Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas 2013

After getting all of the pictures assembled for the blog, I realized I should have posted as the festivities happened instead of waiting to do it all in one post.  Sheesh, we did a lot for the Christmas holidays and had so much fun.  Hang on for the's a LONG post!

We started our festivities when the Wrights came to visit us the second weekend of December.  They stayed with us Friday night, and then we all headed to San Antonio for Saturday night.  I'd never been to San Antonio during the holidays, and we were pleasantly surprised with how amazing it looked.  The city was decked out, and the river was magical with lights hanging off the trees and lanterns lit along the banks.  It really was an amazing trip!

Shannon brought Elf cookies for our elves to "bake" the kids Friday night.

They were in awe that the elves were so busy the night before

They even got a few bites, which I'm sure was a treat in and of itself, seeing it was 7:30am

We typically stay at the Westin on the Riverwalk when we visit SA, and it was gorgeous during the holidays!

Our little traveler with his luggage and "coffee" (hot chocolate)
Buddy came to the hotel as well...and got a little mischievous with the toothpaste

Santa was there, too!

Knox and I on the boat was SO COLD.

We even stumbled upon some fake snow:

The next big party was for his preschool.  When thinking of teacher gifts, I remembered his two teachers love hats and scarves.  I found this wording on Pinterest and made my own little signs.  Then I grabbed a few scarves, hats and gloves from Target and embroidered them with their monograms.  They liked them, and will hopefully get good use out of them for the cold season!

Knox gave his classmates reindeer food.  He was concerned that by doing this, Santa might not stop at our house first, ha!  Funny how their minds work!

I got to the school a little early to decorate for their party, and was able to see the kids to journal time.  Their teacher gives them a subject, and they draw and write whatever they want in their own journals.  This time it was "What does Christmas look like in your home?"

Almost all of the kids scribbled and then wrote their names, and they gave them Christmas stickers to add to the pages.  It was just too cute watching them all so serious in thought.  When asked what Knox's picture was, he said "Stockings by the fire."  So cute!

The kids ate yummy pizza, fruit and veggies on their handmade placemats:

Then they got busy decorating cookies!  

Knox just wanted the icing

To end his party, the kids had a book exchange.  Ms. Sarah, his teacher, had each child open their gifts one by one so all of the attention was on them when it was their turn.  They ate it up!  Knox came home with the book "5 little monkeys" and we read it every night for a week.

The next Christmas event was heading out to the Marble Falls Lights with the Fords.  Knox loves his buddy Micah, and we love getting to hang out with Stacy and Ty, so it was a fun evening.  We started by eating on the river/lake (not sure which it is) and then headed over to the lights.  It was pretty chilly, but some hot chocolate made it all worth it.

The boys lasted about 10 minutes in the wagon, and then it was a running/jumping/dancing good time!

Sweet friends!

We had so much fun with these elves!

Next up was the Kampen family Christmas.  We alternate Thanksgiving and Christmas every year with my parents and my in-laws, and all of my siblings are on the same schedule.  This year we had Thanksgiving with my parents, so it wasn't "their year" for Christmas...meaning we didn't celebrate on the actual day.  We were all able to get together the Sunday before, and we had a great breakfast and family time together to kick-off Christmas week.

Last year we got the kids matching jammers and took a picture before opening gifts:

(Little E is still in foster care, so his face needs to be omitted)

We decided to do the same this year...and it's pretty crazy to see how much they've changed:

I'll say's getting REALLY hard to keep them all in one spot!

We had a great time, and it was the perfect start to Xmas week.  Christmas Eve we met my parents and sister at church, then headed to PF Chang's for dinner.  We went early enough that we were home from all of the Christmas Eve festivities by 7...perfect time to put some reindeer food out.

He was so excited!

He put it all in one spot, but it actually was a blessing to clean the next morning :)

Christmas Day was so fun.  There really is nothing better than seeing it through your kids eyes!  When we put him to bed the night before he mentioned a few times that he would wake early to try and catch Santa...though he slept through his plan, Stephen and I were so nervous that we woke a full 45-min before Knox stirred.  It was nice, though.  We had our coffee, a little time to relax and enjoy each others company and then it was full throttle.

Knox brought Santa a bike and a remote control police car:

He was so excited...loved his little smile!

It was so cute, right after seeing the bike he "prayed to Santa" to tell him thank you.  Melt my heart!!

Mommy and Daddy got him a guitar, scooter, headphones and some educational gifts.  He was so sweet the whole time, thanking us after opening each gift.  It really was such a sweet time, just the three of us!

Finn loved stealing the wrapping paper!

After making pancakes and waffles, we headed to Katy to do Christmas with the Dotsons.  We opened presents pretty soon after arriving, and Knox was so excited to get this fun motorcyle.

He also got a fun little carpenter set so he can help Papa and Daddy build stuff.  He LOVED hammering away on his own!

The goggles for the set made their way around Katy that weekend, as he wouldn't take them off!  Pretty cute!

While in Katy we ate, shopped, played games and enjoyed the company of family!  We had a great time, and Knox loved running into this fun little ambulance:

And Finn loved her naps:

As you can see, we had an amazing Christmas this year.  We did our best to make sure Knox knew the true meaning of the season, and to remember why we were celebrating.  To think next year Blakely will be with us just makes my heart overflow...we truly are blessed beyond measure!


  1. He is looking so big! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Dotson!:)

  2. So sweet! What special memories you continue to make with your little guy! Happy 2014!

  3. Ok, melt my heart that he prayed to Santa for his gifts!!