Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our Christmas Morning

FINALLY! Ready to get started! (The piles behind my kids look ridiculous I's the thing. David & I only get each of the kids 3 gifts-spiritual, emotional, and physical). But when you have a big family, and you stay home for Christmas, everyone sends their gifts to your house and it makes for a pretty big pile. So for those of you that were feeling bad about my kids only having 3 presents to open, worry no longer! They certainly had MORE than enough!
I LOVE this girl. She expresses EVERYTHING fully! And I LOVE that about her...because my husband...not so expressive :)
My sister Kelli is almost done with her PhD in reading. Hello. Somehow she can work a book in to any kind of celebration - and certainly for Christmas! :) And they are always the perfect books! Callie's was "A Very Fairy Princess" by Julie Andrews! :)
Jacob's book about a 1st grader from Mars :)

By the way, do you notice that Caleb is now dressed and not in his new jammies? That's because everything came to a screeching halt. Remember, he decided to start potty training a few weeks back. December - not a great month for potty training if I had to pick. He darted off to go potty and was there for a little while. I sent Josiah to see if he needed help getting his pajamas back up and Josiah came running back saying "OH NO MOM - we have a problem!!!" I head into the bathroom and there is poop everywhere! Poor kid. Couldn't quite get to the potty fast enough for THAT! And it was one of those where I had to call David to take Caleb's clothes off so that I could take Caleb and put him straight in the bathtub...while David cleaned up the poop all over the bathroom. Sigh. That's what Christmas morning looks like with 4 little kids! :) So it was a slight "pause" in the midst of unwrapping fun :)
Caleb got Brown Bear, Brown Bear - LOVE those books.
She kept that face all day long...genuinely THRILLED about everything!!
Joseph got Caleb this HUGE tub of playdoh and playdoh stuff - and the best thing was that it came in a huge tub that LOOKED like a giant can of playdoh! The cutest! (Of course I had to hide it bc they wanted to open the playdoh up right then and there and do it on the carpet!)
Helping Tutu open one of her fun having her here with us on Christmas morning!!
(Another side note - see how Caleb is dressed? Tshirt and shorts. What's Tutu wearing? Turtleneck and sweater! :) She is hilarious.)
Mom got Callie a jewelry box from the NY Museum of Art! Complete with a dancing ballerina and everything - talk about being enthralled!
A veggietales bag filled with veggietales DVDs from Tutu :) Working at a church with its own bookstore definitely has its perks!
For a lady who raised 4 daughters, my Mom does awfully good at getting cool stuff for my boys! :)
Mom got Callie this beautiful stole (is that how you spell it??) along with a Christmas dress - Callie was in heaven!
Caleb is all things animals, so a zoo safari Little People truck was perfectly right up his alley! Tutu has been to the zoo with us a few times and definitely got that one right!
I mean! This girl even gets excited about new panties because they have Barbie on them!
New karate uniforms from my Mom!
As you can see they changed into them as soon as they were unwrapped!
...and so then Callie wanted to try one of her new outfits on!
Caleb riding his scooter from my mom - he knew just what to do!!
(Notice a new outfit again? Nothing quite as dramatic this time...just a little accident :) )

See my new headband from Gramps? I LOVE it!
Jacob is my LEGO man. Has always been a great builder and creator. Dad got him this cool LEGO sort/store thing! He held it up to show David and in the picture it looks like his head!
Once Caleb got his scooter, he wanted to do nothing else but get outside and ride it! Couldn't say that I blamed him - it was a beautiful day!

This was Josiah and Jacob's "emotional" (something that they just LOVE) gifts from us - they both got a Rank Belt Display for all their karate belts.
Physical gifts - ROLLER BLADES!!! :)
Yep - you guessed it. Straight outside!
Caleb helped Mom open her calendar from us. We make her one every year from Snapfish with pictures of our family from the past year and we all just love it!
This was Caleb's "spiritual" gift - a book on the fruits of the spirit...Callie was "reading" it to him...
Their "physical" gifts were new blankets for their beds
My sister Kim got Caleb this adorable little puppy - it barks and turns it head and has a bottle and everything. He LOVED it!! Tucked it right under his left arm for the rest of the day and carried it everywhere. It was perfect because he's so loving and relational because of all the play with Callie, but at least this wasn't just him carrying around her babies (not that that's a bad thing, but....)
My dad got Caleb a tball baseball set thing (i'm sure that's not exactly what it was called but you get the idea). We set it up initially for him to hit it off the tee, but he kept saying he wanted us to pitch it. So we did - and he HIT it! What in the world! This kid is ridiculous. Had the stance, the swing, everything! Amazing.
Home run!!!

I think we finally finished up mid-afternoon. I was exhausted. Everything was a mess. But I was glad we decided to do it this way where we had the whole day to enjoy it. There is something so special about seeing it through a child's eyes. And they know that Christmas is not about gifts. But it is a joy to be able to bless them with something and seeing their eyes just light up and be thankful and excited about it! A special morning.

I knew the morning was really going to turn into an all-day affair. And we had a couple of Christmas Eve services that we were doing at church that night (because for the rest of the world, it was actually Christmas Eve, not Christmas morning! :). ) I decided to do something for lunch/dinner that I could do ahead of time. So that morning, before we started the presents (this was part of the delay that was making the kids crazy), I put some fresh snapped green beans on the stove with a ham hock, put a fabulous mac & cheese recipe together and in the crockpot and knew we'd be good to go. Later that afternoon when we were done with presents, I put together some parmesan crusted oven baked chicken to complete the meal and we were set. It worked out perfectly with how crazy our schedule was that night. We were able to eat before David had to leave for the first Christmas Eve services and enjoy sort of a "southern" Christmas dinner :). Yum!

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