Christmas 2011.

Christmas morning finally arrived and Elena was so excited to see that Santa had come! Daddy helped her with her stocking~
Someone must have been a very good girl this year! ;)
Her expressions were so great, on every single present!  
 Cooper even got a present!
Then we got dressed and ready to head over to my parents house. Elena asked me to straighten her hair since she always sees me do it so today I did for her. Oh my goodness - she looked so much older!!  
Me and my sweet girl.  
 Santa had visited Grandma and Grandpa's too!
 She had a blast opening her presents and "helping" everyone else with their presents too!
Robert and Elena working on my parents surprise gift - a new computer!
 My Mom surprised me with this quilt - made out of all my old sports shirts and uniforms! It is so great - I love it!!
Then we ended the night with some yummy pumpkin pie and looking at Christmas lights! What a wonderful day!


Gifts with Friends.

Each year we exchange gifts with our close friends for Christmas. We had a fun evening over at Marie's house, and everyone seemed pretty pumped about their gifts. :)
I can't wait to play washers this summer, and we will definitely be having a Psych marathon!
On Christmas Eve we headed out to the Flores household and did a little exchange for the kiddos. Elena was in Barbie heaven!
Against my better judgement (I just know it will come back on me someday!) we got CJ a drum set! He loved it!!
So did Robert, Elena and all the other kiddos there too! ;)
Then we ended the night off with some yummy Christmas cookies by the tree.
Time to get ready for Christmas morning!


1st Christmas Program!

Elena had her first Christmas program this year! I was so excited to see her and her classmates preform! The church was packed! In fact, we ended up having to stand off to the side towards the back. You can totally tell from the pictures too! 
I let Elena pick this dress out at the store. She adored the little roses on the bottom! Too cute!
Her class preformed "Go Tell It On The Mountain" with bells. It was pretty impressive for 3 and 4 year olds! I knew they were doing something with bells from what Elena had said about them but I had no idea it would be a whole song! It was hard to get pics but I did catch her on the big screen so you can see her slightly clearer. 
Then all the classes came out and sang "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and "Angels We Have Heard on High". Elena seemed to be doing really well, until she started playing with the hair on the little girl in front of her. It was ok at first but then she wouldn't stop! I felt so bad for the little girl because Elena would just not let go! I was so embarrassed but oh well, it lead to a nice little conversation with her about personal space that obviously needed to be had! Lol! 
After the program she got to see Santa and have a little treat. :)
We are looking forward to many more Christmas programs! 
Elena's class also had their class party the following week. I was glad that Robert and I were able to go. They did a fun project of decorating a mug and we ended up using it to leave out for Santa. 
I made these adorable (and super easy) Santa hat brownies that I found on Pinterest and they were a huge hit! :) Yum!
 Elena and all her reindeer friends! :)


Illuminations 2011.

Last year we had such a good time at Illuminations with Elena, my Mom and I decided to take her again. We had a unseasonably warm day in mid-December and decided it would be our best night to go. Apparently the rest of the city did too! But that was just fine because the area is so spread out it didn't feel that crowded at all! Here are some fun pics from the evening. 
It was just stunning and we love going each year! Can't wait to see what they add next year! 


Christmas Cookies.

My Mom and I decided to test out our new found cookie decorating skills and whip up some Christmas cookies with Elena. She loves making cookies and was ready to go as soon as my Mom arrived! 
E has a slight problem with eating cookie dough. A little here and there, no biggie. (Mom and Grandma have the same problem!) But when she is sticking chunks the size of cookies in her mouth repeatedly, I had to find a way to stop her. :) She likes to play along if you can't tell. 
After the cookies cooled, it was time for the decorating. Mom and I felt pretty professional with all our supplies out. Ha ha! 
Elena took right to it and thought it was great! 
Of course each cookie had to have sprinkles! 
It was a fun afternoon with my two favorite girls! I also have to mention that I made homemade hot chocolate in a crock pot! Wow -- I don't know if I can ever do the other kind again!! This was fantastic. Here is the recipe and the original blog where I found it! 

All you need is:
- 1.5 c heavy cream
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14oz)
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- 6 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

That's it! Mix together in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, coming back to whisk occasionally.  
So delicious and so easy! The 3 of us could not get enough! :)


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