Posted in Holidays

Christmas(es) Wrap Up and Elf on the Shelf Part 2

Happy day after Christmas. I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.

Our Christmas routine was a little different this year. We usually write a note to Santa for Red (the elf) to deliver asking Santa to come a few days early since we usually go to Louisville to see Trav’s family and then on to KC to see my family. This year, we decided to stay home rather than go to KC. I rarely miss a Christmas there, but having some down time at home was needed and we were just there for Thanksgiving.

Anyway, my brother and his family were going to KC, so we had a Cousin Christmas before they left. We had them over on Saturday night for apps, lasagna/salad/rolls, and then cookie decorating.

Hadley helped me set the table which I really appreciated.

FYI–friendly reminder that social media life is made up of filters…I’ve been using Ellery Designs filters that I purchased on Etsy from LouMarks Photo, and they certainly brighten up most photos!

We just buy gifts for the kids, and they are always excited to open up the gifts!

After dinner, we decorated cookies. There are so many talented cookie decorators in town, and I tried a new one…8 cookies with icing and sprinkles for $15 from One Smart Cookie.

They had fun decorating with minimal fighting over the icing and sprinkles!

Every year, we make a calendar for family members, and we always get a Christmas pic for December. Now that the family members have received their calendars, we can share these pics that we snapped all the way back on December 1st!

All the kids are getting so big!

On December 23rd (Christmas Eve Eve), we went to Louisville for Trav’s family Christmas. Here are all the cousins and Trav’s mom.

On Christmas Eve, we headed to church. After church, we drove and saw a house that goes all out on their lights, and then came home. Once home, the kids got in their pjs, exchanged gifts they picked out for each other, and put cookies and milk out for Santa. Then, they went out in the front yard to sprinkle reindeer food, so Santa could find his way!

Christmas morning, the kids were up at 7:00. Hayden was up first and then woke up Hadley. We opened presents, had breakfast, called family to wish them a Merry Christmas and hung out. Santa brought Hadley a bike that she was dying to try out, so we took Homer for a walk while the kids rode their bikes. The 60 degree day was perfect for bike riding and walking Homer.

For dinner, I made my first ever ham, and we had green bean casserole, twice baked potato casserole, and rolls. Then, for dessert, I made Shay’s Peppermint Mocha Bundt Cake. So delish!

While we missed seeing our KC family, we had a nice day and evening at home.

Elf on the Shelf Part 2

After I posted about what our elf, Red, has been up to, Red was #Homered. Hadley screamed so loud, I thought Homer either brought another dead bird in the house or he had Red. Well, he had gotten ahold of Red. Hadley cried and was afraid he wasn’t going to be able to fly. Hayden remained calm. haha. The next morning, they were pleasantly surprised that Red’s elf friends helped him feel better.

Red also played Hangman, got stuck in a lantern and decorated it with stickers, drew on our family photo,and left snowmen donuts for breakfast.

The last few evenings with Red, he left the reindeer food, the book The Night Before Christmas and then sat in the tree, so he could watch the kids open presents on Christmas morning.

Side note: when we had the cousins over, Hadley made the board say “Merry Christmas.” I’m just now noticing she left out the “I” haha

It’s always nice for Red to pay a visit and keep tabs on behavior, but I’m sure he’s always happy to head back to the North Pole when Christmas is over….especially for the fear of being #Homered again. haha

I’m going to enjoy the Christmas decorations for a couple more days, and then it’s time to get the house back to normal.

I hope you had a great Christmas. As always, thanks for reading!

Have a great day,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Holidays

Elf on the shelf

We’ve had our elf since 2012, and the kids still get excited for his return. When he first arrived at our house, the kids were three years old. When I asked what they wanted to name him, they went with the obvious and decided to name him Red.

His return date varies but it’s usually some time after December 1st. 25 days (or less) of Red is all the excitement we can handle. By the way, we know it’s him when he returns because a few years ago, Red wanted to be like Santa and glued a cotton ball to his cap. A little puff of cotton still remains on his cap!

Red brings the kids a few things and is up to some silly antics, but there’s no bad behavior from Red.

Here’s what Red as been up to….

The first morning that Red arrives, he brings a little note to mark his return. I gave the kids the chocolate advent calendars from Trader Joe’s.

The second morning, Red brought wish lists for the kids. It’s always fun to see what they write down for “want, need, wear, read.” Red takes those lists back to the North Pole, but the kids know the lists help family members get ideas for what they’d like as well.

Red also wrapped himself as a Hershey’s Kiss, celebrated Taco Tuesday, hung upside down by the tree, and ate a few of Homer’s Christmas treats!

Red also made a heart out of candy canes, took a bath in marshmallows, and hung an ornament on one of our Christmas tree decorations.

Yesterday morning, Red took a selfie while sitting on our mantle! Hadley laughed when she saw him, and said, “He does that every year!” Hayden then said, “HOW does he do that?!”

This memory popped up on my Facebook memories, and it’s the sweetest. There were even two videos, one of each kid, talking to Red about what they’d like for him to tell Santa (Ho Ho) what they wanted for Christmas.

2012 – the first year Red came to visit!

It’s always so fun and so sweet to see Christmas through a child’s eyes. I hope they maintain their innocence for as long as possible.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea