Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Recap

Reillee says, "Merry Christmas!!"

EmJ is the best! With the help of Grandma, she made Christmas gifts for the entire family. Yankee/Mariner pillowcases for Luke and I, pillows for the boys, and blankets for the girls. I had to fight really hard not to cry at how amazing she is...because then she would have let go the faucet as well.
Kids at the top of the stairs, waiting to come see what Santa brought!

A new lamp for our budding reader.

Gus, obsessed with Santa, got a Santa bag.

Reillee was excited all Christmas morning, though she didn't know why. We tuckered her out and she took a long and welcome mid-morning nap.

Sam, in her hand-me-down dress, new shoes from Santa, and bag made by Lindsey. She hasn't gone anywhere without her purse!

I love lounging on Christmas morning with a new book...or a hand-me-down Leapster.

I included this photo to show the labor of love that was EmJ's new vanity. I hope that she loves it as much as I grew to hate it....stripping, sanding, painting, barf!

Too excited to go to bed!

Our cute wise man...forgetting to deliver the myrrh.

The cast of the live Nativity.

One angel falling asleep...wondering why exactly she is dressed in a costume. We already did Halloween!

We had an amazing Christmas. I feel so incredibly blessed. We spent Christmas Eve with Luke's family...doing the annual Nativity reenactment. We spent Christmas morning first at our house (for the first time in years!). Then we headed to my parents' for breakfast and grandchild spoilage, and finally to Luke's parents' home again for yummy dinner and more quality spoiling time.

On Christmas Eve, Luke and I were reminiscing about last year (someone played Secret Santa (thanks again, whoever that was!), saving my kids from their L-A-M-E parents) and laughing about our pathetic little bargain Christmas, joking that we should not even take any pictures, imagining future years when we will tease the kids about the Christmas without a tree and how much they loved all their hand-me-downs.

But the more I think about it, the more I've realized that this has been my favorite Christmas. The kids and I have a tradition of doing a service project or two, and then "giving" the project (a report of it) to Luke for Christmas. The kids were so excited about that! Emmeline made gifts for our whole family, and they have already been much loved (or in Luke's case, drooled upon). They haven't yet been spoiled by the commercialization of Christmas, and though I want to give my kids the world, I hope that I remember this Christmas and the joy given without spending a lot of money. It truly was wonderful!

Finally, I have to report on the BEST GIFT EVER!!! A few weeks before Christmas, I asked Luke if he thought our policeman friend would be willing to give the boys a ride in his police car for Christmas. He contacted our friend, who happened to be scheduled to work Christmas, and got approval to give the boys a VIP tour of the police station.

I have officially won the cool mom award. And I didn't spend a dime. And I will be forever grateful to our friend providing the boys with a memory that they will cherish. The gift turned in to more than we ever expected....proving once again that the best gifts don't come from the store.

In their own words, here is Willie and Gus's report of their Christmas day trip to the police station.

What was your favorite Christmas gift?

Gus: Going to the police station and getting those little teeny cars.
Willie: Going to the police station and getting a lamp.

What did you do at the police station?

Gus: I went in a police car and pretend to drive in the car and I pressed the button in the truck when they go to their missions and it made a loud noise. We saw the guns and police guns and a cool gun where you put the thing in the truck and it shoots out.

Willie: I looked at guns. We played video games where they practice to shoot at targets on them and then we had cupcakes and cookies. We got presents there. We saw two workout rooms. We got to sit in a police car and a bear cat. Benjamin pressed some buttons in it and we got to hear the sirens.

Did you see anything else cool?

Gus: Something that they sneak in and use a robot to sneak in and try to find people. So when they duck down in the bushes they drive it and they have something to see like its a camera to see where it's going. And that's all of it.

Willie: I got to play in the workout rooms...I like did cartwheels. The policeman puts a gun right here on his waist and on his leg. We got to play with the robot. You remote control it, and you can throw it somewhere and it can't get broken and when it's dark the police throw it up into the window and the police remote control it and there's a little screen and they can see the bad guys in it because it's so bright and that's all.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Willie: A policeman

Gus: A dad.

Willie: You can be a dad and a policeman.
Gus: Do policemans get presents?

Willie: Yeah.

Gus: Oh, okay, I will be a dad and a policeman.

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