After opening all of our gifts on Christmas morning we loaded up around lunchtime and started the drive to Wilmington to see my family. I'd been dreading the 7 hour car drive for months, but thankfully the girls were GREAT in the car and I had worried for nothing. Both Handley and Harper were excited to see Mimi and Dadaw!
The day after Christmas we got together with the Musser crew (and by crew I mean over 30 people). It was so much fun to see everyone and I hate that we couldn't have longer to visit. This year instead of drawing names and exchanging gifts like we had in the past we decided to adopt a family and help some people less fortunate than us have a special Christmas. I love this idea and hope we continue this new tradition.
Blythe (my cousin's daughter) and Handley
Memaw and Harper
After we got back to my parents on Saturday night, we got the girls to bed, put on our PJ's and had Christmas with my parents. It was fun this year because Stefanie (my brother's wife) was joining us for Christmas for the first time. We laughed a lot that night and everyone had "fun" showing off their new gifts.
Lastly we rounded out the weekend getting together with the Spivey's. I really wish we could have stayed longer, but I sure did enjoy the time we had together.
Handley woke up just before 7 AM on Christmas morning and was excited to get downstairs. After coming down she said, "I don't see him" (meaning Santa) and was a little confused why he wasn't there at our house. I guess we had kept talking about how he would come to our house, but never made mention of the fact that he wouldn't be sticking around. :-)
Santa must have thought that she and Harper were good girls because they got lots of wonderful things. Harper got lots of "baby toys" and Handley got just what she wanted - a bike, and umbrella, a sleeping bag and a little house.
Handley's gifts from Santa
Harper's gifts from Santa
Checking out something in the backyard
It's a little house!
Testing out her bike with Gigi
Harper and Papa having fun
Handley trying out her real stethoscope from Papa
Harper was really good at tearing into her presents
Here's a 2 minute video of Christmas morning...listen for Handley saying she doesn't see Santa, and for her to exclaim with each gift, "It's just what I wanted!"
Gigi and Papa came over on Christmas Eve and we had a delicious dinner followed by the opening of a few gifts.
Gigi and Papa loved their books!
After bath time, Handley came back down stairs to get the milk and cookies ready for Santa.
She was so excited about leaving him and the reindeer a snack.
In the hopes to get her to bed quickly, I made the comment, "I think I might hear Santa's jingle bells...you better hurry to bed so he doesn't skip our house" and that really upset her. She couldn't get to bed quick enough and she kept repeating, "I don't want him to skip our house." She went to bed right away and excited about what Christmas morning would bring!
Handley loves spotting H's on signs, books or magazines. She knows that "H is for Handley" and just recently has wanted to write an "H" so I've been helping her for a couple of weeks. Every time she practices she'll say to herself, "two lines down and then connect them." She was really good at the two lines down part but the connecting part was a little tricky for her. Tonight as she was taking a bath and writing with her bath crayons she wrote 2 H's that really look like H's! I was so proud of her.
I feel so lucky to have friends that really love my kids. My best friend, Jen, always does the sweetest things for both girls and today was no exception. Last year for Handley's Christmas gift Jen took her to Build-a-Bear and this year she had a fantastic idea to take her to paint pottery! Today we went to GlazyDazy, a brand new paint-your-own-pottery studio in Smyrna.
Jen helped Handley pick out her paint colors and then it was time for her to get started.
One of her favorite parts was wiping the pottery down with a wet sponge. She would have just been happy to do this over and over all day. :-)
She started painting and loved moving from one color to the next.
Harper was pretty good while we were there...sat in her stroller and ate Puffs at first and then wanted in on the action.
Handley's completed gingerbread man ornament.
And her completed plate (I added a little to the edges)
We go back to pick up her completed pottery next week and I can't wait to see what the finished product looks like. As soon as we left she kept saying she wanted to do more so we will definitely be heading back again soon. Also, Jen and I saw lots of really neat ideas for serving pieces. GlazyDazy lets you plan "girls night outs" at their studio so we are going to be planning a night out for painting our own pottery soon. If anyone is interested let me know because we'd love to have a big group to go with us!
There is nothing like home-made ornaments on a Christmas tree. :-)
I can say I proudly have 3 cute home-made ornaments on my tree right now. I've had visions of having a perfectly decorated Christmas tree with matching ornaments and decorations, but then where would I put the adorable hand-made ornaments that Handley makes at school? I remember decorating our Christmas tree as a child and how my brothers and I would pull out the hand-made ornaments we'd made over the years and proudly hang them on our tree. I saw that same feeling today as Handley proudly hung her ornaments on our tree.
Today was Handley'spre-school Christmas party. She was excited when she walked in the classroom and saw me and all the decorations.
I love seeing her in the classroom environment and getting a sneak peak at how she interacts with her classmates and teachers. Let me just tell you...seeing and hearing 11 cute little 2-year-olds say their blessing, God is Great, before they ate their lunch was just about the sweetest thing ever.
The kids saying their blessing
The kids had pizza for lunch, decorated sugar cookies, and then completed a few crafts.
She came home with lots of art projects and a few ornaments she'd made as gifts for us.
I can't believe that half the school year is over already! She is so happy at school and squeals with excitement each morning that we arrive. I feel so lucky that she's in a great school, with wonderful caring teachers, and sweet classmates.