Every year, we bake cookies for Santa, the day before Christmas Eve. My kids are always joined by my nephew Joshua, and this year by our friends the Stretches! It was 5 hours of hard labor, but the kids LOVE it! And, we have lost of cookies to share.
|Make a Smilebox scrapbook|
Our own family tradition of 17 years....when my paternal granmother passed away, we started a new tradition, having family over to our house for Christmas Eve. Stan had to work, so I had to have the big kids help out more than ever, preparing a meal for almost 30 people!!! And, I love it!!! The best compliment I have ever received about my cooking came from Stan. He says, "This dressing tastes like my Grandma's."
And, here is where the second hand onion story comes....As Brandon was chopping the onion, Caleb was choppin celery. After Brandon's eyes began to water, Caleb said his eyes were watering too, the effect of second hand onion.
Smiles from the family after a BIG Christmas Eve Dinner, my family of 7, a photo of my one and only best-friend sister with my parents, and Stan's family.
Following Christmas Eve dinner, Caleb helped me cut out name tags for Santa. He said, "It's really hard for me to buy into that whole Santa thing when you're making me cut out my own gift tags. "
This year, on Christmas morning, I decided not to spend my time taking pictures or video. I simply enjoyed watching the children open their gifts. Ellie and Josie-Tatum came to tell me that Santa had come. (Stan was at work, so he missed his first Christmas morning in our 25 years of marriage.) The girls excitedly shouted, "He brought a see saw." Then Ellie said, "And a shovel and a bucket." Well, I knew the shovel and bucket were outside in the sandbox, so I asked if she was sure. She said, "In one of those boxes somewhere."
JT headed up the stairs quickly and shouted, "I'm going to be first." Elie, who is usually upset when being left behind, shouted, "And I'll be last."
There is so much magic and joy in Chrismtas when you are 3 years old. Josie-Tatum enjoyed herself, so did the big kids, but to hear Ellie say, "WOW!" over and over again with each gift was priceless. She was a little confused by the last box she opened. It was empty, but a message was in the box that read, "Look outside." She remained confused until we went outside. She had hoped for a sandbox, but she would tell everybody she wanted a bucket and a shovel for Christmas. I had to explain that several times.
Here is a video of her first moments in the sand box. I didn't try to edit, so you'll hear Josie-Tatum announcing she needs to go ummmmmm.....pee. And, listen for Ellie's, "Wow!" one more time. (I'm still trying to upload the video...having issues.)
My cousin Tom has journeyed south for the holidays. He grew up here in south Georgia, but now lives in North Dakota. He left home with sub zero temperatures and spent Christmas Day with a high of 80 degrees. Ellie had never met him, but she quickly decided his daughter Amanda was okay. After she followed crawling Ellie all around Grandma's lawn, she announced when leaving, "I love her. She is my new best friend." I enjoyed catching up with Carrie. Hey Carrie!!!
After we came home from my Grandma Tatum's house, we went back out to play. While Ellie was digging in the sand, Josie-Tatum climbed on top of the crawl-through space on the swing set. She shouted, "I'm QUEEN OF THE WORLD, World, World, world..."
Ellie shouted, "I'm QUEEN OF THE SANDBOX, Sandbox, sandbox......"
Today my great nephews, Jack and Brodie, came over for our Christmas with them. We don't get to see them often, so it is always a blessing when they are over. And, if you're reading, today is a special day for Jack, please whisper a prayer for him. The LORD is answering a prayer for his life.