Christmas Day in the Morning

I said in my last post that not even the Cold Virus of Doom could stop my Christmas.  Well, that was foolish.  Brian and I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on Christmas morning with stuffy noses and headaches, and weren’t able to get back to sleep.  We didn’t bother trying to go to church, which was kind of disappointing (I missed hearing the choir!).

Which is why my smile is kind of strained in this picture:

Doesn’t matter though.  The kids’ smiles make up for it. Excepting Katie, of course, whose scowl is For The Ages.

Reading new books that Santa brought can also make up for it.

Not to mention gingerbread waffles.  This recipe is excellent; I’ll be sharing it in a future post.  Eleanor had been talking about our Christmas breakfast for weeks, asking over and over if we were going to have sausages.  Well, we did, and of course, Eleanor decided she didn’t want sausages after all.  Silly six year old.

We asked the children to put on clothes before opening presents.  Eleanor expressed her impatience via whiteboard:

Okay, okay, okay.  Presents it is.  William was so excited that he dropped to the floor and began doing push-ups.  Real, actual full-body push-ups!  Ten of them!

This was Katie’s first attempt at unwrapping, so she needed tutors.  I think she was rather successful, don’t you?

Taking a break with Daddy was a good idea, too.

In fact, is was so good that Kate decided to do a repeat at Grandpa’s house later that afternoon.

Aunt Caitlin received a t-shirt that we all love (good job, Michael & Natalie).

The evening was rounded out with games and vanilla snowballs. Annnnnd that’s when the head cold really caught up with me.  More to come in the thrilling holiday conclusion!

Christmas Eve Rave

The calendar was full.  Eleanor diligently glued a cotton ball on Santa’s beard for 25 days.

NOTHING could stop this holiday from being fabulous.  Not even my dreadful head cold/sinus infection.  Consider, if you will:

Spending the morning sorting Froot Loops by color, as part of a present for my brother, Erich.  You know a day that starts this way is gonna be great, right?

RIGHT!  Now bring on the pancakes!

Bring on the bell choir performance/carol sing-along!

(I’d like to spend a moment here to congratulate the person in charge of the concert for correctly referring to the ensemble as a “carillon,” as opposed to “hand bell ringing bell group,” which is how the lady at the retirement home referred to us.)

Bring on the meatball sandwich dinner at my house!  (Yeah, I really scaled back the cooking/baking this year.  Last year, I made a ham with roasted pear & cranberry chutney, and for dessert served four kinds of homemade cookies plus a grand trifle that took three days to prepare.  This year I dumped frozen meatballs in a Crock Pot and called myself done.)

Bring on the Grand Finding of the Pickle!  (My mom hid a cotton-stuffed pickle on my Christmas tree.  Brian found it and won a copy of the “Munchkin” game.)

AND NOW . . . bring on the RAVE PARTY!

Yeah.  My parents had purchased these little “finger lazers” for everyone as part of an object lesson about light, rainbows, and God’s promises.  So for about twenty minutes, my house looked like this:

I DARE YOU to prove your Christmas was more rockin’ than THIS.

Oh!  And Christmas Eve is the only evening I’ll light all the candles in the house.  So now I have little wax spots allll over my fireplace.  But it was purty.

After the light display, my parents gave presents to the children.  The boys received remote-control cars (Katie was very excited to see them driving around, and squealed) while Eleanor was given a big whiteboard and a box of dry-erase markers.  Eleanor latched onto the idea immediately:

Yes, thak you, Gramo.  Bring on Christmas!

Hitting the Crazy Juice

One of my best friends, Julia, came to visit us this Tuesday.  It was an impromptu delight.  We went to the Natural History Museum (no, I can’t get enough) and then she stayed for dinner and helped us decorate our Christmas tree.

All fine and dandy, EXCEPT  . . . my kids decided to Hit the Crazy Juice that day.  For reasons which I cannot fathom, they pulled a series of annoying, nutty stunts far, far beyond the pale of what’s considered normal around here.  In the hours before dinner, they:

  • Were caught jumping on my bed, along with all the sleeping bags they could find.
  • Were caught rooting around in the crawlspace
  • Later, all the dinner knives were found missing.  Turns out they had been hidden in the crawlspace as well.
  • “We were playing hide-and-seek,” explained Jeffrey.  “The knives were the people we were looking for.”
  • Only Jeff’s friend, Win, knew where the knives were hidden.
  • [insert Wrath of Mom here]
  • THEN they wanted to play “Human Avalanche”
  • I said “No”
  • “How about we just roll the beanbag chair down the stairs?”
  • “No”
  • “How about we put the beanbag chair at the bottom of the stairs and we take turns jumping off the stairs and landing on the beanbag chair?”
  • “NO”

Then, dinner.  I don’t think any of the kids ate anything, but they made the most interesting sculptures with their mashed potatoes.

The actual tree decoration was less Norman Rockwell and more running-around-and-screaming.  Katie especially found screaming to be quite the delight.

Julia, if you’re reading this, just know that this is not the normal modus operandi for the family.  Excepting the Katie screams, of course.