Christmas Merry Making

Holly returned for another Christmas season of hiding all over the house and occasionally leaving messes and surprises!
She TPed the tree and family room, wrapped the toilet, and dyed the milk green.
Sometimes I think she is related to Chucky.  She scared me one morning when I found her in the cereal box!
It is no secret that I hate the kids are growing up.  Everyone has so much going on with school and sports it is hard to find down time for everyone at the same time.  This year just Max, Hank and I cuddled up to watch Polar Express. :(
Hailey and Mrs. Rose delivered candy canes to the neighbors with the horses and donkeys.  It brings such joy to the neighborhood!
 We usually go up to the Mogollon Rim to cut down our Christmas tree to make our wreath over the Thanksgiving break.  However, Max had injured his back so badly in our flag football game that he couldn't handle the drive up the mountain. 
  It was impossible to figure out a day that everyone could make it.  This is the first year Hailey missed the annual tree cutting.  She had church obligations.  It just wasn't the same without her. :(
But we did have a nice time drinking hot chocolate and being cold even though there was no snow.
After stomping around the forest we found our tree.  Each of the kids took a turn sawing it down.
Kaitlin and Hank carried it back for us.
When we got home we assembled our wreath.
One of our traditions since moving to AZ is to celebrate Christmas at the Princess!
This year we decided to go on a Monday night.  It was awesome!  There were no crowds and we could walk up and ride the rides as many times as we wanted.
Polar ice slide, carousel, and a merry go round made for a fun start to the night.  I even got a kiss at the top!
While the rides are fun and all, the thing we all love to do is ice-skate.
This year we had our friends meet us there.  Karlie seemed preoccupied...  Can't imagine why.  Hank kept hanging out with the big boys like a great little brother will do.
Autumn and Kaitlin were so cute together.
Hailey didn't have a buddy which meant we got her all to ourselves!
Christmas at the Princess is always a special night for our family.
I am indeed a naughty elf.  Our weekends are so busy that we were not going to have time to make our gingerbread houses or watch Rudolf.  I was not going to have that.  So I picked all the kids up at lunchtime on a Friday afternoon and we played hooky to have a little more Christmas togetherness.
Unfortunately I couldn't spring Max from work but we have never laughed so much putting our gingerbread houses together.  It was a great afternoon and I am thinking I may have to make this a new tradition.
There is something so wonderful about playing with the train under the tree.  Even Siri wanted to partake.
It is strange having only one class party to run.  I got to go have lunch with Hank after his party.  I love it that he still wants me to be with him.  Whenever I come on campus he runs and gives me a huge hug.  I hope he stays a mama's boy forever.

Another tradition Hailey and I have is to go on a finals stress eating date.  Hailey has really been focusing on her diet and exercise and had already had a doughnut that day so she wanted a sandwich instead of our usually Cinnabon treat.  I cherish these dates.  Only 3 more until she is off to college!
We managed to squeeze in sugar cookies for Santa late one night.  I am a huge fan of the premade icing from Wilton.  It makes it so easy to create beautiful cookies.
Another Christmas time tradition thanks to Disney, is seeing the new Star Wars!  We didn't manage to see it until the day after Christmas this year but it was still fun.  In and Out is always a treat.  While trying to coordinate every all the schedules to fit into the activities we do at Christmas time is a challenge, it is worth it for all the special memories we create together.

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