Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Christmas (festivities) with the Woodruffs in AZ

Christmas reallywas great this year. We spent the first chunk with my family, and then Christmas Day afternoon we went down to Queen Creek to Casey's brother's house to spend almost a week with them while Casey's parents and other siblings were in town too. Then back to my parents for 2 days and then we left back home. 2 weeks REALLY does go fast when you're trying to cram a ton in. 

I have so many photos and we had so much fun that I honestly am not even going to try to blog it all. I've pretty much picked one pictures from each event to write about so it can be remembered but beyond that i just can't do it this year, ha. At least it will be blogged in some form!

We visited a close family friend's home where they had 10 day old puppies, it was just the sweetest and made my heart so happy! We then basked in their super wonderful backyard outfitted for an Arizonan king: play set, tramp, pool (we did not bask in that fun), huge open grass area for Maxson to RUN to his heart's content, and orange trees galore. It was a really great hour we spent there. Thanks, Walkers!
We bought POGO passes for Arizona last summer and since they last a year we tried our best to use those babies as much as possible and we sure had a freaking blast with them! This was the Idea Museum. My kids favorite part was building huge tower structures from these huge blocks (or in Maxson's case destroying everyone else's towers, sigh). Our nieces joined it and made it tons of fun. If I lived by Annalen and Phoebe I would honestly pay them a $1 a day to come play at my house/watch the twins because they do such a great job of it.
The POGO passes took us bowling to Fat Cats one night. Max was insanely eager to throw a ball down the lane CONSTANTLY, he is exhausting. My parents, Logan and Blair's family, and Kirk and Whitney joined us here.
POGO passes brought us to a huge bounce house place which Max absolutely ATE up. Actually both Max and Casey loved it. Casey was so sweaty after having so much fun with Maxson and our nieces there, I love that he sincerely enjoys fun kid activities like this. The babies loved going down the slides too, they were so cute to watch. I was surprised that there were pretty much no other parents at the place that really joined their kids on the bounce houses and played with them. Casey, my mom, and myself were constantly going in and out with the kids, it's so much fun to join them! (To Blair's credit she was pregnant or she would have too). We REALLY loved Pump it Up and can't wait to go again.
Went to the temple
The inside of the temple has a room full of nativity displays, they are truly so beautiful! We went with my mom.
Met little 2 week old Liesl! My brother Scott's baby. She was so super adorable and small. I wanted to just kiss on her little face tons and snuggle her constantly! This is the first baby in the family that's been born when I didn't have my own baby in a LONG time. So I was INSANELY happy to be cuddly a sweet little baby!
On Christmas Adam we had a little fire pit in the front yard while roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate. My whole family was up for this and we had a great time with them all.
On Christmas Eve we played the annual unwrapping games! We love this game so so much! My mom takes a gift card and wraps it in TONS of layers of wrapping paper, duct tape, seran wrap, tape, etc. If you roll doubles with the dice you get to try and open the ball but with work gloves on your hands. it's hilarious how intense this all gets, especially towards the end when you feel like you're SO close to the end prize you just want it! Or when you FINALLy rolled doubles and as soon as you get the gloves on someone else rolls doubles so you don't even get to try opening it. It's one of the best and funniest traditions I think we have and we all enjoy it so much, it never gets old. This year Megan won it but it felt like Logan opened half of it with all the doubles he rolled. This was also the first year we had "rules" from previous years i.e. no teeth or other objects were allowed to be used, only your hands.
A new addition was that the kids had their own ball! This ball was all seran wrap but instead of just one prize at the end the layers with filled with candy and small toys so they all won something throughout the whole ball unwrapping. I think the kids had so much fun unwrapping their own ball after seeing their parents do it right before them. As soon as a kid would get candy they essentially put the ball down and focused on their candy ignoring the fact that they still had time to unwrap the ball! Those silly kids.
Christmas tree picture!
Look at all them cute grandkids!
We had a live nativity Christmas Eve. The children were SOOOOOOOOO proud of themselves dressed in their adorable nativity attire. Their faces were beaming as they walked in while my dad read through the Christmas story as told in the scriptures. It was seriously so sweet. We also exchanged sibling gifts that evening.
Christmas morning! Logan and Blair spent the night with us which made it special having Christmas morning with their family. They are so sweet to make all the effort to come up and be with us so much during our time in AZ, all my siblings are, truly, but L&B go beyond all hopes we have. Christmas is seriously so magical with these adorable little human beings, they are so excited over simple gifts, and their eyes are THRILLED to open a simple thing like BUBBLES! Oh how I love these children of mine!
Cool fact, Casey and shopped the Goodwill by my mom's house a few days before Christmas and scored with some AWESOME gifts for our kids for insanely low prices. Arizona Goodwills have such a great selection of all items, good prices, and a well organized store!
The rest of the family came up Christmas afternoon where we had lunch together and opened Granny and Papa gifts.  Max loved getting sweet cars from Papa and Granny.
After all that fun we drove to the church and played in the gym for awhile with some huge balloons my mom blew up. The kids, like always, went nuts over these balloons, even the adults had fun punching them around. it was a really great activity for a Christmas Day afternoon.
We had our annual stilly string fight on Christmas Day too. We've been doing this since like 1998 or 2000 I think, pretty crazy but stinking fun! Maxson and Tristan LOVED the silly string, most the nieces were still not fans of it all. I love love love doing this each year with my family!

When we came back around New Year's we lit off firecrackers in the backyard which scared us all half to death. None of us were truly ready for how loud they were and half the children ended up crying, poor things. BUT it was still fun. I wish we had gotten to go shooting with my brother and hid family New Year's Day but sadly it didn't work out.
 My mom bought a fun new game called pie face which everyone LOVED playing.
 We gathered for our traditional New Year's morning breakfast at IHOP! My children shoveled down way more food than I thought they possibly could (it was totally delicious, maybe that's why), I will admit I shoveled down some gloriously yummy stuffed french toast as well. We were a rowdy messy bunch there and after an hour of being there my children were chomping at the bit to get outside and run around, ha. Restaurants are still one of the hardest things for me, I don't enjoy them quite yet with my children.
 Our POGO passes to us to the Phoenix zoo which was so much fun! Logan and Blair's family and my mom joined us and we had a great time.
 Max was super adorable and walked around looking at his map the first 25 minutes.

 And I met up with some of my bff's for lunch and then a playdate with our families the next day too. I love these girls so much. They teach me a lot. PLUS look at how gorgeous they all are! Hopefully some of their beauty and fashion will rub off on me more.

A huge shout out to my mom for making all our activities in AZ possible with her extra set of hands and patience, and love, and accommodations!


AN Petersen said...

You were at my parents and I never knew it!?!?! What is this world coming to. ;) I am glad that you had fun though, there backyard is the best.

Cherri said...