Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Day

Our kids were so excited when Christmas finally arrived! We got up around 7, and they could hardly wait to go downstairs and see if Santa had come. Here are a few traditional stair pictures.

He came!!! Alexis got Zhu, Zhu pets (this years most popular toy, and nearly impossible to find in any stores) I told Alexis I was glad it was up to Santa, because I couldn't find them anywhere =) Tori got a brand new collection of craft things, which has kept her very busy in the days since Christmas. Levi got Baukugans, his most recent obsession.

Here are some pictures we took capturing the excitement of the morning:

We had a nice relaxing morning. After checking out what Santa brought we had a yummy breakfast, and then opened up our presents to each other. The kids were so much fun to watch. Their excitement for each gift was contagious. After the opening of presents was done, we had fun playing, and putting together our fun new things.

At about 3:00 we headed over to my parent's house where the rest of my family was. We opened up our presents from my parents, as well as from our sibling and cousin gift exchange. Here are some pictures from that.

Levi, of course, had to get Mason Baukugans. He had a blast showing him how they worked =)

We had so much fun hanging out everyday with all of my siblings (minus Daniel and Charbel, who we missed terribly). Here are some of the things that we did:

  • We had our annual extended Barker family Christmas party at my Grandpa Barker, and his wife Emmy's clubhouse. We always have a yummy dinner, do a service project of some sort, sing carols, and enjoy each other's company. It was a smaller group then usual this year, but it was still fun. Their are several great grandchildren around the same age now, and they all had so much fun playing together. It reminded me of when I used to have so much fun playing with my cousins at family functions when I was little. Grandpa and Emmy always get all of the great grand kids cute stuffed animals. My girls were thrilled that they got "Ty girls" which they have been wanting for a while.
  • Many, Many trips to Target. I think we went at least once per day, maybe more. I love that store, as do each of my sisters and my mom. Here's a funny story from the first time that we went. Katie, Cindy and I all felt so light headed the whole time we were there. We ended up having to stop and share an old smooshed nutrigrain bar that Cindy had in her purse. As I am typing this I realized that it doesn't sound that funny. I guess you had to be there, lol.
  • Making lots of yummy treats
  • Eating lots of yummy treats
  • Kristalyn and I spending hours making a baby blanket that should have taken an hour at the most. That darn sewing machine was on the fritz!
  • Playing Bop-it
  • The guys all going to see Avatar together, (minus Michael. He likes hanging out with us better)
  • Saying over and over that we were going to play a game, but then ending up visiting instead.
  • All of the kids hanging onto my dad's legs and him dragging them throughout the house. What a workout!
  • Taking hundreds of pictures
  • Just spending time together making lots of memories.

I love my family so much and it was so fun to spend the week with them! Here are some pictures that we took throughout the week in no particular order

This is my last post for 2009. Now I can start on my blog book! Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve

We always spend Christmas Eve with Brandon's side of the family, and this year was no exception. This year Jeremy and Tisha hosted. We headed up to Conifer around noon. We have several traditions that we carry out every year. We always start out with a feast of yummy food. We always have more then enough food, and find ourselves snacking throughout the day. Another thing that we do every year is an ornament exchange. Usually it is just Jana, Tish, Nikelle and I, but this year my three kiddos, and Tallyn wanted in too. About a week before Christmas I took them to St. Nicks and they had so much fun picking out their ornaments for the exchange. We had Levi and Tallyn pick out boy ornaments to exchange with each other so us girls could pick out girly ones. Here are Tallyn and Levi before opening their ornaments to each other. Levi loves Tallyn so much and wants to be just like him. You cant tell in this picture,but he is standing on his tip toes trying to be as tall as him. Levi was especially excited when he walked into Tallyn's room and found out that Tallyn is as big of a Baukugan fan as him! He was in heaven!

After the boys did their exchange, us girls did ours. We always stand in a circle and pass the wrapped ornaments in a circle while Brandon and Jeremy sing in the background. When they stop singing we get the ornament that we are holding. We always have to do a little tweaking to make sure we don't get our own. Everyone picked out such cute ornaments this year, and we were all happy with the ones we got. It was fun to have the little kids participate this year. Maybe next year we can talk the men into joining in. ( I think they secretly wished they had this year).

Every year, Nana always gets the kids a new ornament, but since they participated in the exchange I figured she wouldn't this year. But she still did! The kids were all so thrilled that they got to open another new ornament for our tree!

For the past few years, Nana has gotten a new game for each of the kids to open up so we have some fun things to play. Alexis got Hannah Montanna Mall Madness, Tori got a cute Tinkerbell game, and Levi got a fun game called Busytown.

They wanted to jump right in and play the games they got. I had the original Mall Madness, when I was growing up,and I remember that I loved playing it. It was fun to play the Hannah Montanna version with Alexis. I forgot how long it takes to set up though! It took a good 45 minutes just to set it up. We had a lot of fun playing once we finally got it figured out. Nana was so sweet to play Tori and Levi's games with them since ours took so long.

While we were busy playing our games, Brandon was having fun taking some goofy pictures of Jeremy Tisha and Nikelle. They were all laughing so hard and having a blast. Here are a few cute ones.

He even talked Russ into posing for one. Ever since we got our new camera, Brandon has been quite the photographer! I am usually the one behind the camera and in none of the pictures but the roles were reversed this year. I only managed to steal the camera away a few times to get some pictures of him.

The kids also got to open their presents that Great Grandma Simmons sent. She sent each of them a cute little stuffed animal with a five dollar bill attached to it. They were all thrilled.

The kids each also got to open their traditional Christmas Even pajamas, and then we decided to take some family pictures in front of Jeremy and Tisha's huge, gorgeous Christmas tree. We got several really cute ones. Here are a few cousin shots.

This is one of my favorites and I had to include it. They were sitting right in front of the fireplace, and right before Brandon snapped the picture, the heat of the fire got to Alexis. You can see by her face how surprised by it she was! lol

Here is a group shot of us all.

Here's our little family
Jeremy, Tisha Nikelle and Tallyn:

Here's another goofy that was to hilarious not to include =)

We had a lot of fun hanging out and enjoying each others company. Jana bought Family Feud for the Wii for us all to play together. We decided to do boys against girls, and the girls won every time! The boys decided they didn't like the game at all. (I wonder why!) but us girls thought it was great fun =)

Brandon had a blast battleing Tallyn in rock band. They had some fun songs to play along to. Alexis, Tori and I especially loved the Taylor Swift songs. It think we will be definitely buying that one!

We ended up leaving their house around 8:30. When we got home, the kids set out some cookies and milk for Santa and then hurried to bed so Santa wouldn't skip over our house! Having young children makes Christmas so fun and magical. We had a great Christmas Eve =)