Friday, December 26, 2008


The beginning of this week was spent in a furious pace to get things finished up for Christmas. I left way too much until way too close to the last minute. Greg was in a furious pace of his own at work getting all those last minute packages delivered before Christmas. It's people like me, (who mail packages to a certain brother & family on the 23rd and want them there on the 24th) that make his job even harder. My apologies to the Arizona FedEx guy. 

But on Tuesday, I did slow down enough to let the kids help me make our annual loaves of pumpkin bread. They love to cook so much. I just need to take the time to let them help and teach them more about cooking. Now that they are getting older, I even make them read the recipe. The teacher never hangs up her chalk dry erase marker, people!

The much anticipated Christmas morning came and we were awakened with excited shrieks from the girls. Oh my, after only three hours of sleep, that can stop your heart! They were excited to see that Santa did indeed come through again. The cookies were eaten, the eggnog drank nearly all gone, and the reindeer ate their carrots with the leafy stuff on the end. I tell you, that old man must have bubble gut by the time the night over from all those cookies and dairy products.

For me, one of the best parts of Christmas is seeing the kids so happy ~ seeing their hearts shine through their eyes. 

I just want to bottle up that innocent joy and save it forever.

The kids opened each present with anticipation and liked what was in each one. 

They even liked the books I picked out for them. Heather was thrilled at the number of chapter books in her stack, especially the book from the Ready, Freddy series that she has taken a liking to. Stephanie is getting a little harder to please in the book area, but she seemed to like her stack as well. 

Besides the electronic diaries with secret picture passwords they asked Santa to bring, these are the toys they wanted most. Stephanie asked for a magnetic roller coaster thing. Apparently she's played with one before at school. Heather wanted Play Doh stuff. They were thrilled that their requests were granted.

She's setting fashion trends everywhere!

Later on we headed over to Grandma & Papa's house for the family gathering. The house was packed! The kids hollered, ran around, and got along well.

Here's the two smallest cousins ~ Gianna and Gavin. Gavin slept most of the time, but his best aunt ever fed him a bottle while he was awake. Gianna could not wait to open presents. She asked over and over if it was time.

Finally, it was time! All the kids were in charge of passing out the presents. Unless it's in cursive, we have another reader in the bunch now. 

The kids get a kick out of playing Santa and passing out the presents. 

Gianna even passed out presents when someone read the tag for her. She stopped to open only one or two on the way.

It was such a nice, relaxing afternoon. Greg and I even snuck in a little nap on opposites of the reclining couch after most everyone had left but us.

In the rush, I didn't take pictures of the things I made for Christmas gifts this year. Out of all of it, my favorite were the pajamas I made for the baby nephews (Gavin and Carter - in Arizona). They even match each other! Next year, I'm starting my projects earlier - like January.

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