Now that Blogger and My Computer have finally agreed to allow me to post Pictures with my Blogs-- I have to make the disclaimer that the week before Christmas we discovered that my Camera is broken!! (I know, right?) So we had to resort to the use of my old camera (that is also broken - hence the need to purchase another camera that is now broken as well- equaling TWO broken Cameras at Christmas) #2 mentioned Camera is not completely broken. It will take a picture... eventually. Which means- three minutes after the cute smile, the unwrapped gift, the perfect moment - the shutter will finally agree to take the blurry, closed eyed picture. So, without further ado--
This is Riley baking with me. I probably have 1 million pictures of her standing on a chair with ingredients spilling on the ground. I love them all.
A Nelson Family Tradition is making Candy Trains. My family got together the week before Christmas and opened up insane amounts of candy and frosting to unleash our creative energy and produce an edible candy train. Here is Riley. (I am not a cool enough mom to have a picture of the finished project)
This is Blake's Train. If you look close you will see he used giant gummy rings for the wheels instead of a more traditional M&M or Spree. This was so he could make a "Monster Train"! I thought it was so cute. His train was pretty minimal in candy since he would rather play than create. He also didn't care to eat his- since he won't eat frosting and each piece is obviously covered in frosting. (That is the same reason I do not eat mine :)
Here is Macie and JT's train. She is more like JT and would rather EAT than create. She also doesn't care if there is frosting on her candy. In fact, the more sugar the better!
This is Macie after she had eaten most of her train and we realized we should take it away before she throws up!This is my Train. Not too exciting. Accept that someone brought candy sharks to the party which necessitated a lake on the side so my shark and swedish fish could swim together. If they weren't touching frosting- that would be delicious!
Showing off my awesomeness to make my kids Christmas Tree Pancakes! This is an improvement on the usual "snowball" or "circles" I usually make for my kids.
Christmas Eve at the Tyler's. Before dinner Santa and Mrs. Clause showed up and surprised us! My kids may read this someday- so that is as much as I can say about that. But I will say- I was so happy and surprised that I teared up. (But that only makes sense if you know the rest of the story - which you don't - since my kids may read this one day!)
All the Cousins (minus Isaac who lives in Las Vegas) with Santa and Mrs. Clause! so cute :)... notice the fact that no one is looking at me since my camera took the picture long after I said "say cheese!"
Here are the Cousins doing the Annual Nativity. Yes, among Kings, Shepherds, and Princesses, it appears that the Native Americans came to see Baby Jesus :)
And this is Christmas Morning-- before the kids woke up. This part may get Blurry, not because of Lame Camera-- but because of all the generosity we received. Our tree looks pretty full-- and none of it was from us. I still don't know how to Thank all of the people who loved us and our kids and made what was looking like a hard day for us- into a beautiful memorable day instead.
This is a gift Riley made for JT - a giant telescope. I loved watching her make silly gifts for everyone and knew they would be among our favorite things unwrapped. (and not just because I thought they would be the only thing we unwrapped!) Oh and I don't have a picture of me unwrapping gifts- but I will say the Highlight for me was a surprise gift from friends (I have no problem admitting that I was disappointed when JT pointed out we wouldn't have the money for gifts this year and that if we wanted to buy even one thing for each kid it would mean forgoing our own presents!! I am not a mature and selfless mom. I like presents too! :) But he was right, and I agreed that I would rather see them with presents- and sometimes That is Life) So- the simple fact that something had my name on it- (and thoughtful gifts for JT also) was enough to make me cry. Then opening a gift card to go shopping, and ear rings, and a tart pan!!! It wasn't just that someone thought of me. It was that someone knew me. (man I am tearing up again! dumb camera... oh yeah, it's not the camera this time)
Anyways- back to the no tears part--Riley unwrapping gifts. Some of her favorites were Polly Pockets, clothes, markers, Little Pet Shop and paints. But her favorite was the Magnetic Dress Up Dolls that Aleisa helped me make! Thank goodness for Aleisa coming through and helping me be the Frugal Superstar Mom I always wanted to be! (ok, darn it, I did cry about that too! Really, I am so thankful for that small act of kindness from Aleisa!)
Blake got a lot of trucks, cars, and more cars. Which is his favorite thing in the world. The highlight of him unwrapping gifts was when he opened this Monster Truck Carrier with Monster Trucks inside and he exclaimed "Wow! I must have done a REALLY LONG POOP to get this truck!!!" I guess he still thinks that is how it works- even though he has been potty trained for months!
And here is Macie on our favorite toy! Our kids love to ride their bikes, but Macie has not mastered a tricycle yet and refuses to ride in the stroller, so our family walks (when JT isn't home to help) are tedious! I was telling my sister Karen about it and she gave us her old push tricycle! Yeah! So I will love using this as much as Macie will! (p.s. don't like the look fool you- she loves it)
And this is the kids with our new Nativity. This was actually the first part of Christmas Morning. When JT told me, years ago, that his family started Christmas morning with the Christmas Story and a small devotional I thought they were crazy! We thought we were tortured by my parents forcing us to eat breakfast first- but to sit through talking and Spiritual stuff??? That was crazy talk! ... But I am changing my tune... As I heard JT read the story, and watched my kids use the new Nativity we received anonymously this Christmas - I didn't care about the presents under the tree. I wasn't anxious for the stockings. I was grateful for friends, family, and The King of all the earth who chose to be born humbly in a manger with no gifts, no stockings, and not even a bed to lay him in. I guess even as a baby he was more mature and selfless than I will ever be. (Oh,and the kids loved it too!)
P.S. did I mention how this showed up on our door step and I have secretly always wanted a Little People Nativity??? I guess Santa really does listen!