Thursday, December 30, 2010

Family Christmas

This year we had two family Christmases. We were able to open presents at our own house Christmas morning and then went to my mom's for breakfast where there was no shortage of presents! After that we went home and chilled as a family for the rest of the evening. The next day Stephen's brother, Seth, and family came up from Oklahoma. So after church we went to my Mother-in-love's house for lunch. After the kids all had naps and quiet time, we opened presents there. It was such a good time! There was good food, good company and presents for all. We spent most of the next day just letting the kids play with all of the new toys that they got from Grandmom. It turned out to be a good thing because between shuffling around between houses, Jesstine was really itching to play with her kitchen. Since Grandmom got one for her own house, it worked out great! To my family's surprise, I was actually willing to play games. Noah, my oldest nephew on the Hutchins side, was just old enough that he was able to play too! He actually knew more answers to the Christmas Trivia than us adults did! The boys won the first round (but not by much) and the girls smoked the boys in round two! Can't wait til next year when we have the tie breaker! That night when all of the kids were in bed, Seth came over and played video games with Stephen (or watched football as it turned out) and I went back to my M-I-L's to play games/watch movies with the ladies! We had so much fun and are so thankful for our family! Thank you to everyone who gave gifts to us. You will see in the final post that Jesstine really ended up with a TON of presents! It got to where she would hug each and every one of them after she opened them! So here are a few more pictures!

Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa Griffee was a ball castle.

When she got her princess figurines (in a later picture) from Aunt Jenni, she had to put them in their castle!

Sunday lunch at Grandmom's house. (Jesstine and her cousin, Connor.)
Noah and Ian are big boys and sat at the breakfast bar!
PRESENT TIME!!! First is a Lawn Mower.
And a princess doll kit!
Beautiful sweater dress.
Monkey pj's (or jams as Grandmom calls them).
A dress.
Shirt with matching leggings.
I-spy type of books.
Disney princess book with play mat and princess figurines!
I love my new shirt (one in two larger sizes too so she can grow into them!).
More pj's and she loves them just as much as the shirts!
A dollhouse to play with at Grandmom's house.
Some play food for.....
A play kitchen at Grandmom's!

The boys had to get in on this too!
Seth playing the piano with a little helper.
The toy that distracted the two littlest family members from opening other gifts.
Playing with the dollhouse.
Connor helping his Uncle Stephen out now!
These two are like peas and carrots! There were certainly some sweet moments between the two of them. They really liked playing together!
Time for stockings!
Jenni reads a book to all of the kids while Grandmom creates a special surprise Christmas treat!

Jesstine's haul. This is minus a few things (pillow pet from Papa, Castle from Grandma Griffee and princess popcorn tin from Uncle Greg).
Again thank you to all of our family members for the terrific holiday gifts! We appreciate you spoiling us and wish you all a Merry Christmas (a little late for that) and a Happy new year!
In Him,
The Hutchins

Christmas Day

It is hard to believe that Christmas Day has come and gone. It was a very fun and mostly relaxed holiday for which I am so grateful! We had a good time with family and just with each other here at our own house. Jesstine is SO spoiled! You will see in a later post how spoiled she is! I think she got more toys and things this Christmas than I received in all of my childhood Christmases! I would like to think that she has just been a good girl!

This Christmas was different for a few reasons. Mostly, Jesstine is just older and understands a lot more. I have to say, she is still a little timid about opening presents, but I think after opening a few, she got the hang of it. She woke up on Christmas morning to find the gift Santa had left for her. It was the one she had asked for by name! She got her kitchen! There were also a few gifts beside it all wrapped up for her to unwrap. Here is a peek at Christmas morning at home. Then I will post a little later about Christmas celebrations at the homes of our parents.

This is the first one she chose to open after seeing her kitchen. It is a Sesame Street Chutes and Ladders. I found this at a garage sale for $5, still in the shrink wrap! I was happy to pay that for a game that had the original price tag of $25 on it! Jesstine just wanted to take the figurines out and play with them!
She also got a Woody doll to match her Buzz Lightyear she got for her birthday. She said, "Oh no, Mommy! Where's his pull string?"
She got two Chipmunk movies. (Now I can free my DVR of one that has been there for a year!)
Some dishes and food to go with her kitchen.
I think this was the box she opened and it didn't have a picture or anything on it. She said, "Oh! Look! It's a....BOX!!!"
It turned out to be more play food in that box. There was a second bag with just as much play food in it too!
Already playing with her Christmas morning presents at home!
Mommy and Daddy were good this year too! I got a new camera which I took a picture of with my old camera.
Stephen got some new shoes and a gift certificate to buy a pair of running shoes. I think he was pleased!
After looking at what we got for Christmas, I was reminded of how truly blessed we are to have what we want. God is GOOD!
In Him,
The Hutchins

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve

We started a new tradition this year. Jesstine is old enough that Christmas has become more exciting to her. She doesn't fully understand the hub bub, but mostly does. So this year we decided to do what a lot of families do. We devoted Christmas Eve to a family date. It actually started earlier that day. I had to hold off on the cookie making because Jesstine had a stomach bug the day before. So, we made cookies first thing after breakfast! Here is the work in progress as well as the finished product.

