Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas Morning!

On Christmas Eve we gave the kids specific instructions to not wake us up until 7am. Ella has a clock in her room as do the boys. Owen is what we call "The Keeper of the Clock" in the family. He is always randomly stating what time it is and he's also all about "how many minutes until daddy gets home?" or "how many minutes until the movie starts?". I knew he'd be watching his clock like a hawk. I woke up at 6:30ish and just dozed in and out of sleep knowing they'd be coming in soon. I rolled over and looked at the clock exactly at 6:59 and I knew I needed to jump up and brush my teeth because there would be kiddos at my door in less than 60 seconds. Sure enough....7am on the dot their little hands were knock knock knocking at our door! 

I love getting a picture of the kids on the stairs before we head downstairs. Michael thinks I'm so mean. I don't think so....they don't look mad at me...they look pretty happy. In fact this is probably one of the best pictures because we didn't wake them up. In years past when we've had to wake them up they look sleepy and their eyes aren't even adjusted to the light yet. 

Then it was down to checked out what Santa brought. This was actually Jack, Ella and Zeke's second time seeing their Santa presents since they went downstairs while I was getting socks on. I guess they figured since they woke us up they could just run downstairs without us. Of course I called them back upstairs so I could take the stair picture and then we could come down together. Such cute excited kiddos! 

Ella got a Princess Laptop that has a wand and all sorts of games for her to play. I didn't get a picture of Zeke, but his gift is on the floor in front of Ella's's a Hot Wheels set. 

Owen got a Shine-A-Light book. It has all these secret things you can only see if you shine a flashlight through the book. 

Jackson got a LEGO Chima set. 

Jack was so excited to get to be "Santa" and past out the gifts. 

Jackson and his pile of presents! 

Owen and his packages! 

Ella with her pretty princess wrapped presents!

This year I took the kids to Joann's and I let them each pick out the paper they wanted their presents from us wrapped in. They each had one gift that wasn't wrapped in that paper since that was the present their sibling bought for them.

Again we went youngest to oldest and they each opened one present at a time. I labeled each gift as either want, need, wear or read. 

This was Zeke's need....a Marshall (Paw Patrol) piggy bank. He didn't actually have a piggy bank it was just a tin Starbucks cocoa tin that I spray painted and he put stickers all over it. It's fun for the kids to see that things they 'need' can actually be fun things too. 

This was Owen's gift to Ella...this was the second year that he drew her name. Actually all the kids drew the same names this year as last. Owen & Ella got each other and Jack and Zeke got each other. Kind of appropriate since they are each others buddies. I always have the kids pay half and then I pay the other half when they buy for their siblings. Owen got Ella this cool Sofia Amulet necklace that comes with cards that you can put in the necklace and it tells you all about using your manners. 

This was Jack's gift from Zeke....he got a cute little stuffed Iron Man and a Ninja set. 

Ella got Owen a giant Christmas pen....which Zeke actually had already told Owen what it was, but thankfully Owen doesn't pay attention to his baby brother so he didn't actually hear him say it. Needless to say Zeke got talked to about not spoiling the surprise of Christmas! 

Ella also got Owen an Army base set. All of the boys actually got gifts from Walmart that are from Kid's Connections. They are non-name brands so they are quite inexpensive, but honestly they really do hold up. Zeke still has his fun loop track that Jack got him last year. Nothing has broken and the cars still wind up. Owen's army set was only $4.98, Jack's ninja set was $8.99 and Zeke's electric car track was $14.99. It's a great way for the kids to buy their siblings a gift without spending a fortune. 

Next up was Zeke's read. 

His favorite book is Duck in a Truck so I got him Duck to the Rescue. It's not a sequel to the book, but it has two of the same characters and it makes Duck into the good guy rather than a jerk that he is at the end of Duck in a Truck. Zeke loved it! 

This was Ella's want.....Barbie Mega Bloks Horse Stable. 

