Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas! 2016

Happy Christmas, Harry! 

With Christmas coming on a Sunday, we've all had ideas about how to celebrate. Church is at 10:00 a.m. -- children have an opening song so need to be there at 9:45. We weren't sure that we'd be able to get all our presents opened before then without being rushed. Nick was the only one who wanted to wake up extra early. With a little convincing from Courtney and Marty, Nick agreed to the following plan:

Wake up at 8:00 and go downstairs for stockings and see if Santa came ;-)
Breakfast at 8:45 and then go upstairs to get ready for church about 9:00. (9:15 at the latest).

 Leave to church at 9:40. Be home by 10:15 to change and then open presents.

All went according to plan. Marge slept over the night before so she didn't have to drive in the impending snow early Christmas morning.

Santa left a little present by each stocking so we all had one thing to open before church. Stockings were fun and not rushed. I made an overnight egg casserole that I didn't burn this year (Yay!).

At church, having the children sing a few Primary Christmas Hymns was a really nice way to start the program and bring the spirit into our hearts. So glad they did it.

And after, home through the fresh snow for presents! (So fun to have a ton of snow on Christmas!)

Some favorite presents:
The kids got Dan a record player and records. They know him so well! They were so excited to give him it and he LOVED it! Such a fun surprise!

They got me a Chatbook of all my Instagram posts since the beginning 5 years ago! It was such a thoughtful gift, it just made me cry! And all the kids cried too (which was an extra special Christmas bonus)! Marty had the idea and Courtney executed the plan and I was thrilled -- couldn't have been more surprised and delighted!

Dan had the idea to give Courtney a trip to Georgia to see UW play Alabama in the Peach Bowl. She knew ahead of time, but she loved it!
Courtney's new tool kit for her apartment. Candid photo face! (At least it's not you eating a gyro!)
Marty just wanted money so he could save all Christmas and birthday presents on his mission for Sky Diving gear. Love that he loved his experience so much! Kids got him money too -- but also his favorite candy bars.
Awkward Christmas Hugs! (And awkward Courtney face -- what is that face?!)
Chris didn't have a whole lot on his list. We got him a stereo that he and Dan could install when he turned 16 and got his car. And then at the end of Christmas presents, he was surprised with keys to his new car!! It was exactly the one he wanted (a Subaru stick-shift they found from a dealer in Florida) and Chris said, "You said it was already sold." Dan replied, "Yea, it was!"

Nick was thrilled with his presents of Stance Underwear, new running shoes and a Chillo pillow. Seriously, he was. He also got Anki overdrive and LOVES it. But it just cracks me up that his Christmas list items were things the other kids would just let me know they "needed" on a regular shopping trip. He's ever so practical -- Love it! (Of course, he also got the promise of a new dog, so maybe everything else seemed like a bonus!)

 While Nick, Courtney and I were shopping one day, I decided to run into Bath & Body Works for lotion for everyone. What smell do you like, Nick? "I just care about having one that works." Ok. Melaleuca Renew for you.
Anki Overdrive
Marge was thrilled with her pre-Christmas gifts (lets call them Christmas season gifts) -- a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book of Christmas stories and an Amaryllis. She's the best plant care-taker I know. She can make anything grow and rebloom! And she really appreciates them!  But she was thrilled to also get a new iPad from the Adair kids. "Oooooh! Just what I wanted!"
Christmas family selfie!

Learning about record players from Dad.
And to make Christmas even better, The Paul's arrived from Chicago! Their plane was delayed so they didn't make it until after Christmas dinner, but that worked out well because The Wingers were starving later that night so we had food to share!
Matching was a total coincidence! Michelle actually said she calls this her "Angela outfit!"
Right after they arrived, we went to Dad's house because he had a plan for us to give Christmas (kitchen gifts, mainly) to a friend of his whose family had just arrived from Venezuela. They are applying for asylum status because the dad used to work in the government and everything is terrible there and his life is at risk. We all spent an hour at their home getting to know them. What a delightful family! So amazing to think what they had just been through -- on top of everything else, not having any food because the country is not importing enough. The father had lost 50 lbs in the last few months because he, his wife and oldest daughter only eat one meal a day so the two youngest sons can have two. They are coming to our family Karaoke party on Wednesday for dinner and having fun. Even though they only speak Spanish, they were very outgoing and were so fun to get to know.

Afterwards, we all gathered back at our house for dessert and being together. A perfect end to the day and so fun to have so much family and parties to look forward to for the Christmas vacation!! I'm tired, but I love it! I wouldn't have it any other way!

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