Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Christmas Festivities

Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve we had dinner with the Grammie, Papa, Uncle Ed and Auntie Di.  Papa had just gotten home from three days in the hospital after a hip replacement, so it was a pretty low key dinner as he was on the road to recuperating.  After dinner we headed home to put out cookies and chocolate milk for Santa.  Emerson decided this year Santa deserved chocolate milk, not regular milk.  Lucky Santa!!  After putting out cookies and milk, it was off to bed so Emerson could dream about sugarplums.  Mommy and Daddy then headed to our respective spots in the house, Daddy downstairs to put together a doll house and Mommy upstairs to finish wrapping for the next day.  Surprisingly the doll house didn't take as long as expected and we were all snug in our beds by 10:00 pm and fast asleep so Santa could come.

Cookies and Milk for Santa!!!

Emerson's presents from Mommy and Daddy

Emerson's presents from Santa

The Dollhouse

Oh, Christmas Tree!!

Christmas Day 

Christmas Morning
It may come as a shock to those reading this post, but Danny and I actually had to wake Emerson up on Christmas morning.  Danny got up around 7:00 am and made sure things were all set downstairs...really, I think he was just excited.  Around 7:45 am, we actually had to go in Emerson's room and wake her up, but all we had to say was "Santa" and her eyes went from being sleepy to bright eyed in a split second.  As is tradition in our house, Emerson sits on the first stair to our staircase while Danny and I check the living room to make sure Santa had been there.  (It's really a ploy to buy a minute so Danny can get into prime video taping position and so I can get in prime photographing position.)  After we've checked it out, we call her into the living room and she dashes at full speed down the hallway and rounds the corner.  Em was so excited this year to see the doll house Santa brought her.  I think she was a bit stunned to actually see it set-up and in the living room.  We had a great morning opening presents and just being together, just the three of us.  There's no better place to be, than at home on Christmas morning with the two people you love most in the world!!!

Waiting to see what Santa brought...

 2009 (almost the exact same picture as above)

Rounding the corner at full speed!!


Checking out the missing cookies and empty milk glass!!

Opening some presents from Mom and Dad.

Dumping her stocking out

Taking a break in the action to eat the uneaten cookie Santa left!
(I love the hovering puppy just waiting for his Christmas crumb to fall) 

Solid doll house play....
(in fact, Christmas morning turned into WW3 in the Dever household because we couldn't tear Emerson away from the doll house to get ready to head to Mimi and Birdie's house.  We've learned our lesson on that one, kids need a some solid hours after opening to actually play with their toys!!)

Merry Christmas!!  Thank you Santa (and Mommy & Daddy) for all my wonderful gifts!!

Christmas Brunch with Mimi and Birdie
After Christmas at our house (and the meltdown by our preschooler), we got dressed and headed to Mimi and Birdie's house for breakfast and present opening.  Mimi outdid herself with breakfast; she made breakfast casserole, rolls, cinnamon rolls, yogurt fruit salad, and even a Mickey Mouse pancake for Emerson with our pancake mold from Disney World.  It was great to just open presents, and enjoy breakfast with family.   
Mimi and Birdie's decorations

The elf handing out presents

The elf and all her presents

Emerson helping Birdie, Mimi and me open some of our presents!

A break for breakfast and a Mickey Mouse pancake.

Emerson really wanted a make-up kit for Christmas and although she got some nail colors from Santa, Mimi hit the jackpot with this make-up kit.  Emerson thought she was a movie star putting on all the colors, and then she played make-up artist to her rock star daddy and Birdie.

Christmas with the Dever Clan
After brunch with Mimi and Birdie, we headed home for a quick nap.  Surprisingly Emerson laid down and took a two hour nap.  After nap, we headed back to Grammie and Papa's house to have dinner.  Corey and Auntie Di cooked Beef Tenderloin, Curry Shrimp, Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Green Beans, Broccoli, and Rolls, everything was super yummy.  Dinners are always great when you have a future chef cooking them for you.  After dinner we let Emerson open all her presents and then she settled in with a movie while the adults did their Secret Santa exchange and then White Elephant Food Item exchange.  It was great to spend time with Ed, Diane and Corey since we rarely get to see them.  The best part of the evening was walking outside to go home to a blanket of snow.  We truly had a White Christmas, what a great way to end a great day!!!

Some good quality time with Uncle Ed.

Opening presents!!!

Movie time while the adults opened presents!!

Elf on the Shelf

This year we started the Elf on the Shelf tradition in our house.  I wanted to do it last year but I think the idea of Christmas and Santa was just setting in to Emerson and adding another element would have been a bit overwhelming.  So, we waited until this year and that proved to be the best decision.  Emerson loved her Elf on the Shelf.  We started on December 5th when we got back from the beach.  We read the book about the elf and as a family named our elf, Riddle.  Riddle had a new hiding place every morning, then he would fly to the North Pole to tell Santa about Emerson and appear the next morning in a another new hiding place.  Emerson asked about Riddle every morning when she woke up and couldn't wait to get out of bed and find where he was.  Often saying to Danny and me, "Riddle is a good hider!"

The first week Riddle was nice enough to only hide in Emerson's room.  He started with all the easy spots until she got the drift of how the process worked, then he moved downstairs.  Riddle was a great "hider" and it was fun trying to find all his hiding spots.  Maybe next year when he returns the spots will get even more challenging.  We can't wait until his return next year!!!

Some of Riddle's hiding spots.....
Emerson's room * A wreath * Garland * In the Christmas Tree * On our microwave * Hidden amongst decorations * In the wine cooler * Lighting Fixtures

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Show-and-Tell #63: Snow Globe (repeat)

Last Friday, December 17th, the day of Emerson's Christmas pageant at her daycare, she decided to take her Cinderella snow globe for Show-and-Tell.  This is a repeat from last years Show-and-Tell #19.  I can't believe this is the first repeat in 63 Show-and-Tell items, that's pretty impressive or it just proves we have a lot of toys!!!  I have a feeling we will see this snow globe around the same time next year!!

Show-and-Tell #63
Cinderella Snow Globe (repeat)
December 17, 2010

Reindeer Cupcakes

I was supposed to take cupcakes to preschool for Emerson's Christmas pageant on December 16, but we got a small ice storm the night before and school was called off that day.  So, since I had all the stuff to make the cupcakes, I decided to make them for Emerson's daycare class the next week, especially since they weren't having a party.  The report from Emerson is that everyone LOVED the cupcakes and thought they were "So CUTE!!".  I'm not really sure if I've ever met a preschooler that doesn't like a cupcake, but I'll trust Emerson when she says the were a big hit.  They were also a huge hit with Mommy, because they were extremely easy to make!!

This is the picture I found when I Googled "reindeer cupcakes"....
thus, my inspiration!!!

Yes, I used store bought cupcakes...that's what makes 'em so easy!!

Ice the cupcakes adding slightly more to one side to create the reindeer's nose.

Add a red M&M for the nose.  
(I recently found that Michael's carries a selection of M&M's near the baking aisle in an assortment of colors. That way all you have to do is buy a bag of the color you need, less eating of unnecessary M&M's and no waste of unwanted colors in a regular bag!!)

For the eyes, add white chocolate chips (placed upside down) and two small drops of black icing gel.

For the ears, I used pretzels. I put a small amount of icing on the bottom of the pretzel and then stuck it into the cupcake.  

Voila!! Reindeer Cupcakes!!!