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Christmas. . .part 3

The kids started Christmas Eve trying to get the "perfect" picture of Max. . .remember these from the night before?
Yea, they hold pictures as well as sounds :)  Tom hooked them up to charge once the kiddos were in bed and so they were ready to go first thing Christmas Eve morning!

I headed off to breakfast with one of my bestest, Amy.  Three hours felt like 30 minutes. . .can't wait to see her again in FL at the end of February!!!

We headed to the VJ's next to hang out for a bit before heading back up to my Dad's for Christmas Eve service (he lives about 45 minutes from the rest of the family).
This is Frederick, waiting for Susan to finish her piano lesson. . .soooooooooooo cute. . .
*Finally* she was done (seriously? a lesson on Christmas Eve?  dedicated teacher for sure!). . .and they were off "doing their thing".  I tried to capture a picture of the two of them without them noticing. . .but every time I came up with a camera in my hand, they did this:
Frederick has set the bar HIGH for any guy that may want to court Susan. . .he dotes on her like no one else!
The big kids were in the basement playing Wii. . .then I played a hot game of Clue with Marie and AVJ. . .

while Brian was giving Tom ideas from his birthday iPad for places to take me to dinner the day after Christmas!
Then we headed back up to my dad's for a light dinner and Christmas Eve service.  They invited my inlaws up too so they met us there. . .it was a beautiful evening.
 The new Monopoly game with electronic banking. . .actually, it's pretty clever :)
 Marie and Aunt Kathy
 Thomas making sure he "messes up" his picture with Aunt Kathy
 light supper/snacks before church
 Yep, that would be Margaret sitting on the floor, alone.  She doesn't like to have her picture taken with other people most days.
And Mammaw playing Pick Up Sticks with the kiddos.  We didn't get a single group picture that evening. . .even though I insisted that the kids all dress alike for church.  Oh well.  
We went to church, the Bells went home and we went back to the house for dessert with the kids.  We got back to Nana & Grandpa's fairly early. . .and took one last look at the computer to see if Santa was on his way. . .
. . .at this point he was just entering South America.  We watched some video from when he was in London then it was time for bed!  Marie remembered to leave some milk and cookies out.

Here is the tree, all lit up with the gifts under it. . .so pretty. . .
Here is the letter the kids woke up to in the morning:

Baby Jesus is always "sent" to Santa so he can bring Him to the kids each Christmas morning. . .the first and *best* gift, for sure!!!
And then, of course, it's time for presents!!!!  We did Santa gifts before breakfast (3/ea for the kids) then ate and did the family gifts afterward.

 A sword!
 A meowing kitty. . .
 That's my girl. . .rates right up there with the tool bag Santa brought last year!!

 This was the tube/bungee rope Thomas has been bugging us about forever.  Believe it or not, he forgot to ask for it for Christmas. . .good thing Santa knows all things :) 

 Yep, that would be Tom manning the stove.  I was on the griddle.  Best part?  Nana & Grandpa Fred clean up -- win-win!!!!!
 I'm so happy that our children are old enough now that we can take our time, spread it out, and share in the joy of others receiving.
 This was our Christmas card picture that Marie framed and wrapped for Aunt Kathy (she live in UT)
 And Margaret was happy about the Webkin that Nana & Grandpa gave her!
 Frederick showing Nana how he and I wrote this vacation book together
 And one of many of Grandpa Fred's boxes. . .he makes a list each year and Nana gives us items from it and she gets the rest for him :)
 Nana had quite a pile of presents this year!  They are all sitting on her new television, which was the first thing she opened.

 Aunt Kathy opening the gift the kids and Tom made her. . .
 A gift from Tom's mom. . .I love these kinds of gifts that just show how well another person knows you!!
Looks like Tom caught a shot of another super gift from my in-laws -- these earrings!!!  I guess the beads change out (kind of like Pandora) so I'm looking forward to collecting more beads :)
 A new drill for Tom 
 Frederick was insistent that he open the last gift of the year. . .he waited all morning to open his gift from Nana & Grandpa -- the game Stratego.
 The day was rounded out with a yummy ham dinner followed by games. . .
 The new Harry Potter Lego game that the Bells gave the kids. . .
 While the other end of the table played some Rummy Cube (a new favorite computer game of mine!)
Looks like Frederick was enjoying hanging out on the computer :)

A VERY, VERY MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS!!!!  Thank you, Ohio Family, for making every year so special (and sending us home fatter than when we arrived -- ha!)

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