finally getting around to blogging about xmas...i have been waiting to get the pictures from adam, who already took them off the camera and uploaded to his computer. so hopefully by the time i finish this post he'll have gotten them to me.
this year we didn't have the pay cut that we had last year, so it started out feeling not so tight as last year...although still not extravagant, since we knew we wouldn't be getting a xmas bonus again. but i got a 6month ad just in time that was $600, so i felt like we were going to be able to do really well...well...then a whole thing happened with at&t, when i was about halfway through my shopping (i always shop late because we rarely have money til late)...to make a long story short, we ended up paying at&t over $500 which cut into our xmas money greatly (and our bank account is still in the red, since we have held onto what little cash we had left to pay pg&e today...used our credit card for the rest of xmas, *sigh*, something we are loathe to do) ANYWAY, so there were a few days of stress and we will be a few months to catch up on everything now, financially, argh.
soooo....what i had originally planned for the kids for xmas was new bikes...since both of them need them. maeven's is far too small for her and tyr still has a tricycle and he's going on 4 and a half and really wanting a 2-wheeler. but, i realized finally that we just weren't going to be able to afford to get them bikes. so i came upon the idea of getting snow clothes for everyone. the kids have been bugging me for a trip to the snow for ages and i keep saying we'll do it every year and every year we don't. so i finally figured if i got them the clothes for xmas that it would force me to use them. (i hate waste) so that's what i did. and then i figured if i got them snow clothes that i would need some for us too because otherwise we'd be miserable. so everyone got snow pants, boots, and those that needed mittens got mittens (i already had some). also bought us a plastic toboggan. the kids were thrilled! (i was a little worried that they'd take it less enthusiastically than i envisioned, but i needn't have worried.)
let me backup a bit to xmas eve...we spent xmas eve with adam's family (though we did bring my brother along since my parents were at dos palos for xmas eve, where my dad preaches on weekends and special holidays). it was really nice because there was no pressure to do lots of gifts. everyone knew everyone was hurting financially so we did another year of not even discussing gift exchange (we used to draw names since there's so many people, but we stopped when things got tighter and tighter). really nice because it was one less thing for all of us to worry about, i think. :) we still do gifts for the little kids, though, so i did my best to get what i hope was gifts that they'd like but that didn't cost an arm and a leg. i think everyone pretty much did that. and that was really great because frankly my kids don't need all the tons of gifts that past xmas's have held. it used to get so overwhelming with all the gifts that we used to have to haul home from some xmas's. i'm glad that the kids are seeing less these days...they don't need to come to expect all that excess. each of my kids got 2 gifts to open on xmas eve--each got a really cool kite and then maeven got a magic kit and tyren got a cute animal game.
and again i emphasized the act of giving, to my kids, so i gave them some money (mostly maeven), to buy some things or supplies for things to make for their relatives. both maeven and tyren made all sorts of homemade things that they were very excited to give, and i swear they seemed more excited handing those out than they did in opening the few gifts they received that night. that is how i wanted it to be, so i was happy to see it. and the surprise that everyone expressed when the kids kept coming at them with more gifts (each little thing was individually wrapped). i think that added excitement for the kids too. so i was really pleased at how my kids got to experience the giving at xmas. so proud. :)
one surprise of the evening was the dvd player that adam's dad gave us for in our car. so each kid has their own screen now for when we go on trips. WAY cool! i never would have even thought to ask for something like that, so it was a nice surprise! especially since that weekend we did go on a trip to the mountains, and it really came in handy!
so we spent a few hours at adam's sisters for xmas eve and had a nice time, then went home for the standard santa cookies/milk, night before xmas story (which maeven read to us all for the 2nd year in a row). oh and oats (dry oatmeal) and carrots in their shoes out front for the reindeer.
xmas morning was the earliest they ever awoke before...it was about 7:45am...our kids normally sleep in til like 9am and have to be aroused and reminded its xmas! last year tyren was saying how stupid xmas was because he didn't want to wake up, LOL!
so we did the stockings (full of candy and art supplies...big hit!) and gifts of snow clothes and such...went over really well...and the kids also got 3 books each from mommy and daddy, and one book to share that was a klutz book about tying knots that i found on clearance at the scholastic warehouse sale...and 2 books each from santa...and adam got me the blue tooth and car plug for my phone that i had really wanted! and i got him the polaroid POGO printer he had been wanting more than anything. (had to run out the door in the morning like 2 days before xmas to get the last one they had at office maxx! i looked all over town for that thing!)
and then after we all got dressed we headed to my parents house and opened more presents. maeven was having a really weepy morning for some reason, so it wasn't as happy a xmas morning as i had hoped....we think it might have been from all the candy before getting anything substantial in her belly. she tends to get like that without any "growing food."
my parents got maeven 3 big origami kits, which she LOVES! (she's been way into origami for awhile)...and tyren got a paper airplane kit and a flying things kits with all sorts of flying disks and airplanes and such. really big hit as well! and we all got clothes, which we are always happy for. and various little things that were fun. and we hung out much of the rest of the day. then headed home before things got too rough with the kids behavior going downhill and my mom's patience wearing thin.
it was a nice holiday overall and we had a fabulous trip to the snow on sunday, 2 days after xmas.
pics will be inserted into this post after i get them from adam. for now, i do have all the snow pics up on our shutterfly site already.