Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The New Barber Family Traditions....

Well, it's hard. it was over a two hour conversation about what we had (as kids, as adults) and what we are choosing for Tristan. Some are selfish (so deal with it) and others, we are doing our best to accommodate our family's 'stuff' as well.

So here case Tristan every wants to know where his crazy family gets these ideas from:

First of all - Friday after Turkey Day - Christmas carols are on and the decorating begins! We will get the Christmas tree (as a family) and daddy gets up the lights. Then we will dig out the ornaments and decorate the tree together. Daddy is in charge of hot chocolate of course! White lights on the tree and then Daddy has full reign to go all "Griswold" on the outside of the house. Daddy and Tristan will then set up the train (the more complex as the years go by, of course) around the Christmas tree!

Each year, Tristan and I will shop for a "Shoebox child" - for those of you that don't know, you can fill a shoe box with anything you would like for a needy child. It is SO fun... plus, it teaches Tristan to GIVE not just receive.

Mommy then wraps all of her gifts for the East Coast family.... and Daddy will most likely begin to think of what to buy the Texans. We'll split the duties and that way can feel like we did Christmas our own way (the less stressful way - and God help me understand HOW that is shopping the week before Christmas. All the more power to ya Holt!)

We will, I repeat - WILL get a family photo every year. No it won't be canned and weird... it will be funky and cool and non-traditional...cuz that's us.

We will then set up a Nativity scene... VERY important.

Tristan will fill out his Christmas list to send off to the family and then Mommy will finish up and mail our annual family Christmas letter by the 1st week of December. :)

For December... our Advent Cards begin. We bought a really cool set of cards and the proceeds went to a missionary... so each day lists something to pray for: Peace, Slavery, Adoption, War, etc... pretty awesome to keep you aware of the world around you (which I admittedly am horrible at). Mommy makes gifts for T's teachers and finishes the calendar for the family.

We will then round up all the used toys that Tristan no longer plays with and they will be donated. On top of that, as soon as T is old enough, we will serve in some capacity. Next year it will be simple like make sugar cookies for the neighbors, but after that we hope to actually do something at Children's Medical, a food pantry or a shelter. Holt and I did that for years in Chicago and it's life changing.... T needs to know that too - plus, I can tell he's already got the heart for it at two *SMILE*

We have decided to take our annual sleigh ride with Kelby, Jennifer, Ryan and Maddox McKoy - (although we'll pass on the cussing Santa) through Highland Park. We will also (hopefully with James and Sue) fire up the hot cocoa and ride/walk to see the Deerfield Christmas lights. It's free, it's fun and it is over the top - Griswold style!!! If we see Santa... that's a bonus - I'll find him somewhere but kids just don't like the picture thing so let's just hope that happens on its own...

And I'll try and force this one... reindeer noses and Christmas caroling. no one does it anymore and I think it's SHEER greatness!!!! Come on...who's in? I think I can talk James and Sue into it and maybe juuuust maybe the Coggeshalls!!!

Ok, so here is where it gets tricky... Holt and I were raised differently...

Christmas Eve -Cookies and milk for Santa - check! Reindeer dust and carrots - check! This year we didn't do this and I'm STILL VERY sad about it. We didn't read "T'Was the Night Before Christmas or the Christmas Story from the Bible. I know Tristan is young, but the other kids aren't and I just feel like both or SO important, obviously one more than the other.

One awesome thing though... last night (Christmas night) we played Tristan the book that Gwamma gave him. She had recorded Twas the Night Before Christmas... so she read him to sleep without even being here. THAT will be a tradition for sure... I LOVED IT!!! I got to hear my Mama and she got to be here with us even though she wasn't. it rocked.

Ok, so... onward....

My world, Italian dinner (when I was little open ONE gift then to bed) but now, open gifts with Grandpa Harold then to bed.

Holt's family...they open EVERYTHING. So, we have decided, when we are in NY... we'll do gifts with Grandpa H and then gifts with Grandma and the Kinson's Christmas Day. Then we have family dinner together.

