!
His first (excited) look at his new mickey mouse pirate ship! 
Ava was also wasting no time...
The parade of new princesses and new outfits for her princesses, began!
Rupunzel! Or "Tangled" as Ava has always called her :)
Lucky for Carter, his gifts only got bigger!
I had a feeling our "ball loving" boy might be ready for this rite of passage...
His first hoop! 
You might think this made his Daddy very happy, and you'd be right, it did.  But it also made his Basketball-playing Mommy equally as happy!  I SOOO hope he wants to be a basketball player!  We live in the land of hockey and not only is it expensive, but it's also frought with way too many concussions.  I'm pushing basketball with everything I have! 
Thankfully, we aren't having to push too hard.  He LOVED it!!  And knew right what to do with it, banking shots in and shooting again and again.  We're already proud :) :) :)
I mean seriously, we thought his bank shot was good but then he pulled out some one handed sky hooks to wow us :)  I'm really hoping his 95th percentile for height works in his favor someday!  ha!
Ava could barely contain her squeals after we pulled the next HUGE gift out for her to unwrap.  We have all been waiting with baited breath to see her open this one from my parents.  When we ordered it we had no idea it would be quite so huge, but we knew she would just adore it!
Yes, that is Cinderella in her wedding gown, with her coach and a white horse.  Is that adorable or what??
She could barely take it all in!
She's been pretending for months  that different cardboard boxes and pots and pans were Cinderella's coach.  When I saw this online I knew she would be over the moon about it.  FYI, for all of you with little girls, the Disney Store online had some crazy good Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals this year!  I'm hoping I can  remember that for next year! 
After they opened their gifts from my parents and their aunts and uncles, we sent them downstairs to wait for the big surprises we had for them. 
We brought their one "big" gift from us, all the way from Minnesota so they could open something from us on Christmas day.  (Yes, we were nuts to do that. They had plenty to open, they never would have been disappointed if they'd had this waiting at home.  Lesson learned!)
And Daddy was ready to get their reactions on video.
They weren't too thrilled about the waiting part :)  Carter especially!
But they were excited to see what was waiting around the corner!
Ava knew exactly what was all set up for her, she's been asking about this castle for weeks after she saw it in the Target ad and then in the store.  She was so overwhelmed at that point she was almost silent :) She just grinned and looked at every little thing, including all of her dolls in their respective rooms.  Totally cute!
Carter however was the victim of a total parent failure. 
His cute little bike was too tall for him :( Despite the fact that it was for kids 2 and up, or that he's very tall for his age, he was still about 2 inches too short to ride it on his own!  I never would have guessed that.  He made one attempt at getting on it, then declared "It's too big.  I can't ride it!"
Here he is, telling my parents that he can't ride it :) Poor guy!  He did like his "hat" however (helmet)!

My parents surprised my sisters and I this year with a new mixer for each of us!  So fun, we were all totally surprised and thankful!  We all like to cook and bake and have wanted one for a long time.  It was a fun Christmas morning for the big kids too :) :) :)
And of course, what Christmas morning post would be complete without our pj's picture?? 
We had a sweet Christmas morning with my family, full of presents, and laughter and each other.  The real miracle of the morning however, was the gift of Jesus that we all share.  He is the treasure worth more than all else and the reason for our joy and peace.  I'm so thankful that Jesus is a central part of our family and the reason we celebrate Christmas!

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