Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Week of Magic

It was one of the best Christmases I can remember. It truly was magical. Despite it being a bit of a minimal Christmas the gifts were a complete and total surprise to our kids and pulling it all off (somewhat last minute) was so much fun.
I was so excited for Christmas that I actually woke up early Christmas morning. I was up early enough that Todd and I were able to have a cup of coffee and relax for a few minutes before we woke the kids up. Of course, when we opened their doors (around 7) they were already awake but patiently waiting for us to come and get them as instructed. When they came downstairs Gracie's eyes bugged out of her head as she saw her Barbie dream house that she had been hoping for. I had told her that that was a pretty big request for Santa so she wasn't getting her hopes up (thank heavens for craigslist) and was shocked at her amazing gift. We were off to a good start.

My kids have been begging for video games since the beginning of time. They have asked Santa for video games for the last, I don't know, 5 years? I am very much opposed to video games and kids having their own phones. All three of my boys are literally the only kids in their classes that don't have a phone or video gaming system of their own but I really don't care. The closest my kids get is having a few minutes on Todd's phone a few times a week.

So, when I approached Todd about us, possibly, getting the kids an iPad to share and play video games on he was in total shock. I explained that we would still have control of it, but instead of the kids going on his phone they would go on the shared iPad. Todd said he had actually seen a huge sale on Kindle Fires ($40!!!) and it would probably amount to the same amount of money to get each kid their own and that way they wouldn't "wreck" each others' worlds that they set up on their games. I thought about it and agreed. I would still keep the Fires in my possession and the kids would have limited time on them maybe just a few times a week.

The past few weeks the kids have been gently asking for video games and promising that they wouldn't play them often and would still be outdoorsy kids. I told them to forget it. When we went to see Santa the kids all asked Santa for video games. I told Santa I wasn't a fan. Each time the subject came up I told the kids that I hoped they wouldn't be too disappointed on Christmas morning when they didn't get them because it wasn't happening.

When all the presents were opened on Christmas morning and my kids were happy and thankful for the LEGOS and toys they received I let them know that there was one more little thing we forgot to give them.

I went to the closet and hauled out the wrapped Kindles and handed them out to the kids. To say they were shocked would be an understatement. They were stunned. They didn't even know what to do. They were flabbergasted. The surprised looks didn't come off of their faces for hours. When Joey got up from his seat to give me a hug I could feel him shaking. They just couldn't believe their good fortune. I have photo after photo of their mouths hanging open. For the rest of the day their mouths hung open. I can't tell you how many times they thanked us for the Kindles. It was hilarious. All week long they have been thanking us for the Kindles. They said that we had better get used to all the "thank you"s because they will never stop thanking us. They just were besides themselves with glee.
It was "the best Christmas EVER" according to the kids. And I really couldn't argue. We had a wonderful time at my mom's on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning was SO much fun, Christmas mass was beautiful, and Christmas at Todd's mom's house was fantastic. It was fabulous all around.

The next day was spent relaxing and doing very little. Just as it should be. 

Sunday after church we packed up (no video games allowed along up north) and headed up north to the cabin. It felt like a long time since I'd been there. And since there was still no snow at our house it was fun to see a bit of snow up north. Monday the kids played around in the snow all day. And on Tuesday we headed out to Ski Brule for a fun family ski outing. 
The weather was absolutely perfect for a day of skiing. It was 28 degrees, no wind, fresh snow, and overcast (no squinting!). Just a few trips down the bunny hill and the boys were ready to tackle bigger hills. Joey and Tommy took off together, Ben and Todd went their own way, and Grace and I practiced her turns and stops on the bunny hill. When Grace felt confident we went up the ski lift and down the backside of the hill to our favorite little rest stop halfway down the hill.
We all warmed up and refueled with burgers and hot dogs, hot cider and hot chocolate, and brownies and rice krispies. 
Then it was back out on the hill for another few hours before we called it quits for the day. We had a few more treats back at the main lodge and the kids posed for a picture by the same bear they posed with over 5 years ago. My how they've grown!
It was a fantastic day. And it was the first time I've taken my kids skiing without getting a migraine at the end of the day. Success!

It was a great time relaxing up at the cabin. It was a great week.

Tomorrow we will prep for a little New Year's Eve fun. The kids are already lamenting the fact that 2015 is over. It was a pretty good year for our family. And this was the perfect week to send it out in style.


betty said...

Sounded wonderful :) Looked like lots of fun :)

Happy New Year!


Tabor said...

I do wish my daughter and s-i-l were more restrictive on the grands. They have several ipads, ipods, etc.!! They are cautioned only 2 hours daily, but they take them on long trips, which are usually every weekend over the holidays. They are a very privileged group of young people and I am glad that my son has no children yet, because their economics will be different and the difference in ages will make that less noticeable.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

You have such a sweet family. I'm glad you enjoyed such a terrific holiday together!

Kat said...

Betty- Happy New Year! :)

Tabor- So far this past week my kids have used them three of the days. The devices are not allowed to go to the grandmas' houses or anytime we get together with people. The devices really don't leave the house. And since my kids have never had devices anyway they are happy with it. ;) Right now my boys are building LEGOS and Grace is playing with her Barbie house. We will probably go sledding later. And depending on their behavior they might play video games later tonight. It is a good leverage tool too. ;) Anyway, so far it has been great. This new age of devices just adds another level to being a kid and parenting that I wasn't expecting. Not a fan of it (all the devices interfering with actually LIVING life as a kid- and adults!) but I'm trying to negotiate through it the best we can.
Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

Green Girl- We really should get our kids together. I know the boys would have a blast together. They seem to have very similar interests. Have a Happy New Year!

Rhapsody said...

Wow thank you for sharing your Christmas with me, it sure look fun and festive.

Blessings just browsing through blogspotville and thought I’d stop in to wish you and your family a happy new year.

May you have more triumphs than trials
More joy than sorrow
More support than judgement
More Inspiration than discouragement
More resources and access than obstacles
and may you know through it all
That you are blessed and a blessing (by D.S.B.S.Rhapsody)


Kat said...

Rhapsody- That was a lovely blessing. Thank you so much! And right back at ya! Peace and love!

Bijoux said...

So funny on the shocked looks! Good move on the Kindles. Middle Child has one and it has really lasted!

Happy New Year!

Mom24 said...

What a wonderful Christmas! Great post. I'm really happy for you.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

I love their surprised faces...and I had to do a double take with Grace with the dollhouse. Something about the color made it look like an older picture and I thought it was you!

Merry Christmas!

Riahli said...

I love everything about this post. :) I'm the same way with video games, but since my kids are homeschooled and most of their friends don't play video games either it hasn't become much of an issue yet. But I imagine it might some day and the way you dealt with it is perfect. I plan on remembering this and doing something similar at some point. Your kids are adorable!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson