Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

We had a great little Christmas with just our family here in Texas! This was our first time away from family but with the chaos of these kids it felt the same as being home!  I love Christmas on a Sunday too because it helps us think of Christ easier and connect things in the kids' head. With modern technology, it's as if we're right with everyone too. We were able to skype and say hello to everyone, even Jordan in Australia. 
I almost kind of prefer just staying here with just our little family. It was so much more laid back and relaxing. The boys went to bed at 7:30 pm the night before and woke up at their usual 6:30 am so no one was cranky or tired or grumpy. The older boys just waited patiently at the top of the stairs until we woke up. Then each of the boys took a turn opening each present and everyone was happy and excited and spent the morning playing with everything. We had a breakfast of waffles with strawberries, whipped cream, buttermilk syrup, and green sprinkles. We then went to church for sacrament meeting only at 1 pm, came home and cleaned up the house, had an awesome Christmas dinner and went to bed! It was a really great day!! It was so fun watching these boys' excitement and happiness. It was just the right amount of presents and I love spacing the presents out. They enjoy and appreciate each present so much more that way. They opened one on Benson's b-day, another on the 23rd when I was at wit's end dealing with them all day and they instantly changed their behavior, one on Christmas Eve morning and one Christmas Eve night. It was perfect! I also didn't feel rushed or frazzled since I had Christmas all ready to go before we moved. We also really enjoyed doing the #LighttheWorld initiative this year. I felt like we focused on Christ daily and the boys looked forward to it each day. 

Anyways, Merry Christmas from us!

 Santa brought Levi's his ultimate Christmas wish- a guinea pig! He named her Merry Christmas Hendriksen and will call her Merry. :)

TJ and I aren't real big on gifts to each other. Maybe someday we will be when finances are a little more open and school is done and jobs are more flexible. So when I saw a dress and a shirt on I ordered them and gave them to him so he could wrap them up. Well, the Saturday before Christmas we had an empty house since we sold our couches, table and chairs and several other items before we moved here. We didn't need much in the apartment but ever since moving here our living room was completely bare. I really wanted at least a couch to sit on Christmas morning. I had been looking all over Craig's list and other deals but had found nothing. I've really been missing KSL classifieds since TX doesn't have anything comparable. I saw that a furniture store had a deal going on for zero interest until Jan 2020 so thought we should stop by and see. At first we were only going to get a kitchen table and one couch. But after some deals they had going on, it really wasn't too much more to get the whole living room set. Plus, they could deliver it all on Monday before Christmas! It was amazing!! We've never owned such nice things before and it was almost a little unsettling. Like too extravagant or just not us. It includes the sofa, love seat, end table, lamp, coffee table and console for the TV. We've always paid $200 here and there for a dumb couch we absolutely hate and thought it might be time to stop wasting money and just invest. Plus, we don't go out for dates much and almost always rent a VidAngel movie and stay home on couches that are so uncomfortable. So we thought maybe it's time to have couches we actually like to sit on??

 For the entire living room set and kitchen table and chairs (with a long bench) it's $82 a month until Jan. 2020. Amazing huh? And hopefully in a year or two we can just pay it off completely. Anyways, I'm in love with it and can't believe it's our stuff. It looks like leather but it's microfiber and the most durable, kid-friendly, durable set they sell- just what we need! With the set we got a free 55" flat screen TV and put our small 32" my parents gave us for a wedding gift upstairs for the kids in the playroom (I'm hoping this will keep the kids off our nice furniture down here more). But the TV put us a little over the top- it's too big and TJ's going to return it for something smaller. :) We like fancy but that's just a little too fancy for us. So Merry Christmas to me!! I mean, us!

My present from Jordan- sooo sweet of her and I love it!! Probably the best present I received all Christmas was the letter from her. I'll cherish it for the rest of my life. So touching and I just love that girl. 

Bens loved his little riding car thingy!! It was so cute to see how much he loved it!

Merry was a little excited from everything and kept going crazy so that's why the oven mitt. :) She was super calm and perfect at the petshop- come on Merry! Be a good little pet for him!! He absolutely loves her though. It's the cutest thing. He just likes to take a stool and sit on it, watching her in her cage. She's about 4 months old. 

Lev got a bunch of cute little accessories for her from Santa.

Probably the best part about this Christmas is that Ty and Lev were totally independent doing their lego sets this year. I'm actually really impressed with their skills! I love seeing them quietly concentrating and putting things together and not needing any help!!! ;)

Shad was really fun this year. After every single present he'd yell, "I ALWAYS WANTED THAT PRESENT." He was so excited about everything and totally understood it all. He patiently waited for his turn and tried so hard to restrain himself from the other boys' presents (except Benson's :). 

Total Christmas joy right there!

The puzzle I worked so hard on- I mean WE worked so hard on! ;)

Reindeer ties! It won't be too much longer before Ty and Lev won't let me or the sizes won't go big enough so gotta do it now!

Had to be grateful I got the couch picture because the one of them standing all together didn't work ;)

The wind makes my widow's peak look even worse ;/ But 4 crazy boys helps distract from my messed up hair. 

Our best attempt at a family picture on windy 75 degree Christmas Day 2016 in San Marcos, Texas!

Ty- 6.5 years
Levi- 5.5 years
Shad- almost 3 years
Benson- 1 year

TJ- 32 years
Tara- 31 years

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