Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Merry Christmas!

I know it's a couple of months late, but here is a quick recap of all of the Wood Family Christmas festivities.  It's mostly just a lot of pictures, so here we go!

We started out the Christmas season by visiting Santa Claus at Roger's Gardens.  Isaac loved the little jingle bell that Santa gave him, and as we were leaving he asked me "where are the reindeer?"  Good question.

Next, it was time to pick out a Christmas tree and put up all of the decorations around our home.  Isaac did a great job decorating the bottom half or our tree.

We took our Christmas card pictures.  It was a little bit of a circus trying to get Isaac, Luke & Cracker to all hold still and look at the camera but we managed to get a few cute shots.

We attended a handful of Christmas parties with family and friends, but I don't have many photos from those.

A few days before Christmas, Karl & Janelle arrived to celebrate with us!  Their nephew (Charlie's cousin) got married in Newport Beach on the 22nd.  There was a luncheon reception for the newlyweds on the 23rd up in Thousand Oaks.  It's about a two hour drive from our house, so we arranged to rent a van so that we could all drive up together rather than taking two cars.  Something went wrong and the rental company didn't have a minivan for us.  Instead they gave us this:

It was a 15-passenger van and Isaac loved it.  The rest of us were not so thrilled.  Isaac wanted to sit in the very last row and enjoyed looking out the big long window and having a panoramic view of the freeway.  Janelle wanted to sit near Isaac in the back, Charlie & Karl were up front, and Luke & I were somewhere in the middle.  We ended up with a few shouting matches when people were trying to talk over five rows of seats!  

After the lunch we headed over to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.  This was really cool!  I loved learning so much about President Reagan and the things that he accomplished during his life. I think we all really enjoyed it and there were lots of fun things for Isaac too.

There was a podium where you could try out the tele-prompters like the President uses when he speaks.  I have no idea where Isaac learned how to give a speech, but we all thought it was hilarious when he got up there and started pointing his finger and making proclamations about going to outer space in rocket ships.  This kid cracks me up!

We got to tour Air Force One, see the President's helicopter, a piece of the Berlin Wall, an F-14 fighter jet, and President Reagan's burial site.

Our next stop was the Los Angeles Temple where we walked all around the grounds to see the thousands of Christmas lights.  Isaac thought that some of the garden paths looked like a good "maze" and of course had a blast running all around it.

On Christmas Eve we spent most of the day relaxing and preparing food.  I love that we continue some of the Wood family Christmas traditions that their family established in New Mexico.  Janelle brought bags & candles so that we could set up luminarias all around the front of the house.  Then for Christmas Eve dinner we ate posole, tamales, and chips & salsa.

After dinner we drove around to see a few of the big Christmas light displays in Woodbridge.  Isaac's favorite was the house with the enormous blow-up Santa & snowman.  Um, just a little over the top if you ask me - but I have to give a pass to anyone who makes my children's Christmas just a little more merry.

I tried to get a cute photo of Isaac & Luke in front of the Christmas tree, but Isaac was a little too wound up to hold still and smile.

Is any child able to fall asleep easily on Christmas Eve?  Probably not.  Isaac dragged his pillows and blanket out to the couch so that he could "wait for Santa."

First thing Christmas morning we all headed to the living room so that Isaac & Luke could open their gifts from Santa.  The number one thing on Isaac's wish list this year was a "Sky Jump" race track.  And Santa did not disappoint.  Isaac also loved his remote control Finn McMissile and the marble maze from Grandma & Grandpa, and his digital camera from Mom & Dad.  After opening all of the Santa gifts we had a big breakfast and then hurried to get ready for church.

Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, so we had the opportunity to attend church that morning.  Our ward held a Messiah sing-a-long.  I have pretty much zero vocal talent, which made it a bit difficult to follow along, but the music was a beautiful reminder of our Savior.

We had the rest of the day to relax, open more gifts and spend time together.  It was so nice to have Karl & Janelle with us.  Isaac loved playing with all of his new toys, and Luke loved playing with all of the wrapping paper.

On Christmas evening my sister Sandy and her family came to join us for Christmas dinner.  We cooked brisket, twice baked potatoes, cheese rolls, and a few other sides, with a white chocolate raspberry cake that Janelle made for dessert.  It was fun for Isaac to have his cousins there to play with.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!