Holly Jolly

It's the MOST wonderful time of the year!!!
Snuggling on the couch watching movies is so fun!

Two couch potatoes sharing potato chips.

Morning drizzles a few hours away from the Christmas parade had us a little worried.

Our rain dance worked and we went to a dry parade!

Rhodes' favorite part of the parade was the "wo-bot"

True Life - let's take a group picture.

Why's it always gotta be Rhodes' not looking!

That night we went to Canton to see the pretty lights and had a little belated birthday dinner for John Michael with Nanni and Granddaddy.

Antique Mall Christmas Open House!  Such fun adventures with my mama!

Nanni got Ryder Highlights magazine for his birthday.  He had a big time working through it!

Ryder got a lego set and I wonder how many times he told me it was ONE HUNDRED NINETY NINE PIECES!!!!!!!!!!! After about 12 pieces I wasn't sure how we were going to go on.

Ryder is quite the handy man.  He likes to find projects around the house and while I was inside cooking dinner he began his latest project.  Cleaning out the fire pit.  That's full of soot.  That I'm pretty sure he thought was dirt.

By the time I found him.... it was a very messy project.

Ryder's class party

One of the activities was to make Olaf cookies.  One of the moms made a sample cookie for the kids to copy.

Ryder never claimed to be artsy....

Ryder never did attend a Christmas event without his festive santa hat.

They had a grand time playing with "their" suction guns that Ryder got from a friend at school.  Glad there were two in that pack.  I do love a two pack.

I appreciate Rhodes' interest in chores at such an early age.  But our dishwasher is starting to get loose.  I hope he knows how to fix stuff too.

The little black chair.  He pushes it anywhere he wants to reach something high.  In this case he wanted to play with our elf Lucky. 

Ryder and I have an understanding that once I put him and Rhodes down for a nap, that if Rhodes falls asleep and Ryder is still up, it's okay to come out (but let's be honest people... Rhodes has gotta take a NAP!!!) So nothing was sweeter than me witnessing Ryder tip-toeing and peeking into my room to see if I was in there.  I was on the couch all along just watching him but didn't want to interrupt him so I could see his sweet little self try to sneak up on me.

Music time at the library is where Rhodes lets loose.  They were singing that song "roll over" about the kids falling off the bed.  Anyways, Rhodes was going nuts.  He was dancing so hard and then he started attempting the worm or some form of the worm.  All the other kids were marching around the room all orderly with their instruments.  He just marched to the beat of his own drum.

Bryant family came for a pre-Christmas visit and the two peas in a pod had a magical time catching up.

And the little bits slept well together too.

I had all my little lovies to keep me warm.  And teach me how to play games on the phone.

First thing Ryder does as soon as he wakes up is change the numbers on his Christmas tree countdown.  He absolutely does NOT forget.

While Ryder and Rhodes were at an extended family Christmas function with Nanni and Granddaddy, we took the day to relax.  Well I went Christmas shopping.  I came home to find John Michael all wrapped up in this burrito listing to.... wait for it..... the spa station on Pandora! What??? Didn't even know this was a station.

Now, let's get these family Christmas events documented, shall we?

Christmas #1 fun in Benton

White Elephant small group Christmas fun!  John Michael and I are so blessed by the joy and laughter this group brings us each week!

I'm about to start putting all mine and John Michael's shoes on the top shelf.  It's like a bomb blew up every time he visits our closet and starts tearing through our shoes.

I'll consider this a Christmas miracle.  Falling asleep before dinner with the TV on?  Yeah, miracle.

He woke up sometime around dinner and claimed he was starving.  I was trying to finish up dinner but in the meantime Rhodes crawled up in his lap. I told him dinner was ready but he didn't want to bother Rhodes by getting up.  He said he would wait to eat when Rhodes was ready because he was snuggling so good. 

Christmas #2 (Henry family)

I decided this could be our virtual Christmas card.  Because we didn't mail one.

Being the oldest girl cousin of 17 first cousins, I was chosen as the narrator of The Christmas Story.  Thanks to all my little cuties who acted out the parts for me.

Gift swap! Cracker Barrel checkers in the house!!!

Then we began our annual begging of one of the cousins to be Santa.

Ryder was really encouraging Rhodes to share his list with Santa (more gifts, amen???)

This Santa suit has been in the family since I can remember.  Probably 25 years.

Wish we could've all been together for the first Christmas without our grandmother, but still so thankful for this full group of loved ones that were able to make it.

After Christmas #2 we went to Vaughan for some potential deer slaying.

One of us was really on top of the situation.

Christmas #3 with Papa and Becky.

Emily and Kayla so sweetly read to the boys for a looooong time that night.

While John Michael helped Papa pick out ring tones.

Stop. The. Clock.

Santa Kayla came over to deliver some gifts.

Then we went out on the town. To the coffee shop.

And did some Christmas shopping.  Rhodes preferred to watch from the window.

Ryder, however, was all up in it.  If you wore your pjs to shop you got 15% off.  He was dying to pick something out for me, so Kayla took him in my pjs to pick out something special (and get that discount!!!)

Movies are their bonding place.

JM spent the night in Vaughan to hunt so Anna Terrell and Kayla came to stay with me!!! SOOOO FUN having my sisters spend the night with me and the boys!!!

My mom kept the boys for a few hours while we got manicures and mexican and it was a night full of belly laughs, that's for sure.

And a morning full of coffee and coloring.

JM came home later that day but no fear, he was gone at the crack the next morning.  He promised me he would be quiet as a mouse leaving so he didn't wake me or the kids.  I sent him this picture that morning around 4:45 in my bed (a mere 20 minutes after he left).  I desperately tried to get the clock to show up in the picture but it was too dark.  Nothing is too quiet for these two.  GOOD MORNING MOON!!!

Our church holds a Christmas Eve service and childcare is not provided for ages 2 and up.  John Michael had some church duties to handle during the service, so I had a nice time listening to the sermon while wrangling these two.

Christmas Eve at Pinelake.

Soon as we got home it was time to bake and decorate.

And sprinkle reindeer food.

And set cookies and milk out for Santa.

Which Rhodes was not fond of sharing. Maybe he was just concerned that little black chair would be out of commission for a little bit.

Ryder tried to help him understand.

Christmas #4 was spent at home with the four of us.

When Ryder ran out of his room and saw his presents, he had a mini attack when he realized he wasn't wearing his staple Christmas gear (his santa hat). He wouldn't look back at his presents until he had it safely secured on his head.

Rhodes was fussing for the first 15 minutes.  He's got to wake up on his own accord.  Having Ryder run around like a wild baboon did not help matters.

Rhodes figured he'd finish off Santa's leftovers.

Ryder eventually spotted the outside gift.  Boy was he fired up.  He was running around saying, "I've always wanted a trampoline but it wasn't even on my list!!!!!"

Christmas #5 we went to Vaughan Christmas morning.

Annual Wilson men photo in the same spot each year.

Last, but certainly not least, was Christmas #6 at mom and George's house.

Two of my favorite out of towners came home for Christmas, so we had a mini get together for lunch.  It was a good day!

We are trying to ease the youngins into camping.  We started with an air mattress.  In the house.  With sleeping bags as their only covers.  It ended up being Rhodes and I "camping out" and Ryder and John Michael were in our bed.  Baby steps.

This shall be my last post of 2014.  I am ever so thankful for a very blessed year and can only hope and pray for a safe and healthy 2015.