Christmas this year was truly one for the books!! Originally sad that it would be my first time away from family in my 28 Christmas's on this earth, a mere week before hand my dad booked an amazing vacation rental on a farm here in Pennsylvania so we could all spend the holidays together as a family. It all stemmed from him watching the Duck Dynasty Christmas special, and he said he couldn't imagine Christmas without the boys. Since the trip was so last minute we decided to just keep it a surprise to Ryder.
They pulled out of Fort Myers Thursday afternoon when Hailey got out of school, and pulled up to the front of our house about 8:30 Friday morning. Ryder was sitting in his new recliner, an amazing gift from Nini, eating breakfast anticipating his Christmas party at school that morning. I told him I was taking Chloe potty, and went to say my hellos first to my family. I then came in and told Ryder I had a Christmas surprise for him. His face when my family walked in the door was absolutley priceless!! He kept telling me how sad he was they weren't spending Christmas with us, and it brought tears to my eyes to see how happy he was to see them!! Landon was excited to see their faces greet him in his room that mornign too, but of course he doesn't quite get it like Ryder does :)
Of course Ryder had to be to school right away. We didn't want him to miss his Christmas party at school with his friends so I ran him to school while my family freshened up quick from their over night trip. While Ryder enjoyed his party, we enjoyed a nice breakfast at Schwalms. It was delicious, and I was so thankful to be sitting with my family for another holiday :) That was a Christmas gift in itself!! They couldn't check into the house they rented until 4 so we got all the grocery shopping for the week out of the way. At four we headed to unload all of our stuff into the house, and then had to head out to get our Christmas tree!! I unfortunatley don't have any of the pictures from the experience, but we left with the most gorgeous twelve foot Christmas tree from a farm owned by the sweetest people. We then headed out to Cole's very first basketball game to cheer him on, and finished the day with some dinner at Friendly's. It was a whirlwind day, but such a blessing.
On Saturday our sweet Hailey turn 13!! A teenager!! My parents still had a lot of Christmas shopping to get done so I headed off with my dad to get lots of stuff checked off of their list, and my mom took the kids to lunch.... these two pictures are from their lunch
Seriously... can you see how much this kid adores her? She is definitely his #1
That night we all met at a local pizza place to get together and celebrate Miss Hailey's birthday. I love getting the opoortunity to sit at a table with our families in one spot. Definitely makes my heart happy.
Landon lovin' on his "J"
Lots of multi-tasking going on... We were having everyone over to swim, but had to finish decorating the tree first.... My parents overnighted their Christmas ornaments (the Winter girls are suckers for holidays and traditions), but they didn't arrive that Friday. We knew they wouldn't be there until Monday so we settle for Target $1 ornaments, and it seriously ended up being the most gorgeous tree!!
Landon escaped to the basketball court... He did this quite a bit over the week.
Everyone taking a dip in the pool..
there were some serious volleyball games played in this pool as well
Lovin' on David... These boys have some awesome 2nd cousins!!
Game room time!
Our tree looked really awesome the next morning when I woke up early for work.
The view outside when I took Chloe potty... although Derrik and I didn't take time off from work it was such a nice little "stay-cation" for us as well!
While I was at work, Aunt Karen and Uncle Scott stopped by. Karen made Ritzies (spelling?) with Ryder. You take crackers and put peanut butter in between them and then cover them in chocolate. They were AMAZING!!
We went for a walk on the property... We wanted to take another one with everyone dressed nice and get some family pictures... That never happened, and we ended up with these random few instead
Sunday night Derrik's dad's side of the family came over for some pizza and pool time.
Another heated game of volleyball took place...
Papa and Landon decided to spectate from up above
The following day kick started the Christmas festitivies... Christmas Eve....
The morning started out finishing up last minute errands and a morning of work for myself, but by late afternoon we all loaded up and headed to Me-Maw and Poppy's to celebrate Christmas with them. It was such a strange feeling to have my family over at Tina and Tom's... in a perfect world we would all spend every weekend together.
Landon is becoming quite the gamer lately...
On a side note... Me-Maw and Poppy's has two playstations and six controllers.. now-a-days we need eight controllers... the house is seriously over run with boys who love their video games and can throw serious fits if they are the one left without a controller!
I loved having my sisters over at the Rife's...
