The last few days have been filled with excitement, food, family, and last minute preparations! I took far too many pictures to post here, so here are just a few.
Sunday we went to an afternoon Christmas service at church, then over to Grandma & Grandpa Smith's for our annual gathering. The kids love to go over there. They like to sit on "Daddy's stool" to watch grandma finish the meal preparations. When Greg was little, he'd sit on this stool and help with dinner. Over the years and a move later, they had to get a new stool, but the kids still refer to it as Daddy's stool ~ much to Wendy's dismay. We chatted, stuffed ourselves, and opened gifts. And don't forget the very cool snowmen that Kathy and Kayla made. Huge hit with the kids.
Christmas Eve was low key at our house. Greg had to work, so the kids and I spent the day cleaning for company and baking cookies. They had a blast with the cookies. What a mess! At first Heather was very stingy with the frosting. She got the hang of it, though, putting huge amounts of goodness on the cookies. When Greg got home we had dinner, watched a movie, read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, set out cookies for Santa, and sent the kids to bed. Then we did what all procrastinating parents do on Christmas Eve ~ wrap presents and stay up too late.
Christmas Day was at our house this year. When I was doing Stephanie's hair she had a plan of how the afternoon should go:
- visit and have munchies,
- eat lunch,
- open presents, and
- have dessert.
I think we may have a little party planner on our hands. Most kids want to go straight to opening presents.
We had a house full of people ~ parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, and sisters. Before lunch was ready, the kids were running an animal adoption agency with the girls' Littlest Petshop animals and Monopoly money. We were all given a stack of cash to adopt a pet. Then for a nominal fee, they provided babysitting services. Apparently there was a bidding war between Aunt Wendy and Papa Robinson over a turtle. Papa won.
We stuffed ourselves (again) and opened presents. There were smiles and squeals of excitement wrapped in a flurry of paper and bows. Gianna just wanted to open presents ~ any presents.