Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Russian Christmas Eve

We stretched our Christmas celebrating out to include some fun on Russian Christmas Eve, January 6th. Xavier and I made gingerbread cookies.  I noticed gingerbread boards on display in one of the art museums in Russia, so I decided that gingerbread cookies was a good traditional thing.  It really doesn't take much to talk me into gingerbread cookies.  Then we made blini for supper.  Finally Xavier opened a few more small gifts.  I don't know how traditional any of those things were, but we wanted to at least keep the idea of heritage alive.  I did some research on Christmas celebrations in Russian and they seemed to center around the church.  That is fantastic except there is not exactly a Russian Orthodox church anywhere near our little hamlet in Texas.  Maybe another year.  Here's some pictures from our day.
I had this hat and apron from gingerbread man/cookie activities with my Pre-K students.  Xavier actually enjoyed wearing it, but here he looks like, "Really Mom?".

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Jesus!

We made chocolate cupcakes for Jesus' birthday.  We all enjoyed the cake and it helped us remember the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas with my mom's family and Christmas at home

We had Christmas with all my mom's family on Christmas Eve.  We drove to there and back in one day because we had candlelight communion that night at our church.  We opened gifts with Xavier at home at communion.  So both these celebrations occurred the same day. I only took about four pictures at mom's family celebration.  One was this cute "cheese" face from one of Xavier's cousins.  We got Xavier "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" (my favorite children's book) with a toy caterpillar, playdough toys, a popper, and a kitchen.  Notice our lovely blanket wrapping jobs.  It was such a long day, but it ended well.

Oh and PJ's which we modeled in the rocking chair

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas with my parents

We like to spread Christmas out around here.  Share the love.  We had Christmas with my family on the 26th.  We probably would have opened gifts on Christmas evening but J.J. was sick. Poor guy.  He's spent more of his break feeling yucky than well.  My parents made a "traditional" meal of turkey although we discussed that maybe goose was the real traditional dish.  We like to take turns opening gifts so everyone can watch the other people reactions.  It was a fun time.  We got to play more games.  My dad made his famous tapioca pudding.  We all watched Jeopardy. I helped the kids put together and decorate a gingerbread house.  The older girls played in the snow. It was just a nice relaxing day.
More Angry Birds please Uncle Brian

A sippy in our stocking. Hooray!

A Weeble tree house

Cousins in the snow with Grandpa

The finished product

Playing/eating Don't Break the Ice

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Big Family Celebration #3

I guess I will go in reverse order (since my husband apparently already downloaded some the pictures off the memory card on his computer and it is with him at work).  Our last big Christmas celebration was with my dad's family.  It was my aunt's year to host, so we made the 6+ hour drive last Thursday to spend a couple days with my family.  We actually headed down a day early.  My sister and brother-in-law live within 30 minutes of my aunt and they agreed to watch Xavier for most of an evening so J.J. and I could have a date.  This was our second date since bringing Xavier home.  Last time we went to football game.  This time we went out to a movie and then had dinner.  It was so nice to just sit and talk!  Friday evening the whole family got together for food and games.  My aunt had a finger food contest and there was so much food!  Xavier even made pigs in a blanket.  Saturday we got together again and, of course, ate some more.  We played more games and just enjoyed each others company.  Xavier had so much fun running around with his cousins.  The event was in a church fellowship hall that doubles as a gym, so there was plenty of open space for running, spinning, jumping, rolling on the floor, all those things that Xavier likes to do.  We headed home early in the afternoon.  Xavier did so well in the car.  I don't know if I've mentioned it, but he usually behaves marvelously in the car.  There have been a few exceptions, but this time he was a trooper.  Once again I hardly got my camera out, but I did snap a few cute pictures of Xavier with his youngest cousin.
Looking very mischievous

I had to crop the photos because the poor kid had an accident and his mother didn't bring him any extra pants so he spent most of the day running around pantless.  I thought I would save him the embarrassment later in life of having diaper pics on the Internet.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Vacation

So I took a Christmas vacation from the Internet.  Well, not entirely, but I didn't do my usual once a day checking of blogs, Facebook, etc.  I am now hopelessly behind on news and it will take me awhile to get caught up on blogs, but I really enjoyed having J.J. home for two whole weeks!  He headed back to work today and Xavier and I tried to get back into our previous no-Daddy routine.  He has asked about his Daddy so many times today.  Right now we are about to head to a basketball game so we can get in a little more Daddy time today.  In those two weeks we were busy enjoying Christmas cheer and New Year's fun.  I am going to try posting each day this week so I can share some of our favorite new holiday memories.  I hope all your Christmases were merry and bright.  Welcome to 2012!!  (Oh, actually Christmas isn't quite over because we plan to do some celebrating Friday for Russian Christmas Eve.  Anyone have a good recipe for borsch?)