Monday, December 29, 2008

a California Christmas

this year we spent Christmas with the Beardsleys in California. we had a lot of fun, and did so many wonderful things packed into a too quick 5 days! first, on Christmas Eve a special visitor came to Grandma and Grandpa's house. though he was really sweet and many children young, and old were thrilled to see him, Madeline remained very skeptical, if not afraid of Santa Claus. she didn't sleep at all that night and on Christmas morning, when Anna came to say that Santa had come, Madeline froze with sheer fright. she would not come out of Corbynn's bedroom, and i had to carry her up to the presents and explain that Santa had LEFT them all, and was not hanging around. all morning, when someone would come in and say, "oh, Santa came!" her eyes would dart around making sure he wasn't actually in the room. too funny!

Avery had a good first Christmas. she was the only of our 3 children who slept at all on Christmas Eve. she sat quietly while the presents were opened and even smiled an laughed with everyone, before taking her morning nap. seriously, have a mentioned what an awesome baby she is? i couldn't be happier, or more well rested! (okay, i could be more well rested, but i can hardly complain she's such a great sleeper!)

despite being utterly frightening to Maddie, Santa was really good to the girls this year. he left a note explaining that the kitchen and playhouse they asked for were waiting at home, and then hit them with the surprise present of a Barbie Jeep. and princess gear. they played on the Jeep for hours, a day even, arguing about who was in the driver's seat, before the battery was charged up and ready to go! and when they went, both girls decided they liked the Jeep stationary, or settled in as passengers. Henry got a cool new Jeep too, and Anna was all to happy to ride with him rather than drive her own vehicle. Santa did not fail Nalu this year, giving her a rawhide bone and anti-shedding vitamins. she surprised us all by rooting around in the gifts and discovering her own. everyone was trying to stop her from getting into trouble, not realizing Santa deliberately left the dog a present. we were shocked since Nalu commonly has to be directed to chunks of meat dropped on the floor by the children. i guess it's a Christmas miracle that she sniffed out her own gift! another Christmas miracle was the pinpoint accuracy Ashlyn had in her gift-giving this year. i don't think Santa himself could have predicted the need Collier had for a neon green/yellow sweatshirt depicting the classic canvas by Brandon Bird, nobody wants to play sega with Harrison Ford. and really - no one does, so true. and Austin's life was incomplete without the same startlingly beautifully colored sweatshirt, with a portrait of Phil, that's right, music legend Phil Collins. not to be outdone, Corbynn's gift was this perfect tribute to the perfect "man", vampire? and for me, just what i needed. though i have already trapped my man, we tend to disagree on the future of our family, namely the numbers. those who knew me as a child know that i always wanted a big, no HUGE family. i'd been overheard saying a good round dozen sounded about right. however, as a more mature marrying-age woman, i realized this may in fact kill me in more ways than one, (childbirth, lack of sleep, teenage years) i decided big was 3 or 4, and was terrified at even those meager numbers. fast-forward to present time when i have been overheard to say, "the more i have, the more i want," and with 3 i look forward to at least 1 or 2 more now my terror has been transferred to my husband who wonders how to feed us all. well, Ashlyn is here to help me. she gave me "birth control" gum.i just pop one of these babies, and say, "well, gotta take my birth control," and pow, i'll get my fourth child for sure. win/win, right Jase? 'cause i'm on birth control?
i can't remember/didn't take pics of her other gifts, wait, oh yeah- there was the Liberace paperdoll set for my dad, and air freshener for Collier's new car with a dude skipping and the caption, "skipping, running's gay cousin."
then Christmas night, 3 big packages were opened by 4 rambunctious children. the packages contained approximately one million beach balls. i don't think i even need to describe how this went over. really, a hit of a gift. that's grand slam gift-giving Aunt Tashy!
during the traditional Christmas naptime for parents, the kids did not nap themselves (oh except Avery of course) but rather, joyfully played with their toys - oh and my makeup. now you may remember the close call i had a while back thinking the girls got into my makeup- well this time it really happened. these are the faces that woke me up from my nap. (who am i kidding, i never took a nap. really they just roused me from a waking coma.) yeah. so, in an effort to keep the kids otherwise engaged, Jason invented the hit game, "throw the kids."
it still made a big mess, but this one was easier to clean up!
later that night, we gathered as a family for a delicious Christmas dinner. friday, we met some friends at the beach and enjoyed going to Collier's basketball game. the girls ate some of their Christmas candy, and passed out for a short time in the car. at nightfall, we all went to long beach to check out the lights. it was freezing. Avery was only comfortable wrapped in Grandma's coat. but we still had fun, although this picture doesn't really look like it. i know some of my family was able to capture the joyfulness that these two cousins displayed that night, holding hands, singing carols, skipping and running along. but this is the one shot i got. in front of the Rudolf they were so excited to see. can't you tell?
and Saturday, we got to see even more cousins when Uncle Ralph, Aunt Nita, Aunt Lori, Aunt Sandy, Uncle Mark, Brendon, Caitlin, and their families came to visit! oh what fun!

and by the way, Maddie thought Ralph was Santa and wouldn't go near him all night! we'll see if she warms up to the jolly man in the red suit next year.


Tonya said...

LOVED this post! Cracking up about the birth control gum...I feel the same way about...the more I have...the more I want...we shall see...perhaps after a REAL break...maybe this little guy is not that last babe to join the fam...

Marry Christmas...Happy NEW year! Hope all is well with your gorgeous little family!



The Farrell Family said...

Looks like you guys had a great Christmas! Your girls are so cute. We were bummed we got there the day after the big get together. Boo. It would have been fun to see you guys!

The Christmas card we sent to you was returned so we must have the wrong address for you. Will you e-mail me your address?

Erin said...

WOW! Such a busy post. Looks like you had a great Christmas. I love being with my big fam. Not the holidays unless we are! And yours is so beautiful. Very Blessed.

Love the stories of Maddie's Santa Fear. And the Birth Control gum....classic! Where did Corbynn get that shirt?? I want one! :) Happy New Year!