David and I stayed up QUITE late that night - we had decided to get the kids new bikes for Christmas and in order to save the assembly fee, David assured me he could put them together no problem. Mostly that was true! :) Josiah's brakes were a bit tricky, but thanks to the internet, he got it figured out and we headed to bed.
The new bikes - waiting in the garage. (Callie's wasn't actually new - my sister Kristen brought it up to us a while ago - her niece had outgrown it and so gave it to us! :) All we needed for Callie was training wheels! But it was new to her!)
Stockings were ready and waiting for everyone. I was really very excited about the stockings this year. Sometimes it ends up being random little stuff, but I was really intentional about it this year and was thrilled with how they turned out. Stockings were a big deal growing up - i LOVED every part of it - so I like to do them well. (Oh, and I bought my own stuff for my stocking this year. I knew David wouldn't do it. At least I liked the stuff!)
At 6:17 AM, I had a sleepy-faced Jacob next to my bed asking "please? Please can we go downstairs and see our stockings now?" I couldn't resist - made him wait for me to get up and put my contacts in, but then we headed down! :)
Sour octopus was in his stocking - the thought of eating that at 6 am is pretty gross, but hey! whatever!! It's Christmas! :)
Josiah, Jacob , and David all got a Star Wars puzzle. They can be separate or they can connect together to make a big panoramic one! I thought it would be a fun thing for them to do together and then glue it together and hang in their room!
David finally came downstairs a bit later and opened his stocking. Any other man on the planet ask for a receive spoons in his stocking? :) I bet not! We've been married for almost 13 years now, and the 12 place settings of silverware have whittled down - somehow we only had 5 spoons left. We will go through those in one meal! So David was constantly annoyed at our lack of spoons. I had to find our pattern online to order them, but he was super excited! And we have plenty of spoons now!
Jacob's holding another favorite item from David's stocking - it's a jukebox ornament that lights up and plays 3 different Michael Jackson songs!!! :) How awesome is that???
And then sweet Callie came running downstairs - she had already put on her Christmas dress. I LOVE watching her open her stocking - because she gets SOOO excited over every single thing! I LOVE it! (Here she's opening her candy necklace...)
See how sleepy she still looks? :) New headbands...
and then Caleb woke up and came down to all this craziness! jacob was quick to show him their new zhu zhu pets (all 4 of them got 1....it was a BIG hit....as weird and gross as I think they are, they LOVED these things!)
Josiah and Jacob tried to show Caleb his stocking and explain the idea to him. He wasn't sure what to make of it.
So they gave him a football from his stocking (and he still had his hamster in the other hand), so now he was curious what other good stuff might be in there!
Look Caleb! A new book!
Our traditional Christmas donuts for breakfast! The kids never want to wait for the big, REAL, yummy Christmas breakfast, so we get special donuts to get something in their stomachs and then we wait for real breakfast later after we open presents. Caleb likes this tradition!
See - the hamster is VERY near by!
So after reading from Luke 2, we went and started opening presents. We go one by one - everyone waits and watches each other open their presents. We open in age order and try to go slowly! :) We only buy 3 presents for each child - I'm sure I've mentioned this before. This ties in the 3 gifts that the wisemen brought Jesus, and also the verse in Luke about Jesus growing in wisdom, stature, etc. It forces us to be very intentional and specific with our gifts, and the hope is that it will keep all of us from getting carried away with the materialism of the holiday season and focus on the true meaning of Christmas. This was the first year that the boys REALLY understood this whole philosophy and they enjoyed it. Callie is opening her Leap Pad system that my dad got her. She LOVES these TAG books!!! She calls it her video game! :)
Callie's gifts were: Physical - Training Wheels, Helmet & Bell for Bike; Emotional - Leapfrog TAG books; Spiritual - The Karen Kingsbury book written for children about a princess and 3 princes. HIGHLY recommended. About how the prince that finally wins your heart is the one that will always seek to protect you.
Caleb's ball popper - he's totally obsessed with balls, and so he LOVED this!
We put a clue in a tupperware container for each boy and wrapped it up. So this was them saying "I don't get it?" We set them on a little scavenger hunt to find clues that would eventually lead them to their bikes...Once they figured out the idea behind the clues, they were super excited!
Here's another clue....
The last clue was in the shoe closet and said something about the garage. This light bulb went off in Josiah's head and he GOT it! He grabbed Jacob's face and said "I think we got new bikes Jacob! Let's go!" They were so cute!
In the midst of all this clue-hunting...Caleb decided to sneak up to the table again for one more donut...
Caleb's gifts were: Physical - a new outfit with a football on it that said "Daddy's Little Rookie"; Emotional - Ball Popper; Spiritual - A Bible picture book with DOORS to open :)
Josiah's gifts were: Physical - New Bike; Emotional - Mario Kart Wii game; Spiritual - The Chronicles of Narnia book (with all the books bound together in one edition!)
Jacob's gifts were: Physical - New Bike; Emotional - Mario Kart Wii game; Spiritual - New Devotional book about animals (it's VERY cool - we are loving it!)
David opening his gift from me - a Blu-Ray surround sound system! He was quite shocked! :) he got me a KitchenAid stand mixer - I was pretty shocked too! I've been wanting one for as long as I can remember, so I pretty much thought I had died and gone to heaven!
My dad got the kids these hilarious straws, and they were super excited to try them out! :)
What a fun day with great memories. I'm so thankful for how God has blessed us this year and the ways we could share that love with others. I tried really hard to focus on sharing God's love with others this year, and involve the kids in ways we could be a blessing to others. It turned out to be a very special season for us.
We took the kids bikes down to ride over the dam later in the afternoon and enjoyed some quiet family time together. That night we had our Christmas Eve service and after some time with friends, got home and got the kids in bed. We got the car packed and loaded up a little later than we had originally planned. We had thought we would get up and leave by 4am the next day for a couple of reasons. #1 - the kids always sleep the first several hours and so it gives us a jump on the long trip and less time they have to be awake and stuck in the car - helpful when it's a long drive. #2 - it was Christmas day. NOTHING is open on Christmas Day. Only gas stations. Which makes eating along the way tricky. #3 - it was Christmas Day - I was anxious to get to my family so we could check into our timeshare and enjoy the rest of the day at our vacation!! :) But when Christmas Eve everything went longer, we decided (at about 11 pm) to just tough it out and drive through the night! So David and I took turns and would drive for a couple of hours before trading off with the other one. It wasn't so bad - the kids slept almost the whole way (except for Jacob and Caleb who randomly woke up and laughed and talked to each other from about 2-3 am before going back to sleep) and it was fun calling Kelli at 8 am and telling her we'd be there in 15 minutes! :)