Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas With Grandad and Grandnee (2014) + Pickle Tradition

The last few years, Grandad and Grandnee have been gracious enough to host Christmas at their home.  It's a royal treat for the kids because they enjoy being at their home.  It's also a royal treat for me because it takes a ton of pressure off of having to keep the house pristine during a time when it seems impossible (wrapping paper, new gifts, pine needles etc....).  I did bring a homemade mac and cheese and two homemade desserts.  OH MY they were all so scrumptious.  Grandad/Grandnee made a london broil, mashed potatoes, corn, broccoli, and fresh rolls. 

Enjoy the photos of our time spent at their home...
Lilah was so excited to match her new American Girl Doll, Isabelle.  This was one of her big Christmas presents from mommy and daddy.  I bought Isabelle's dress weeks ago when I had the luxury of shopping in DC with Darren for the weekend.  We were able to go to the American Girl Doll store. Weeks later, a friend from church, Macy, had on an IDENTICAL dress.  Judy, Macy's mommy, surprised me Lilah and gift wrapped the dress and said to keep it.  SUCH AN AMAZING SURPRISE!!!
My trio in front of Grandnee's snowy tree.
My quatro...Being the camera lady, I NEVER get in any photos. I promise I was there.
While Grandad finished up the london broil, we distracted the kids by playing  our "Hidden PICKLE" tradition.  Distracted, meaning, they wanted to open their gifts and we kept explaining that it wasn't time.  
In year's past, there was ONLY one prize for the pickle tradition, but inevitably TY would ALWAYS win because of course he is the OLDEST and is wiser at finding things.  Since last year, I have purchased 3 gifts.  ALL OF THE GIFTS are NEUTRAL gifts, so that they all can enjoy them together, but they all feel like winners. You are supposed to hide the pickle on the tree, but I didn't want the kids to break anything on Grandnee's tree AND her tree is mostly white, so the Pickle would have been easy to spot.  SO... the first place I hide the pickle was in Grandee's fern.  See below?  Peek-a-boo!
 Looking!!!!!  I love how the Pickle talks to them.  "HEY, I'm over here!!!"
"Come and find me!!!!"  Jax was the FIRST WINNER!!!
He won the OLD SCHOOL atari game that hooks up to the back of the television.  It has over 12 old fashioned games that Darren and I played as children.  PAC MAN being one of them.  I LOVE PAC-MAN!!
Then I hid the pickle under a dining room chair cushion.
He's so darn cute!!! Look at him hiding his eyes!!!
Still looking!!!
So close....
WOAH!!! Ty was NOT the FIRST OR SECOND place winner!!! Lilah won a book on "Sand Play".  Each of our kiddos received play sand for Christmas and this book is AWESOME.  It comes from Brookstone and it gives you ALL KINDS of ways to build and create fun things with the indoor sand.
After each child found the pickle, I allowed them to hide it NEXT.
Lilah hide the pickle behind Grandnee's snowman.  Ty searched and giggled.
He found it!!!! Everyone was a winner.  I failed to take a picture of Ty's prize, but it was the DVD "Maleficent", with Angelina Jolie.
The london broil was taking a LOOOOONG time, so we decided to open gifts after all.  I told the kids, "It's better to give than to receive, so we gave FIRST!"  When Ty and I went out shopping, we shopped for Grandad and Grandnee. Ty picked out this gift!!! IT was the DELUXE scrabble game.  We thought this would be a perfect gift to keep at the beach and to use on rainy beach days.
We also bought Grandad some bath and body works for MEN.  When he went to smell it, it landed on top of his mustache. LOL!
Grandnee got a gift card to Versona and a Garmin Vivofit!
NOW it's time to receive!!!
Why is this girl so excited?
She got "Just Dance" for our new Playstation 4.
AND AS IF that game wasn't exciting enough.... another thing she got was a NEW bed for her NEW American Girl dollie.  This sleigh bed is similar to her slotted sleigh bed that she has.  It came from Pottery Barn kids.  Lilah got the pillow and bedspread too!!!
We had a LOVELY time with the Bollings.  Lilah wanted to end the night with a photo of two of her favorite men... Grandad and Daddy. How funny... I just realized that Lilah and Grandad match.
 Grandad and Lilah walked hand-in-hand to the car.
Such a sweet photo but horrible quality.  Thanks IPHONE

~Thanks for a great night Reid and Renee.