Christmas 2013

 The day of Christmas Eve was spent mostly preparing food and watching the kiddos play. My grandparents made it to town and we went over to see them at Mom & Tim's house. I served at the 3:30pm service at church and then some of the family met me up there so we could go to 5pm service together.

Leave it to Harper to choose the Christmas Eve service to have a potty accident. I can count on one hand the number of accidents she's had since being potty trained. I didn't even have a change of clothes for her, so instead of pretty Christmas dresses this is how she and her best friend were dressed when I picked her up from nursery. Yes, she somehow managed to pee all over her best friend as well. What are friends for? Ha! Thankfully we are all best friends so Stacie wasn't upset. 

fancy shoes for 2 t-shirt art smocks

 We went back to my mom's house for lasagna, pasta fagioli soup, bread, and salad. Yum, yum, & yum. Then we exchanged gifts (we draw names) and did our annual white elephant exchange.

Harrison had a cute sweater on but opted to put this monster truck shirt on instead. :)

He unwrapped this box and yelled, "POPCORN!!!!" He was disappointed to find out it wasn't actually popcorn. I now know what to get him next year...



He picked Rick's beautifully wrapped white elephant gift

We came back home and got the kiddos dressed in their new Christmas jammies. This was the first time Harper's ever worn a nightgown and I almost died from the cuteness. I used to have a similar nightgown when I was a kid and I remember it so clearly. There is something so precious about matching flannel Christmas PJs.

Santa's elves got busy. I don't think you can tell from this picture, but a new Christmas tradition we started this year is to have the kids go through and pick out 3 toys each out of the playroom that they want to donate to kids who don't have any toys. We put them all in a Santa sack, and he picked them up and filled the sack with new toys. There was no whining or fussing because they were excited about Santa coming to pick them up and deliver them. Teaching them the spirit of giving and purging clutter treasured toys? Genius.

 Christmas morning came and the kids came out to see what Santa left them. The biggest hits were bandaids and nail polish in Harper's stocking and a cheap little monster truck in Harrison's stocking. They were both pretty underwhelmed about the bikes, even though that's what they told Santa they wanted. I guess Santa should have tried to find a hot pink Minnie Mouse bike and a awesome big boy bike instead of giving them the cool retro bikes that he really liked. Whatever.

They didn't even want to get on them for this picture. The nerve!

Next up was opening the presents under the tree.

 Tienna & Tony sent Rick a Justin Bieber Christmas CD. Hahaha! Rick & Tienna have a long-running love/hate relationship. The "hate" part is all totally just for laughs and they don't disappoint. The funny thing is, though, is that the packaging and sticker that seals the CD case shut was mysteriously missing the next day. As if someone intentionally opened his gag gift and put it in a CD player and listened to the songs. Hmmm. ;)

this was his Justin Bieber impersonation. Nailed it!

trying out their new skates. These *may* have been a slight misjudgment on our part.

The kids found Chip Chesney worshiping Jesus and when we read Santa's letter that they were allowed to play with him without causing him to lose his magic they were so excited! A tear was shed that night by a certain little boy who was not ready to say goodbye to his funny little elf.

I baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast and then after that we all baked our birthday cake to celebrate Jesus' birthday! We've done this for the last couple of years and the kids love this fun tradition. Gingerbread with a glaze...yes, please.

And of course we had to sing to Him and blow out candles. Which of course led to a little sibling rivalry. 'Tis the season! ;)

I think this is the only picture I managed to make it in. Documentation that I was in fact present...and that the kiddos were not feeling a picture at the moment.

We hung out and played with new toys, and then headed back over to my mom's for Christmas dinner. 

Everybody just hung out and ate and watched tv and ate and visited and ate. My cousins and I got cozy in a chair together and entertained ourselves doing mature things like this with Steph's phone:

And we celebrated my sweet grandpa's 80th birthday!

It wasn't long before it was time to call it a night. Harrison snuck WAY too much candy and cookies and cupcakes and was crazy. CRAZY.

We came home and had one last tradition to do. I think this one is my very favorite. Rick and I seriously considered skipping it this year based on how exhausted we were and how overstimulated and nuts our kids were acting, but the moment we dragged our mattress into the living room I was so glad we went through with it.

 There is something so magical about snuggling up together in front of the fire and the twinkling lights of our tree with my favorite people in the world. We ended our Christmas with sweet conversations and lots of giggling and full-to-the-brim hearts.


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