Monday, December 27, 2010

Minnesota Day 2

It's long been tradition for Adam's cousins to get together for breakfast the day after the Christmas party. We used to meet up at Nelson Brothers but this year we met at Sarah's new house for a homemade breakfast feast!  The four little boys had a blast playing together.

Ryan saying hello to baby Ethan. Ethan does not look impressed.
Ryan liked rocking him in his swing and the other little boys insisted on sharing their toys with Ethan. What good cousins!
Ryan + Malachi + magnets = Trouble

Adam's cousins are used to playing with their nephews and Ryan had a good time rough-housing.

We're just not sure he's ready for this:

In the afternoon, we made our annual trip to St. Cloud for Barnes & Noble, shopping, and picking up Papa Murphy's for supper. Then it was time for pizza and cards!

Ryan doesn't make the best card partner, despite his poker face.
We drove home on Wednesday morning and after hitting the lunch time rush in Windom, were forced to make my first stop at Hardees in three years.

This time to eat.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in Minnesota

On Sunday, we went to the early service at church and then took off for Minnesota to Adam's grandparents. It was a tight squeeze with five of us and our gear in a Rendezvous, but they still let me sit in the front to avoid another unfortunate "stop at Hardees so Courtney can puke" sidetrip. After supper at the farm, we headed to Adam's Aunt and Uncle's for the big family party. 
Ryan opened a very special present from Great Grandpa and Grandma.

Great Grandpa made a "Sit Down, I'm a Chair, Step Up I'm a Stair" for Ryan and for Malachi!

Ryan's seem awfully "comfortable" in his!

Ryan also loved climbing up and down the wide carpeted stairs. 
His method of "crawling down" consists of sliding down on his well-padded belly, causing his pant legs to hike up to his knees. We'll keep practicing!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Night

On Christmas Day, we had lunch with my mom's side of the family. We were disappointed my grandpa wasn't feeling well that day and couldn't make it for lunch, but we enjoyed visiting with the family that could make it. At night, we had another meal (did we ever STOP eating?) with just my family. Before we could open presents, we tried to get a picture with the grandkids. Emily was super cooperative (present-bribing seems to do the trick).


Lincoln, however, was not exactly Mr. Compliant.

 We finally  just let them have at it and they sure had fun.
Ryan loved the wrapping paper and loved his new slippers! He opened (with Lincoln's help) a Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set and a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Car but since we didn't take them out of the box, he got to enjoy them later in the week after Adam put them together. Just a warning to other "Cozy Coupe" parents--don't expect to just pull the car out of the box, pop on the wheels, and go for a spin! That thing is crazy to assemble!

Emily provided quite the performance when she opened my bag of candy from work. Go to the Rips Licorice page on facebook and scroll down to watch the video!

We had a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of family, more food than I care to remember, laughter, and love. It had been very busy few days celebrating...and there was more Christmas to come!

Thanks, Mom & Dad for making it a special Christmas for us all!

Christmas Sledding

Christmas day was pretty chilly, but Emily insisted we should go sledding (read: we pull her around on a sled). Adam and I were in need for some fresh air, so we were game! We bundled Ryan up and got him ready for his first snow experience!

Emily and Ryan ready for a ride.

Ryan isn't sure what to think (about the snow or the snow gear)

After a while, I tricked Emily into pulling ME!
Looks like hard work.

I love my little snow man!

Christmas Morning

It was so nice to already be in town Christmas morning so we could didn't have to rush to get out the door. We attended church where Adam's dad is the minister and we always love listening to his messages. We also love the tradition of closing the service with the Halleluiah Chorus and inviting anyone who wants to join the choir at the front to sing along. Since we all learned the song in High School, we usually participate and it is a joy to sing (even if you can't quite hit the high notes anymore).

Ryan loved having the full attention of three youth group members manning the nursery and spent it going down the slide and throwing balls (of course). It'll be a few years until he can join the chorus although I'm fairly certain I've heard him hit a high G. With.Authority.

After church Grandma had one last gift for Ryan.

He was pretty excited.
It was a special book to teach him about the real Christmas story.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Waiting for Santa

Christmas Eve Night

On Christmas Eve night, we traveled to Hometown for supper with my dad's side of the family. We enjoyed catching up with cousins, aunts, and uncles. Ryan especially had fun playing with his cousin, Lincoln (19 months) and my cousin Jace (11 months).

Here's Ryan showing Jace how the Tractor and animals work.
 So helpful.
He finally got around to opening his own present from Great-Grandma which was an awesome Talk & Teach Transport. It's a great toy for Ryan and Lincoln because the cars are a good size for little hands and don't come apart. The truck can "sense" how many and which cars you take off or put on and has an electronic voice with a Chicago/Boston accent, so it tells you to "find.the.RED.Cah." or counts "Three cahs, Foh cahs." It also turns itself off if you haven't touched it in a while and says "Good-bye! See you SOON on the ROAD!"

Ryan had to go show Grandma and Grandpa his new toy!

Lincoln knew just what to do with his Carrier.  Ryan was a little standoffish at first (we call this his "catalog pose") but once we got the toy home, he loves laying on the kitchen floor and pushing the cars around and taking them out and putting them back in the truck.

Before the night was over, he shared a few more laughs and some exploring with Jace and made it until 10:00 when we finally packed up and headed to Adam's parents to spend the night.

Christmas Eve at Home

On Christmas Eve, we had our own family Christmas after lunch. Ryan got a bit of a head start as he tipped over and started tearing paper off one of his presents earlier in the day, but we rescued it in time.

I think he was pretty excited to get started.

First, the traditional "kid in front of the tree" picture:

Next, the less-well-known "kid sitting on a stack of presents with a slightly constipated expression" picture.

Now, it's time to see what Santa brought Ryan in his stocking (Santa sends his helper elves a little early if you're planning to be out of town on Christmas morning).

Duh, everyone knows that.

Oh the anticipation...

"Are you serious, Santa? Clothes? I was hopping for an ipad."

On to another present...

Hmm..this looks familiar.

Oh yeah! It's my  The Zoo Keeper Says 2010 Hallmark Ornament--the replacement one with a ring attached!

Let's try another one...
Ryan loves Eric Carle books, especially 1,2,3 to the Zoo: A Counting Book and Today is Monday. Just don't try to pull out A House for Hermit Crab. There's no substituting hermit crabs for "Wendesday Zoooooooup!
Now he has the board book for Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See?

He's really getting the hang of this "opening presents" thing.
I picked up this Wind-Up Tractor Book from the Usborne Books booth at the Winterfest Vendor Fair. It has a wind-up (RED!) tractor that travels around three different paths and there are punch-out characters and scenery you can set up along the route. It was kind of a splurge, but it's something special Ryan can enjoy for years to come. As he gets older, we can start acting out the story with the characters and finding all of the details in the tracks.  For now, he just likes watching it whiz around the track!

Before Ryan opened his final present, he had a little fun playing with some of Daddy's.