Good morning and happy new year! I have nothing profound to say. So let’s just jump into the photos. Rich preached at church on Christmas Eve. It was a joy to my heart to have the all the offspring home and in church. Even Ethan and Caleb playing “thumb war” as they waited for church to start didn’t sway my happy heart. And Michael looked so nice in his suit as he and Jacob visited before the service.
We watched two Christmas movies that afternoon, the second one being The Polar Express which is a memorable movie for Sarah and I because we watched it more than once together three years ago when she was in the hospital. So we snuggled as we watched it at home and I couldn’t help but be thankful. Also I made a huge amount of boneless chicken wings. Michael and Jacob cut up the chicken for me. Its a meal everyone loves and we had enough left over for later that night for snacks.
As is our tradition, I baked up some pillsbury cinnamon rolls, too.
Rich and I didn’t put the presents under the tree until almost midnight and we enlisted Jacob to help us get some of them out of the basement, which was the first time we allowed a child to help us in this secret time.
I got the idea from a friend to use zip ties to hang the stockings on the stair railing and that worked nicely. Rich got heavy duty ones though so it was a little hard to cut them down. And Rich’s was the top one so I had to keep climbing the stairs to add to it.
((((BEFORE)))) everything is under the tree
The next morning I sent the boys back to bed because they had tried to get up at four. We all went back to sleep and got back together at 7:30 and this year we took our time opening gifts and didn’t get done until about 10. It was such a wonderful family time.
We let Caleb pass out the gifts this year (but this is Seth, who kept trying to commandeer his brother’s job)
As Santa and I suspected, this noisy chicken was a big hit with Seth, from the movie Moana (one of their favorites).
Jacob being surprised by one of his gifts.
We got the boys a Keurig for their dorm room which thrilled them to no end.
The children all really love getting shoes for Christmas. They all received a pair, all but poor Caleb, and he was sure to let me know later on that he was left out but then quickly said he didn’t mind.
Sarah’s favorite sneakers are Scetchers.
Sarah studying her new shoes; Seth about to open his Hess truck.
Sarah trying them on; Seth pulling his Hess truck from the box.
This is the second year he’s received a Hess truck from Santa. How long will Santa keep up this yearly tradition only time will tell.
Rich, I mean, Santa, also gave the boys a remote control car that can go in the pond this summer and take videos.
One of my favorite photos of the morning. Taking a time out to listen to Dad explaining their new gift.
Rich always gives me a romantic card and this year it included my itinerary for a trip to Alaska.
The boys received new Eddie Bauer boots which they will need for the rest of winter in Vermont. (It’s currently -17 in Castleton). Ouch!
(they go back today)
One of Caleb’s favorite presents was a Patriots Patriotic hoodie.
Rich told a super funny story about being sucked into the amazon lightening deals. He ordered what he thought were apple wireless earbuds to give to me for 20 dollars and only when he wrapped them up on Christmas Eve did he realize that they were NOT made by Apple, there was only ONE ear bud, and it was made for a Giant Ear.
I told him I loved it even more than the Apple ones because I won’t have to stress out as much about losing it. It worked just fine, too.
Seth bought Caleb a poster about a month ago at the school book sale and had to wait and wait to give it to him– so this is the moment when FINALLY Caleb opened his new Patriots poster from his little brother.
He opened a Giant Mug from his sister Grace which for some reason struck him as extremely funny.
(Grace was so thoughtful in giving each family member a gift this year for the first time, as she had her own money from her grocery store job.)
Ethan opened up an iPhone X. And his world was filled with happiness.
These two were together all morning on the end of the couch. I was out of earshot which made it all the more sweet to my mother-heart. What were they saying? What were they smiling about? Only they know. . . . ..
Jacob’s well organized gift pile.
David was thrilled to get one more big box from Santa and he felt very special like maybe…….he was the favorite. (It was clothes from Dicks clothing and Sporting goods; a long sleeved blue shirt that he said he had just looked at the last time he was there, a pair of skinny joggers, and a Nike jacket)
Seth in a new Panthers shirt (his favorite NFL team), I asked him about that and he said that years ago his first favorite team was the Patriots “until I found out that Tom Brady was a cheater.”
He is also wearing new sneakers.
((((AFTER)))) nothing under the tree.
Sarah got help from Big Brother as she set up her Safari set.
David began using his new whetstones to sharpen every knife in sight, causing me some bouts of anxiety.
Ethan set up his new phone.
“We are new to this family and we are so scared.” ~Black Cats
“Let me outside so I can bury my big Christmas bone that Dad gave me.” ~Parker
MERRY CHRISTMAS from our house to yours!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and a happy New Year, too!
As I wrote this, Tessa and Ethan made pancakes for us all; Rich, Me, Jacob, Brittnee, Grace, Caleb, Michael, Ethan, Kylee, David (only one still asleep), Caleb, Seth, and Sarah. And yes they used your recipe, Mom.
There was also a small Nerf war as I typed.
The house is a happy DISASTER.
So Rich is working on putting all the Christmas-time garbage in big trash bags.
When we woke up it was -3.
It’s 10:00 now, and 1 degree.
And thus concludes yet another Christmas blog post. More to come!
MUCH LOVE TO MY FRIEND AND FAMILY WHO FIND THEIR WAY HERE TO THIS HUMBLE LITTLE CORNER OF BLOG-LAND………