We are so fortunate to be able to spend the holidays with all of our family every Christmas. This year, after returning from the big holiday festivities with the Halberts in Alabama, we celebrated again with the Quists in Nolensville. Mimi and Grandpa were thrilled to host their favorite (and only) grandchildren, along with their parents, for a fun Christmas celebration. The boys were showered with many gifts and there was food and fun a plenty! What great ages: 7.5 and nearly 2, the boys both find the holiday magical and the gifts exciting! We are blessed beyond measure. Come share a bit of Christmas with us...
The boys were up early and happy to see that Santa did, indeed, know exactly where we were on Christmas day (at Meemaw's house.) As you can see, Santa's sleigh was weighed down heavily by the numerous wonderful gifts that the boys received.
Both boys loved all of their gifts and excited played with as many as they could during the morning before we headed out to Aunt Ginny & Uncle Erle's house to celebrate Christmas with most of our extended Halbert family, 23 or so of us, including all the little ones! Jack enjoyed playing his new Nintendo DSi against his cousins Amy and Laura, who both had their own DS handhelds with them, along with Laura's husband, Ross! It was a DS fest! It was a fun day all around. Jack kept talking excitedly about all of his "cousins". You'll have to take our word for it, though, since not a single picture was taken that afternoon (SHAME ON ME!)
We saw a lot of THIS for a few days after Jack got his DSi, complete with his favorite game: Super Mario Brothers (after playing it on Christmas day with Amy & Laura.)
Christmas was very exciting this year, as it often is with little ones. The excitement of decorating the house, seeing Santa, spending time with loved ones and receiving gifts with little kids warms the heart. And to see it times 2 this year made it all the better!
We spent Christmas Eve with the new babies in the family. What fun to see Meemaw's house filled with the laughter and excitement of 4 little ones this year! We've waited a long time for Jack to have siblings and cousins to play with at the holidays...he had to go it alone for many years. Now the house is full with 3 babies under 2 and he loves them all!! We were sure to get a few pictures of the cousins...
Jack giving Preston some cousin-ly advice.
"He comes in with all those presents from WHERE??"
Jack enjoyed being the Christmas "pro" (and the only reader in the kid group) and handed out all the gifts from under Meemaw's tree.
It was a fun evening with our growing family, though we missed cousins Cayce and Jason, who were celebrating with the Williams family this year. Tyler was fascinated with his very own "fish tank" from Aunt Peggy and Uncle Mike.
The boys were happy to head to bed knowing that Santa was coming soon. Of course, they were not disappointed. Santa remembered that they were traveling to Alabama!
(a parting shot of our boys playing...a bit rough at times these days)
Christmas is coming and the countdown has begun. Jack checks our advent calendar daily for a little 'gift' each day (I was informed that today's gift of an ornament was BORING.) We are excited to spend the holidays with family and Jack is, of course, excited for what Santa will be bringing.
Yesterday was our day to go and see the man in the big red suit. Jack asked for a sticky note that was 'tall'. I gave him a list-style Post-It note and he began writing:
a guitar a DSI picks for the guitar DSI games
He then came to me and said that maybe he should think of some more things, as his paper wasn't full yet. I told him that his heart was, indeed, full and that maybe he should allow Santa to bring other gifts to some of the other children that don't have as much as he does. He seemed ok with that idea. Off to the mall we went, where Jack shared his list of 'wants' and informed Santa of where we will be on Christmas Eve, so he'll be able to find us. It was sweet to see his innocence for the holiday is still in tact.
The boys after their visit...and Tyler with his 'bravery' reward.
Today Jack received a special video message from Santa himself! He was glued to the monitor, and nodded and responded right along with Santa. He was very surprised that Santa would talk to him directly and I think he was just thrilled with the personal message. Here's that message...
My heart welled up as I watched him understand how special this message was and really believe that Santa knew what a good boy he'd been this year and how well he'd tried in school. 7 is truly a magical age and this is a magical time of year.
Jack can add a new title to his resume: Actor. Yes, our sweet 7 year old excitedly participated in his school's First Grade play "A Penguin Christmas" this week. And, I must say, he did AWESOME!!!
In this year's play, Jack's role was that of a (smart aleck) penguin, complete with his very own short but perfectly delivered speaking part! Mimi graciously created a most amazing Penguin costume for our actor to make his acting debut in.
Waiting for the play to start
There was dancing...
and a most perfect delivery of his line!
Several times afterwards we heard "he's a natural! he's found his calling! he should consider a career in acting!" We certainly agree! Way to go, Jack!