Meanwhile Grammy and Mack were picking up Uncle Ryan from the airport :)
After a great dinner... It was present time!!!
My boys were SOOO spoiled with three Christmases this year!
Ryder of course loved opening presents, and I was so shocked how well Landon did at opening them too!
Ryder got the Jake stuffed animal from Dalton a little while back and was SOO excited to get Izzie, Cubbie, and Skully to go with him. He needs a king size bed soon for all these guys!
This picture is a blurred mess, but it shows how excited Landon was to open up his very own Jake!! Landon is obsess with Jake and the Neverland Pirates... You can catch him trying to wear his Jake shirts, jammies, and socks at all times.
We got Dalton's teddy a superhero outfit just like Ryder's teddy has :)
The Big Boys :)
We headed back home not too long after presents because we had a big night ahead of us!!
Ryder had mentioned a couple weeks before Christmas that he REALLY wanted to give Brutus, our elf, a hug. The kid has a big heart :) Mommy placed a phone call to Santa to asked if Brutus could come with special magic so we could touch him and give him a big hug Chirstmas Eve night before he headed back to the North Pole for the year. Ryder was SOO nervous to grab him out of the tree to hug him, and ended up asking me to do it. As soon as I handed them to him his face lit up!! I love the power of the imagination in a little kids mind!!
Just look at that face!! The other elf is Georgie.. Auntie Ally and Auntie Hailey's elf.
He was shocked our first morning at the farm house when he saw that Brutus and Georgie both found their way there!!
Lutz Brother's ready for Santa to come!!
Cookies and milk...
It was a good thing we didn't hold off on decorating the tree for my parent's ornaments, but we did have to put their angel on the top Christmas night when the box finally came!
Giving Brutus a kiss good-bye!
Ignore all the blurred pictures of Landon throughout all the holiday craziness... he's fast and Christmas was a whirlwind!!
Giving Chloe kisses good-night
Watching Mack put some nails into the mantle so we could hang our stockings
The Winter Girls in our matching pj's
We tucked the girls into bed, and it was then time for Santa's helpers to get to work...
Building the boys kitchen
After days of wrapping and building it was time for some rest before Christmas morning...
Just after 8:00 Christmas morning... sitting on the couch waiting for the kids to wake up checking facebook on our phones... Aren't most families done opening at this point? Our family truly appreciates their sleep!! I was only up because I needed to shower before the chaotic day I had ahead!!
My sweet pea woke up :)
Opening his pooping santa... like his pooping reindeer he had last year
Bullseye came in his stocking!
Landon did a great job opening his stocking
Another blurred excited face... He was SOO excited to get the Batman shirt just like Ryder's :)
My phone totally missed their faces when they first walked in, but here they are checking out their new train table!
Landon's excited face when he first saw his new kitchen!
I love how excited Ryder was to get his new batman belt!!
Equally excited for the Batman legos that Mommy told him Santa wouldn't bring because he wasn't old enough...
Landon clearly thought we were distracted and took his spot on top of the table :)
New batman mask, cape, and belt!!
Uncle Ryan and Ryder as Batman :)
My little photography business was BEYOND spoiled by "Santa" :)
I could not be more greatful for the opportunity this will give me in the future!!
Lots of pressure on me now!! I've already photographed a wedding with the camera right after Christmas and it was amazing!!
Next up... Christmas at Robin and Keith's...
A little shocked to see another Christmas after his cat nap in the car
Ryder checking out the scene
Someone is excited now!
Hanging out with Noah
Opening his present from Papi and Julie
Ryder loves hanging with Alex and Andrew
As if he didn't get to open enough presents that day...
He waned to help open Aunt Gina's too
Nini and Papa :)
On our way home we made a pit stop to see the crew at Me-Maw and Poppy's... These boys can't take a break from the playstation even on Christmas :) Poor Dalton had the flu... which lead to a downward spiral of our whole family in the days to come...
Just to remember for the future:
Ryder's favorite gifts: Nintendo 3DS, Little Big Planet for the PS3, Batman Legos, all his batman dress up stuff, Batman movie, the Izzie Cubby and Skully stuffed animals, and his recliner
Landon's favorite gifts: Jake stuffed animal pjs and socks, his new kitchen, and his new recliner
Thank You so much to all of family for making this one of the best Christmases ever!