We had a really great Christmas and enjoyed having family come for the holiday. Mom and Glenn; Dad and Donna; and Erin, Josh and Cameron all came to visit, and it was so nice to have everyone here.
Santa had come through Mom and Glenn's neighborhood the week before Christmas, and Ella had been able to see him then. He gave her a candy cane and told her she was a good girl. Her reply: "I am." Needless to say, she was very ready for Christmas to arrive.
The 3 of us before church on Christmas Eve
Ella with Grandma and Granddad
Christmas Eve service at our church is a "family service" meaning that Ella does not go to Noah's Landing and instead sits with us for the service. She has not yet mastered the art of being quiet during church and some of the highlights included her singing the Backyardigans theme song, yelling at Cameron six seats down the row ("sing it baby Cam!"), and praying out loud while our pastor was praying, repeating what he said. I was THAT Mom, hissing in her ear the whole time. Yikes!!
Things were definitely more her speed back at our house she was able to be her true wild self...
Having fun with Cameron
Cameron does this adorable move where he lifts his arm up toward the fan
Steve built a fire on the deck and we roasted marshmallows
Some treats for Santa
On Christmas morning Ella was really excited but almost shy about seeing what Santa had brought her and wasn't in a huge hurry to get downstairs, she even wanted to read a book first.
She followed the trail of candy canes that Santa had left for her and was really excited to see that he had eaten his treats. She said "there's just crumbs left!" - although she did tell me she she wished he had taken the plate with him back to the North Pole (maybe next year!)
On her new scooter
Little Santa hard at work
Ella made ornaments for everyone with paint and glitter, and colored a special wooden one for Cameron.
Hug for Grandma
Another fan salute
Erin and Cameron
Ella loved opening all of her presents. She was completely spoiled (Santa has nothing on grandparents!) and wanted to open and play with everything right away.
Snoopy Sno-Cone Maker from Mom - we used to have this and I can't wait to try it out again!
Giving a gift to Grampy G
Mom and Glenn
Dad and Donna
Dressed up like a princess in her new dress-up clothes from Grandma and Granddad (side note: her 'treasure chest' is now going to be the place I will check first if anything is missing around here)
Lucky guy getting a big kiss from Cory
It was without question, Ella's ideal day. Family at the house, presents, new toys, jammies most of the day, plenty of sweets, no mention of a nap, and nothing on the agenda but playing all day - she loved every minute of it.
Some group photos after Christmas dinner
Upside down with Grampy
After so much pre-Christmas preparation and anticipation, I am always a little sad to see Christmas end, and this year was no exception. With Ella being so into Christmas it really makes the season that much more fun.
I love seeing it through her eyes and I really enjoy how excited she gets about everything. It was definitely a great Christmas and I am so happy we had everyone here to celebrate with us.