The cable to connect my camera to the computer was MIA for several days, so this feels late, but you know what they say: Better late than never.
Christmas was wonderful. The whole entire month, really. Just magical. Miracles happened, as they always do, and things came together in incredible ways. I just feel blessed.
On the 23rd, I took all four of my kids to the theater to see The Tale of Despereaux. If you remember, we read this book aloud last year and fell in love with it. I knew we had to see the movie together. And since he's free, we took Conor for his very first big-screen movie experience. He sat in his booster seat and immediately started signing that he wanted something to eat. And drink. It was really fun for me to do that with them.
On Christmas Eve, we had all six kids. We had our traditional candlelight devotional and read the account of the Savior's birth in Luke 2. Sang a few songs, and took the homemade cinnamon rolls (thanks, Lyndsay) out of the oven and slathered them with cream cheese frosting. Then we headed out the door for some caroling. It was raining, so instead of walking our neighborhood as we usually do, we hopped in the car and drove around to friends' houses. Sang them some songs, gave them a gift, and then came home happy and warm. Inside at least. Then we ate our cinnamon rolls, drank cocoa, and watched A Christmas Story.
The kids headed up to bed, and Santa did his thing till 3:30 in the morning. But we let him watch The Great Debaters while he assembled Conor's kitchen, so that helped. A little. Fantastic movie, by the way. The kids were up at 5:30. We managed to stall them until 6:30, and then there was just no more sleeping in sight. This year Conor got the cutest wooden Kidkraft kitchen, and a shopping cart with food. He loves imaginative play, and fell into toddler heaven immediately. The boys each got their own 2 man tents, sleeping bags, and mini-lanterns so they can have backyard campouts and because they needed that stuff anyway for scouts. Lyns got a Zune MP3 player and a camera, (and her beloved Chi from Nana), and Caitlin got a Flip video camera. In pink. So cute!
Adam got me that watch I dreamed of, and a crock pot! A red one! With programmable settings, and a dishwasher safe, removable crock! I'm in heaven, having gone a year with no slow cooker! And then, he also arranged for me to have a massage from a therapist in our ward. That happened last night, and I feel so happy! I need to do that regularly to get my neck back in shape. It's in bad, bad shape.
My kids did sweet things for me. Aiden made me this cute Christmas decoration and attached a lip balm to it.
Dylan bought me several of my favorite candies. Lyndsay made a card and wrote the sweetest letter in it that any mother could ever dream of receiving, and she bought me three pairs (!) of darling, cozy new pajamas.
We had Adam's brother, Nick, and his sisters, Angie and Jennifer, come and spend the day with us. Everyone played board games like Ticket to Ride (a favorite with the kids) and Settlers of Catan (a favorite with everyone). I prepared an afternoon buffet of berries, nuts, crackers and cheeses, vegetables and dip, artichoke and spinach dip with breads, 7-layer bean dip and tortilla chips, fruits, and other yummies. I thought this would be an easy solution, but it kept me in the kitchen most of the day. That, and preparing dinner, which was chicken and mushrooms in gravy cooked in my new crock pot and served over puff pastry shells, cranberry sauce, fresh green beans, and pumpkin pie for dessert. We over-indulged. Nobody was hungry. It was wonderful.
I finally got to sit down around 7pm that evening. Here are my new jammie pants from Lyns and my red holiday toes.
Okay, everybody up for some family photos.
I drove my kids to AZ on Friday to spend the next two weeks with their dad, and so now it's just me and the little guy at home. My project this week is to get the Christmas stuff put away and read a lot of books! I'll keep you posted, for sure. Great things are brewing for the new year. It's gonna be a good year. All my best to you.