In NY...Santa brings his gifts Christmas Day and we'll remind him just to toss them into the mix of all the other goodies!!

In TX - we spend the night at Sam and Ruth Ann's and remind Santa to bring Tristan's gifts to their house.

Every 3rd year (like this year) we will be spending it at home (regardless of where we live) - it's just too much traveling every single year and (for me) I haven't had a Christmas in my own home in about 20 years and while I only had about 10 minutes in my own house... it was still an awesome gift that Holt gave our family.

Thankfully Santa got our note this year to leave Tristan's gifts here but to bring all of our stockings over to Bebah and Bumpa's house so we could open together as a family. Whew! Mommy put that request in last minute....

Finally, Holt, Tristan and I will have dinner together on Christmas night...regardless of where we are... and we will celebrate Jesus' birthday. I bought a HUGE Cupcake tin and he will have a cake - made and decorated by us and hopefully a room of balloons and a HUGE heart of thanksgiving. Not because we received new clothes or the greatest toy... but because we are a family, we are alive, we are free and mostly because God gave us His Son, to come and offer us eternal life. Isn't that what it's all about?

It's my job to explain that to T and let him choose for himself. I sure hope he chooses Wisely. It's all that matters!!!!

Merry Christmas... welcome to the annual "Barber" Christmas Tradition list. Exhausted yet?

I think I outta hit the after Christmas specials..... this is where I make out big! ta-ta!!

MORE gifts....

Aunt Trisha and Uncle Mike bought stuff for T's kitchen!! Everyone needs food and stuff for the kitchen!!!

Then my Dad gave me money so I bought this for Tristan to use in my car... I have wanted it for months.... he can draw, eat, etc... and not mess up my new car!!
Besides being clean...I want to be organized!! I will have this in my car too for wipes, snacks, books, toys so when we are driving the little man has "stuff" and a "home" for it for when he is done!

And lastly... I will blog about this soon...but Holt and I had a whole discussion about traditions. it's easy to combine lives when you don't have a child but when you do...everything - EVERYTHING changes. So we had to decide what we wanted for Tristan... one thing was a birthday cake for Jesus. We didn't do that this year and I was VERY sad... so I bought this and it will be used for our birthday CUPcakes... and for Jesus' every year!!
This was from my best friend....Pookie... I love you and it is SUCH an awesome frame. From the girl's trip in NO this year!

Then she sent Tristan some clothes. Tracy Lynn - overboard again!

and she didn't forget Holt...those cigars made him very happy!

I called home to NY and John Paleczny made these T's for Holtie... Tristan's idea of course!

To Da Da Love Tristan!!

2nd design!

It was a big hit!!

Then Unkie and Aunt sent some "gear" too...baylor Bears of course! Tristan also got the B is for baylor Children's Book...and a $25 GC to Target. Mommy and Daddy got a $100 GC to OUTBACK. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daddy got mommy new jammies :)
next year Pajamas-In-A-Can will happen (in the can though) - to be explained later....

naked boy playing "Roooooooooooooooooooooar" with Da Da...Apparently they put socks ont heir hands at school and chase each other. He wants to do it all the time...

And yesterday he DID pee pee on the potty all by himself!!

Great minds think alike... as I said, Sam and Ruth Ann gave holt a Captain shirt and hat too!

Aunt Kimmie and Uncle Lon bought Tristan a Build-A-Fort set that his is going to LOVE!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oh no...we're not done yet....

Ok, so my camera battery died... I'm missing... a lot...

this is from Aunt Jeanne and Johnny.... you can build like 10 different things... awesome!

and back to the PLANE...that he screams when he sees it... SO funny!!

and not sure if you can see but it has waaaay more cars now. Tristan loves this... again, VROOM...VROOM - VROOM!!!!!

