On Monday, the 26th, we went to Uncle Mike and Aunt Cindy's for the Herrick Christmas. This year, the Herricks and Anders came as well as Andrea's Aunt Jan. The Herrick house was decorated beautifully and we got to eat Andrea's favorite food. All kinds of delicious salads and also some yummy BBQ meat. It was great to see everyone and it was nice this year that we didn't have to hover over the children to keep them out of trouble. At one point, Paige and Payton actually wandered upstairs and played in one of the bedrooms before we noticed. The kids played nicely together and we had a bunch of fun with our visit.
Connor played nicely with everyone including baby sister.
Before we left, we tried to get a group shot of all the young children,
but they weren't too cooperative. We did get a picture, but most of the
kids are not at their best in it.
We wanted to get a quick shot of our family at home for the holidays to remember our house and tree, but it was a nightmare getting the tripod set up and the lighting right and the picture working using a remote control. In the end, we gave up and waited until we were at Uncle Mike and Aunt Cindy's for a picture. The picture came out nicely thanks to Amanda's photographic skills and Uncle Ryan getting the kids' attention. We wish it had been in front of our tree, but at least we got a cute picture.
On Saturday, Christmas Eve, we drove from St. Charles to Odessa to celebrate the Anders Christmas. Since we weren't going to be home in Kansas City before Christmas, we did our own little family's Christmas on Saturday night.
While the kids were putting on their pajamas, we heard Santa on the roof, and when we got downstairs we saw that he'd left the gifts for Connor and Paige on the mantle.
The kids opened the presents and Santa got Paige a Cabbage Patch baby
and Connor got a super hero dress up outfit with Batman, Superman, and
Next, they opened the gifts from Mommy and Daddy and Connor got Mizzou football equipment and Paige got supermarket food toys.
Paige was definitely excited for the cabbage patch baby. We'd never seen
her react to a gift that way. She kept saying "Ya! Ya! Ya! Ya!" when
she saw her. I wish I'd gotten it on video.
Connor wasn't too excited about his football gear at first,
but once he put it on and saw how cool he looked he was really happy.
He wore it constantly and even wanted to wear it to bed. Not sure how
comfortable that was…
The next morning, we woke up and had Uncle Ryan's famous biscuits and gravy for breakfast, then it was time for presents!
The kids all looked cute with their stockings.
Grandpa Garry got Connor one of the most fun gifts of the day, a flag
football set. It was perfect weather for football outside on Christmas
day and Ryan, Connor, Allison, Nate, Drew and I all had a lot of fun
Grandpa Garry got a few really neat videos of everyone playing. The first one highlights Connor getting a nice touchdown, but only after Uncle Ryan puts an epic block on Shawn.
The last video is a pretty cute one of Connor making another break for it. Unfortunately this play ended his fun in his football uniform. He falls down squarely on a pile of dog poop. Yuck. We changed his shirt and kept playing, but he didn't get to wear his cool jersey after that.
Connor's favorite gift of the year was the football gear. Not only did he get the football helmet and uniform, but Uncle Ryan also got him some football gloves that were extra sticky. They're actually real wide receiver gloves. They are a little big for Connor, but Connor wears them and loves them.
This year, Christmas fell on a Sunday and we had to make a decision on logistics to best see everyone. We typically have been celebrating the Vernon Christmas the week or two before the actual Christmas day in Kansas City. This year, since Alex is in New York, and with the way Christmas landed, we decided to change things around and visit St. Louis. We drove to St. Louis on Friday afternoon and stayed the night. On Christmas Eve, also Chris's birthday, we spent most of the day in St. Louis before leaving in the afternoon to head back to Kansas City.
We had a great visit in St. Louis and we're glad it was planned out so we could celebrate with everyone. The drive in was a little rough. Paige cried for over an hour straight at one point. It was a long drive with two young kids and we'd just done it over Thanksgiving so they didn't have much patience for it. Once we were there, things were great. Friday night, we visited with everyone for a while and then went to bed pretty early. On Saturday morning, we woke up and ate some coffee cake that Grandpa picked up fresh from the bakery.
Daddy walked through the house and took a quick video in the morning while everything was decorated and still put together.
We took some nice group pictures after breakfast since the lighting was nice and the presents looked great under the tree.
After everyone was up and fed, it was time to exchange gifts and open presents.
Unfortunately, when we were dropping off some of our things in Odessa, I
inadvertently took the Vernon gifts out of the car so all of the gifts
we brought only made it halfway to St. Louis. We'll have to mail
everything. Pretty disappointing show by Shawn, but everyone made the
best of it.
Paige was disappointed Daddy forgot our gifts.
The kids got some great toys and books and we got some gift
cards to Disney and McAlister's deli as well as some other goodies.
Paige liked to sit on one of the big boxes while we opened gifts.
Unfortunately, towards the end of the gift opening, we heard a loud THUD. I remember thinking, "Gee I hope that wasn't someone's new gift" and "I hope that wasn't breakable". Well, worse, it was Paige falling off the box headfirst. She bonked her poor head pretty darn hard, leaving a nasty bruise on the top of her forehead. OUCH!
Once we got done with gifts, we drove to Outback Steakhouse for Chris's birthday lunch. Grandpa and Grandma treated everyone to a yummy meal and we all got stuffed. We played for a little longer with everyone in the afternoon, but eventually we wrapped up our visit, said our goodbye's and hit the road.
On Tuesday before Christmas was Connor's last school day before Christmas break and was also his school Christmas party. Mommy and Daddy both were able to go and enjoy the day with him and it was a fun celebration. First, the kids passed around a present that was wrapped in many layers of wrapping paper. Each child got to unwrap a layer and Connor was the lucky ducky that got to unwrap the last layer and see what was inside.
After the present game, we decorated a cookie with Connor and then we read some Christmas books together.
Finally, before we left, Connor gave his Christmas gift to Ms Cindy and Ms Christy and we got a picture with both of them.
This year we went to Andrea's Aunt Karen's house for the Anders
family Christmas celebration the week before Christmas. The kids had fun
playing with the other children and we watched the Chiefs upset the
Green Bay Packers, who were undefeated until that point in the season.
It was a fun day and it was great to see everyone.