Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Christmas Eve

The weirdest thing just happened.  I got fired from my previous gig as #1 Elf for Santa.   The presence of #1 son was requested to act as #1 Elf.  WOW.  I was told I could go to bed.  Is it because I've been sick?  Is it because #1 son is now 13 and such a great helper with a better spine and more energy than me?  Probably both.   Still, I have to stay awake a little longer to get my replacement off his flush, so I thought I'd get started with a blog story of our day.  It has been a Wild One! 
Being sick on Christmas Eve is something I'm not used to.  Not having a voice to sing Christmas carols at church also stinks.  I am not making the most of these holidays.  I like to sit back and relax when we're on vacation because I want to, not because I have to.  And lately, my energy level is so low, I have to. 
Still, today, we made a good dent in vacationing and enjoying some festive holiday time together.


 A Snappy Dresser.
So we started the day, fairly typically, with yelling to get dressed, insanity as we try to coordinate Holiday fashions.  Jacob picked out his pants.  Vintage Awesome.  They belonged to Eric, probably Ryan, and or Karl too.  My mother in law saved a bin of awesome old clothes from her boys to give to my boys.  And we're almost through it.  This is one of the last pieces to survive.  And Jacob rocked it today.  He learned to snap, and was dancy pantsy all over the house.  
We voted him, "Best Pants" of the day.


Ryan and Amy hosted Christmas this year.  And it was so nice. 
Maybe it was just that they made it so easy, a buffet of appetizers, and kids playing happily with eachother for a while before we even opened presents. 
I got to catch up with my girls and love on my nephews. 


The boys were content wherever there was a screen.  
At least they were getting along. 


For a brief moment, they were all quiet, while presents were distributed.  
Then suddenly, the flurry began, and they all opened with a vengance. 


Then it got crazy. 
I practiced panoramic shots of all of it, which surprisingly turned out well. Amazing considering how everyone was moving while I was shooting.  


Bryce loved his Pikachu. 
If you ask Cole, he will tell you that Bryce is 2, and doesn't talk that's why he does First Steps. 
Yep.  Since 2 of our 3 did that, we completely understand.  But Bryce is beginning to really communicate.  Sure, it's not always in English.  But he made his thoughts known when he opened his present from us.  And it made my day, he hit the box and said Pika!  The sweetboy has like 5 words in English and Pika was one of them.  <3  I guess we chose wisely. 


It was a very Harry Potter day for Chris.  
He got new legos, and a Snitch.  


Sam raked in the Harry Potters too.  
He got a Snitch like his brother, and some classic HP books homemade by Aunt Erica. 
I saw the "Monster Book of Monsters" from a distance and thought Mom had gotten it at Universal. 
Nope. 
Instead, Erica MADE it!   And apparently, Bryce LOVED it, especially when she would take the box and have it growl at her.  Later, he walked by it, and growled at it, and giggled.  It was fantastic. 
I hope I remember how enchanting Bryce was today for a long time.  He's really growing into such a neat character.  And he plays well with his cousins.  The kids all got along so well today. 

I couldn't last the entirety of the festivities.  At one point, I was talking to my sister in law, and I started to swirl and drift into the couch, I knew I needed to nap and cough.  Big coughs.  I coughed all the way home, and crashed for a 2 hour nap on the couch.  


All the cousins in one place, getting along. 
Meanwhile, Eric and Mom helped coordinate this photo for me. 
Historic. 

After my nap, I went and grabbed the boys.  
We got home just enough to do their Kumon homework, then they were ready for dinner. 


Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra.

We've started a new tradition, inadvertantly.  
A couple years ago, we partied with the fam most of the day, and didn't have dinner, until we discovered we were hungry on the way home from Church.  Surprise!  The Chinese Buffet was open. 
Last year, we went on purpose.  This year too. 
My friend was telling me that it's become a tradition for Jewish families to go out for Chinese at Christmas, because it's what's open.  I just keep thinking of that Christmas Story scene where they end up at the Chinese restaurant.   By the time we get to Christmas, we don't feel like cooking much.  
This works.  
After my big nap, an egg roll tasted great to me.  I haven't felt like eating deep fried anything in days. 


They had a selfie station at the church for us. 
The boys cooperated pretty decently for us. 
Jake's pants and Chris's shoes make me smile. 


We even had a friend (a tall friend) take a picture take a picture of all of us together. 
I never get myself photographed at these things, I'm always behind the camera.  

When we got home, Eric put the trains together, and the boys and I got cooking on some of the holiday traditions.  Like watching Charlie Brown!


Three sweetboys watch Charlie Brown. 


"Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you're the Charlie Browniest." 
My Mom got us all matching Charlie Brown Jammies last year. 
I love them. I'm even wearing snoopy Jamberry wraps on my nails right now since I knew they'd match.   I'll be bummed when they outgrow them.  I plan on wearing mine for a long time! 


Reading the Polar Express together. 
This one moment of sweetness was so good, I quickly grabbed my phone and snapped without really looking, as we were all reading, taking turns on different sides of the pages, really making a shared work of it.  And it was so nice.   
It's this kind of cuddling, quality time, and togetherness that I really love about Christmas Break.


This year, Eric set up the trains upstairs.  
And he got them working just before bed for the boys. 


We sat in the light of trains and tree just watching them go around and around. 
This is one of their favorite Christmas Eve traditions.  
They can't wait to see what new train cars and goodies Santa will bring tomorrow! 

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