Merry Christmas Extravaganza!

Why is it that the holidays are so darn exhausting? I feel like we decorate, plan, and anticipate for weeks and then in a day, Christmas is over and normal life starts again.

Except in my situation, normal life means trying not to trip over the Christmas decorations that have been taken down but are still sitting on the floor in various places. And the variety of locations is due to 2 little hands getting ahold of things he shouldn’t. :)

I never want our children to forget why we celebrate Christmas…to rejoice in the birth of our Savior!! We kicked off the season by attending the children’s Christmas Eve service at church…and Jake loved it! It was perfect for us because it was loud (key word: children’s service), they sang Christmas carols, heard the nativity story, and saw a real-life (well, fake) sheep, camel, cow (it might have been the Chick-fil-a cow…was he there the night Christ was born?), wise men, etc … oh and of course the baby Jesus…all come down the center aisle. And with our 3rd row seats, we were front and center for all the action! I think it will be a great tradition for years to come.

Just look how happy the little guy was! Ha.

After church, we came home and had a yummy meal of Pepper Steak and made homemade chocolate chip cookies. We did this last year too so maybe it’s officially a tradition?

Jake helped me with the dishes after dinner…so helpful, that kid!

Christmas morning was a little like the whole gingerbread house situation. In my head, Jake was going to run out of his bedroom, GASP in surprise at all the presents Santa had brought, and jump up and down while giggling and hugging and kissing his Mommy and Daddy.

In actuality, it was a tad dramatic, as all mornings usually are in the Anderle house. But after we had some tamales for breakfast (again, another tradition! I’m on a roll), things calmed down and we moved into the living room…

Does it count if he briskly walked over to his new (used) Elmo toolbench in excitement?? Even though we’ve been playing with this for a couple months in the garage, it was like a whole new toy once we brought it inside!

Sidenote: I don’t appear in many of these pictures. But Jake, I promise I was there! Someone had to make the memories happen!

Not too impressed with the presents…

Jake wanted to sit in his chair and watch us open his presents for him. I think he’ll be a little more into the “opening” part next year.

Santa brought Jake a MegaBloks table with 75 more bloks to go with the 80 we already had…what was Santa thinking??

DaddyJake didn’t waste any time getting started!

Later in the day we headed to La Grange to celebrate Christmas with Seth’s family. We saw a lot of family in a short amount of time! We are lucky that both sides of Seth’s family are within probably a 20 mile radius of one another so it makes get-togethers really easy.

All the cousins
(Jacob, Jarad, Chase, Ali, Dylan, Avery, Me, Jake, Seth)

Jake showed Avery and Jarad how to play with his new ball-bopping toy (for lack of better words)

I’m sure Minaw appreciated getting her carpet mowed!

We opened presents at Nonnie and Popo’s right before bedtime. Jake didn’t know what to think about this monster box!

He is really proud of his new see-saw and is currently interviewing for qualified see-saw partners!

The Lightning McQueen rolling suitcase from Uncle Chase was a big hit.

Everyone looking and smiling on the 3rd try – victory!
(Seth, Me, Chase, Nonnie, Jake, Popo)

Why open presents when you can just drag them around?

Jake got to feed the donkeys with Popo on Sunday morning. This was a super exciting activity. Did you know donkeys were that big?? They were probably glad to see us go – Maggie and Tucker spent 99% of the time standing on the other side of the fence and barking at them. Once the donkeys started kicking, I thought Tucker was a goner but…alas he’s still here. And hyper.

We were so glad to spend time with everyone and can’t wait to have Christmas with the rest of our family in a few weeks! Who says you can’t open presents in January? :)

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