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Christmas Sunday

Because we are always gone on Christmas Eve/Day, six years ago we instituted "Christmas Sunday".  The Sunday before Christmas we celebrate together, as a family of six at home.
Frederick, Margaret, Tom, Thomas, & Marie
Our first Christmas here. . .no furniture or anything!  

I can't find pictures from 2007. . .hmmm.  Almost a year of pictures are missing. . .from mid-2007 to mid-2008. . .maybe in another folder somewhere?  Ugh.

Our tree in 2008. . .that year was a little different because we took a trip to Mexico with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, sister, and her family over Christmas so my in-laws came down to celebrate with us a couple of days before we left.
We caught Nana laughing at something :)

2009 - finally remembered to get a picture in front of the tree :)  This was the year we didn't get the ornaments out. . .we decided just to do handmade ornaments. . .
And even got a picture of Tom and me!
I remembered a Christmas tree picture last year (2010) too. . .
. . .matching outfits and all.
 I didn't fare so well this year with a picture of the four of them.  Mainly because we ended up with seven kiddos for our annual Christmas Sunday (and I forgot).
We have three cousins staying with us. . .here are the girls in the house. . .Margaret, Elizabeth, Marie, and Grace.  They look like they all belong together, don't they?
Thomas did the annual reading of Luke 2 this year. . .he did a great job.  Last year the six grandchildren each memorized parts of it and performed it together at one of our Dayton Christmases:
Margaret, Thomas, AVJ, Susan, Frederick, and Marie - 2010
Back to this year.
We decided on a family trip this year instead of gifts.  The kids did not want to give up drawing names and filling stockings, though, so we kept with that tradition and each kid drew a name and then received $20 from us to buy gifts for that person.  We found out on Friday that our cousins would be with us too so we gave the kids some money on Saturday to buy a gift for each of them too :)
When it was time to open gifts our children insisted that Patrick, Elizabeth, and Grace open their gifts first!!!
Elizabeth is in the corner holding her snow-globe-light-up-Santa-and-snowman thing that Marie picked out for her.  Grace is in the foreground holding a sketchbook/fun-book that the kids picked out for her.
The kids scored with Patrick's gift. . .a book that he apparently has a collection of but not this one -- yea!  He's an avid reader -- check the book at his feet. . .he'd had his nose stuck in that book most of the day.
 Marie drew Margaret's name. . .nail polish!!!
There you go. . .a sideways picture.  Ugh.  Wrong computer (I was on the other one earlier).  Anyway, as it happened, the girls drew each other's names, then Marie was very specific about this certain gift. . .a snowman ornament thing that lights up and is kind of like a snowglobe.  It even has her name on it (she pointed that out in the store to me too when she was showing me exactly what Margaret should get her).  Luckily it didn't take too much of a chunk of the $20 and Margaret got her her very own Monopoly game too.  That was a great idea.
 Getting food treats have become a tradition with our kids.  We don't normally buy candy or soda to have around the house so they almost always make sure they spend some of that $20 on edible gifts (we limit it to two items that can be consumed -- is that sad that we have to have a rule for that?).  I got into the spirit of that this year with Tom. . .I bought him some of his favorite ice cream Snicker treats and had written a note and wrapped the note, telling him where to find his treat.  Isn't it funny how the kids are *way* into it, even though they know what it is?  They are genuinely excited for him to get his treat :)
 This was my stash this year, complements of Tom. . .my food treat was some Starbucks hot chocolate mix (already opened) and there's another scarf to go with the green one still wrapped as well as a pair of warm pj pants. . .and my other "food treat" -- peppermint patties!
Frederick scored with this gift from Thomas:
 (now everyone wants one. . .and Santa is done shopping so hopefully they'll get a little money to spend. . .)
And Thomas's food gift. . .Godiva white chocolate peppermint bark.  He shared with me, good great son that he is :)  His other gift is in his lap -- the Smurf movie.  Which, as soon as we were done with the gift opening, went into the DVD player and there was quiet from all seven kids in the house:
The excitement of the day wasn't over yet. . .
Margaret was baptized too!
The next picture is a view of the church filling up Sunday night. . .
And here was "our" crew:
Unfortunately, this is the *only* picture Tom got of Margaret and Brother Joel. . .ugh.  Luckily there was a photographer in the baptistry Sunday evening due to the large number of baptisms in the service (about 20). . .so, hoping that she got one or two good ones.  It was beautiful and I'm the lucky mom who was there with her.
It wasn't the only blurry picture of the day. . .I was sad that this one didn't turn out either:
Oh well. . .the memories will last :)  Thanks for trying Thomas!

Lots still to look forward to -- I love this time of the year :)

~ Jenni



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