Life-condensed, VideoPlay

Christmas 2009

Here are some pictures from Christmas Eve and Christmas day:

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(RSS readers: You’ll have to click over. It’s a Flickr slideshow and I had to use VodPod in order to embed it. Sorry!)

Christmas eve we went over to my in-laws. We ate, exchanged gag gifts and caught up on family news. We went over there at 1:00 and since my sister-in-laws’ family was due to sing at their church that night, we left around 4ish. I’m mentioning this because it REALLY worked out great. We got to see each other, but still had Christmas eve night to spend with our immediate families. I hope we do this again next year.

After we got home, we all watched “The Santa Clause” together. Well actually, I watched the movie, the guys all fell asleep. >:-|

The boys finally went to bed at 11:00 and Kevin couldn’t stay up any longer, so he too went to bed. I stayed up until about 1:00 to make sure Santa made his visit *ahem* and then went to bed. I was back up at 6:00 (it’s just an automatic thing with me – my internal clock WON’T sleep past 6:00 a.m. anymore) and the boys finally got up around 8ish.

We were supposed to go over to my mom and dad’s for Christmas lunch, but the weather turned nasty and my brother got NINE inches of snow. I don’t know how much my sister got, but I’m sure it was enough to cause driving problems. So … everyone canceled. Even though my nephews were down here, they went to spend the day at their dad’s so we decided we would just try to all get together some other time.

This meant we got to spend the day at home on Christmas day. And even though I was bummed that our extended family couldn’t make it down, it WAS really nice to just spend a quiet, relaxing day in our PJ’s.

The pictures really say it all. I think the boys really had a good Christmas. We surprised them with an iTouch – they hadn’t asked for one but we knew they would love it. We’ve sort of made it a point to give them one WOW gift – you know? Something that would mark THIS Christmas as unique. So when they think back over their childhood they remember the Christmas when they received an iTouch.

Kevin also bought the boys a better graphics card for their computers (he got a really good deal online). That’s probably the biggest downfall to computer games – they get more sophisticated and after a while their computers can’t keep up and you’re forced to upgrade. They were both REALLY happy about the cards and they’ve gushed about how awesome their games are running ever since.

Spoken like true nerds.

Dude also got a couple of t-shirts. In fact, I think that was his favorite gift this year. He’s been asking for these particular t-shirts for about a year now. And the reason he hasn’t gotten them before now? They’re freaking $20 bucks a piece! OUCH! But they’re advertising a game he’s especially fond of and he knows the guys who run the site (he chats with them online) and he really wanted to help support them.

Jazz’s favorite gift was the iTouch. He’s really been into music (which isn’t a real surprise given the fact the boy loves his saxophone) and he’s already loaded quite a few (free) apps on to it. In addition, he gets a kick out of the fact that he can access his Facebook page from it.

As usual, Kevin spoiled me. He gave me the EA Sports exercise program for the Wii (which I’m really looking forward to trying out this next week), a zoom lens for our Canon Rebel (there’s a picture of it fully extended in the slide show – I’m also really looking forward to using it at marching band competitions) and a mauve rose DS. He also gave me the Book Worm DS game and OH MY GOSH!! I’m totally addicted to it. In fact, Kevin and I have had so much fun with it, that we went out today and bought him a copy so we could play together.

Hey. A family that plays games together stays together, right? 😀

For stocking stuffers, he gave me Sarah Palin glasses (an inside joke, there’s a picture of me wearing them in the slide show) and some sample bottles of Calvin Klein perfume. (I’m wearing some now and *sniiiiiiiif* nice).

The first two presents you see Kevin opening in the slideshow are stage lights. He wants to use them whenever they play a gig (which I just learned is next Saturday night!). I know it’s hard to picture what these things look like, so I took a video of how they work.

Pretty cool, right?! They are triggered by sound. The only problem with them is they have so much going on at once when they play that he’s afraid they may just be a constant flicker of light. We’ll see if he uses them.

We also surprised Kevin with a PS3. I found an incredible package deal on Amazon. I got the PS3 (250 GB!!), PLUS one game PLUS two movies for LESS than I would have paid for just the PS3 in a store. In addition, I used my $50 gift certificate my parents gave me for Christmas last year so honestly, it was almost a steal. (He feels pretty bad about me using my gift certificate on him but honestly, it’s OUR certificate, not just mine. And besides, it made me happy to use it and make the deal that much sweeter).

He’s already played Grand Turismo 5 Prologue (the game that came with the console) and is totally hooked. We went out to Blockbuster today and he rented another off-road racing game. He really digs the racing games. It’s so satisfying to see him so relaxed and happy. The man needs to play more.

We had bought a Honeybaked ham and a cookie cake to take over to my parent’s house, but since our get-together was canceled, we’ve been munching on that stuff for the past two days. I’m going to throw a ham and bean soup together in the next few days to try and get rid of some of the ham. The guys have been eating ham and eggs for breakfast.

Part of me is glad Christmas is over, and part of me wishes we could bottle that warmth, love and excitement to use all year round. That’s my favorite part of the holidays – the fun, the laughter and our appreciation for each other.