I love her little hands! When we were at Walmart one time I wanted to see what she liked and one of the things she picked out was a horse comforter so I thought she might like having something horse like to go with her other Barbie Mega Bloks. This set is actually discontinued aka...expensive! While I was shopping on Amazon I noticed they were offering me an $80 gift card if I signed up for an Amazon credit card. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time you know that we follow Dave Ramsey and don't have any credit cards or debt other than our house. I thought about it for a day or so and then read all the fine print to make sure there weren't any hidden agendas. I decided it was too good of a deal especially since we are on a budget for Christmas. I ended up being able to get Ella's want, Owen's need and part of Zeke's want and I only paid $7. We received the credit card and it's sitting on my dresser....I need to just put it in the safe. I have no desire to ever use it though. I only used the $80 they gave me and then the $7 was paid from my debit card. 

Moving on to Jack's want.

More Jedi Force toys to go with his X-wing, Millennium Falcon and Tie fighter. I was super excited when I found a Commander Cody character as that's Jack's favorite Clone Trooper! 

Next up Owen's need.

I got his a really nice army/minecraft looking backpack. He's wasn't super excited about it...I mean it is a backpack, but come Monday morning when he goes to use it for school he's going to be really happy. His old army backpack was literally falling apart. Plus it had no side pockets for his water bottles so he just wouldn't take a water bottle to school since it would always leak in his backpack. 

Here's is Zeke's want from Jack....his electric car track. 

When I first took the kids shopping I took Owen and Jack together since they weren't buying for each other. Jack bought Zeke a cool LEGO race car with a trophy. We thought he'd like it since it was like the piston cup. Then I took Ella and Zeke shopping for Owen and Jack and when Zeke saw this track he was so excited. I got home and told Jack about it and asked him if he'd be willing to go with me and exchange Zeke's present...only if he wanted too. I was sure that Zeke would be happy with the LEGO as well so it didn't really matter. He was all up for returning it though. He was so happy that it was something that he and Zeke could play with together. 

Onto Ella's wear! One thing we learned this Christmas is that no box is any match for Ella....she will just rip them apart! 

Look at this face! 

Last year I made her Elsa dress and this year I was going to make her Anna's dress, but then I found this deal on right before Halloween. The dress with Anna's necklace was only $16! I knew that with buying the fabric and the paint I would need to make it look nice and the time it would take me to make it that it was going to end up costing more than $16. I ordered it and had it shipped site to store. The day we stopped at Walmart to pick it up Michael just stayed in the van with the kids while I ran in. Turned out the person that picked up the dress picked the wrong size. Instead of picking out a child version they picked out a toddler version. I knew it wasn't going to fit at all. So the guy at the site to store desk returned the money to my debit card. I thought I might have a chance to find the right size in store since it was still before Halloween. I ended up finding the right size in no time....who would have thought! I took it to the self checkout and it was going to cost $32! I had the email from stating that the exact dress online was only $16 and that was the dress I had ordered and they messed it up and now I was going to have to pay double because of their mistake. No way!!! So off to the customer service desk I went and this older gentleman was telling me that they don't honor online pricing in the store. Of course I asked for a manager and while explaining the whole story he looked right at the older gentleman and told him to give it to me. It felt so nice for someone to actually correct a situation that had been made wrong by the store and wasn't my fault at all. I thanked him and told him that there was going to be a super happy girl come Christmas morning! 

For Jack's read I got him a set of books that gives you step-by-step instructions for drawing. It comes with three books with instructions and areas for you to practice and then one book for him to just draw in. 

While other kids were opening their presents Zeke decided to go sit on the couch and read his new book. 

Moving on to Owen's want! 

We got his a remote control helicopter. He's been wanting one of these for a while now. It only cost $15, but the reviews were great! I didn't realize until we got it that it was for 14+ age wise. He really picked up on flying it quickly. Of course he crashed it a lot too and in the process he bent the main shaft. Michael tried to fix it, but it still flies crazy now. We are going to see if there are replacement parts for it though! 

