Thursday, March 10, 2011

CHRISTMAS in February

Before Spring is completely here I must recap Christmas which will be hard to revisit as it will bring back such awesome memories.  For the first time ever, we hosted Christmas at our place and were thrilled to have the space to do it.  My sisters family came in from Idaho and my parents plus Heather came down from Jersey.  We had 10 people under our roof for almost 2 weeks and loved spending the holidays with family and finally having Santa visit OUR home.

Christmas Eve Family Pyramid with G-ma as the photographer!
The girls had a blast with this...grandpa on the other hand looks like he is ready to be done!  The girls have asked to do this again since Christmas but our family of 4 doesn't quite cut it, anyone ready to come back for another round?  Let's not forget Laura is 7 months pregnant in this shot as well.

Christmas Eve
  • Grandpa's famous Onion Soup
  • Each Family Sharing their Secret Santa stories 
  • Reading the birth of Christ in the scriptures
  • Watching Nativity Video
  • the girls leading Peyton outside to sprinkle the yard with reindeer food
  • getting santa's cookies and milk ready
  • putting on x-mas jammies
  • the girls trying their hardest to fall asleep and an almost sleepless night for the elves under this roof trying to pull a perfect Christmas morning off...their Mother has taught them well!
There was no question Santa and family had come. Kylee did her spying and was amazed to see this!...    We were able to  hold the girls off for a little while by giving them their stockings and paused for a yummy breakfast prepared by Grandpa.  (I loved having my Dad cook me my x-mas morning breakfast just like old times)  We were then off to the FROG to spend several hours opening and enjoying gifts.  Like always there were several surprises, tender moments and some great laughs!

Some of Kylee's highlights were her new bike, own personal digital camera, new clothes and bed for her American Girl Doll and of course tons more...they are always spoiled and well loved by all family members.  Kylee was found taking pictures of everyone all morning, narrating her own videos or soaking up time with her cousin Peyton.  These 2 have a relationship which is hard to describe but both love each other tremendously and at such a young age too, pretty special.
Alexis was in heaven with her Ariel vanity, camera, Rapunzel dress-up, scratch and sniff books and cinderella gem box.  I love how she spends time with each gift and enjoys them right then...there is no rush in her mind yet to hurry and open each one.  She was still opening stuff the following day.  You can tell how engaged and into her own world she was at times.

Both girls were ecstatic to get singing Rapunzel barbie dolls and finally their very own barbie house to share.  Grandma was a trooper and spent forever setting it up with them.

I love these cuties and not much beats watching their delight on Christmas morning while being together as a family!

I always have a great time trying to get Skylar and this time the girls got into it with me.  Lexi gave him some brand new undershirts.  She has caught several glimpses of his dirty armpit stains and has given him heck over it several times.  "Ewww dirty armpits"  as she points and laughs in her silly cackley voice.

Kylee got him with his very own Webkinz! Yes, that is right, his own Webkinz.  He follows Kylee's closer than she does and most days without fail you can find him on the computer in the webkinz world having a grand old time and I am  serious.  He claims he is doing it for his daughters and sure I am thankful for the countless times I see them there together and that he spends his time guiding them through instead of me...thanks babe!  However, Kylee probably has the most webkinz cash in her account than any other 6 year old thanks to her Dad's fabulous game playing skills. 
Meet Dori, Skylar (and Lexi's) Webkinz!
He got plenty of other practical things that we just never take the time to buy.  One of which was this HEAVY fire safety box which has been under the tree forever spiking curiosity for all.  Sorry for the disappointment crew.  He surprised me with a huge gift which caught me off guard and is now getting the reaction I should have given Christmas morning...I got an awesome new camera that I love and can't believe how nice the pictures look.  I have so much to learn and am thrilled with the surprise but more so with not having to do the research or decide on which one to get.
Kylee and grandpa had a tender moment as she with the aid of grandma gave him a cardinal for his office.  The 2 of them let each other know when they spot one and both love this bird.  Us Virginians now have it as our state bird and just for Ky and Grandpa proudly have it on our license plate.  I with great Duke pride gave him a priceless pictures of me and the Duke Blue Devil himself with his traditional wallet.
I love the MAGIC of Christmas and all the beautiful thoughts, memories, traditions and love that come with it.  I get so excited to listen to X-mas music, see the lights, bake yummy goodies, bring out decorations and think about all the gifts our Savior has given to us.  This was definitely another memorable Christmas!

