Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Day

On Christmas morning Nathan and Sarah humored us and woke their boys up early so that we could get our own crazy kiddos out of the back bedroom. They walked in the living room to see this:

Our boys' presents from Santa are in front of the couch, and Skyler and Zack's presents were by the fireplace.

I knew going in that Luke and Micah weren't going to be ecstatic about their presents this year. Micah because he doesn't really have huge preferences yet. He is happy with whatever, so while he doesn't get disappointed, he also doesn't get super excited. And as for Luke, well... it wasn't a stereo.

We've been working every day on playing pretend, so for Christmas he and Micah got toys to use for pretend games. They got a big car mat and LOTS of Little People things. Most of it didn't travel with us to Pennsylvania, but we used the money from Grammy to get some things off Ebay. In the end we were able to get everything that I most wanted for our pretend "sessions." And I am so glad that we went this route. After only a few weeks Luke's pretend skills have gotten so much better! He will take the people to school-- He buckles them all into pretend car seats on the bus. The daddy often goes to the airport to fly to Texas. We have done field trips to the farm. Usually I come up with the ideas and then Luke embellishes them. But he is putting in his own details now (like buckling the car seats), and he is starting to even pick our destinations, etc. He can play Little People (when I'm playing with him) for over 1/2 hour. That is amazing progress! So even though he wasn't crazy excited on Christmas morning he was still happy with them, and he likes them more and more all the time. Micah likes the Little People too. He mostly likes to open and close the doors to the houses and suck on the people's heads. But I know that he'll grow into them. He CAN drive the bus and airplane. So all in all it turned out that Santa brought great presents. And, in addition to our pretend toys, I made sure that they each had one present they would both be excited about.

Here is Micah's special toy. Those gears fit onto knobs, and then when you push the button they light up and spin. He uses this one every single day.

You can kind of see the soccer ball in the bottom left corner? That was Luke's special present. Luke's wish list for Santa kept getting more and more specific. First he told me that he wanted a Green from Santa. Just a green. Then it was a green ball. And finally, a few days before Christmas, he told me that he wanted a green soccer ball. Santa brought a blue and green soccer ball, and Luke was very excited about that! I sure am glad that Santa was able to deliver because when I told Luke we were going to the living room to see what Santa brought he shouted, "A green soccer ball!" He played with it A LOT on Christmas day. It was his favorite present. By the end of the Christmas holiday Luke ended up with 3 green balls. A family from the ward (I think) picked us for Secret Santa. Luke got a green football, and Micah got a cute bunny. Then on the 26th we went to Chuck E. Cheese (I'll post about it in the next post), and he got a mini green basketball with our tickets. So he was very happy with all his green balls.

One more thing about his picture: In the top left corner you can see 2 blankets tangled together. Like Luke, Micah is a little Linus. He loves his blue blanket. His favorite one is the one with 2 shades of blue. He can't go to sleep without it. Just like Luke, he also has the cutest little giggle reserved only for his blue blanket. And just like Luke used to do, he covers his head with it and tries to walk around. He always has bumps and bruises on his forehead from walking into things or tripping and bonking into things. But I think it is so cute that he LOVES his blanket. Although I am jealous that when Jared asks, "Where's Mama?" we get no response whereas when Jared says, "Where's your blanket?," Micah will run and find it.

Skyler gave Luke and Micah a barn to go with all of our other Little People things. The barn is Micah's favorite "house." It has the most doors to open and shut.

Opening another present from Skyler:

After breakfast ( a yummy egg and sausage casserole cooked in the crock pot overnight-- Genius!) we went to church. My family ended up leaving early because Micah was on total melt down. This boy really needs his morning nap, so unlike most people we are struggling with our new 9 o'clock church.

We had a healthy lunch of pretty much junk (cheese ball and crackers!) trying to save room for our super yummy turkey dinner. Nathan and Sarah fed us VERY well.

So while the turkey cooked we played outside.

Luke played soccer for a long time. Both boys were kicking balls around. I was so lame and didn't bring my camera out, so all of these pictures (actually almost all of them on the entire post) are stolen from Sarah's blog. So I don't actually have a shot with Luke and his green soccer ball. But we set up the cones, and then Luke would kick them down the "field" until he scored. When he scored he got to run to the side of the house and look at the vent. He is very interested in vents right now. (Sometimes at stores he tries to lay down on the floor in the middle of an aisle so that he can get a better view of the vents on the ceiling. It's a pretty awkward experience, but he hasn't tripped anyone yet. And most people just smile at him. Still, we're working on not laying down on the floor.) But the vents on the side of Nathan's house were right at Luke's eye level, and he was fascinated by them. He would run as fast as he could, kicking the ball every few steps, shoot it between the cones and then yell, "Can I look at the vent now?" and then run over there to see them. And then he would try to talk everyone into coming over to look at them with him.

Micah LOVES slides.

After dinner the boys played in Skyler's and Zack's new kitchen. Micah also liked the kitchen a lot. He kept wandering over to it. Whenever I couldn't see him I would check the kitchen and he would be there opening and shutting the doors and switching food around to new locations.

We also did a big Orton family video chat and that was fun. I hope we set it up to do it on a regular basis. Eric had a cool web cam that would let him add features to his face. He could turn into a shark, or add antlers, etc. to his face. He could even make his computer add the same features to whoever was talking. Luke liked seeing his face on the screen, so he would put his face right over the camera and make funny faces.

We played hard that day!

Originally I had a big wish list for myself as well as the boys. I wanted dishes. I wanted shoes. Etc., etc. I got a frying pan which was the thing I wanted the most. Jared said it was his present too. We also got a great trip to Pennsylvania with our Christmas money. We didn't really need anything else.

I have to say that on Christmas, as well as on Thanksgiving, I count my blessings. The gospel and my family are the greatest blessings in my life. It was good to be in church and listen to beautiful music. It was wonderful to be with Nathan and his family and to talk to my parents and my brothers and sisters. I am so happy that I have Jared and my boys! It was good to realize that we have everything we need and everything important that we want.

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