Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas!

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year with the rest of the Forbes family and Anna is already asking when everybody is going to come back. We're visiting my sister and her family tomorrow for a Christmas brunch so our holiday isn't over yet!

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These glasses were some of the Advent calendar favorites. I had to move them up in the calendar because Maddie kept trying to take them out early!

This year Steve and I organized the Tinsel Tournament - a now-annual team battle for a trophy with events spread out over the three days. The main events ended up being a ticket race at Chuck E. Cheese, cosmic bowling, and beer pong. The third event was supposed to be a Minute to Win It championship but we ended up getting a late start to the night after dinner and shelved it for next year.

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Anna helped Maddie climb up into the maze and she was having a ball!

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All set up and ready for Christmas morning!

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The girls surprisingly slept in until everybody got to the house at 7 a.m., so we were able to get our cameras ready for them to come in and see what Santa brought!

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They were actually running to Mommy in this picture - it was so sweet! I think they got a little overwhelmed with everything and I love that their response is to come get a big hug.

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The girls love their new princess tent - it's been the popular hangout and new story time spot.

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Poppy and SuSu got Elsa and Anna costumes for the girls and of course they were a massive hit. They wasted no time shedding their pajamas and getting their pretty dresses on! Maddie also loves Aurora right now so this picture is like double joy.

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Oh, and Tinkerbell! Their costume closet is very full and colorful now, and the girls are ecstatic.

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It was hard-going this morning convincing the girls that they shouldn't wear their Elsa dresses to the YMCA.

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The other major favorite this year was this Step2 roller coaster. It's set up in the corner of our living room and the girls love zooming down the ramp and all the way across the room. We had to set up pillows along the edge of the wall so they could have something soft to bump into!

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Maddie putting on a puppet performance.

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Testing out Daddy's new Bonnaroo hammock.

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We shot off rockets and held wand wars.

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Steve and Brad got these awesomely fun little remote controlled toys that could drive on the ground like a car or fly in the air like an airplane. They were hilarious and so easy to use that Anna could steer it!

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Poppy was on rocket duty.

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Congratulations to Brad and Kristy for winning the 2014 Tinsel Cup Trophy (a.k.a. "The Stocking Stuffer".)!

Christmas went by so quickly after a delightful month, and I am glad we have some fun events over the course of the next week while Steve is off of work to help prolong the Christmas spirit and excitement for the new year!

Preschool Christmas Pageant

The girls' preschool put on a special Christmas pageant this year and Anna and Maddie have been SO excited about it. They had been practicing their songs for weeks at home and were tickled with the thought of getting to perform them for Mommy and Daddy with all of their friends.

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Maddie was an angel for the pageant and she was very proud of her new sparkly dress shoes. I bought a pair for each girl and now they refer to them as their "special shoes". Maddie's class sang "Angels We Have Heard on High".

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What a ham!

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Anna was a sheep and her class sang "Away in a Manger".

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This is Anna with her teacher Ms. Heather, and several of her friends.

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Even Santa and Mrs. Claus made an appearance to watch the show!

I dug out our old video camera for the performances and I am happy I caught their cute moments. The girls love watching these videos and keep asking "again! again!"

There are five videos in there, if you want to watch all of them. Which of course you do, because my kids are cute!

Deck the Halls!

We gave our holiday decor collection a bit of a refresh this year, and of course the girls added some decorations of their own!

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I know this is really blurry but it was the best I could get with the lights on!

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My one Pinterest project this year and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

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Our foyer table, complete with Anna's elf.

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Our DIY advent calendar, with Maddie's footprint reindeer art. The girls got a major kick out of their December morning routine - every morning after their wake-up clock turned green, they would dash downstairs to see what was in their calendar pouch for the day. We had filled them up with little chocolates, small toys, and cards with experiences on them like an ice cream cone, a special art project, etc. Then they would run into the living room/kitchen area and search out their elf, Belle, to see if they could find her new hiding spot. It was so cute to watch because their excitement lasted through the whole month.

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The front foyer. This tree is just the right height for the girls so they enjoyed decorating this one...I let them pick out their favorite ornaments from the boxes. And of course, our new "wishing star" that Anna insisted on adding to our holiday decor this year.

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Our Elf on the Shelf, Belle. We never did anything particularly creative with her - we just found a new spot for her every night. And there were plenty of mornings that we woke up and realized we never moved her, so we would invent an excuse to run downstairs really quickly before the girls came down.

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Anna's manger footprint art.

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Our fridge covered with Christmas art and Christmas cards. We actually added a whole extra layer of cards since I had taken this picture - it makes me happy that so many people think of us for the holidays and I am also glad that we actually sent some out too this year!

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The mistletoe is the same as last year but I had to include it because the girls spent the whole month running underneath it and saying "Uh oh!!! I'm under the mistletoe!!!!" and giggling up a storm when we would run over and give them kisses.

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Cutie pie candy cane ornament

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Every year, the girls get a new ornament to add to their own little collection. This year, they each got an Elsa ornament. This truly was the year of Frozen so it seemed appropriate!

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This train was the bane of my existence this month but Steve is very proud of it. He built the whole platform and has several ramps and tunnels. Every year we plan to add to it, and Steve plans to make actual landscape with it. I would love to make it look like a Christmas Who-ville but we'll see what we have in mind next year!

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Anna's class with a Christmas message. She loves looking at this picture and naming all of her friends.

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And a teensy bit late but a heartfelt message all the same - Merry Christmas from our family to yours and all the best wishes for a happy new year!