Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas 2011

Here is the link to the 2010 Christmas post for those interested (it also takes a look back at Christmas 08 and 09 as well).  There are even a few videos of Pop from last Christmas.  I forgot about them until right before Christmas this year and I'm so happy I have them.  They captured his voice, what a treasure.  I always find that I can picture a person perfectly after they are gone, remember what they smelled like, and recreate scenes in my head.  I think it must be the visual side to me that allows this but the hardest thing is getting the voice right in my head.  I really want to get a good video camera as soon as we can afford the investment because even though I take a lot of pictures I would like to take more videos as well.

First let me start this post with this picture from 2007.  Oh how clueless we were to how much our life would change before the next Christmas.

Now fast forward to this Christmas...let me share all the rest of our Christmas pictures from this year.  I didn't take as many pictures this year...a video camera would have worked better.  Ava was so much more interested so I spent most of the time helping her.

First let me see what other pre-Christmas photos I have left to share.  With the addition of the Activity Advent calendar that I made we did make it a point to do as many Christmas activities with Ava as we could.  I worked so hard on that calendar, decorating it, making tiny scrolls with each days activity, and carefully planning out whole month; it really just makes me sad to have to pack it away.  I saved all of my scrolls and while I'm sure some things will change for next years calendar at least I won't have as much work to do in preparation.

Random baking...we did quite a lot but I didn't get photos of it all. (these are all from the phone so the quality and color is probably off a bit)

Ava made these pretty much on her own.  I died the green dough but she rolled it up and added sprinkles.
 These were her favorite ones to eat.
 buttermints...ok but not great.  The reviews were awesome but I found them to be too sweet. favorites
 Our enormous supply of sugar cookies
 Another view....I love this recipe...they bake up so nice.
 Preparing the icing
 Lots of colors this year.
 Ava's decorating...can you tell she likes sprinkles :)

 After they dry up a bit
 Our yummy colorful cookies

 All of Ava's got covered in rainbow jimmies.
 Inception cookies...should be named evil cookies...they are oreos stuffed in chocolate chip cookies, they are huge, and they are delicious.  We also made some regular chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal scotchies but I didn't get pictures of them.
Aaron's Apple pie with crumb/caramel topping.  Completely from scratch even the crust.  I finally perfected an apple pie recipe exactly to Aaron's liking.  Apple pie is his favorite and this pie is to die for.
 Santa made a visit to our house to see Ava.  Here she is waiting for him.

  and here is Harold waiting outside to greet him.
 Here he comes....

Here are a few videos of when Santa came in the door.

a bit blurry but here I am trying to keep her excited but she started to get leery of the situation.
The closest thing we could get to a picture with Santa for this year.
here is her first one...she was a happy sleeping baby until "Santa's helper" patted her bottom to try and wake her.  Here is a pissed off little baby with Santa.

and for fun here is me at three and a half. 
Some random Harold pictures

Almost Christmas...
As an activity on Ava's calendar we made two little trees to take to her Great-Grandparents graves.

 Here is Mammaws

and Pop's
More randomness...possible out of order.

Eating the big giant candy cane Santa brought her.
 Making mini volcanoes...she loved this.

 She called this her Christmas bath.  She asked for a Christmas bath on Christmas Eve and this is what we did.
 Sitting with Nan on Christmas Eve watching her "Christmas Dog" dance.
 Cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.
 Christmas morning

She had been under the impression that Santa was going to share the cookies with her when he came so here she is having a cookie for breakfast :)

After Daddy woke up we did gifts.  We let him sleep since this will probably be the last year for a while that she allows that.  I didn't get many pictures but we waited on her big present.  Santa left her a note in her stocking telling her that the big present didn't fit in the sleigh so Harold and his friends would drop it off later that morning.
back upstairs to do gifts with everyone else

Here is a video and pictures of the big gift

We stayed home again this year.  There is something so nice and peaceful about a quiet Christmas day to enjoy you family and play with new gifts.  I always wanted to stay home when I was little and now that it's up to us we choose to just relax instead of hitting the roads.  I imagine we may alternate years at home with years visiting in the future but for now we are happy at home.  I made a non-traditional dinner of fetticine with tomato cream sauce and garlic bread.  Ava's Uncle Kenny came over with his friend Robert and ate with us then Ava played with her train table some more before bed.

Here are a few more videos that I pulled off the phone.

Opening a gift from Aunt Denise and Uncle Doug
The Jamie and Juli song...she sang this for us over and over and over on the way to the light show with Jamie and Juli.
Playing with Daddy and the helicopter she got him for Christmas

Well I think that actually has me caught up for all of our Christmas and 2011 "stuff".  phew...that took a while!!!

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