Since we started the tradition a few years ago of each making a gift for each other, it quickly became what I look forward to the very most on Christmas morning. Putting all that thought, time, and effort into it makes it so much more fun to give and see the excitement when it is received.
This year I found a little wooden kitchen set for $10 at a garage sale so the boys & I set to work sprucing it up for the littles.
Their first time sanding a painting!
The finished product! Jyson hand-painted the burners, Jaydon did most of the other painting (in our dark & dank cement cellar, I might add) & they both were good sports as they learned the not-so-quick process of a project like this from beginning to end.
Nana helped contribute to the wooden food stash (& gave us the Ikea plush food last year) & wow, it has gotten a lot of usage! Sadly I didn't get a picture of the kids seeing it for the first time, but they love it! Jaydon & Jyson both were so excited to give it to them!
And, for the record, I made a curtain out of lovely vintage rose fabric, but it's become too in the way for these guys at this stage in the game, so I guess it will now convert to a baby blanket :)
Jyson discovered a 'make your own plastic' recipe in a science experiment book we have (again, from Nana) & decided one night we really needed to try it out. Milk, vinegar & heat. Who knew? We all got so excited about it...especially when he thought of the idea to make a guitar pick for Tony for Christmas (Tony was working late that night--perfect)! Jaydon decided to make a 'T' key ring & off they went. They dyed them green and they are amazingly durable/hard! Tony has them proudly on display at work.
Jyson made a bug net for Jaydon last year & tried hard not to covet all year, so Jaydon had no problem in coming up with what he wanted to do. Jaydon learned to use a sewing machine, and Jyson was thrilled!
Jyson's gift to Jaydon took a little more thinking...he had a great idea, but we didn't have enough knowledge with the time we had so after a quick look on Pinterest, I discovered this beauty. A PVC pipe bow & arrow set! Enter in trying-hard-not-to-covet-year #2 for Jyson! He & Tony made it together withOUT anything more than a handsaw & wowsers, it works great! All the guys spent some time outside trying it out later that day...in addition to the potato guns I bought the boys :) Stick the gun point into a potato, it extracts the 'bullet', pull out & shoot! Brilliant!
Tony knew how badly I wanted a camera, but it was soo not in the budget. He found almost the exact one I wanted (minus the fact that it had a touch screen) for $70 less (so worth it!)& even used some of his 'personal' money from the month to make it possible! I love how happy he is in the picture...I wish I was gazing back into his cute face, showing my gratitude a little more...I'm so blessed to have such a thoughtful husband!
Here are some of the other Christmas celebrators...though the 3 on the right weren't feeling so hot...we seriously all took turns being sick the whole time they were here (except Sarin & Jared, who took mega doses of her Vitamin C every day...lesson learned) & little Sienna was the lucky one to have it the worst on Christmas day :( And p.s. Devin wasn't in a single picture on Christmas Day because he took all of them! Should've thought of that, sorry Dev!
Here we have a homemade gift from Nana (minus the one to Sienna). Minky blankets to all the littles (my older boys already have a 'Nana blanket'). In addition, she spent tons of time (& moolah, I'll wager) putting together sets of 4 quiet books for each family. One of the Articles of Faith, one of Christ in the New Testament, one of the cute 'Friend' posters, & my favorite: a Gospel ABC book, including pictures of family...i.e. under 'D' for 'Daddy' is a picture of Tony! And so on...what a gift of love!!
Other favorites of the boys: Ticket to Ride from the Summers', Jyson's lego set from & Jaydon's blue laser light from us
Uncle Devin had us this year & he got our family Apples to Apples (game) & Tony & I the music book from 'Tangled' I think I love the music more than the movie...so fun!!!
Uncle Spencer & Aunt Meagan went to Japan last Christmas & brought back these awesome numb-chucks & headbands for my men (they just haven't seen us since then so bonus presents!). Immediate action! Also, in the back you can see the kid sized guitar/amp Tony earned (for free) from his work...the boys have already learned half of "I Am A Child of God"...first song from our family band :)
And, the final present from Mom & Dad Cobia...a propane burner stove!! I'm so pumped! My parents gave us a dehydrator last year & now this! I hope they keep up the preparedness gifts, hint hint :)
And here, at the end of it all...the grandkids gravitate to Nana's lap, where she loves them to be most.
The rest of the day was do-whatever-you-want day, ended off with leftovers & the movie "Arthur Christmas." So relaxing. So needed.