Hey! Remember Christmas? Was it a whirlwind for you like it was for me? December is always pretty crazy, so why would this year be any different? So let's see what I can remember.
I posted over on my other blog about going to get the tree on the first Saturday in December. The weather was perfect and we had a lovely time.
We managed to miss the parade this year, but we didn't miss Santa's Secret Shop. The kids look forward to this every year. They have fun buying gifts for their siblings and Lincoln and I get an hour or so to go do a little team shopping of our own. This year, unfortunately, the kids were grouped together so they all saw what they were getting. Jesse kept asking us when he could open up his cars from Julia. This was the first time that Jesse was big enough to be in on it. He almost didn't stay, but curiosity got the best of him.
I didn't even bring my camera to the church Christmas party this year. I am happy to report that the highlight of the event was that ham was served instead of sloppy joes.
We spent an evening decorating Christmas cookies, as we do every year. You'll be shocked to learn that I didn't get any pictures of the kids with their cookie masterpieces, but at least I got some of them during the creative process.
You can't really tell from this picture, but Renie did an amazing job on her cookies. The were neat and had lovely details.
We went caroling in our neighborhood with the Howells, Thompsons, and Spencers. This has become one of our favorite traditions. The Howells kindly hosted the after caroling refreshment party.
Christmas Eve it was just our family, but, as per tradition, I prepared enough food to end world hunger.
We had our usual orange chicken, cheese, crackers, chips, dip, rice krispie treats, wassail, and homemade candy, and this year I added spicy bean dip, AKA baby poop dip. Despite its fecal appearance, this was a hit and I'm pretty sure it will make the list going forward.
While I prepared food, the kids decorated a gingerbread house. I had planned to make one this year, something from scratch and fabulous, but I just ran out of time. At the last minute I grabbed this kit from Walmart and it really was the perfect solution. The kids were totally independent as they worked on it, giving me a few moments to get stuff done without them fighting or getting into stuff or asking me repeatedly if it was time to eat yet.
We opened our Christmas Eve jammies and I forgot to get a picture of everyone in them.
What is my problem? This year I bought myself some Christmas Eve jammies too.
Even Graham got in on the festivities. You can see he's thrilled about it.
We read the story of Christ's birth from the scriptures, inserting Christmas carols where appropriate.
Before bed, the kids went outside to sprinkle reindeer food for our guests we were expecting.
Then we tucked the kiddos in bed and sat down to watch White Christmas while we waited for Santa to arrive. This year, Santa had not one, but TWO elves to help him stuff stockings, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if there was a new elf next year. How do they grow up so fast?
The kids held off Christmas morning until almost 7:00. I love that you can see the motion and excitement in this picture. (And Hey! The Christmas Eve jammies. We did get Jesse a matching set, but he had a little peepee accident.)
Christmas morning mayhem ensued.
The Knouses, Aunt Di, Uncle Al, and the Johansens came for dinner at 2:00. We had, once again, a ton of delicious food. Natalie brought two gigantic salads, Knouses brought a ham, a pumpkin pie, and a cheesecake. I made another ham, rosemary roasted potatoes, sesame garlic green beans, cabbage salad, different salad, crescent rolls, chocolate pie, and orange cranberry strudel.
After cleaning up the kitchen, we played a few games. Jesse, who had been complaining all day that he didn't fell good, finally threw up that evening. Around 1am, Renie started throwing up. She threw up many times in the night. Not a lot of sleeping went on.
She was still pretty yucky the next day. I went to church by myself and sang in the choir. At some point that day Devon threw up. Kennedy and Lincoln both felt yucky Sunday night. Neither of them threw up, and they both felt much better on Monday. Julia and I seemed to make it through the carnage without falling ourselves.
Thursday we drove to Iowa to cabin we had rented with the Howells, Thompsons, Prowses, Lindners, and Rasmussons. The Thompsons couldn't come at the last minute and sent their kids with the Johansens in their place.
Lincoln and I stayed up until 3:30 playing games.
After going to bed, I didn't sleep well. I got up with the boys to go potty at about 6am, and once I was upright, I realized that I was incredibly nauseous. I crawled back into bed and waited for it to hit. At about 7:00 or so, it got me. I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. Let me just say here that I do not like throwing up. 'Nuf said. I spent the rest of the day in bed sleeping. Luckily I only threw up the one time. By about 4pm, I was able to get up and play a couple games. I was still weak and achy, but I hung in there to usher in the new year.
I was back in bed by 12:01. Meanwhile, Lincoln had gone to bed about 9pm. He spent New Years Day in bed. He just had the fever and aches, but no nausea.
I know that sounds like a crummy vacation, but it was actually kind of nice to be able to just lay in bed and be sick and not have any responsibilities pulling at me. Meals were already planned, with plenty of people to make sure they happened, Lincoln was there to take care of kids, nothing had to be cleaned, no laundry to be washed. I just slept. And it was bliss. I'm sure if I'd had to get up to deal with those things, I would have thrown up a few more times.
Of course, because I spent a day totally in a stupor, I didn't get a lot of pictures. But trust me, the cabin was beautiful, the views were gorgeous, the company was fantastic, and we had a lovely time.
And that brings us to January. Whew. That wasn't so hard. Now I feel like I can go forward with this blog and quit looking back. So here's to a new year.