Christmas was a delight.
We started our weekend with a visit to the Carousel Santa on Friday night. It was our first official Santa visit! When Santa asked Madelyn what she wanted for Christmas, she was very confident in her answer: "Cookies!"
Afterward, Madelyn used one of the tokens she received as a Christmas gift from one of my co-workers and took a ride on the carousel. Her favorite horse, Razzle Dazzle, was claimed by another little girl before Madelyn could get to him. We were worried that we would need to ask to sit the ride out and wait until Razzle Dazzle was available (there have been tears over this fact before), but Madelyn surprised us and declared that she would ride "Larry" instead. Larry, the Circus Pony. The tiniest horse on the carousel. But his rider had the cutest smile on the whole ride.
After the carousel, we ran (there is no walking with Madelyn) to see the Christmas tree at the other end of the park. It was a magical evening for all three of us.
We ended the evening with Madelyn's request of Santa - cookies.
Never mind what I said about sprinkle-control in our last post. There was a lot of vacuuming afterward. And a bath for a little girl who was covered in green sugar sparkles after taste testing her handiwork.
We celebrated our Christmas together on Christmas Eve morning. Our gift to Madelyn was an awesome Craigslist find: a playhouse! It has been sitting in our backyard for a few weeks now and Troy and I have been beside ourselves in excitement waiting for the big unveil, which went like this:
At first we were a little disappointed by the tame response from Madelyn. But about 15 to 30 minutes after checking out the playhouse inside and out, opening and closing the windows and doors, it was as if a lightbulb went on in her mind and she started jumping up and down shouting, "I got a playhouse, I got a playhouse!" It was adorable. She started serving us pretend coffee and cookies through the window. Well, the coffee was only for Daddy. She told me I wasn't old enough. Heh. I can't wait for the spring and summer months when we can spend more time in the playhouse without puffy jackets!
We spent the rest of Christmas Eve morning relaxing, playing with our Christmas presents, and watching A Muppet Christmas Carol (a family favorite now). It has actually provided a few good talks with Madelyn about sharing happiness with others. It is such a joy to spend time like that as a family - something I will always treasure.
Christmas Eve evening was at Grandpa and Grandma's house. Madelyn was so excited for the evening, that she could not take a nap that afternoon. Daddy even tried taking her for a drive to help her calm down. It was rare fail in terms of putting her to sleep. She talked and talked and talked about Christmas as they drove around for 30 minutes. When she got home and walked through the door, I think she felt compelled to explain why she didn't sleep, so she walked up to me, shrugged her shoulders, and (before I could say anything) said, "Cuz I TOO excited Mama. I didn't sleep."
Madelyn's favorite present of the evening was a plastic ice cream set which she promptly served to everyone. The other hit of the evening was when Grandpa let Madelyn be the caller for our Bingo game!
On Christmas morning, we headed to Nana and Papa's house and Madelyn helped Nana make apple and cherry turnovers. She took her job VERY seriously. (The results were yummy!)
Her favorite gift of the morning was a doctor outfit. After making sure that she had helped everyone finish unwrapping their gifts, Madelyn spent the entire remainder of the morning giving everyone shots. Not sure why that was her favorite, especially since it usually takes 4 people to force-administer a real-life shot to Madelyn!
After a much-needed nap in the car, we headed to Grandpa and Grandma Carlisle's house for the final Christmas celebration. We sang Christmas carols (thanks Uncle Kelly!), ate lots of yummy food, and had our uber-competitive gift swap. There are no holds barred in that game - some even tried to steal gifts from my Grandma! Madelyn received a Toy Story Jessie doll and did not let go of her the. entire. evening. Madelyn tells us she is now Jessie's "owner" (have to have watched Toy Story 2 to understand that one) - and a proud owner she is!
It was Merry. It was Bright. It was Joyful. We are so thankful for our family. We are so thankful for the love of our Lord and Savior. It was a wonderful ending to 2011 - see you all in the New Year!