Leah’s first Christmas

Christmas in downtown Holland

We had a chance to take some pictures downtown after meeting with Santa, even though it was bitterly cold and windy on this day. No coats on our kids, though – that would ruin the pictures, wouldn’t it?

Note the attractive photographer in the reflection

The family outside Home & Company

A few random pictures from the time right before Christmas:

Leah walks quite a bit these days

Making sure she meets her daily petroleum requirements

Leah’s first Christmas present

We gave Lele her first ever Christmas present around dinner time on Christmas Eve. With two sick kids, we stayed home by ourselves for the first time ever – so we got to make up the rules about who could open what and when they could open it. She did a pretty good job opening the present, and unlike most kids, she was not only interested in the box or the paper.

Aly was too excited to wait while Leah took her time opening it

C'mon, open it!

Now we're talking

Rip it girl!

Aly's lovely tag handwriting


Told you she didn't want the box or the paper

Leah watching "Rudolph & The Misfit Toys" on TV

Forget the toy, just give me those!

Christmas Eve

The girls got to stay up late watching the movie in their new matching pajamas. Aly put out five (!) brownies for Santa with a glass of milk before finally heading up to bed. Our resident photographer elf had a chance to take a few ornament shots before turning in himself.

Leah and Rachel watching "Misfit Toys"

Christmas morning

Aly woke up very early and not feeling very well, so after opening a bit of her stocking, she retired to the couch to watch Misfits again. After that 90-minute break, we were back to opening presents again.

A still-sleepy Aly discovering all the presents that Santa brought overnight

Don't mess with Fire Chief Alison! (don't call her Aly when she's the Chief)

Leah was very excited to get a Pocoyo racetrack toy. Mostly to eat it, of course.

At one point, the room was such a mess that Lele got stressed out because she couldn't get anywhere, lol

Overall, we really liked having Christmas just to ourselves, and at our own house. It’s completely selfish, and we missed seeing our family and extended family, but it was really nice to let the kids drive the pace all day long. There was hardly a tantrum in sight all day long.

Between Christmases

Is that even a word? Since we missed out on seeing some family by staying home at Christmas this year, we had two other celebrations later in the week at our house with extended family. These pictures are from the few days between.

Leah pleased with her Retro Rocket (not a Xmas present this year)

Leah standing on her head. She does this all the time. Seriously.

Leah randomly posing in front of the Christmas tree

Aly doing the same

How about all three girls?

 Christmas with Goudies

Grandma Jan and Grandpa Bill were kind enough to come over and join us for a couple days to celebrate with the girls. I say “with the girls” because I barely saw them on Friday, as I was throwing up/passed out/sleeping on the hardwood floor almost the entire day. Lovely.

Woohoo! More presents!

Hammin it up with the grandparents

Leah with Grandpa Bill

Another one - too cute not to post!


Another winner!

Aly showing off the kitty cat she made with her new sewing kit

Grandma Jan's turn for a cute Lele picture

Grandma Jan with the girls

Christmas with the Vogels (and Roscheks)

Getting tired of scrolling yet? I’m testing your scroll wheel endurance. On New Year’s day, we got a chance to celebrate with the rest of the Vogel clan.

Lele with Lizzy and Kevin

Lele escaping the party madness for a minute

Taylor excited to get a Cars present

Leah having fun with Grandpa

Seth behaving the way he usually does around Lizzy


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