Surprisingly, no fingers were licked in the production of this cookie decorating! Just to be sure that none of us caught her stomach bug, we let her eat her own cookies!

After the tree, the star. (Her choice of course.)

The finished product!

Part of the cookies I decorated.

After decorating cookies, we all got dressed and had our favorite weekly fix of Freddy's for lunch. This was followed by a nap. After nap, we got ready and went to the mall to ride the train (as per Jesstine's request). After the mall we took a tour of the lights around town. We went to two PHENOMENAL displays in particular. One was the Lights on St. Paul. This was the first I had heard of it. We thought we would try it since I drive by it every time I go to work. It was really pretty neat! After that we came back to our own side of town and took a stroll down Candy Cane Lane. It is a cul-de-sac of houses where every house is decorated and most are decorated a LOT! No pictures of lights (our older camera doesn't do well in low light). But we did get a few pictures (albeit on my cell phone) of Jesstine's trip on the train. (Trains are a recent fascination for her. She has seen the one in the mall several times and has begged to ride it! Thus the decision to ride the train on Christmas Eve!)

We decided to dress for the occasion of a Christmas Eve family date

She is ready to go!

Just look at the joy on that face!

Mommy and Daddy got to ride with her! She chose the caboose!

When we returned home from looking at lights, we opened a few presents from some nice family and friends who gave to Jesstine. Thank you Papa, Rainbow, Konrad and Kristina! She LOVED the gifts! (Note to Papa: The pillow pet has a permanent spot on her bed now!)

Coming soon: Christmas Day!!!!

In Him,

The Hutchins

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Video From Santa

On Facebook, a friend of mine posted a link where you could get a personalized video link from Santa for your child! I thought I would give it a try because Jesstine is really starting to get interested in the whole Santa idea this year. Here is the link to the video that I had made for her:

And here is a video I took of her watching it. She was MESMERIZED when she first watched it! It was a great thing for her because she has been stuck on the couch all day (as per Mommy's orders) because she was throwing up 1-2 times an hour starting at 4 this morning.

In Him,
The Hutchins

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Road Trip

We recently made a trip to Lindsborg. This has become an annual trip at least for the last couple of years. The story goes that my sister-in-love and brother-in-love took a trip there to stay overnight at a bed and breakfast. They brought back a Swedish holiday drink that is kind of like root beer. Stephen liked it so much, he has gone back for the last two years to get some! Jesstine has made this trip with us both times as well! It is a little more than an hour's drive North and a little West of here. So, here are a few pictures from our trip!

Our first stop was Old Mill Park. There is an old mill in Lindsborg. We haven't actually gone to the museum because we are holding off for when it has some meaning for Jesstine. There is a park real close by. We thought it would be a good idea to start there and let Jesstine stretch her legs a little!

She loved the bridge!

A blast from the past for Stephen and I. We loved that she was able to enjoy the same kind of merry-go-round we grew up playing on.

And of course the swing!

This train was behind the park. Jesstine was SO excited to see it. She took a look, thought it was cool and then ran off to do something else!

The train was located at the back of this little square called "Heritage Square." It is much like a place we have here called, "Old Cowtown." Again, we were only guessing on that. We didn't actually go in because we didn't think Jesstine could really appreciate it yet.

After playing at the park, we drove through downtown a little. Then we went out from town about 3 miles to a place called Coronado Heights. It's the hill in the distance with the castle on it. Of course wouldn't you know, I forgot the camera so I had to resort to the one on my phone with no zoom capability!

A statue erected close to the beginning of the trip up the hill. It said "Coronado, 1541" on it. It had the date 1988 on the other side though. We are assuming that is when it was erected.

A little better view of the castle.

One of the lookout points complete with picnic table and chimineah.

There were all sorts of etchings in the sandstone rocks. This one caught our eye as funny!

Another lookout point.

Side view of the castle. The website said this was built in 1932 as a part of the WPA. Here is the front of the castle.

Here are my favorite people getting ready to make the trek to the top of the castle by way of the staircase to the left (their right).
Here is the inside of the first floor complete with cool wooden beams and more picnic tables for entertaining.
Here we are at the top! At this point Jesstine just wanted to run around.
View from the top.

View down the staircase.

A little chimineah outside and a little to the west of the castle.

The stone gates at the entrance.

Getting ready to eat her McDonald's on the trip home. (Note to Kara and Johnna: These are the two princesses she chose for the car trip!)

And here is what we traveled all the way to Lindsburg for! Christmas Soda or "Grandpa Lindquist's Scandinavian Julmust."

In Him,

The Hutchins