Sunday, December 26, 2010

Plowing through the Snow...

What's better than a snow day?
Having a tractor to drive around on that snow day, of course!

Will you please notice that Daniel will NOT use his hands to steer the wheel?!

Look, Mom, no hands...
but lots of snow!

Playing with Daddy in the snow
and still no hands on the wheel.

Daniel realized his slide was full of snow!
He was so excited. 

Running away from Mommy's snowballs

Reinacting a picture from the past
Here are Daniel (20 months) and Daddy in the snow in December 2010,

And here are Daniel (9 months) and Daddy in the snow in January 2010.
So sweet, right?!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Night with the Warrens

Christmas evening, we drove through the snow to get to my dad's family's Christmas.  My dad is one of seven siblings, so the Warren Family gatherings tend to be loud and crowded!  However, the weather seemed to keep most of the Warrens away, except for these two cuties...

Daniel loved his cousin Gunner.
(Gunner is 3 1/2 months older than Daniel.)
Daniel hugged all over Gunner,
and it took a while for Gunner to warm up to him.

Then, Gunner realized that Daniel was a lot of fun.
Gunner would run around the house waiting for Daniel to catch him.
They would laugh and laugh when he would!

Samuel got a lot of Grandpa's attention.
He always does!

When we got home after a mere hour and a half drive from what usually only takes thirty minutes, Daniel was ready to play!  He really wanted to get on his tractor, but with the weather the way it was, we just brought it in the house.  Except, there's a small problem with that:  Daniel doesn't know how to steer the tractor yet.  We'd just have to run and chase him down when he'd come to a wall or couch or door and turn him around, you know, because he doesn't know that taking his foot off of the pedal will stop it from moving...

However, it was getting late, and Daniel really needed to get into bed.  So, as Brian was running the bath water, I don't believe he realized that his little one got away!  Here is what I found...

 Here is the reason it took us so long to get home from my dad's.  Notice the road...  It was completely covered with snow and ice.  The interstate looked the exact same way.  I couldn't believe we actually got a white Christmas!
In front of our house

The snow continued to fall throughout the night

Our sidewalk and front door

Waking Up Christmas Morning

Before we were married, Brian and I agreed that Santa wouldn't visit our house.  Though I struggled with the decision at first, I'm so thankful we went this route instead.  We buy three gifts for each child in honor of the three gifts Jesus was given after his birth.  This makes Christmas morning much less stressful and much more meaningful in our home. 

For instance, we didn't have to stay up all night putting toys together and wrapping gifts.  We loaded the boys' stockings with what would fit in them, but mostly just laid out the gifts in the floor.  Daniel actually slept until 8:30, and hopefully in the future, he'll know that all the amazing gifts come from Mimi, Pa, and Aunt Ca so we can sleep a little bit later...  doubtful, I know.  Because, much to our surprise our small gifts seemed to be exactly what Daniel wanted!

The boys' stockings and their gifts

Daniel's three gifts:
Puppy Dog Pillow Pet,
Black and Decker took kit,
and a set of pajama sleepers

Samuel's three gifts:
Baby Einstein rattle book,
Baby Brother outfit with jeans,
and a set of pajama sleepers
(and the box is his 1st Christmas Ornament that we did later that day)

Want to know what Daniel went straight after?
The silly Pillow Pet!
I made so much fun of Brian for wanting to get Daniel this...
But, he was absolutely right.
My child loves this thing.

But, he loves his tool kit so much more.
He hammers and screwdrives everything in this house.
Even Samuel has needed some "fixing."

He was so sweet looking at each tool,
and he was doing his best to figure out how to use it.

Samuel woke up a little later...
He had gotten so many little toys the day before that he had no idea what to play with!
He opted for chewing on his fingers.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve at Mimi's

We always have brunch at Mimi's house during the holiday.  This year, we headed to Mimi's on Christmas Eve day (Mimi is Jenna's mom).  The boys are so ridiculously loved (and spoiled) that I don't think either cared too much about the WONDERFUL food...  Daniel was dead-set on going straight for the gifts.