Zeke's want! This is the other part I got with my $80 from Amazon. It's a pack of Hot Wheels, but not any's the actual Team Hot Wheels pack. Zeke loves the Hot Wheels cartoons on Netflix. In fact that is what his birthday party is going to be this year. He was so excited to see all the guys from the show! 

The other part of his want was the Volcano Hot Wheels set. I got this for a great deal the weekend before Thanksgiving. I just happened to go over to the toy section at Fred Meyer's and noticed it was on sale for $34.99, but there was also a coupon that you could use where if you bought that set you got another set priced at $14.99 for free. That's how I got Zeke his other Hot Wheels set for his Santa gift. It was such a great deal and every time I would go to the store after that it was always more expensive. Just goes to show you that Black Friday doesn't always have the best deals! 

Next up was Ella's need. 

She got an Elsa bank that she could paint. Ella cupcake bank that she had was missing the bottom part so it had to be set on it's side all the time. I was so excited for her to have a new bank and one she could paint. I knew she would love this since she had so much fun painting her fairy at Seabrook. 

Jack's need.

I found him a new boys Bible online. His Bible is literally duct taped together. This one is a bit more sturdy since it's a paperback. Plus it has all these cool facts and gross bits of information about life back in Bible times. 

This is the only picture I got of Owen's wear....I found him a camo robe on Black Friday. They are normally $40, but it was only sale for $10. I knew that I couldn't make it for that cheap. 

Zeke's wear!

Since I had the fabric for Zeke's robe already I decided to still make it. It was super easy and it's so cute. It's a little big on him, but that's okay since he's only going to get bigger! He's the cutest thing! 

Ella with her read....a set of dolly books that are for each season and there are stickers that come with it so you can put all the different clothes on the dolls. Some of the stickers she even gets to color. 

Jackson's this point he was already saying it was a robe! Clever boy! 

I found this robe at garage sale in October for only $ was in great condition! 

Owen's read is a book all about the human body. Fun facts, little tricks you can play on your brain and instructions for how to check peoples pulse and it's all internet linked. He loves that stuff! 

Every year the Ga-Ga & Pa take the kids to go shopping for Michael and I. Each of the kids contribute $3 to the gifts and Ga-Ga & Pa pay for the rest. They got Michael two new thermal type shirts. Of course since I had the camera there is no picture of me. They got me two new t-shirt favorite! 

Then we took out the last gift and let the kids open it together. It's a Red Ryder BB Gun! 

It's funny how you think they will be all excited especially since we watched The Christmas Story, but they were all like..."that's cool!" None of them were super excited! Silly kids! They have really enjoyed shooting it post to come of course! 

Of course there was playing to be done after opening all those toys. Jack dressed as a ninja using his new ninja sword and mask. 

I think Daddy was the most excited about the BB Gun....he was loading it up and then the bigger boys went out to shoot it. 

We are so bad at remembering our stockings. They are just an afterthought. Probably because our fireplace is in our dining room and not the living room where all the action actually happens! 

Each of the kids got a candy cane filled with Sprees. 

Ella got the movies Annie...the new one and Home. 

Owen got Iron Man 1 & 2. 

Zeke got Monsters University and Big Hero 6 and Jack got Thor 1 & 2. These were the gifts I had actually had the longest. The Disney Movie club sent me a letter wanting us to rejoin. We had been members years ago, but we canceled. It was a super good deal to sign up again. When I ordered for the first time I got 7 movies for $21. I love a good deal. A few of the movies that aren't Disney I got at Walmart on Black Friday specials. 

It really felt nice to be able to give our kids a nicer Christmas. This was the first time since Michael got his new job that I felt like we weren't so restricted money wise. I think I will always be mindful of money since I love to save, but it felt like we weren't super restricted by money and were actually able to get things that the kids would really enjoy. This year Michael and I didn't buy each other presents this year. We did get to go out on a date day the Monday before Christmas. My parents kept the kids overnight on Sunday and then on Monday we got to go out to eat breakfast, see Star Wars and then we went out for lunch. It was so nice to get that time together.