Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Change of Plans . . . Christmas Day with Sick Ones

Every year, we try to alternate which side of the family we spend holidays with. This year was our year to spend Christmas Day with Chris's side of the family since we spent Thanksgiving with my side of the family. We were hoping that even with Brenson, Brooke, and Brecklyn being sick (and both Bren and Brooke being on antibiotics) that they would all be well enough to still go out the the N Homestead for Christmas Day. However, Chris's elderly grandmother has been living with his parents since August, and we just felt like we weren't quite well enough to be around her. We didn't want to spread our germs to anyone else, but we were especially concerned about Grandma as her health is already failing.

Chris also had a nasty sounding cough that we are afraid might be contagious, so he called his Mom on Christmas Eve to let her know we wouldn't make it out on Christmas Day. I know the kids were disappointed when we told them, but unfortunately that's just how life works out sometimes. We rescheduled our visit for the following Saturday (December 30th) in hopes that we'll all be well by then!

Since our plans were to not be home on Christmas Day, we had celebrated our small family Christmas the Saturday prior to Christmas Day (December 23rd). We had done our stockings, opened all our gifts, and even had our traditional Christmas meal for dinner. This left Chris and I trying to figure out what we would do on Christmas Day. We wanted to do at least a little something fun, as well as eat something special. Chris ran to the store on the afternoon of the 24th to pick up a few fun finger foods and some ingredients for our favorite holiday dips.

We woke up on Christmas morning, ate breakfast, and then did a little photo shoot. I hadn't taken individual pics of the kids in front of the Christmas tree yet this year, so we dressed everyone up and got that taken care of. The children weren't exactly thrilled with this activity, but I bribed them with promises of a fun activity to come.





I adore this photo!
Brecklyn and Brooke

My sweeties on Christmas Day!

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After our photo shoot and a change of clothes, I gathered everyone into the kitchen and told them we would be making Christmas sugar cookies. The neighbors could probably hear the cheers and screams of joy! Any type of baking activity is a BIG hit with my crew! We had planned to bake our Christmas cookies the Friday before this, but Brooke and Brecklyn were both too sick to enjoy it (and I didn't think cooking with sick kids was the best idea!). The children had all been very concerned with when we were going to bake the cookies. I'm glad it worked out that they were all feeling good enough for an activity, even if they weren't well enough to be around Grandma.

Brooke, Brecklyn, and Daddy mixing the dough

Brooke and Brecklyn

While the others were mixing the dough, Bren and Bri were mixing a small bowl of flavoring for the dough.

Brianna is becoming a great little cook!

Bren is, too!

Brianna, Brooke, and Brecklyn

Brianna showing Brooke how it's done.

Momma and Bren rolling out the dough.

Brianna doesn't need my help with rolling her dough anymore . . . that's a little bittersweet!

Brecklyn was mostly interested in eating the dough, but Brooke wanted to actually cut out some cookies. 

Momma helping Brooke roll out the dough.

Brecklyn was using the rolling pin to whap at anyone who came near her dough. Eeeek!

Brooke and Momma showing off their snowman.

Brenson still needed his Momma's help (thankfully)!

Brooke and Brecklyn were our official taste testers :-).

The baking crew!

Our hands were all a mess! Isn't that one of the best parts of baking?!?

After baking our sugar cookies, the kids had some play time while I cleaned the kitchen. Flour plus dough plus four kids equals a BIG MESS! It was so worth it, though! As soon as I finished cleaning the kitchen, Chris and I got our fingerfood lunch together. It was nothing too exciting, but at least it was different!

A little more play time and a fat nap later, we were ready to frost our cookies. I always make homemade frosting for our sugar cookies (it just tastes sooooo much better!), but I tweaked the recipe a bit this time. Unfortunately, this made the frosting too thick and difficult to spread. We did our best to make it work, but I'll know better for next year.

Bren hard at work on his cookies. 


Again, Brecklyn was far more interested in eating the frosting than in frosting the cookies. I think she only frosted one cookie the entire time. The rest of the time she spent licking her fingers :-).

My frosting crew!

The children were each given three cookies to frost. Once they finished, each child got their own container for their cookies. I don't mind eating after my children, but with all the licking and slurping going on, we felt it was best to keep everyone's cookies separate from each other!

Chris and I frosted all the remaining cookies. Actually, Brianna did help us with a few of these since she's old enough to keep her fingers out of her mouth while she's working :-).

I had put chicken and rice (one of our favorite slow-cooker meals) on for dinner that evening. We didn't have a traditional Christmas dinner, for sure, but it was warm, yummy comfort food. There were several moments throughout the day - and especially that evening - that I found myself just watching my children play and laugh and enjoy each other and their new toys. The gratitude I feel for my little houseful of babies is almost overwhelming, and I thank God for His faithfulness to my dreams. Our Christmas Day wasn't anything extraordinary, but it was joyful and beautiful and peaceful. What else could we ask for?

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