We have made it through the Christmas and birthday festivities. You will find a large amount of posts below from all the activities over the last week. When you get to the bottom of the page you will have to hit the Older Posts button, as there are a few more posts on the next page. It was a week full of exciting times. We are now working on resting, organizing new toys, and mustering up the energy to put all the decorations away. Daddy has one more week of vacation and we are so thankful that we can spent time together and relax as a family. Stay posted for an announcement on January 2nd. We will have our ultrasound that day to find out if baby Vanden Akker number three is another boy or possibly a girl.
We went to the firehouse on a tour for Luke's birthday today. He took a couple friends along and then we came back to our house for lunch. Luke was a little scared of the big trucks and all the firemen gear. You might have thought it was Andrew and Ben's birthday because they loved every minute and wore the kids fire outfits around the entire time. Luke got excited when he heard that it was time to head back home for lunch, presents, and cupcakes.
Luke turned 2 on the the 27th. The festivities never seem to end in our house. He got bagels for breakfast and then a donut snack from Garmmie and T.T., smoothies for lunch at the mall, and finally McDonalds for dinner. What a day of food (one of Luke's favorite things). He ended up getting a Happy Meal for dinner because him and Andy had been playing in the playroom with the new kitchen and play food. We have some pretend McDonalds food and after playing with it Andy came out and said that the plastic cheeseburger made him really hungry for McDonalds (I said gross, but didn't argue because it emant I didn't ahve to cook dinner). We headed to the Golden Arches drive thru and brought home a delicious birthdya dinner for Luke.
Andy turned 29 on the 26th. His family was in town so we hung out with them for the day. I love the picture of Andy with our boys and nephew Noah, it will only be a couple more months until this is a realistic picture around our house.
The VandenAkker family all came up to our house for Christmas Dinner. It is a rare occasion to have all of us together, so Pake and Oma were very excited to have all their kids and the three grandboys all in one house. We ate a yummy dinner, played with our new cousin Noah, did our annual family gift exchange, and played games. Everyone spent the night and we were able to hang out and celebrate Andy and Luke's birthday the following day.
We spent Christmas morning as a family opening gifts and watching the Disneyland parade. The boys were dressed in their Christmas Mickey Mouse PJ's and slippers. Santa left them a play kitchen with a shopping cart and cash register (yes, they did ask for this and we did manage to find a blue one). They also got big "diggers" (excavators) from daddy and mommy. They had been anxiously awaiting to see if they were going to get their diggers and they finally appeared on Christmas morning. Daddy (Santa) also surprised mommy with a special necklace that she had wanted with little charms on it that have my boys names engraved on it. She was very excited!!!
We spent Christmas Eve day with my family at my parent's house. The kids were full of excitement and loving all their new toys. We spent the day hanging out, opening gifts, eating, going to church, and walking around to look at Christmas lights. It was a great Christmas Eve day.
These boys love to hug eachother every now and them. Luke was giving Andrew a backrub when he got up from his nap and then the hugs began. If you notice the last picture Luke got a little carried away with his hug. Andrew said in a very mature manner (it sounded like he could be a 50 year old man), "OK, OK, Luke you are kinda hurting my pee-pee." I love these boys!!
On the Saturday before Christmas we made gingerbread houses at the neighbors house. The boy's friends Spencer and Abigail invited them over to enjoy one of their family traditions with them. We were definately the rookies because our house could not stay together. The moms tried for a while and then the dads tried, but no one could maser keeping it all stuck together. We ended up with a roofless house and two gingerbread men sleeping inside. The boys didn't care as long as they could keep eating the candy toppings.
We decided at breakfast this morning that since daddy had the day off of work we should go to the mountains and sled. The boys were very excited. When we said that we had to get our snow suits ready Luke ran to his room and came running out with his bright green Mickey swim suit. "Got my suit," he said, and he insisted that he wear his swim suit over his sweat pants, so he did. We just got a ton of snow, so the mountains were beautiful. The powder was so deep that we had trouble walking through it. You'll read in the post below how our boys enjoyed the snow in two very different ways.