Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Holiday

This holiday was pretty close to perfect. Traditionally we have had a Christmas brunch with the family. The kids open their gifts, we exchange with my parents and then catch a viewing of the most popular movie at  the theater. This year we had our gifts, we had our brunch, but missed the movie, and there was no Ben. We all felt his absence. He was with his mother in Florida this year and not with us this Holiday. Sharing a child anytime of the year is difficult, but we all felt it this Christmas. Gavin especially.
We gave him a phone call and wished him an enjoyable day. Gavin gave him details of his received gifts, and what amazing plans he has for when they do see each other again. Although it has not always been smooth every time and they have had their disagreements, the two are incredibly close. I am very grateful for that part of the blending of the families. I would be lying if I said it was always a pleasure. Trying to get two families to morph into one has not been an easy adventure, but somehow we have managed to make it what we would define as FAMILY.
Despite not having Ben with us this Holiday we did manage to have a pretty AWSOME day. Alexis and Gavin opened what gifts "Santa" had brought while we waited for my parents and Nick to arrive.

I think they we both pleased with their gifts. 

They sure got a lot.

Gavin had requested two things for this Holiday season. I am sad to say he did not get either this year. He wanted one of those new X-box One's game systems ,at $500- and not anywhere to be found he missed out on it this Christmas. He also requested a Panda Bear webkin. I looked everywhere and could not find a Panda Bear. Mark ordered one online through Amazon, but somehow they shipped it to our old address. I believe he enjoyed what presents he got just the same.

Alexis had a complete list of what she wanted. For the exception of a car (yeah right) and an iPhone, she got everything on the list.

Gavin's gifts kept on coming. He would disagree that clothing is a REAL gift, but he sure got a lot of cloths including three new sweatshirts and two pair of fuzzy purple socks. Thank you sissy Lex for the sweatshirts. He has changed from his purple sweatshirt to the green one, but that purple one was back on before the night was over.

Mark got some Santa goodies too. Slippers, Pajama's a robe and underwear. Hey, if you don't tell Santa what you want, you get what Santa thinks you need.

The dogs even got some goodies. These bones were pretty messy.

I scored well too.

After "Santa" gifts I made brunch and my parents arrived just as the French Toast was finished. I had found a crock pot breakfast casserole recipe, and tried to do bacon in the oven. The casserole was a winner, but bacon in the oven failed miserably. The ends were burnt and the middle wasn't cooked. I must have done something wrong. Needless to say there was plenty to eat.

More presents came after brunch.

And MORE.....

My older kids got my mom some wonderful pictures. Alexis's was full of the grandkids, and Nick's was one he took in photography class mounted and framed.

I think we all had a pretty great Holiday.  The last present I opened........

will be the first thing I open next Holiday season. I guess this new traditional Elf on a Shelf will have to be incorporated into our not so traditional Holiday season. Although Gavin is not so easily fooled by Elves that report back to Santa, I am sure he will have fun posing this little guy into some fun hiding spots for next year.

What a Wonderful Holiday! I am feeling so abundantly blessed. Until next time.

PS. I wanted to share about my Time Warner Cable Holiday gift. We had received the new 2014 bill and it went up to $215.30. CRAZY expensive right? So my intention was to call and cut several of the additional services to see if we could at least save some money on the bill. Last year I had threatened to change cable companies but stayed on after finding that in the long run it would cost about the same. I did loose two of our paid channels to save a few bucks but overall felt satisfied. Over the year ,however the company automatically added the DVR service and Mark insisted on the Turbo internet service, so we really didn't end up saving in the long run and with the new bill it was even MORE of a punishment. If we were not all so dependent on these services I would buy myself an antenna and be done with it. Long story...long...Intending on ridding of all my pay channels, and DVR (a savings of about $30-)and ready to rid any additional expenses I was pleasantly informed that there was a current promo going on. FREE DVR, FREE Turbo internet boost and 1 FREE pay channel. Oh yeah I want the PROMO. This new promo kept nearly everything I was planning on cutting and saved me a whopping $73.88 per month, which is just about the cost of my Family YMCA membership!!!! SCORE!!!! For now we are keeping both the cable and the YMCA, but I so have to get my fat arse to the gym.