Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas morning

Most years we do our own thing in the early morning, opening gifts & stockings from Santa at home with the kids. Then we head over to my mom's around 10:30 and get together with our immediate family (my mom, step-dad Pete, and all their kids & families) to have breakfast and open presents.

My parents often use this morning to fill us in on what family trip they've planned for the year. In the past we've been to Mazatlan, Disneyland (twice), Hawaii, Mariner's spring training, on a houseboat in B.C., and on a Mexican cruise. Yes, we know how lucky we are. They claimed that it was just too difficult to put together a trip this year, because of everyone's schedules, but I wasn't buying it (and John is my witness!). This year we found out we're headed to a lakehouse near Chelan, just after Labor Day weekend. Matt & Jeff will likely bring along their water toys (a boat & jet skiis), and we'll dig out Liam's lifejacket so he can join in on the fun.

After breakfast we all gather around the tree so Pete can play Santa - with a helper, of course. I can remember waaayyy back when Alison, Emily & Jacob (who are now 20, 17 & 16) were the elves, helping pass out presents. How fun it is to see my son get a turn! And the women in the family (which now includes Alison!) plan their shopping trip for next week, to go invade Alderwood Mall for anything Santa missed, and just spend some fun time together. In case I don't say it enough, we feel incredibly blessed by our family.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sharing the Love - thanks Tiff!

I was tagged by Tiffani, and am now supposed to blog/admit to five addictions or obsessions that I have. Let's see...

1. Facebook. Totally addicted. What an amazingly simple way to keep up with everyone you've ever met in your entire life!

2. Sleep. Maybe it's because I have a baby/alarm clock who goes off at random hours, but I snatch up every opportunity my husband gives me to sleep in.

3. One Tree Hill. I didn't watch this show until just a few weeks ago, it's a silly trashy teen drama. But I caught the first episode on SoapNet and have been watching it ever since, and episodes air 5 days a week (thank goodness for DVR). I'm still not caught up to current episodes. But eventually I'll get caught up and then have to watch it once a week like everyone else.

4. Family time. Can't get enough of it. I still call my mom almost every day, just to chat. I'm blessed with an amazing family.

5. Homemade presents. Thankfully Christmas has passed now, so I'll get a breather. But I had so much fun making homemade gifts this year that I'm keeping an eye out for fun new "recipes" & mixes to try out.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow... and then some!

Every year, John wishes for a white Christmas. Most years, the closest we get is soggy and wet. He must have wished extra hard this year, because we ended up with about two feet of snow over Christmas eve & Christmas day. Here are some pictures of what we found at our house, before we drove through it up to Grandma Cindy's to spend the night so we wouldn't miss out on any of the Christmas festivities with family. The picture with the measuring stick was on the top of my van.

Christmas Eve Tradition

Like many families, we have our own unique Christmas traditions. Every Christmas Eve we all go to my grandparents' house in Lynden ("Oma" & "Opa" to most of my cousins & my kids). This year the challenge was in getting there - it had snowed 6-8 inches in our northern part of the county that day! We all carpooled our way there, with some gracious drivers making multiple trips across town.

We have a soup dinner with the whole extended family who are in town for the holidays, then open stockings assembled by the women in the family. The stockings include such random items as kitchen sponges, golf tees, crazy glue, shampoo samples and, always, socks. And then, of course, we bombard each other with the wrapping paper. It may sound silly to those of you who aren't a part of the Fisher clan, but to us it's just Christmas Eve.

Christmas Cookies

Every year Liam and I bake & decorate cookies together before Christmas. It's been a tradition of ours since he was probably 1-1/2 years old. They may not be pretty, by the time they get every single type of sprinkles piled up on top of the other, but we have fun. And somehow they always taste good enough to disappear well before Christmas.
With the addition of Sara to our lives, we've had to adjust how we do some things. Last week we went to Grandma's, and invited cousins over to help, so that Grandma could help out with the kids. I brought most of the ingredients to Grandma's and mixed it all together. Then Liam and cousin Jaidyn helped cut out Christmas shapes from the dough. My cousin Jack, who is just two months older than Liam, joined us to help with the decorations. And of course, everyone got to sample one (or more) when we were done. True to tradition, even though they were left at Grandma's house, they all managed to disappear before Christmas again.

Thanks Grandma Cindy, for letting us move to your place this year. Thanks Jack & Jaidyn (and Uncle Matt) for helping us decorate. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Careful, Santa's Watching!

Is it just me, or do other parents hear more "creative" excuses for misbehavior as we get closer to Christmas? Liam likes to use our big water cooler jugs as drums, jungle gyms and anything else he can dream up. We're okay with it, as long as he isn't climbing on them.

John and I were in the living room with Sara tonight, and suddenly Liam crashes in from the kitchen, tipping over the full (and fortunately, closed) water cooler from the kitchen. I asked him what happened, and he says "It followed me from the kitchen." So I dig a little deeper.

"How did it follow you?"
"It attached to my leg."
"And how did it attach itself to your leg?"
"Well when I was climbing on it, I think maybe my pajama leg got stuck."

It's okay buddy. Santa's all done shopping, you've got one or two gifts under the tree, and this elf does NOT want to go back to the mall again to return anything. Not that I'll let him in on the secret, and spoil my best current excuse to prompt good behavior: "Remind me Liam, does Santa bring gifts to good little boys, or naughty ones?"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Christmas snuck up on us this year. With Thanksgiving just a few days ago, we nearly forgot that Santa was coming to our little town tonight.

Liam and I were on a quick run to the only grocery store in town, when the cashier asked if we were on our way to see Santa. We arrived at the city park just in time to see Santa pull up on a fire engine covered with Christmas lights, to the sound of the high school band's holiday tunes. There was a pretty good line, so Liam decided Sara needed to meet Santa tonight, since she'd never seen him before. So we headed home, rounded up Daddy & Sara and hurried back to the park. Daddy & Liam waited in line in the rain while Sara and I hung out in a covered area.

All this time Sara was babbling and grinning at everyone, happy as could be to be watching all the smiling kids around her. That is, until we set her on Santa's lap. But being parents, we did take a picture to document this precious moment in her life. Liam has an identical one from his first meeting with Santa.

John snapped the picture quickly and I grabbed Sara so Liam could chat with Santa for a while. For those of you wondering, he asked for Magic Treehouse books, and warm fuzzy footed glow-in-the-dark pajamas. One of Santa's helpers gave me a goody bag for Sara, and she immediately started cooing and smiling again. Good times.