Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning!

Christmas this year was with my family. We went to the movies on Christmas Eve and were going to see "The Muppets", but it was sold out by the time we got there so we saw "We Bought a Zoo" instead. Awesome, fun family movie. If you haven't seen it yet, I'd recommend it. We ate our big Dinner, buffet and paper plate style (that's how we roll) and played our traditional White Elephant gift exchange game with our good friends/family/neighbors. We ended up with a mini gumball machine, a ping-pong-like ball shooter, and honestly, I can't remember what the third thing was. The point is, at the end, everyone trades and plays with each others gifts anyways. It was fun.

After the kids went to bed, we played Bingo. My parents had bought an actual little set, complete with Bingo ball spinner cage. They bought ten prizes, so we played ten rounds. Justin and I scored two movie passes, a collage picture frame and a couple movies from the $5 bin. We could've gotten more, but my parents put a two win limit per person, so we got shorted ;)

Sunday morning we got all dressed up for church. At 8am.... Yuck.... But, it was a beautiful way to start off Christmas morning. Isac, Carrie, and Rose all cute and festive for church.
I was one of 6 "alumni" who have since moved out of the ward, but usually return for the Christmas musical program. I'm pretty sure my parents' ward will never be beat when it comes to that program. There was something like 35 choir members, 1 piano, 7 violins, 5 cellos, 2 bass, and 3 handbells.... The entire sacrament meeting consists of a narraration and well-orchestrated choir numbers. It's awesome. That's why so many of us come back to play with them every year. Though my fingers are often sore afterwards from my once-a-year meeting with my cello, it's always a delight.

Then it was back home to enjoy fruit and creme filled pastries and breakfast casserole. Carrie enjoyed hers at her new IKEA table from her Nana and Papa. She loves it already!

Since we'd gotten up so early to go to church, most of us changed back into pajamas afterwards to open presents and lounge around. My brother Jake got Spongebob pajamas from my parents on Christmas eve. Very bright yellow pants... And he thought it would be a good idea to pair them with a neon yellow shirt. He was quite a bright guy all day!

After breakfast, it was finally time to open presents. And Carrie had been eyeing the "biiiiggg green one" all morning.

Trying to rip away the wrapping...

It's her brand new, custom-made dollhouse!!!

I would say I'm more excited about it than her, but she very well may prove me wrong. She didn't want to open anything else. She played with it for a solid hour before she even turned to see about her other gifts.

It was very difficult, for example, to get her to step away long enough to wrangle up her stuff to take a picture! As soon as I took this, she grabbed everything out of the dollhouse and started playing again!

The after-Christmas tornado.... We like to call her Carrie...

A few things about this new dollhouse. You'll notice I said custom-made... With some serious help from my dad, we built this dollhouse just for her! In a week... it was crazy! My parents had built one for me and my sister when we were little and they still have it today. Carrie recently started showing interest in it and I couldn't think of a better idea for a gift for her.

Honestly, it ended up being made about 75% by my dad, 20% by me, and 5% by Justin. If you look closely, you'll find that it's modeled after our own house. Yellow paint, brown sectional, flat screen "TV" (which you can't see from this angle), switchback stairs, pink bedroom, and a blue couch in the loft that has an open railing to the first floor. Awesome right? The little "attic" with ladder was a bit of an afterthought from my dad. Definitely a good addition though. It's almost 4 feet square and takes two men to lift. And just in case that doesn't make enough of a point of how big it is....


Elise said...

That house is awesome!! And I love that funny picture of Joel and Carrie. What a cute kid. :)

Coleen said...

Adorable, she'll play with that for a long time!

Brittney said...

That's pretty big!!! Bolt it to your wall!!! :)

Brittney said...

oh and it's super cute too.