December was an exciting month around our place with all kinds of new Christmas experiences for Ben! Last year he was only ten months old at Christmas time and not yet walking. So this year he was eager to help out with everything Christmas and I mean everything.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
I had driven by a huge tent filled with marvelous looking trees several times while driving Ben back and forth to Mother’s Morning Out. So one day after church we decided to stop in and check it out. We should have known that after viewing the price tag on the first tree that this place was very proud of their “straight from the farm” trees. However, Ben was having a grand time frolicking through the trees and playing hide and seek so we thought we’d keep exploring. “Maybe we’re just in the expensive section,” I told Jake.
After continuing our search for a short time we finally found a decent looking tree that just so happened to not have a tag on it. We summoned the nice gentleman that had approached us when we arrived and asked for a price quote. After looking the tree up and down and throughly examining it he said, “Hmm, I’ll make you a deal…how ’bout $139.” Our response, ” How ’bout…not so much.” So we loaded up and headed over to The Home Depot. $40 trees…now that we could handle. We ended up seeing some good friends and neighbors which made tree shopping all the more fun. Ben and Olivia were thrilled to see each other. They even danced around together in the extremely cramped and crowded aisle between the rows of trees and people before both families made their lovely tree selections! (I love how they are holding hands in the picture below).
I’m not sure which part Ben liked better, playing among the trees or helping his daddy transport the fine fir on this cart with wheels!!
These two pictures sum up how tree decorating went. Ben was so proud to hang this “cool car” ornament on the tree all by himself, then…he wanted it back and yanked and yanked on it trying to rip it off the tree. Thankfully, both Ben and the ornament were fine after the incident. However, the outcome for the glass Christmas tree balls is a little more grim. When Ben was younger and throwing food from his high chair was a major problem we would tell him, “We throw balls, not food.” Well, after throwing and shattering two balls from the tree we decided to reconsider that strategy and began a “hands off” approach.
Playgroup Christmas Party
We had our annual playgroup Christmas party for the kiddos in the middle of December. This year we decided to add something new to the mix…sugar cookie decorating! This was Ben’s first time to decorate cookies and he LOVED it! For each one he smeared with icing and literally dumped sprinkles on (all the while singing, “sprinkles, sprinkles”) he also ATE after he finished. So after four (yes, four) sugar cookies I decided his decorating time had come to an end…at least for the day!
A few days later we recruited Jake to our team and decorated cookies for our “cul-de-sac neighbors”. Afterwards I began plating cookies and attaching our Christmas cards while Ben and Jake delivered them. When the neighbors opened the door Ben would sing a line from Jingle Bells and it went a little something like this, “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…Hi, Daddy” or “Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way…Where’s Mommy?” We all had a good laugh!
Before we left for Arkansas we let Ben open his presents from us. This is my favorite picture from that day. We decided to get him a Razorback helmet because he was always putting colanders and bowls on his head while walking around the house exclaiming, “Helmet, helmet!!” This was the smallest helmet I could find…looks like he has a little room to grow!
He also received this Chinese Kung Fu suit from his Uncle Matt and Aunt Yvonne. You can’t really see it in the picture but the hat has a long pig tail braid attached to it! So cute! And the material feels amazing. Wish they made them in maternity sizes!! =) The second picture makes me laugh. That’s Ben showing off one of his kung fu moves that his daddy was teaching him so you can imagine how much fun that was to watch!! Who knew that Jake was a kung fu fighter!?! ha ha (Now I have that song, “Everybody was kung fu fighting…,” stuck in my head!) Thanks for the cool gift, Matt and Yvonne!!