"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Our Very Merry Christmas

I have a THOUSAND things to do, but it occurred to me that I have been a little too serious lately, and so when I feel that way, it always does my heart good to sit down and blog about joy.

We had a wonderful Christmas!

First of all, we were getting close to Christmas and Asher and Prince were still not to their $1000 goal, so I prayed that they would so that I could fully enjoy Christmas. They both got to goal and then some by Christmas eve, and Asher went even further on NYE… but this is about Christmas so I won’t blog about that.

Our Christmas officially started on the 23rd. Nick only had to work a half day, and we had planned to go and check out our local drive in movie theater! It sounded like SUCH a fun, good idea… HA! Maybe those of you who have tried similar situations with small children are laughing at me right now. I am laughing at my foolishness right now!

This was something we had talked about doing for a while. It’s only $14 for our family to do a double feature, which is an awesome deal if you ask me. We wanted to it in the summer, but the movies didn’t start until 9 because of the later sunset, and the early movie was never a kids movie for some reason. I am not sure what genius made that decision, or half of the movie pairings we have seen for that matter, but it hindered us from going. This night, they were showing Walking with Dinosaurs and Frozen, and Walking with Dinosaurs started at 7 so it was perfect! Nick and I loaded up the girls, some popcorn, blankets because it was a little chilly and headed to the drive in.

Our plan was to back in and lay down the double seats in the back row of our Trailblazer, and let the kids roam free… what a terrible idea! Our back hatch is not big, and we had so much stuff in there with the blankets and whatnot. The first movie was so miserable, and not miserable in the “We know we will laugh about this later miserable”, no, “Daddy and Mommy are being very impatient with EVERYONE because we cold and crawling over one another miserable”!


Eventually we decided to put Gemma in her car seat, which she was not happy about! We also lost her binky in the rubble… thankfully she fell asleep by the end of Walking with Dinosaurs, poor thing.



Eventually we three got settled and even though we still were not super comfortable, it was tolerable to watch Frozen. I’m glad, because while I don’t feel like I missed much with Walking with Dinosaurs, Frozen was awesome! If I had known Idina Menzel was the lead, I would have made an effort to see it sooner. When she sings, I just want to pull a Wayne and curl up at her feet and tell her “I’m not worthy”! God has blessed her with tremendous talent.

Anyway, NOW we can laugh about our trip to the drive-in, but it is going to be a little while before we attempt to do that with the kids again. Nick and I are definitely planning a date night with just the two of us Smile.

Christmas Eve we piddled, and I did Angel Tree stuff, and then we all took a walk around our beautiful neighborhood park. I LOVE our neighborhood. I pinch myself sometimes because I don’t know what I did to be so lucky to live here.


This is one of the two ponds in our neighborhood. And also Nick and Isla. And also my thumb.


These two giant geese are Lords of the pond. We have some lovely ducks from up north visiting, and they have not received a very warm welcome. Our little Lords are quite stingy with the food that they get thrown and make sure that nothing goes to any bird but THEM!


Sweet Gemmy Lou!


Isla wanted to be in charge of the wagon with Gemma… that was not one of our brightest parenting moments. Before too long, the wagon fell over and Gemma spilled out. Thankfully she was unharmed!


Afterwards we went to church at our new church for Christmas service, more on our new church later! Of course we took selfies because that is what people do now… Of course I will share the BLURRY picture of myself. I love Christmas Eve service, especially the candlelight part. Isla kept waiting and waiting for Away in a Manger to play and she sung her little heart out when it came on. I admit that I always worry if our Christmas time is not Christ centered enough, but I hope that we will always be together on Christmas eve at church to remind us the true reason for Christmas; that God in heaven left his throne, and became flesh in the form of a tiny baby, destined to make peace with all mankind.


After church we came home and ate dinner – lasagna and other sides, and I surprised Nick with Molten Chocolate Cake… turns out it is SO easy. I don’t know why I took so long to try and make it. I thought it would be super complex, and it was not! The lasagna is a tradition that we are bringing from Nick’s side of the family. As the cook, I am happy about that! It is MUCH easier to makethan ham or turkey.

