Sunday, December 27, 2015

Another Colorado Christmas

While we are able to visit KC for our Christmas with them, it was not until January. I'll take it. I'll take whatever time with our family I can get! But it meant another Colorado Christmas. I'm not complaining. It was pretty wonderful.

This year it seemed we didn't quite do as many Christmas Season “events” but we still got around to doing some of our favorite holiday activities at home. A lot of people do gingerread houses but we started a tradition a few years ago decorating Christmas trees instead. We use upside down sugar cones and green frosting, plus lots and lots of candy. It's a pretty good small children alternative to the laborious gingerbread houses.

Of course Dash came back this year. Only, he waited to make his appearance until we had our tree up and decorated instead of right after Thanksgiving. He did some wacky stuff like make a flour snow angel, hang upside down from the hallway chandaleir and get stuck in a mason jar on a very tall shelf. And get stuck. For THREE days!!! Poor Dash! On his last day (Christmas Eve) he hung out on the rungs under Aaron's bed right above Ethan. I heard Ethan singing Christmas songs to him and talking to him before Dash flew away that night until next year.

We drove around and looked at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve after the evening church service. I wish I could say church was amazing but this year was a bit caotic! They didn't have child care as they wanted families to experience the service together. I get it. I just wasn't prepared and our kids (along with others) were not prepared either. They were pretty wild and a bit embarassing. Luckily there was a nursery for babies so we didn't have to wrangle Chloe too!

John and I were up until Midnight getting everything ready as usual. We left homemade cookies out for Santa (which he throuroughly enjoyed!) I even caught a picture of Santa as he was setting out gifts!

John got some great pics from his buddies at Flight For Life as they gave Santa a lift!

Christmas morning was pretty magical. This year Chloe was much more excited and aware of what was going on and the boys are at a sweet innocent age which makes Christmas simply wonderful. The boys were up and ready at 6:30 but had to wait until 7:15 when Chloe bean woke up to open anything. We had our coffee maker set for 6:15 so armed with our own excitement and our joe we were ready.

The kids got some little things from Santa – a few games, stocking full of goodies and sleds. Santa doesn't bring big gifts at our house – that's for us to spoil our kids with! : ) Chloe bean got a baby stroller and a block set. Our big gift to the kids this year was new bikes! All three got one though Chloe's is a Jr. Big Wheel. The boys were excited but it stinks because they can't fully enjoy their bikes yet. John and I had a pretty great haul too. For some reason, this year it was way easier to shop for eachother than for the kids! Haha.

We had biscuits and gravy and mamosas for breakfast and a nice ham meal for dinner with a few snacks in between. The day was spent playing with new toys, sledding, eating, sledding some more, and enjoying each other's company. Perhaps the best part was the beautiful white snow that came down all day long.

It was a great day and we are looking forward to doing it all over again in Kansas City!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Our First Real Christmas Tree

This is John and I's 13th Christmas together.  In all those years, we have never had a real Christmas tree.  I truthfully never had much of a desire to.  Then we moved to the mountains and have real Christmas trees in our very own back yard!  Now, we would likely not cut down a tree from our humble 2 acres, but we might decorate one outside someday! Tons of people travel up to our neck of the woods (literally!) each year for the chance to go tromping through the forest in search of the perfect tree.

A few weeks ago Matt and Jacquelyn applied for permits for both them and us.  We found out when they got home from Thanksgiving that they were approved.  There are two areas near us that you can go to cut down a tree.  They are in the National forest and permits are limited but only $10!

Last Friday Matt and Jacquelyn met us at our house and we followed each other just a little ways up the road just past Kenosha Pass.  Aaron was so excited to get out of school early.  We pulled him out on the way up just after lunch and recess.  Armed with hot chocolate, hot cider, and snow clothes, we made our way there.  It was fun driving around looking for a good place to get out.  Well, fun for the adults as we maneuvered through snow!  The kids were very anxious to get out!  The snow was surprisingly deep in some areas.  It had mostly melted at our house but another 1500ft elevation makes a difference.  The boys were excited to get out and explore but their excitement wore thin after a little bit of walking!  They had fun but they were also a little cranky.  Sort of like on Christmas Vacation, it was more fun for us adults!

Matt and Jacquelyn found their tree first.  We all watched while Matt cut it down and hauled it up on his shoulders all the way back to the car.  Then we found ours - actually we spotted it early on and came back to it.  By this time Aaron was DONE so we were not able to get that perfect family picture I wanted.  Haha!  Big surprise right?!

 (My favorite selfie)

Our tree pre-cutting.  At least Bubs was a good sport!

Back at the car Matt and John got the trees all situated and we all enjoyed a hot drink and amazing views.  I still can't believe we live here.  LIVE here!  I'm constantly blown away by the beauty surrounding us.  I will never get tired of it.

Tiny Tot

I'm excited to make his an annual family tradition.  The kids will appreciate it more when they are older I'm sure!