I totally forgot to mention what Santa brought us! Lily diligently put out milk and cookies and some carrots for the reindeer. She is still talking about how Santa ate the cookies and took the carrots to the reindeer. (I can't believe how much I missed this phase now that the boys are too grown up for this...in fact, I used a new recipe for the cookies and the boys were actually fighting over who was going to be Santa this year! P.S. - Cheyenne took half of one so got the honors!) For those of you that don't know, Cheyenne is our nearly 10 year old Siberian Husky. What a turkey.
Lily had been mentioning that she wanted Santa to bring her a Heffalump. Lumpy the Heffalump is a character on Winnie the Pooh for those of you without small ones. I found a huge bin of stuffed Winnie the Pooh characters at the Coop OBS (somewhat like a Walmart but without the savings) and I had Lily with me. I asked her which one she liked. I thought she would say Tigger or Piglet...but no, she liked Lumpy the Heffalump. Knowing they might not last (they were on sale -and I use that term lightly here in Norway), I put it in the basket. She's a bit brighter than the boys were I guess because she caught on right away and wanted to hold it. I let her. I thought she'd forget it when it was bagged and in the trunk. Nope. I let her take a nap with Lumpy and when she fell asleep, I snatched it. Okay, give me the bad mommy of the year award at this point. She woke up later and asked for her Heffalump. I told her if she was a good girl, maybe Santa would bring her a Heffalump. Soooo, she has been asking for a Heffalump and was estatic when one was under the tree on Christmas morning. She must mention to me, "Santa bring Hellalump" with a smile on her face about 8 times a day. All's well that ends well.
Lily also got a little piano on a stand with a stool to sit on. Oh my. She is in heaven. She calls it her "pee-oh" and she goes to town pushing all the keys and the buttons. Congratulations, Aunt Amy, you won the present of the year for Lily this Christmas! :o) She also got an adorable puppy dog apron and chef's hat. What a hoot. That will get good use as well.
Joe got several DVD's and was thrilled with his big gift, an electronic drum set. I know, I have just about got a band now. Tim plays the guitar, so I guess we are set. Joe also got some nice warm hoodies and slippers. (as did Tim) They have been wearing them all the time. It was the perfect gift for Norway falls, winters, and springs (and this past summer, which never arrived).
Tim got two board games (he is a board game fanatic) and a huge kennex set that makes a 5 foot tall roller coaster. He also received a tripod for his camera, which is attached to him like glue whenever we leave the house.
Rich got a lot of books on traveling (as he plans to travel quite a bit while we are here) and lots of Boston Red Sox stuff. He got up in the middle of the night to watch the post season games so I think he definitely is not a fair weather fan.
I got two matching picture frames with three 5X7 openings in each frame. In the openings were photographs that each of the boys had taken this past year. Joe's were in Black and White and Tim's were in Sepia. They each had a landmark (Joe's was from Barcelona and Tim's from Venice), a close up of a flower and a landscape. It really shows of their new-found talents. I absolutely loved them and they will be hung in our dining room where everyone will see them right away. I am so proud of them and their talent.
The big gift for us came from Rich as a suprise to all of us. We are all going on a Mediteranian cruise in February. It starts and ends in Rome, Italy and will go to different locations in Turkey, Cyprus, Italy, Greece and Egypt. It will be 11 days long and we are all very excited. We have never been on a cruise before. The ship is only a year old and the biggest ship of this fleet. It is about 6-7 weeks away and I just can't wait!