Colby (who has decided the ee sound at the end of his name is too feminine sounding, and who Vander has decided to call CC, since Colby calls him VB) came to visit us for 6 days and it was truly fantastic to have him around. He is such a great guest...he is happy to do most things (except get up early) and loves to play with the kids. I have decided that 3 adults to 2 kids is really the perfect ratio. We played 22 games over the course of Colby's visit with us. Justin decided to keep track of wins and losses so that he can figure out why he looses so much...turns out he doesn't loose that often, but Colby is the King of 2nd place.
Colby got to be a part of our cookie decorating party tradition. Larry and Theresa joined us at our house to decorate the 45 cookies that I had made with Colby's help the night before. We had brunch and enjoyed each others company. The boys really enjoyed decorating cookies this year. They actually decorated more than they ate. :)
While Colby we here we had our 4th annual block party with the neighborhood- potluck, cookie decorating, caroling, and hanging out by the fire pit. Vander was just getting over being sick, so he didn't stay long. Ollie checked it all out, but decided that he was ultimately tired.
Colby and I took the boys for a hike one morning, they absolutely loved it. Vander didn't want to every turn around and come home, he was determined to just keep going. It was really nice that he was so enthusiastic. We ended up being gone about 2 hours- that is a long way for Ollie's little legs.
Christmas Eve morning we tried to make cinnamon rolls from scratch- they turned out awful because the coil in the oven broke, so they had to cook longer and became rubbery. After breakfast we headed out to the front yard and played street tennis with the boys. It was actually pretty enjoyable. In the afternoon we headed down to Larry and Theresa's house for an evening of relaxation and chili with cheese and crackers. When we got home we made a plate of cookies and a bag of snowflakes for Santa, said goodbye to Teddy (our Elf on the Shelf who has watched over the boys all December), left Gingerbread houses for Elves, left art for Mrs. Clause and of course carrots for the reindeer and headed off to bed.
Christmas morning we got up at 6:45am to see what Santa brought. All of our stockings were filled with goodies. Vander said to me, "I'm so glad I didn't tell Santa what to get for me because he did such a good job on his own!" Vander's special gift was a Batman wallet and Oliven's special gift was Monster's Inc. figurines and Daisy for his bed. At around 10am Mitch, Katie, Larry and Theresa showed up and we had brunch. Justin and I made Egg white Enchiladas with green sauce, Stollen (a traditional German bread), and fruit salad. We also had bagels with cream cheese and lox. Theresa brought up Monkey bread. I opened up a bottle of sparkling cider. Vander and I both had a glass. His comment about it was, "Hmmm, it tastes kind of wrinkly in my mouth."
After brunch we opened presents. We took turns going from youngest to oldest in Theresa's family's tradition- which I really like. It was a fun and quaint morning. The kids couldn't wait to open all their gifts and get started using them all! If you look closely you can see that my mom got in the picture on Christmas as well- she is the white spot in front of me by Vander. Thanks for coming by Madre!!!
After quiet time we headed down to Larry and Theresa's house for Christmas dinner (a repeat of Thanksgiving dinner). While we were there the guys finished putting together the kids wiggle riders from Aunt Karen and Uncle Ken and they had a blast riding them around. Those things are really super cool.
The next day we had a relaxing morning and more game playing with Colby and then after quiet time we headed out to Nickel City with the boys to enjoy some arcade fun. Colby and I played Tetris together with the screen on the fritz and still really enjoyed ourselves. I can't remember the last time I played Tetris with my bro. It was really fun. We came back to our house for a quick grilled cheese dinner before Justin and Colby headed back to the San Francisco airport. We miss you Colby!!! The next day Vander said, "I miss Colby already. Can he come back tomorrow and stay for the rest of my life?" He's not asking for much...what do you say Colb?