With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, Chris and I decided it was important to us to spend actual Christmas Day worshiping our God at our home church. It was our year to spend December 25th with Chris's side of the family, so spending Christmas Day at home meant we would spend Christmas Eve with them instead. We try to always spend one night at their house around Christmastime, so after baking cookies the morning of the 23rd, we headed out to the N Homestead for the evening and night.
We first stopped at Chris's grandma's house to visit for a few hours. We arrived there just before 4:00pm, had a nice visit while the kids played, then went over the hill to Chris's parents' house. We got to Meme and Papa's house around dinner time, and after our meal we let the kids play and watch Christmas movies while we visited. I didn't take any photos during this time. We just enjoyed ourselves :-).
The Bigs ended up staying up waaaaay past their bedtime, and Chris and I stayed up visiting with his parents until after midnight. When we finally got to bed, the little girls were restless and woke up several times in the night. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep at all that night!
The next morning (Saturday, December 24th), we got up, had a cooked breakfast, and got ready for the day. Once everyone was ready for the day, Chris went down to Grandma's house to help her come to Meme and Papa's house for the day. Once Grandma and Chris got there, we opened gifts!
Meme (and I) really wanted a pic of Brooke and Brecklyn in front of the tree. This was the best we could do with two excited, active, almost two year olds!
Gift opening at Meme and Papa's house is generally about 20 minutes of chaotic fun! It's pretty much a free-for-all, and the kids love it!
Grandma, Chris, and Brecklyn
Bren with Brecklyn in the background . . . the hats are a gift Papa gets for everyone each year.
Bren and Brianna
Brooke (so serious just like when she opened gifts at our house)
Papa always just sits back and watches everything play out.
Meme and Brianna
Brooke and Brecklyn immediately began playing with their new toys. Meme got them the doll highchair, and Grandma got them a cleaning kit.
Brooke is putting her stocking cap on the bear while Brecklyn cleans!
Reading their new books with Meme
Grandma and Brianna
Meme really wanted a picture of the family that was there (Chris's sister and her family weren't able to be there at the same time we were), so I told her we could try to take one with the timer on my camera. I didn't have my tripod with me, but I stacked up a few boxes onto a gliding footstool, posed everyone, set a ten second timer, and got into position. Just before the picture was about to snap, my entire rigged up "tripod" began to tip over in slow motion. The picture took just as Papa caught my camera in his hand, lol! Chris helped me build up something a little more secure, and we tried again.
I was thrilled when I looked at my camera and saw this photo:
Then, I asked Grandma to join us, and we took another photo. I couldn't believe it was also so good!
After we opened gifts, Meme told Papa that he and Chris were in charge of making lunch. In the meantime, the rest of us sat down to do a craft I had brought with me.
Brooke and Brecklyn colored while I taught everyone how to do a little snow hat Christmas ornament.
The finished products came out so cute!
Here is an upclose photo of our little craft:
The cooks made fried chicken, fried fish, baked potatoes, and corn on the cob for lunch. They worked hard in the kitchen!
We let the kids play for just a little while longer after lunch, then we loaded up the car and headed for home at about 4:00pm. It's only a 45 minute drive from their house to ours, but all four of our kids were asleep in the car within 10 minutes of starting for home. I cracked up when I looked back at Brianna and saw her like this:
When we got home, Brooke and Brecklyn were both tired and cranky. They just wanted to be held, so I sat and held them while Chris unloaded the car. I loved the snuggle time with my tired babies.
I would love to say that we ended Christmas Eve on a peaceful note, tucking everyone quietly into bed early before we got a good night's rest ourselves. That was certainly our plan. However, at about 6:00pm, I realized I didn't have any flour which I needed to make a dessert to take to my sister's house for lunch the next day. All of the stores were closed, so I called my sister and asked if I could come by to get flour. She only lives about 20 minutes away, so I took Brianna and Brenson with me and headed to her house. We picked up the flour, visited for just a few minutes, then headed for home. Brianna seemed fine the entire time. However, as we got about 10 minutes down the road, she said she didn't feel good. I asked her if she thought she was going to throw up, and she said she didn't know. I immediately started looking for a place to pull over. By the time I got pulled over in a safe place, she was throwing up in the van. She also threw up on the side of the road quite a bit. I got her loaded back into the puke covered van, and called Chris as we headed home to let him know why it was taking us so long. As I'm talking to him on the phone, Brecklyn throws up in her bed! Both girls (Brianna and Brecklyn) had already had baths and were in their pjs for the night, but we had to give them each a second bath, get everyone settled down and in bed, wash their clothes, strip Brecklyn's bed and wash her sheets, and clean all the puke out of the van before we could even think about going to bed. Not exactly how we wanted our night to play out!!! After throwing up, both Brianna and Brecklyn seemed fine, so we're not sure what the problem was. Chris and I didn't end up going to bed until almost midnight, which was too bad since we were exhausted from not getting much sleep the night before. Unfortunately, this began a no-sleep trend that would continue for four or five more days.
Even with the crazy end to our day, we were still thankful for the time with Papa, Meme, and Grandma. The puke-fest that followed just adds to the memories!