He got this from Bebah and Bumpa... love it! I used to read these books and now they have DVDs!! He also got a sleeping pad and bag... so he has his won stuff to camp with! To top it off.. he has his OWN camping accessories from Gwamma so he will have all his gear ready to go! Now he only needs his lantern and he's set!

Holtie got this awesome Captain hat (and a t-shirt that is still on my camera but it's dead...) it's the real deal - he loves it!

Then Santa brought him this sailing - MUST HAVE!

and Pookie sent Holtie some cigars....

and face paint so he can cammo it up and go paintballing with Holden and Lane (what we gave them for Christmas!!)

and Santa brought this awesome flag... Holtie WILL saily this soon!!

Sam and Ruth Ann provided much needed reading and watching :)

So let me think... I'll post more tomorrow... but Kimmie and Lon gave Tristan a FORT tent... it rocks.. will have to upload a photo...
Aune Sue and Unkie gave us a giftcard to Outback - (YES!!!!!) and Tristan got a B is for Baylor book and a Baylor jersey oh and a GC to Target... we'll see what he needs!!
Poolsie sent some clothes and more T's from New York and I'll post those later, they too are special.
Well, I'm's been a LOVE - VERY long day and I need to C-H-I-L-L!
Love you all - Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Oh what a Christmas it has been...

First my EARLY gift.. my free car :)

Santa brought me memory for my new fantastic camera that I get Tuesday...

Santa brought me a timer for Tristan's light in his bedroom so he'll play in there at night (it's really dark and drives me insane...)

My mom bought me this rickin' purse that I love...

Wine from Robert, Mark and others... YUM!!

Wine glasses from my Mama...

Crocs from Bebah and Sam...

An (upside down) cross from Holtie - you can't see but there is a Garnet in the center.. T's birthstone. :)

Photo frames from Ruth Ann and Sam... love it!
New (upcoming) friends and family wall!!

I bought myself a set of (used) weights - yeah!!!

and Holtie bought me the Wii Active 2 - WUHOOOOO

and a balance board!! Can't wait to get in better shape... Holt and I both did our initial "check in" and it was NOT good news!!!

Aunt Kelly, Uncle Lee and Zachy bought T that table and chairs and he's addicted. He sits there, points to his mouth and says "foo, foo, foo" HILARIOUS!

It will go outside when it's warm but for now it's perfect here!!

This is before church. My little man in a tie. We missed church though.. I thought it said 11am and it said 11PM... ugh... so no church for us...on Christmas. Ugh... THAT was not good.

It will be THE priority next year... we didn't even do a cake or celebration for Jesus but we'll get better at that. I need T to know that this is not about receiving anything new but what we have already been given by God. Soooo much to be thankful for!!

Don't my boys look cute????

Tristan enjoying his sword from Gwamma!

blocks...lots and lots of blocks!!!

and a new truck that carries the blocks! he keeps saying VROOOOOOM...greatness!

A new vacuum so T can help Mommy and really sucks stuff up - sheer greatness!

and Gwamma was BRILLIANT to buy Tristan pots and pans... she must have a direct "line" to Santa!!

Guess that's because T gave cookies and milk for Santa... I think he liked them!

Santa left Tristan slippers..... I doubt Mr. Sensory will wear them but I'm trying....

and this guy is hysterical... he laughs and rolls and laughs and rolls... check youtube video

and you can't see it but these are the rock-star punching balloons!!!

Santa brought LUMPY... in a Pez dispenser. Yes, T is hooked on Pez!!

And Tristan got his first set of chubby crayons and two coloring books!!

Santa also brought Tristan a shopping cart!! he's been shopping in our pantry all night!

Gwamma's gift again....

And Santa's big gift was T's retro kitchen!!

Isn't it great?
We think so but really... as I said above... THIS is what matters!!
Thank you Lord for giving us your only son. I look at Tristan and can't imagine... CANNOT imagine... so I'm in awe and thankful that you did THIS... for ME....
God bless you all and Merry - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!