The first thing Daniel noticed was this train bag...
Thankfully, it was for him.

OH WOW, the theme of the day was Thomas the Train.
Here's a Thomas and a Thomas dvd.

A Thomas "Etch-a-Sketch"

Mimi is soooo good.

Thomas and Salty bathtub squirters

Mimi got a cooler, and Daniel thought it was SO COOL!

Samuel got a lot of little toys to chew on, play with, and listen to.
Mimi, Grandpa, and Aunt Ca know just what he likes.

Daniel still excited over the cooler.
Why didn't someone tell his parents that this would be all he'd need for Christmas?!

Thomas pajamas and a "Good Night Thomas" pal

Mommy and Samuel waiting their turns

Lining up all of his trains from Mimi and Aunt Ca

Daniel opened Samuel's new Britax Carseat!

Mimi, let me help you open this gift.
It's from me, my family, and Aunt Ca to you.

See, Mimi, it's that stuff you can climb in and out of!
LUGGAGE for Mimi

Oh, and this is a public service announcement to my husband
(and any other parent who doesn't recognize the problem here):
When opening children's toys, despite the madness of getting them out of their boxes, please keep scissors in a CLOSED position and OUT of the reach of children.
Please and thank you.

But, the best gift of all... 

Had to be the surprise Grandpa left for Daniel in Mimi's garage!

We all got bundled up to spend the next hour in the garage.
Daniel played on his new tractor for almost an hour.

He was so proud of it...
Running into the garage door didn't phase him one bit.

He wore this sweet face for the rest of the day.

He even wanted to ride in the wagon.

And, he was so happy, it melted all of our hearts.

He rode. and rode. and rode. and rode.

He even let Mommy drive him around in the tractor!

We all believed that all of his Thomas things would be forgotten due to the excitement from the green and yellow John Deere.  But, would you believe that the following is what he wanted to do as SOON as we got home? 


Lining up all of his trains
(Thank you to Mimi, Aunt Ca, and Anna)

Last but not least, he played in the tub with his new Thomas squirters!
I guess we know what Daniel's favorite gifts were this year!

Christmas at Cacky's

I'm so thankful for family that believes in Christ and the beauty of traditions.  Every year, my mom's family gets together, no matter the place, and has the best traditions.  We always eat an amazing meal (with more food than the few of us can eat), sip white grape juice from fancy glasses, read the Christmas story from Luke, swap and open gifts (usually in order of age), eat as many sweets as possible, and sing Christmas hymns. 

This year was no exception, except that THIS year we threw TWO babies into the mix.  Oh wow, what fun!  My aunt, Cacky (actually Cathy, but I gave her the nickname when I was a baby) always makes Christmas so special when it's at her house!  She and her family go all out with decorating and cleaning and cooking and baking and making sure that all the details are just right.  I love that about them!  It was such a great time.  I will cherish these memories forever...

Pop and Samuel playing before dinner

The tables were all set!

Mimi wanted to get some Samuel love!

The singing, nutcracker-hamster had Daniel's undivided attention.

Reading the Christmas story.

Taking keyboard lessons from Anna

Opening his Thomas gifts from Anna

Samuel really wanted to open a gift too!

Playing with the train that went around the Christmas tree

The bag of apples we gave to Pop -
I had given him some when he was in the hospital,
and he claimed they were the BEST he'd ever had.

I was there.
I never get in pictures.
I'm always behind the lens.

The family gift to Pop and Gran-Ju

Daniel could not wait to open his "Mel-mo" gift.
It was from Pop and Gran-Ju...
But it wasn't Elmo.

It was a basketball goal!

Oh, and these cars were wonderful!
Thank you, Pop and Gran-Ju!

Chasing Bootsie the cat around the house...

Mesmorized by Anna's flute

He wanted to make this trio a quartet!

Having fun with Uncle Ricky before heading home.