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Friday, December 26, 2008

An Amazing Christmas!!

Yes, I do believe this was the most amazing Christmas we have ever had! After a rocky start to our Christmas break (the boys having to have a total of 8 vaccines ... yikes!), things dramatically improved when I took them all to Putt and Jump for the better part of 2 hours on the 23rd.

On Christmas Eve, Rick worked until 3 p.m. and the kids and I cleaned house. I was REALLY excited about Christmas this year because for the first time my whole family was coming to spend the holidays at our house in Oklahoma. We usually celebrate Christmas Eve with Rick's family (Julie, Milt, Tommy and Angela). But this year we were adding 5 more to the mix, plus 2 dogs. I wanted everything to be PERFECT! Kyndal was annoyed that I was making such a fuss, but I was just so excited! (And, I knew we would be packing up on Christmas night to head out to Missouri and wanted a clean house before we left.)

Tommy, Angela and her friend, Nick, showed up with the enchiladas at about 4:30 pm and my family arrived shortly thereafter. We waited for Julie and Milton and then tore into our traditional "Feliz Navidad" celebration of enchiladas, tacos and chips and salsa. After devouring our dinner, we sat down to watch the kids open their gifts and then played some cards and cleaned up the kitchen (1st time).

Then we took our reindeer dust (courtesy of Grandma Aleta) out to the yard so the reindeer were sure to find our house. When we came inside we realized that we had a message on the answering machine. It was from Santa Claus!

We watched A Christmas Story (1st time), and then the Nix family headed home. We cleaned the kitchen again (2nd time) then started getting ready for bed.

We settled Grandma and Sonny into Brynne's bed, Aunt Rhonda into Eli's bed, Aunt Krissi and Sophie into Kyndal's bed, Papa on the couch, Kyndal and Rylee on the floor in the tv room upstairs and Dawson, Eli and Brynne into Dawson's room. Eli and Brynne were so excited because they got to bunk in Dawson's room. (As I read this I realized I needed to add that Sonny and Sophie are dogs .. that sounded weird.)

Then Rick and I went into the bedroom to wrap the kids' gifts .. a full hour's worth! But we had Christmas music playing, sitting in the floor in our pjs, talking and wrapping. It was our first opportunity to just sit, together. Before I went to bed I went upstairs to check on the kids. And I was teary. This was what Christmas was all about. I looked at all those kids, sleeping so soundly, side by side .. and I wanted to cry.

Then I fell into bed and died.

Then at 4 a.m. I heard the most horrible noise ... a combination of a cat screeching and/or a kid crying. I jumped up and ran upstairs (because Brynne had been a little sick) and ran into my dad looking for the noise, too. He thought it was Clifford, but Clifford was asleep on the back of the couch. We went back downstairs and looked on the back porch and there were two HUGE cats ~ face to face. We shooed them away and then collapsed again.

A little blonde girl was at my bed at 7:15 announcing that it was sunny outside! So, the festivities began! Only, Eli didn't want to get up! When I brought him downstairs, the other kids were piled on papa on the couch. They said, "Look Eli, Santa's been here!" He said, "No, it's just Papa."

We gathered around so the kids could open their gifts from Santa. Here they are with their spoils .. and yes, they are spoiled!!

After the kids got through their Santa gifts, we all sat in a circle and opened our gifts from each other. We got some great stuff!!! It's always so much fun!

Some cleaned up while I went to the kitchen to make bisquits and gravy and cinnamon rolls (another tradition.) We stuffed our faces and then cleaned up the kitchen (3rd time). Mom, Rhonda, Krissi and I went for a walk around the subdivision while the kids played with their toys and Rick and dad watched "A Christmas Story" (2nd time).

Then I started my turkey dinner (another tradition). We had turkey, homemade dressing (my first time), dad's homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, rolls, a green bean casserole disaster (really, how do you ruin that?) and cranberry sauce ... YUM!!

Then the Missouri family headed home, without Rylee .. she stayed with us to come back to Missouri with us today. Rick cleaned up the kitchen (4th time)and I started picking up the house. Then I packed all of us for 5 days in Missouri. Since I hadn't spent any alone time with my husband, except for wrapping presents, he and I sat down to watch "Christmas Vacation". THEN we went to bed.

It was such an exhausting Christmas but I was SO happy!! I LOVED having my whole family there to celebrate! It was a Christmas I had dreamed of my whole adult life. I felt more like a grandparent with all her kids home, than a daughter, wife and mother. It was strange. But it was wonderful! I am so blessed, I can't even explain it. So much more happened that I'm not blogging about, because I am sure you are about to fall asleep as it is. But everyone enjoyed each other, so much! I can't wait until next year.

And when I saw mom in Missouri today, she handed me a snowflake apron to wear next year. :)

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