My sister thought she was escaping from the snow for the holidays but we were thankful she brought it with her for a few days.  Virginia Beach had one of their biggest snow falls in a long time for our first Christmas here.  The snow began late Christmas night so I qualify that as a "White Christmas"  We set records in Charlottesville and brought those records with us to Chesapeake.  We couldn't believe it and apparently the town couldn't either as things were shut down for the next 2 days and roads were never cleared.  It brought some great laughs to the Idaho folk who thought we were wimps. 
...and to think our neighbors laughed just a few days earlier when they saw we had a snow shovel!
The kids had a blast in it and when sleds were no where to be found boogie boards came to the rescue...only in VA Beach!  We went a little stir crazy but dance parties to the music from Tangled kept us entertained and in time it cleared and we were out having fun at several places and even playing in the snow with no jackets as temperatures rose and it melted fast!

Amazing how fast the weather can change in just a couple days.  Snowball fights and throwing competitions in 60 degree weather!  By evening this poor snowman was completely gone.

We had a great time taking the crew to the aquarium a place visited frequently with guests as we are season pass holders and then headed over to the beach.  Quite the sight to see snow, sand and ocean all in one view.  We are always up for firsts and this was a first for us.  Another first was watching Ky and Sky throw snowballs into the ocean.

We even made it up to Colonial Williamsburg which was a first for the Alsop crew.  Kylee was so excited to go since it is where her American Girl Elizabeth grew up.  She thinks it is the neatest thing that the actual place discussed in the books is only an hour from where she lives.  She took pictures on her camera of how the people looked and was excited to buy a mini chalkboard and chalk imagining that Elizabeth used a similar one.  She was more excited to take it to show and tell when school started up than any of her x-mas gifts.  Alexis was into the handmade soaps and brought a couple home as this girl loves to wash her hands and smell them.  "Look Mom, how clean they are now...smell them"  We are excited to go back when it is warmer and we have more time.

Our last day trip was going to the Nauticus museum in Norfolk and also getting to walk around the Battleship Wisconsin.  I was really impressed and love the teachable age that Kylee is at right now.  She was so excited to get to walk on one of the big ships that she has been eyeing since we moved here.  She still wants to tour an aircraft carrier and see in person where the planes land that often are practicing over our neighborhood at times.

Pretty amazing stuff to learn about and try to comprehend.  We loved seeing the living quarters and different size rooms for different ranks.  I don't think I could make it for one day but am thankful to live in the country that we do.
Grandpa and his girls

Really cool touch tank that my girls soaked up as always!
One rad escalator that the kind workers let these darling ladies ride several times!

The adults and kids both stayed entertained and following the museum hurried to catch a quick ferry ride.  Apparently it was a little too much hurrying as Laura almost went into Labor (JK) We enjoyed going across the water with an amazing sunset and looking around.
Thanks Kylee for your photography skills...I was impressed she got us all in...not too bad!

Other Highlights, Moments, Memories I don't want to forget...
  • the 3 girls riding on the back bench of the minivan together with their stashes of toys and constant giggles
  • FHE when Ky taught the lesson on "gifts for Christ" and had us all name some we would work on
  • Kylee's cuddles with Uncle Taylor and comments about how mature Kylee is getting
  • Both girls taking great care of Peyton and thrilled to be together
  • Us all laughing hysterically as Peyton would call for Kylee
  • The girls own little dinner table and Kylee doing a great job getting everyone to eat in between rounds of laughter
  • Watching the girls say goodnight 
  • Workouts at Jim's Gym with my Dad and being so glad I had a place for him to jog
  • Fitting in lunch and Pedicures with Mom and Laura on the last day as we were determined to get some girl time
  • Games and amazing food as always with numerous runs to the grocery store by G-pa
  • Heather doing really well
  • How cold our house always was for Uncle Taylor
  • Lex loving Peyton's toys (ie: makeup bag) and carrying it with her everywhere 
  • Our "Pretty toes" party on the last night
Oh, and this classic picture reminding me of how many pictures we took with someones eyes closed.  At least on this one they were all on the same page.  When I stop and try to put myself in the mind of one of these kids they have got to be wondering why we ask and make them take soooooo many pictures.  Ky looks like she is in pain. Thanks for being troopers ladies.


you capture a shot like this

and you know you will treasure and cherish it forever!  GOTTA LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!

A few of Kylee's videos...and I couldn't leave out a short segment of "Pretty Toes"


Laura said...

That is the most perfect blog entry!!! I love it! Your pictures, although some are the same, look so much better than mine! Great job. Awesome memories, awesome pictures, awesome crew! We love you and miss you!

Lexie said...

It looks like such a great time. What a treat to have two weeks together. I'm glad you guys had such a Merry, Merry Christmas!

Dave and Mel said...

You did it!! Great post and your pictures are beautiful! you guys all look so good and it was fun to hear about your time together with your cute family!

I am happy for you that you can now move on chronologically in your life of posts :)

Jody said...

what a fun post!! the girls are so big, I can't believe how grown up they are. Ok, I swear Laura is not even prego in these pictures, I seriously couldn't even tell!