Sunday, May 12, 2013

Christmas 2012

Big finish!!  Today we had 5 more donations and with one day to go I am happy to announce that we 

$5560 raised this year and $25,000 raised since 2008!  Those are some huge numbers thanks to all of YOU!!

Today's donations came from...

the Nelsons,
the Dixons, 
Cousin Donna,
and my MOM (on Mother's Day)  who put us over the top!!


Time to celebrate Christmas!!  Our first Christmas in our new home was certainly one to remember.  We missed the constant snow that Anchorage always provided us during the Christmas season...but Spokane did pretty good.  We had JUST enough snow to keep us happy.  We waited a little later than normal to pick out  our tree in hopes we could get some snow on the ground.  Well it didn't work out so on a cool drizzly day we found a great lot selling local trees...our first real tree since 2007.

We have also never done lights.  Again, we waited a bit too long and I finally put up the lights on a very cold rainy evening.  Not bad for our first effort.  I think we'll get bigger every year and be showing up the Griswolds in no time.

It was a great tree!  It was really nice to have a beautiful tree in our house 
...and to have the aroma of a fresh cut tree! 

Great family portrait.

 One of our fun trips leading up to Christmas was visiting the North Pole on Lake Coeur d'Alene.  It was a cruise boat that takes you across the lake to see Santa.  What's great is the boat goes right up to the edge and Santa comes out and gives a little talk before reading ALL the kids names on his "good" list.  The girls couldn't believe it!!  It was really well done and a great way to get in the Christmas spirit.  

It was a little chilly that night so we had to bundle.up.  Everyone stayed inside but I convinced the girls to go upstairs and outside where nobody else was!  Advantage: living in Alaska and having good winter gear!

A picture of Santa meeting us at the dock with the girls in the foreground.  He told some stories, read the list, and then turned on the Christmas lights.  WOW!

They claim it is the world's tallest living Christmas tree!!  Impressive for sure!

Even saw the Grinch on the way back.  I remember like it was yesterday the girls calling him the "Grunch".

Great family self portrait under the lights of the resort in Coeur d'Alene.

It still amazes me that seeing a person dressed as a reindeer would send them in hysterics.  Yep... it was if they had actually met THE Rudolph.  They don't look too excited in this picture but they were STOKED!!

Grandpa and Nana came to visit us for our first Christmas in Spokane.  Here's a shot of us making some cookies for Santa.

Not much snow on the ground but Christmas Eve after the cookies were made, we looked outside and noticed it was snowing.  Perfect.

 Anybody know about the elf on the shelf?  Well after hearing and seeing pictures of lots of people's elf, we finally invited an elf to come live with us.  It nearly consumed the girls every day!!  It was pretty entertaining the couple of weeks leading up to never knew where Sofia (the name the girls picked out) was going to be.  And we had a great plan to make sure Sofia was leaving notes reminding the girls about the real reason for the season.  Looking forward to Sofia coming back in 2013.

The last note they wrote Sofia was asking if they could give her a hug before she left with Santa.  It is one of the most excited I have ever seen the girls.  

Presents, milk, cookies, stockings,

I shared this on facebook but the 30 or so minutes leading up to the girls coming down was absolute bliss!  I learned from my dad that there are two very important things to take care of before the kids come down; get the camera ready and have a hot cup of coffee in hand!  

Girls came down to 4 camera capturing every move.

One of my favorite moments was the girls looking outside and seeing that the carrots they left for the reindeer had been eaten and hoof prints magically appearing in the fresh snow.  

The second toughest part of Christmas morning....passing out all the presents and then waiting your turn to open them!!!  I'm not talking about the girls either...waiting is BRUTAL!!

I took over a hundred pictures of the girls opening presents.  No need to share all of those here...but I will share a few great ones.  Here are the girls hugging after they opened their presents to each other.

 They were VERY happy about these presents...evidenced by the over-the-top smile from Alyssa.

Taking a break for my favorite breakfast!!!  I nearly made myself sick I ate so much quiche.

It was a princess Christmas for sure. 

The story behind this is when we were at A&M, Katy fell in love with this hat.  With the help of family distracting her, Lisa and I bought it and hid it for a month.  Boy was she happy when she saw that hat again! 

Rocking the hat and the new apron. 

 Thanks for visiting us Grandpa and Nana!

Alright, two more pics of opening presents.  I love this picture of Katy sporting her new beanie and then when she found Alyssa's....

I got this great pic of her throwing it across the room.  Well played.

Okay, we have one day left to see if we can raise any more money.  Thanks for everything you have donated so far this year.  AMAZING!!

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