Wednesday, January 8, 2014

And Then There Was Christmas Eve Day!

After the excitement of Yellowstone we headed back to Bozeman to prepare for the rest of the Christmas excitement.  What's a trip to Bozeman without a visit with Big Mike who was ready for Christmas:
 As was Matthew:
 The big excitement was finishing up Matthew's Secret Santa project.  One day, when we were in the Dollar Store, Matthew asked if he could have a toy.  I brushed him off with a quick "this is the season of giving instead of receiving" and went along, checking items off my list.  Later, Matthew asked, "can I pick out a toy for my friends."  I was still planning to brush this off, but then he mentioned a friend with whom we had just had a playdate and with whom he has a very difficult time getting along noting "I think it would make him happy."  At this point I couldn't say no.  After picking out a special toy for his friend, he asked if he could pick them out for 3 other friends and since we'd only be $5 in on the project, said okay.  He took such great pride in picking out the exact gifts his friends would like and then some special wrapping paper.   He was very meticulous about the whole thing.
 How can you not love this kid:
 We decided to deliver the presents covert style signed "from a secret buddy" and Matthew was super jazzed about ringing the doorbell and running!
 That night Uncle Ed and Georgina arrived late, but they got to join us the next morning for our last advent boxes.  Amma brought out two great calendars and filled them with exciting treats.  So exciting I don't think the kids slept past 7am all of December!

 We kicked off the morning with some fierce Monopoly and cooking:
 Then headed to the park for some family sledding fun (aka Project tire-the-kids-out-so-they-aren't-up-every-10-mins-asking-about-santa)
 We borrowed the "zooming" sled from our neighbors and Matthew got awfully brave!

 Our second slope we found was much steeper, icier, and unfortunately full of trees so we didn't let the kids go down by themselves.  Catherine improvised by belly sliding:
 While Matthew enjoyed butt sliding, but there's a good chance he mostly just enjoyed it because we allowed him to use the word "butt" which is normally a no-no in the house.

 On the way back we made a quick stop to catch the afternoon light on the mountains:
 And on Miss Catherine:
 And before we could blink there were sleds heading down the hill again:

Matthew had a blast again, but mostly just because Uncle John took the brunt of a nasty fall for him for which James and I are exceptionally greatful!  Uncle John had a blast too, but later we discovered the fall did more damage than he/we had realized and we sent him out of Montana with two cracked ribs and a collapsed lung.  Yikes!   

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