Kicked off Christmas Eve with our annual clam chowder and bread bowl dinner. We made a delicious batch this year! I made an olive oil based bread this year that tasted great with the chowder. I keep forgetting to make a sourdough starter the week before Christmas. Maybe one day! Amelia did NOT like the smell of the chowder. She finally took a sip of the soup and then ate all the potatoes and bacon. The nelves dropped off Santa Jammies around 7:45 while we were getting Santa cookies ready. The kids were so excited to get their new PJs on. Amelia volunteered to get in bed with no stories and no cuddles...right after brushing her teeth. She is our bedtime procrastinator, takes that girl forever to get ready. The nelves did their magic and arranged the presents under the tree, added some sparkly bows, and filled the stockings. I joined my family (Dad in Jerusalem and Mom plus siblings in Utah) over skype during the last few minutes of their Christmas devotional. I enjoyed listening in while Dad read Luke 2. The feeling of getting Christmas ready is still so magical. I love imagining the kid's expressions. Santa hung Amelia's black ballet shoes ON the tree, not UNDER the tree. He is soooo silly sometimes.
The kids slept until 7:20 am. We are not experiencing the 3-5 am wakings the James Lance family is enjoying. Everett slept through the stockings and present opening. Our Christmas was relatively small this year. Each kid received a couple gifts from us, one from a sibling, and then grandparent gifts. Simple and fast! Amelia and Phillip were quite enthralled with the balloons in the tree. The balloons almost overrode the gifts! The highlight gift was an Olive Wood bust of Christ with the Tree of Life on the back. Mom and Dad got this sculpture from the world's foremost Olive Wood sculptor. It is so detailed! Most Olive Wood work is pretty plain due to the curvy wood grain.
About a month ago we went to Cabela's. Phillip had a candy cane treat in hand. He grabbed a stuffed turtle from a display case smearing his goobered hands and face all over the toy. We were forced to buy this stupid turtle. Yeah...I wrapped it and gave it to him for Christmas. To Phillip, From Cabela's. He opened it, "Turtle!!!!", turned it over and exclaimed, "Ahhhhh, MANNNN!" He remembered getting it dirty.
Justin made sausages and eggs for breakfast. We booked it trying to get ready for church by 10. The kids were soooo hyper. Phillip chucked a toy monkey across the chapel, not once but twice. It did not help that church went over 20 minutes. I enjoyed singing more songs than usual. We spent the rest of the day napping, eating, and playing with new toys. I made an easy dinner of a ham (with a bone), mashed potatoes, peas & carrots, beer bread, and Martinelli's. We also Skyped with Grandpa Lane, Grandpa Bruce, Grandma Lance and my siblings, and John/Courtenay/Everett Lance. John suggested we watch "Natavity!" on the Netflix cue. We did! It was very cute. I want to be Mr Poppy.
Justin has the day off so we went to Sterling for the heck of it. We played at the cold windy park for 40 minutes. Amelia, Everett, and I gave up after 20 minutes. We stayed warm in the van while I nursed Everett and the boys played in the snowy wind. Sounds fun?! We went to Walmart for a moment to get an HD cable and playdough. Then a lunch stop at Sonic. We are back home watching Stars Wars, rather Justin is napping to Star Wars while Amelia and I play on the computer. The upstairs is a disaster but the basement is clean. Odd.
Amelia received an art kit, a rubbing fashion plate kit, some books, play food (Calls), necklace (Calls), playdough (Jared), a movie (Jared), baby Aurora (Gma Lance), slippers (Calls), Nalgene (Cabela's), crochet owl hat (me), Princess Piano (Me), and Goldilicious (Phillip).
Phillip received an airplane, dinosaurs, train kit, turtle/Nalgene (Cabela's), lawnmower (Calls), Monkey (Calls), slippers (Calls), Blocks (Grandma), Jared gifts, and Cookie Monster (Amelia).
Everett got a lot of paper to play with and some baby toys.
Justin got a new down coat, a bacon press, hatchet, Star Wars in Blue Ray (plus the Blue Ray player), a nerf gun (Amelia), wrench (Amelia), Harry Potter 7b (Jared) and X-Men.
My big gift was an electric pressure cooker! Yipee! I also got some new pants, gloves, and a scarf. What a haul!