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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Most magical two weeks of the year...

I really love this thing we call "Winter break", as both a teacher and a parent.  Typically, I use the first week off for Christmas prep, and the second week is all about rest and recovery from Christmas. This year was no different.  

I settled into the break nicely, balancing down time, fun time, feed them time and prep time.  The t.v. was stuck on the Hallmark Channel for the 5 days before Christmas, one cheesy Christmas movie after another.  This is one of my favorite parts of Christmas for sure.  It's funny too, how each kid took turns watching with me.  They'd just be passing through the family room and then suddenly be hooked.

For the first time in 17 years of parenting, I actually had all the presents wrapped during the day on Christmas Eve and was not stuck wrapping into the wee hours of the morning.  I still stayed up late, watching Lacey Chabert in one Hallmark movie or another.

Christmas is beginning to change a bit at our house as the Boyen kiddos begin to grow up...still magical, but different.

Day One and even the cat Callie seems to know a "time out" is due.


Lorelei said, "You know what will really make it feel like Christmas break? Eating soup from a mug!"  She's a genius, I know.


The count down...


This was my favorite Christmas spot in the house.


Oh gee...it's another new Hallmark movie.  If you insist!


We did a little holiday craft...salt dough ornaments.


Finland came through as usual on Christmas Eve with new jammies for all.

 
Picture proof...notice it daylight out still and all the presents but Santa's are under the tree!


For the first time I told the kids they could decide for themselves if they wanted to go to Christmas Eve mass.  Sadly we have becomes one of "those" Catholics...C and E, Christmas and Easter.  When given the choice all four said yes.



Tradition continues with Christmas Eve goodies to eat, stockings to open and a visit from Santa himself.






It's the only Santa the kids will actually sit with.






Off he goes...I love Savannah's face in this picture...too old to fool anymore, but playing along anyway.

Lorelei still loves our elf, Finland.  She gave him a goodbye hug...see you next year Finland.


Looks like Santa came to our house too!



Christmas morning starts a little later each year as the kids grow up...9:15 this year.

Jonas wanted to buy this Santa Gator for me since he saw it back in October!  Go Gators!





Lorelei is always so grateful and overjoyed with delight for any little or big gift she received.  I love her grateful heart.  Can you imagine, Santa brought her another doll!!


Round two with family...

After all the fun we took a bike ride to see some lights...this might have been my favorite part of the day.

The rest of the week we stayed pretty low key.  Watching too much t.v., daily bike rides, playing with new games and dolls, library visit and grocery shopping.  Lorelei had fun getting all dressed up, just to head to Sam's.  This girl is something else.  My little shadow, which is why there are always so many pictures of her.  She's always by my side.  Momma's girl.


Geez...they are taking this relaxing thing a bit too far...no couch is safe!


New Year's Eve is a night we love because we either have extra kids over or just hang out as a family. This year it was just us. John whipped up his yummy and famous chicken wings with some help from us.

We took all the Christmas decorations down, but I decided to leave out this little tree in place of our Christmas tree.  I think I'll put some hearts on it next month.  I just wanted to leave a bit of winter decorations out to keep the warmth and spirit of the season alive.


We always watch the town light up on NYE...the view of fireworks from our front porch is amazing.
Lorelei and Savannah were trying to video the view.



One last tradition to welcome the new year...a toast of Sparkling cider at midnight.


Goodbye 2016...it was certainly an unforgettable year in history and media.

Hello 2017...cheers to the possibilities!

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