Blessings came when they weren't expected. It reminded me that I was being watched out for. Watching the kids get excited for Christmas also helped. With each day their energy grew and they became more excited! We baked treats, played games, and they talked about the fun of Christmas morning. I love watching them when they are so excited. It makes me tired - but a happy tired :) By the time Christmas Eve got here, my spirits were lifted and I was ready to celebrate!
On Christmas Eve morning, the kids got to open their presents from each other. They got up early so they could open them before Michael left for work. I didn't get any pictures (lame I know). Olivia had Zane's name and she got him a box of Packers only football cards. Zeke had Makenna's name and he got her a bracelet kit. Dillon had Zeke's name and he got him Garbage Pail Kid cards (Zeke collects them). Zane had Maddi's name and he got her baseball cards. Makenna had Olivia's name and she got her a stroller for her dolls. Maddi had Dillon and she got him a Luke Bryan CD. They were all pleased with their gifts and spent the morning organizing cards, listening to music, giving babies rides in the stroller and making bracelets. The elves also came so when they woke up Christmas Eve morning there was a big box wrapped up with a note telling them it could not be opened until after supper on Christmas Eve. They started asking around 10am if we could have supper yet!
One exciting thing for Olivia was a letter from Santa. She had written him earlier in the month with questions about his reality. She had heard that maybe he wasn't real. She wrote him a letter, drew him a picture and put 2 pieces of candy in the envelope for him and I "mailed" it. Christmas Eve when I went out to put a treat in the mailbox for the mailman, there was a letter for Olivia from Santa! She was so excited! She carried it with her all day and read it several times! He told her he was real and that he already had her presents picked out. He told her since she had been such a good girl this year he had an extra present for her!
One more year of believing!
It was a long day for them. Even though they were busy, time seemed to go so slowly. Some drove me crazy at times but overall they were very good at dealing with their impatience. Michael got home from work early and that helped. He brought the Wii upstairs and they played some games. Then they all helped get supper ready.
After we ate they opened the box from the elves. It contained new pajamas for everyone, popcorn, M&Ms and a new movie. We all changed into our new pajamas and watched the movie. After the movie we took our annual pj picture in front of the tree.
Some of the kids wanted their own pictures...
Olivia was in love with her new Hello Kitty pajamas.
Zeke was being silly :)
But not as silly as these two!
We read the Christmas story from the Bible and then finally got them all off to bed so we could finish our Christmas Eve duties. Boxes were brought in from the garage, stockings were stuffed, the last few things wrapped, and Santa's cookies eaten. Then Santa delivered his presents to each room (he always leaves a little present under the trees in their bedrooms) and went to bed! Before the kids went to bed they were given strict instructions that they could not come out to the living room until they were called (we would have and have had some out at 3 in the morning). I took a picture before going to bed. I was so excited for them to come out in the morning and see!
Joyce made these beautiful stockings!
Olivia was the first one out of her bedroom when we called them Christmas morning.
Then it was on to opening presents. Once that started I got zero pictures. They had fun though and I loved listening to and watching their reactions with each present. They each take turns so we can see each reaction.
The rest of the day was spent playing and putting things together! Zeke got a green machine for Christmas so Michael and I got that assembled for him. Unfortunately with the fresh snow he has not been able to go out and use it yet.
Olivia got a new princess crown headboard and chandelier. We put the headboard on and made up her bed and then put the chandelier up. She was in princess heaven!
The girls got new things for their room - chairs, blankets and wall hangings. We went down and worked in their room to get it the way they wanted.
Zane got a new telescope that Michael put together for him. He was gone before I could get a picture of him with it though...
Dillon was our only no assemble person. His highlight was a ticket to the Vikings game this weekend! He loves the Vikings. Michael's mom got all the boys (Michael included) tickets to the game. His sister got them a hotel room. They will head out Saturday and come back Sunday after the game. Santa made sure Dillon had some Vikings apparel to wear to the game :)
We spent the day together and had a great time. We played the new games that we got, talked to family on the phone, made supper together, ate lots of treats and food and then settled down with a movie at the end of the day.
I love time like this with the family. I love laid back time together. We had nowhere to be and nothing else to do except be together. I wish there were more days like that but we learn to treasure the days we have.