Thursday, December 30, 2010


The days have been full for the last week, but we have had plenty of time to rest, relax, and be at home, too! The kids are playing with all of their new toys and enjoying having Kevin home since last Thursday.

We decided to go to the Christmas market again. I couldn't put my finger on it, but this year was different. It seemed more unique and special as compared to other years. And then as we were walking around again last Thursday morning, I realized it was because they offered different things this year. And of course I forgot my camera! But they had glass making, a blacksmith, and various other trinkets sold that I haven't seen there in previous years.

They had these beautiful and simple music boxes. This one plays "Csendes éj" (Silent Night).

You have to crank it yourself, but the kids have been enjoying that. I look forward to bringing out this special box every Christmas now. :)

They have always had these gigantic pencils, but Seth was really intrigued by them. And he was anxious to get home and try it out. He showed us how he could do it with one hand or two hands. Now we just need to find the world's biggest pencil sharpener...

On Christmas Eve, Audrey came out to our house and stayed for a few days. We love "Uncle" Audrey! My family used to roast hot dogs over a fire at Christmas and make s'mores while we had a picnic in the family room and watched a Christmas movie. No fireplaces here (in the traditional sense that Americans would think...some have ceramic ones here), so I tried recreating it the best I could.

Eventually the skewers caught on fire, and the grease from the hot dogs became a problem as well. :) But hey, I tried!

In the wee hours of Christmas morning!

Seth woke up not too early on Christmas Day, as we were expecting. Grandma and Grandpa Yaiko took the early shift for Skype. Lucky them! Actually, they just stayed up until we called them. Seth got up at 6:30, which was just after midnight there.

Grandma and Grandpa hung in there until almost 2 a.m. their time and watched the kiddos open lots of gifts!

Kate actually liked this doll! She has a few others she got when she was a baby and has never been interested in them, but this one must be different!

Seth was super excited about more Lego's for Christmas. I think we will have to open up our own Lego museum one day, not that this mom would be upset about that. ;)

Later on in the day after Christmas breakfast and Kate's morning nap, we opened presents from everyone else except from my parents. My kids were spoiled rotten by all of their grandparents, great grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins, and all of those "greats" at well!

This has to be Kate's favorite toy from Great G&G Crawley. This little "radio" plays a few songs, and Kate knows how to start and stop it and how to change it to a different song. She takes that thing around with her everyone now.

We got to Skype with my parents later on in the evening, but it was rushed. We had a storm come through, and it knocked out our internet as we were into the second ring of calling them on Skype. Fortunately we only lost the internet while others lost all of their power. I went out our balcony to see what it was like outside, and our house and the little yellow church were the only things that had lights on. But the power came back on soon as well as the internet. The kids were really tired, and so we thought about just waiting to do Christmas with my parents. But we managed to get it in. But I hardly got any pictures of that part.

...although Kate LOVES this little cupcake plate. She points to it and reaches for it every time I go in her room now, and she loves to touch the red cherries on the three cupcakes. Ha! She loves dishes already...just like her momma. Son who loves Lego's, daughter who loves dishes. This is working out well for me. :)

On Monday night, Zsolt and Gabi invited us over. We had such a nice time. They got our kids Christmas presents as well!

Seth got embarrassed about opening up his gift, so Kevin helped him while Gabi watched.

They got him a floor mat for his cars! It was the perfect gift as he got quite a few cars and tractors this year. We had debated about getting him one ourselves and never ended up doing so. Glad we didn't! And they got Kate a shape sorter ball, which is what Seth is opening here for her. She has enjoyed it, as has Seth. They are just so wonderful to our kids!!! We LOVE Zsolti and Gabi.

Gabi even made dinner for us...potatoes, vegetable salad, and super yummy sesame seed breaded virsli!

And Zsolti lights a csillagszóró (sparkler) near the tree, which I learned this year is part of their traditions. He was hoping to get Seth to do it, but Seth wasn't too sure what it was.

Tuesday was the annual alumni/varsity boys basketball game. All returning alumni can play the boys team. The varsity guys won, but it was a fun game. And kuddos to all the kids for making it in somehow! Europe got pounded with various storms the week before Christmas, making it next to impossible for kids to get here for Christmas and many teachers trying to fly back home to the US as well.

Seth kept pointing out that "Dad is the only one standing."

I couldn't believe how well Seth sat during the game and how he paid attention. He really wanted to go out there and play, too. :) He insisted on wearing this new basketball shirt to the game since "the big guys are playing."

Later that night we had a bunch of alumni come over to play cards and just catch up and hear how they are doing now. It was really fun to chat, and I thoroughly enjoyed our time. We did miss out on several hours of sleep as a result, but our kids were gracious and slept in until 8:30. Yahoo!

And I just remembered yesterday (Wednesday) that we never opened the box of Little Debbie's Christmas Tree cakes, a favorite of mine and Kevin. My mom has sent them a month or so ago, and I hid them so that they wouldn't get eaten early. But then I had forgotten...

Seth was super excited. Five in the box and four of us, so he claimed the extra one. :)

Kate got to try one for the first time. Of course she liked it. We haven't come across anything she won't eat. ;)

A huge thank you to Audrey for bringing her camera so that we had some bright Christmas pictures!


Jenny said...

Kris, It seems you had a wonderful and special Christmas. Your kids are so blessed to have you and Kevin as parents, and they are just about the cutest kids in the WORLD! Have a wonderful New Year! Many Blessings. Love you, Jenny

Stefanie Schocke said...

Love all the pictures!!!! :)

Jill said...

Well, being a "theme" person and being a "matching jammies" person, I LOVE Kate's cupcake tray and cupcake outfit (I know her room is decorated with cupcakes) and I love the kids' matching snowman jammies. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas for all of you. Blessings to you all!