Christmas 2010

Christmas Eve.

A time to celebrate the love of Christ and the blessings of family.

And for little ones to burst with excitement as they wonder what surprises Santa will bring them once they fall asleep...yet they are too excited to actually sleep!

To help re-fuel his weary body, Nicholas and Rachel set out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa Claus. I'm sure he'll appreciate the snack before he saddles back up in his sleigh to finish his worldly travels tonight.

Once the wee ones were asleep with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, Daddy got on his assembling duties in Santa's workshop.

He put together a baby doll bed and highchair that Grandmother C. got for Rachel. As in typical male fashion, he did most of it without reading the directions.

Christmas morning! Oh what joy!

Rachel loves her Disney Princess couch. It actualy opens up to form a little toddler bed. Nicholas had one of these in a Winnie The Pooh theme and he loved it. I'm glad to see Rachel likes hers just as much.

Checking out the goodies in her stocking.

Nicholas was thrilled to get the number 1 item on his wish list - the Nerf Vulcan and Nerf Stampede guns. These are massive toy guns that shoot the infamous orange nerf bullets at semi-automatic capacity. Santa did well.

EXCEPT...the elves need a little more quality control and Santa should check some items before leaving them under the tree. BOTH the Vulcan and the Stampede failed to work on Christmas morning. We changed out multiple batteries, re-read the instructions many times, had other family members work on them, and STILL nothing happened. Can you believe it?!

But non-functioning weapons didn't stop Nicholas from setting up in a bunker and taking aim at any enemy who made the mistake of going into the kitchen.

Once the Santa gifts were all opened, we headed over to my brother's house to celebrate Christmas with my family with presents and Christmas lunch.

Nicholas was excited to get some cool spy gear and Star Wars toys.

Pillow Pets were a big hit with both kids.

I got a cool new point and shoot camera. A Panasonic Lumix TS2. It's tough enough to be tossed into my purse but it can also handle a fall from my hands as I chase a little one around the playground. It can also survive a wet spill at the kitchen table or even a submerge underwater for some fun pics in the pool.

Maybe this camera will survive in our household better than my previous point and shoot cameras that go everywhere with me.

There were fights with Nerf swords and Star Wars light sabers. Somehow the kids decided to gang up on Daddy. That was fun to watch.

All the excitement of the morning made for one tired little girl. When Rachel gets tired she sucks on her thumb and holds her "baby" close while rubbing it's soft trim on her face for comfort. This is such a perfect picture of her in sleepy mode.

Eventually she took matters into her own hands and found a spot on the floor to lie down and rest.

The guys all enjoyed watching and playing a skateboard game on Xbox. Funny how they laughed so much at the pain and anguish of the guy on the screen who kept crashing into things or falling from great heights.

A second burst of energy and Rachel was up again playing with her Calico Critters. Mommy can't wait to play with these with her. It's fun having a little girl!

Daddy loves his little buddy...and Nicholas loves his new Nintendo game.

My brother has always loved playing with Nicholas. He's a cool uncle. But I know he was a little nervous when Rachel came along. A girl? How do you play with a little girl?

But judging by Rachel's smile, I think he's doing just fine with his little niece.

Of course, Grandmama was enjoying all the hugs and kisses from the grandkids.

Rachel ran up to Grandmama on her own to give her this hug. So sweet!

We got lots of good family pics...

The littlest one finally had enough and started trying to nap on my brother's coffee table.

We took her back to her bed and let her get a good nap until... was time to get up and do it all again with the other side of the family later that evening...

Nicholas was super excited about his new R/C car.

Rachel loved her new baby doll high chair. I think it is neat how she arranged all the baby's feeding items symmetrically on the high chair.

What a wonderfully exciting day full of presents, good times with family, and turkey (times two).

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