So, now we're caught up to Christmas Eve and Christmas....
A month ago, while hanging out with our friends we realized all of us were staying in town and had no relatives coming in town. We remember the mixed emotions of last year, so we really wanted to show our friends just how fantastic it is to have your own family Christmas. We decided to host a Christmas Eve get together at our house.
Consequently, we spent most of Christmas Eve making food for the get-together or cleaning the house so the three pregnant women coming wouldn't gag and storm out due to nausea. We made: three kinds of cookies, jello casserole (no shredded veggies included), Muddie Buddies, chocolate-cover pretzels and a Pumpkin Trifle. We made the Muddy Buddies for Santa's special treat. We figured Santa gets a lot of cookies, so why not give him something a little different at our house. Jared kept sing-song saying 'making santa's special treat,' it was so cute how excited he was that Christmas was tomorrow.
When it came to party time, all of the women began to realize we made way too much food. We had 10 adults and 8 kiddos (under 5, might I add) in the house and we probably made enough food to feed 10 more adults. Nothing, I repeat, nothing got finished. Everything was fantastic.
The company was even better than the food. We sat and talked, disfused a few kiddo situations, and laughed at the White Elephant exchange. We are really blessed to have such great friends. Unfortunately, since we had so much fun, we forgot to take pictures. I took one during the White Elephant, when the kiddos became excited at the prospect of presents.
After the party, we calmed down a little and the kiddos opened their Christmas Eve presents. This year was a little different because we let them open two presents. They had their jammies (which I made) and they opened their matching Mickeys from the California grandparents (we figured Mickey would get more use if he was able to sleep in their cribs). Mommy and Daddy even got matching candy cane jammy pants (Jared picked them out all by his self). Then we watch a movie about Jesus Christ (every time Jared saw Jesus he was exclaimed 'momma/daddy look Jesus/baby Jesus). Then we prepared for Santa's arrival by leaving out milk, snacks, and a little note.
After the kiddos hit the sack, we set up a few things like our new web cam (present from Oba and Jiji) so we could Skype during present time.
At 630am, Greg and I were wide-awake and couldn't get back to sleep. We were both excited to see the kids' reactions that Christmas was finally here. So, we hopped out of bed and went off to make the Monkey Bread (Christmas tradition). At 715, we heard Annabelle and decided it was time to start. We got the kids up and Jared came down with Greg and said, "Merwee Kimmas!" and then said this...
So, we skyped the Seattle crew (530 their time) and opened presents in front of each other. It was a lot of fun. It was fantastic to see each others' reactions, even though we weren't actually together. We actually spent most of the day skypeing with family... we've finally joined the rest of the world, I know. The only problem is now we can't really pretend to pay attention now. ;)
We all got something we weren't expecting... I even got the crafting machine I've been wanting since last Christmas. The kiddos big gift this year was a play Kitchen! Santa had it tucked away for a long time because he got an amazing deal in the fall. It was a good choice. They spent most of the day playing with it.
Another highlight of the day was being able to talk to my little brother whose on a mission. My folks were able to conference us in and it was awesome to hear him and hear how excited he is about the work he's doing. Luckily, we even got Jared to say hi and Merry Christmas. We all held it together until it was time to say goodbye; everyone needed a tissue from the held-back tears after Elder Jackson hung up. The rest of the day was spent trying to clean up the mess of our living room (check the pictures), relaxing and playing with the new gadgets. That night, we had the neighbor crew over to dig into some of the leftover desserts from the night before.
As a result of skype, I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to, but we made a lot of memories. It was a great Christmas at home spending time with each other. We are certainly grateful for the blessing we've been given, but we are most grateful for Jesus Christ and His everlasting atonement. Without Him, we would have nothing to celebrate. He is the reason we have each other, this world, and eternity.