Then it was time to open presents!

Isla and Gemma didn’t get much. Isla really only got puzzles, Inchimals and Monster's University (so cute!) and Gemma got one new thing and some of Isla’s recycled toys. We are recycling a lot of Isla’s toys for Gemma and plan to give them to her for birthdays and other things. We don’t need to get the girls a lot of toys between both their grandparents, their great grandparents and their aunts and uncles! I would worry about them getting spoiled but they are such sweethearts. I got a Kindle, a countertop composting bin for when I don’t want to take the compost out every time I cook, and a cook book (LOVE). Nick got the TRX work out system, a shirt and pants, and an outdoor thermometer since he’s so into the weather.


Isla is one that I don’t think I will need to teach gratitude to! She was so overjoyed with each and every gift, and thanked us profusely! She has such a good little heart. Our favorite quote of the night… “Oh I LOVE it… what is it?”


After opening presents we watched Monsters University and then put Isla to bed. I thought she would be EXHAUSTED and fall asleep immediately since she hadn’t napped and we let her go to bed so late. I checked on her for an hour and every time she was wide awake and wanted to let me know that she was waiting up for Santa and she hadn’t heard reindeer on the roof yet! I know she was tired because we realized that we hadn’t set out cookies so I offered to let her get out of bed to help me really quick, and she said I could just do it. She was too tired to get up! I am SO glad we decided to do Santa, now I live in terror of the child who is going to tell her Santa isn’t real and ruin all our fun.

After she finally fell asleep, “Santa” brought the girls their presents. Cookie actually helped Santa with the girls two big presents, a little pink baby grand piano (see, I told you, we don’t need to buy the girls gifts… even with us buying the minimum I feel like we are already bordering on decadence) and a white rocking chair. If it hadn’t been for Cookie, the girls would have just received stocking stuffers from Santa, but Cookie does love to spoil us. Isla received nail polish and some Schleich toys, and Gemma some grasping toys.

When I was little, I mentioned that we used to live in the Netherlands. It is a custom there to get people chocolate letters in the initial of their first name, so that is a tradition that I am continuing with all of us. And also, Nick and I received chocolate seashells, my favorite and I pretty much ate all of his Smile. Next year we’ll just ask Santa for two boxes for me. Mom and Dad received new glasses for our kitchen. Mom and Dad’s Santa presents were a surprise since Santa and Mrs. Claus set them out while the other couldn’t see them. Nick received new collegiate shirts since his are getting old and faded and packets of heirloom seeds. I received Game of Thrones: Season 1 and Season 2 on DVD… don’t think less of me. I loved them and I was so surprised! We’ve already watched them once and I want to watch them again with commentary before season 4 starts.

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Christmas morning, Isla came and crawled into our bed and forlornly informed us that Santa hadn’t come because she hadn’t heard reindeer! We told she must be mistaken and to go and check the living room. We heard the funniest shriek of “HE CAME!”

Second favorite Isla quote of Christmas… nothing about the piano but “OH I HAVE A NEW PINK STOOL!”

I did not get a single good picture of the mayhem that followed…


And that was our Christmas. Now we are sad knowing that it will almost be an entire extra year before we get to celebrate again!  We, Wanns are pretty lucky though, just one month after Christmas on January 25th, we get to celebrate another special to us birth, the birth of Nick. Exactly one month after that, we will celebrate yet another special birth, sweet Gemma’s FIRST birthday Smile. So I think we will make it through the next few months of winter funk at least!


  1. Stori, So glad your AT babies met their mark! And glad that your adorable family had a wonderful Christmas! Hope that 2014 is an amazing year for yall!

  2. I loved all the pictures. It looked wonderful. Our was fabulous as well. Are those Hanna Andersson pjs? I buy them for my kids and think they are the best quality!

    Sue H.

  3. Thank you Elizabeth! Thank you for friending me on Facebook, it made my day!

    Sue, thank you! Yes they are Hanna Andersson. I agree - it's the only brand I'll buy anymore. They hold up so well even after many washes and when I put them away for Gemma after Isla has outgrown them, they still look like new!


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