InstaChristmaswiththeKings... (v. 2014)

I should have been packing our bags for the overnight trip to Waco, but I thought that this was a much better use of my time. How long do you think we will let me snuggle with him? He's seriously the greatest kid and I am so lucky to be his mom. 

Christmas came early for this crew - we grubbed on pizza, gorged on cookies, giggled, exchanged gifts and stayed up past bedtime - all in our matching jammies. 

The children all nustled, all snug in their "bed" while visions of dr. pepper and cookies danced in their heads. 

They just keep on "griswalding" our house.  Sadly (to Radley) this little tree lasted one night before falling over. 

Merry Christmas in our jammies!

We had tiny taste testers for Christmas prep - but they saved a little to share with everyone else. 

It just isn't the holidays if this one isn't at the per or urgent care. She was clearly fine. 

Let the annual meatball making commence! 

I'm pretty sure this was their favorite gift this year. All 4 of the grands together for mass and Christmas morning!

Sometime in August I decided that it would be adorable for all of us to get boots this year. I remember being little and everyone getting custom boots one year from this boot place in Lott, Tx and loved it.  I **needed** a pair, Ryan needed a pair, and the kids would be cute. Emmy and Landry fell in love with these pink boots in September and I snatched them up. Then I hesitated on that **need** referenced above until Frye's were HALF OFF on Amazon. 


Merry Christmas Y'all!


We were done by 6:30am. 


The neighbors that tunic together, stay together. We are pretty much the cutest. 


She was giving them very explicit instructions to not mess it up.

We have our family over for dinner every year on Christmas. The kids get to play and talk about what they got from Santa, the adults get to eat and have big kid conversations and we all get to be surrounded by the people we love the most. Love that we have a home to fit us all. Love that my momma's hospitality gene got passed down to me. Love that she's still the one that makes the gravy! And love that this crew will have memories created here of what their childhood Christmases were made of. 

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like being completely inappropriate and laughing until you are in tears. Y'all. Get this game. 

If you need some boots, I can't recommend these enough. Classic riding boot, hand crafted, super comfy and just amazing. I got these in gray - a bit unconventional but when sitting directly next to the dark brown you could not tell a major difference. I have 2 pair of brown boots already, so I went with these and have worn them with black, brown and grey already.

(Next up, I'm thinking I need these in Fawn (but that color is currently out). My birthday is right around the corner...)

A little GNO with dinner and movie with my favorites.

(Disclosure: We saw Annie and while I didn't hate it, we didn't LOVE it. Emmy was bored - it was a bit too grown up for their age group and as charming as Cameron Diaz is, you can never redo Carol Burnett).

And we continued with the chaos. Gigi got the first point of the night. And then it got REALLY good. 

Instead of exchanging gifts this year, the big kids treated ourselves to dinner out. No tiny humans to feed or tell sit still. No one asking us if they had eaten enough for dessert. Just us, chatting, laughing, and eating until we couldn't take another bite. This was my favorite gift of the season.

The gift of time really is the best. 

Okay, maybe Pops playing CAH was my favorite gift.


All too soon, we had to say goodbye and no one was less ready to do that than these two. Radley adores his "Cousin Owen" and when we got home, he teared up, grabbed his "phone" and pulled up a picture they had taken together. Can't wait for our next visit!

We took the decorations down and the last to go was all the wonderful cards we received. (80+! Thanks y'all!) I'm taking a cue from some of our loyal YMM followers and we will be praying over families at mealtime this year. Looking forward to this becoming an annual tradition with the Kings. 

2014 has been a great year - thanks for joining We5Kings on our journey!


Twas a Texas Christmas...

Twas early Christmas morning, when 6am did tock
We awoke to, "MOM! It's CHRISTmas, and Santa brought me a CLOCK!"
We hurried out of bed to see the Christmas joy
On the smiles of two sweet girls and in the hearts of two sweet boys

The magic of the season was alive as it could be
As exclamations were heard of, "Look what Santa brought to me!"
Stockings filled with goodies, all the way up to the brim
And a room full of laughter while thanks we gave to Him

A morning spent being lazy with the ones we love the most
While munching on some bacon and some tasty cinnamon toast
Before we did believe it, it was time to open more
With the annual gift sorting spreading 'cross the living room floor

All the pretty wrapping were filled with simple gifts
Like cups, shoes and sleeping bags - each granting a special wish
They didn't need the lavish paper, they didn't want the big surprise
They just needed the joy of each other - you could see it in their eyes

My favorite part of Christmas is the gifts between the kids
Each is so excited about what the other one gets
Emmy picked a prize from her class treasure chest
A bouncy ball and blue frisbee was truly the very best 
Their smiles were gigantic from the very start 
For such a tiny person, she has the biggest heart

