For November and December we did many of the usual holiday activities.
One of my favorite things is taking the boys for our Christmas card picture in November. I like to have my Christmas cards in the mail on black Friday! The boys are usually cooperative to a point...
For the past few years we have gotten together and walked around the lake on Thanksgiving morning. This was our largest crowd yet. We had a great time!
Right after Thanksgiving, Derek and I took our FIRST TRIP EVER away from all four boys! We went on a cruise!! We flew out to California and cruised to Catalina Island and down into Mexico.
A view of Catalina Island at sunrise.
While down in Mexico, we got to hold a lion cub. Her name was Chanel and she was about 5 months old. The power in her paws was incredible! A local group was raising money to help make improvement to a zoo nearby. The best thing about Mexico was the fish tacos! They were SO GOOD. Derek was not adventurous enough to try them.
Immediately after coming home from the cruise, we jumped right back into "normal" life with 4-boys and took them to the Pullen Park Holiday Express with some friends. Derek and I were both very jet-lagged, but managed to do it somehow!
Ever since Maverick was born, we have gotten a live tree. Here I'm unwrapping the growing-too-fast collection of ornaments for the boys to help decorate the tree with. There is hardly any room for ornaments that were Derek's or mine. I'd love to have a second tree, but I'm not really sure where it would fit!
In mid-December, I had a baby shower for my sweet friend, Kim. She is having her first girl and is super excited to say the least! I made her the cake we are about to cut and it was quite the under-taking. I think it was FIVE layers of my grandmother's wedding cake recipe. When I started it, I didn't think it would take so long, but then I ended up spending a good part of a day (and night) working to finish it. Oh, and our kitchen sink facet broke in the middle of this process, so that certainly didn't help!
Here are the gingerbread houses that we decorated with family when they came to visit in December. We had so much fun! Hopefully this will become a tradition!
Here's Joel and Ruby. She is a cute little doll!
Christmas morning and the boys were excited to see what Santa had brought! Of course there is usually always one (or two, three, or four) that is unwilling for a photo-op. Guess who that was below....
We had a lovely Christmas and everybody was so thankful for their gifts. The older boys are really showing their appreciation more with thank-you's and hugs instead of the "gimme, gimme" attitude we are hoping to teach them not to have.