It is almost Valentine's Day of 2012, and I have yet to post about Christmas 2011. It's been a whirlwind of a year already, I suppose. Never the less, here are just a few (OK, tons) pictures capturing just some of the amazing memories of Christmas 2011:
This is one of my favorite things we did this past Christmas - a Walk To the Manager. It was one local church's version of a living manger. At the beginning of the evening, you met a Biblical character who needs traveling companions to Bethlehem. Along the way, you met the shepherds, wise men, and even King Herod.
I took Merrick and left the twins at home with Marcos. It was a really great Son-Mama Christmas date. Merrick did not hesitate to interact with the characters. His favorite part was the angel at the end of the journey. They did some sort of "smoke and mirrors" trick so that the angel really looked luminous.
We did a lot of baking this past Christmas. It was a month of complete diet fails. This (below) was a precious memory for me. While making a batch of cookies, all three kids had to help and had to put their hands on the blender at the same time.
We ended up making reindeer cookies for our neighbors. Not sure they were all that great. I'm pretty sure I'll stick to pumpkin bread next year.
It's official: making gingerbread cookies is one of the Esparza Christmas traditions! I found an unbelievable recipe here.
Just like last year, Merrick wanted to make his gingerbread man a muscle man.
Whooaa...Merrick is really getting into this muscle thing...
Great. I think I see a future for Merrick in the WWF.
This picture below is Merrick sneaking into the Christmas room, checking out his presents.
For the first time ever, we made salt dough ornaments this Christmas. Sawyer made an angel, Merrick made a star, and Scout made a gingerbread man.
And, just like last year, we made a gingerbread house. I was very surprised this year when walking around the stores; Merrick saw the houses and remembered making one last year. He insisted we make another this year.
The finished product...
I finally got to buy the kids' their stockings! After 5 years of insisting that I would make the stockings on my own, I finally gave in and bought them online. I love them! (We actually hang them on the mantel but they photographed better here.)
This was the first year since we've been married that we got to wake up on Christmas Day in our own home. It was WONDERFUL. Marcos's cousin Waldina Maria stayed with us and on Christmas Day, her boyfriend came over to unwrap presents with us.
Marcos decided to start us off with a scripture and a prayer.
I got a cordless drill for Christmas! Just what every crafty mama dreams of!
Scout got a slew of Princess gear this year. She has definitely embraced her inner Princess. I'm surprised it happened so quickly, especially with two brothers.
After we opened presents at our home, we went over to my parents' house to celebrate Christmas with my family. Scout wore her Princess costume, of course.
I love this shot of Merrick and his Uncle David spending some real quality time together.
Sawyer loved the Santa hat!
Dee Dee and BDaddy goofing off with Sawyer!
Amazingly, we were able get every kid on the couch at the same time...
Here's a pic of the three kids playing in the Christmas tree box. These are the moments I treasure the most: those few seconds when they are all three playing together and laughing together (right before someone gets hurt and they all have melt downs).
Merry Christmas to my beautiful family.