Sunday, January 1, 2012

December 2011... Christmas (Round 1 ) with Philip's familiy....

Christmas with Philip's family is always so much fun! We had his  cousins from Georgia, his aunt come in from Florida, his cousin from New York and his other cousin who is a MONK that lives in Birmingham join us for the Christmas celebration!  We all made homemade gifts this year and exchanged them dirty santa style! It was sooo much fun and so much better than playing with store bought gifts! I loved how much effort put into their gifts! Now we have a whole year to figure out what to make for next year!!

Look who came to see us! Brother Pio!
So what did my crew make? Well Mamo made homemade hot chocolate and chocolate spoons for stirring. It was a hit. He may have attached his cute soccer picture to it to, and everyone thought it was just precious. Aunt Sue opened it, but cousin Jake stole it and took it home!

I made a wreath out of those spray painted pinecones you may have seen on our last post. :) Paw Paw ended up going home with that one. (Pretty sure Grandma got it!)
Robby made homemade fudge and its all Mamo talked about after Robby made it. He wanted to win it in the dirty santa game. And he did! BIG smiles for sure!

Philip was clever and loaded a few cool movies on a flash drive. Uncle Jeremy went home with that one. Not sure it was legal, but it was in the homemade category. Ha ha.

Cailtin made a 3 layered CANDY cake that was the hit of the party with the kids.

That cake was in a lot of people's hands before it went home with Caleb-- lucky boy!

Caitlin was excited to come home with these flower pens... made by Aunt Sue

Robby left the game with Charlie Brown decoration...made by Uncle Jeremy.

Philip won this wreath for us made by his niece Kelsie...

and I left with a cool homemade puzzle made by Philip's dad.

There were so many other awesome gifts! We had bird feeeders made with coffee cups, Christmas decorations, Coasters, Magnetic dry erase boards, a bag full of cookies, night lights, wine bottles filled with white Christmas lights, airplanes, a chess pie and The Facts of Life shrinky dinks! I know I am leaving out some of the cool gifts! It was so much fun and we all cant wait to play it again next year!! and this year we have a whole year to come up with what we are making!!! So fun!

Grandma and Grandpa gave all the boys a remote controlled car before they left. Mamo's very first one! He was so excited that he put it under his tree in his room that night when he went to bed!!

Grandparents with all the boy grandkids. Cailtin and Hannah were MIA.

We had a great time as usual just hanging out and catching up with everyone!

 We can't wait to see everyone next year!

A few days later Grandpa and Grandma came back to town! They stopped by to unload their sleigh and then they were on their way back to Kentucky! (Grandma was sick... poor Grandma, so they just made a quick stop!)

Mamo found this in the Toys R Us ad and cut it out the advertisement and handed it to us. It was quite hysterical. Out of the entire 50 page ad this is what he wanted. -- Horses, a truck pulling a horse trailer and a barn!
 Oh my!

Hot Pink! Thanks Grandma!

The Payne family bleeds BLUE!

Grandma and Grandpa!
Grandpa just retired a few weeks ago and they are brushing up on their golfing skills- so they are both going to GolfPlus after Christmas!

Grandma and Grandpa... this was 10 minutes after you left. (The AFTER picture!) Our friend rejoined us and we play with this EVERYday. This is his favorite truck and he loves his horses and barn. He won't even share this truck with mommy when we play. Its been deemed his FAVORITE for sure!

Merry Christmas Grandpa and Grandma! Thank you for all that you do!

December 2011....It's starting to look a lot like Christmas!

December is one of our favorite months of the year of course! Last year we were getting ready to travel back to Ethiopia to bring Mamo home with us forever! He came home on December 19th! Our kid has a CRAZY memory, but he clearly didn't remember last Christmas AT ALL. He didn't speak English and some of you may remember he was VERY sick the week we got home. We actually spent last Christmas Eve in the Vanderbilt ER- No fun! So, this Christmas Mamo got a DO OVER First Christmas! :) He was sooo excited! We started decorating and transforming our house with all of the decorations! and We made some too with all those pinecones we have in our backyard!!

 (Um, Yes, that is my 4 year old with a can of spray paint. Don't try this at home. LOL)

Mamo loved that he got his OWN tree in his room. I was so thankful that I picked up some end of the season priced ornaments last year for his tree. When he saw Robby and Cailtin pull out their own boxes or ornaments, he immediately wanted to know where HIS Christmas decorations were located.
It wasnt't a box like Robby and Caitlin's but the Target bag worked just fine!

The trees all went up and he was just so excited about the lights, the Christmas movies, Buddy- our Elf that came for a visit, all the good food and all the family and friends that came our way to visit. We didn't travel anywhere this year. All of our family came to us and it was nice!

Copper got in on the fun too!

All of the kids were obviously excited about Christmas. It doesn't matter how BIG you are. Robby and Caitlin enjoyed telling Mamo all about our Christmas traditions and all about Baby Jesus and the Very Special Star in the sky.

We are gonna be Busy, Busy, Busy till Christmas day for sure! We have all of Philip's family coming in for Christmas! We are all busy making homemade gifts for Philip's family this year! I am real excited about this idea! We will play dirty Santa with the gifts we make! My 2 sets of parents will be making their stops too! Lots of cooking, baking and getting ready for Christmas around here!! The kids are so excited for Exams to be OVER and for Christmas break to START!! (We keep explaining to Mamo what Christmas break is -- we can't say Christmas Vacation -- because he thinks that means we are going to the Beach!