The gifts kept on coming but that was not the treat
The thought that was behind them made the day extra sweet
The childlike anticipation of opening each box
And the incredible reaction whether it be a candle, hat or socks

I couldn't help but pause and say a little prayer
A lifted praise to Jesus for what He gave us here
My heart just can't accept it, my brain can't understand
What in the world I did to deserve a life this grand

Surrounded by each other, overflowing with so much glad
And to top it all off, we get to be their Mom and Dad

Good tidings and sweet wishes, so much merry and bright
Sharing time and making memories made the day a perfect sight

The big kids all wore smiles that spread from ear to ear
So happy with the company we got to keep this year

Nothing major, big or flashy happened once throughout the day
Just some lunch and games and napping, what else can I say
Happy Birthday Baby Jesus, we sang as the day did end
Surrounded by our family so much more than just our friends

Hope you all had a beautiful Christmas celebration!


Christmas Eve...

Christmas Eve has always meant one thing in our family - food, fun and fellowship. And LOTs of each. Our location may have changed and the people that we spend time with has varied, but these three things remain the same. Just like the good book of Italians tells us. 

We were prepping for a full house for Christmas Day which meant lots and lots and lots of this...

I'm pretty sure we had 15 pounds of meat to make meatballs. And Pops and those kids rolled every single one while Gigi fried away. My job is much more involved - I'm the taste tester/photographer. 

I know, it's exhausting.

Please tell me if you can find cuter su chefs because I bet that you can't. 

Landry did pretty great for her first time - she made mini meatballs which are all the rage. Bite sized anything is trendy these days - she is so on top of it. 

That plate kept filling up and so did our bellies. We operate from a Blue Bell philosophy of eating all we can and then sharing the rest. 

And then something non-traditional happened. Some very special guests arrived all the way from California!!!! Radley was so shocked that his reaction when he opened the door was...

"Oh. Hi. Ummmm... Yeah. HIIII Uncle Jody. And Aunt Sonya. And Cousin Owen. Hi."

Such a man.

But he was overjoyed - he had been praying for and asking about when he would get to see Owen again. And his Christmas wish came true. They immediately ran outside to enjoy the sunshine filled afternoon of a Texas Christmas. 

And poor Sonya immediately set up shop helping roll the remaining meatballs. Her work never ends. 

Soon it was time for Christmas Eve mass - my favorite of the year. 

Everyone got their Christmas wish this year.

Even if Landry's face doesn't look like it.

This was the first time Jody has been in Texas for Christmas Day in nearly 20 years. I can't even believe that - how has it been that long?! We were so thrilled to have them here and so thankful that Sonya pulled off the surprise. It was her first Christmas Day EVER away from her Momma and Daddy which I'm sure wasn't easy, so thanks, Sis!

Now onto to Christmas...


12 days countdown (3, 2, 1)...

Only 3 days until Christmas... let's be Santa's helpers and bring dinner to daddy's friends at UPS. 

Yeah, so this didn't happen and I don't know if we will be able to do this again during peak season. Y'all. EVERYONE shops online. How is that possible? The number of packages that go into the little 'ol center in Bryan, Texas is crazy... I can't imagine what it's like in real cities. Dinner would have to be closer to 9 or 10 for most of the drivers, and then who really wants to stay at work after you've been there for 10+ hours. So, we skipped this one and brought a surprise to our neighbors instead. 

Only 2 days until Christmas... put your game faces on - it's GAME NIGHT!

I knew my parents were coming into town on the 23rd so I thought it would bet fun to play some board games and let the kids stay up past bedtime.  

We made it through Candyland without a glitch. 

Mainly because this kid was the winner. And the girls aren't really into caring much about winning. In fact, Emmy get's sad if she doesn't get stuck on the liquorish and Landry thinks getting any of the "character" cards is awesome - even if she has to go all the way back. 

But this kid.


(She had a tiny chocolate milk mustache).

We moved onto Uno which was still fun - until Radley got a million cards. Or got skipped. Or had to push the button. Or... 

He is super competitive and gets so frustrated when things don't go his way. 
(He has no problem; however, if things don't go anyone else's way. In fact - he loves it.)
(It makes me want to pinch off his head). 
(But it was Christmas, so I didn't.)

I keep hoping he will grow out of it. Until then, he just gets to learn the hard way. 

And if you've never played Uno with this as your view, well... you haven't played with Landry as your "pawtner".

Only 1 day until Christmas... Let's bake a cake for Baby Jesus!

This is our traditional Christmas Eve activity - I'm thinking next year they can do it by themselves!

Emmy and Radley are very into helping - they like measuring the ingredients, pouring the oil, cracking the eggs. 

And take the job of mixing very seriously.

Landry joined in when it was time to taste spread the icing. 

Happy Birthday, Jesus! The best gift is always you!