Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in a nutshell

I love this picture Alysee drew of a Christmas party. Not only is it so detailed with mistletoe, kisses, and cute couples but it also shows how much my kids LOVE the Christmas season.

I had actually been feeling a little grumpy as Christmas approached. Kind of a "okay this has been fun but let's get it over with" feeling. The Christmas tree needles had been dropping all over the floor for weeks, I was getting tired of the 435 Christmas songs on the Ipod, and all the Christmas preparations were wearing me down a bit (not to mention all the extra cleaning that goes on when the kids are home 24/7).

Anyway, Christmas Eve Birch got home from work a bit early (which ALWAYS helps my spirits) and then I got to go have a little ME time before all the evening festivities began. By 5 pm our counter was full of all the chosen foods for the Christmas Eve Smorgasbord. We had breaded shrimp, fresh shrimp, green salad, homemade pizza, Italian Soda's, sweet n' sour meatballs, salsa and chips, broccoli cheese dip and crackers, grapes, eggnog, and homemade rolls. We filled up on all the yummy food and drinks and then started the evening fun.
Next up was our tradition of decorating a family gingerbread house. In order to cut down on conflict (aka. fights) we had each of the kids decorate a side of the house. It was fun to see the end result.
Then we sang some carols and had our family nativity. I'm not sure what Alysee is going to do with Chloe is big enough to voice her opinion of wanting to be Mary. Until then Alysee will bask in her Mary glow and love delivering baby Jesus.
Coop elected to be the angel again this year. He sure makes a cute one!
Chloe enjoyed most of the evening until she was told she couldn't have any more candy from the gingerbread house. This girl LOVES candy!!! Cute outfit, I know.

Christmas morning started WAY too early. Several times throughout the night we had different kids coming up to our room for various reasons (growing pains, need to go potty, can we open presents yet?). At 5:30 am Alex came busting in ready to start the day. We sent him back to bed until 6:30 am but I'm not sure any of us got any sleep after 5:30 am. The kids loved going through their stockings and seeing what Santa brought them but were even more anxious to open the presents.

Tyler thought his remote control flyer thing was super cool.
Alex was super giddy about the Beaver poster Tyler gave him. Keeping with tradition the kids all drew their siblings name's several weeks prior and then earned $5.00 from mom and dad through doing jobs to go shopping for their sibling. They also did a service for that person and made a homemade gift for them. Tyler was amazing this year and wanted to several extra jobs so he could make some additional purchases for Alex. Alex really scored through the love of his brother!!

By 9:30 am we were done opening presents and all the kids were off playing with their new toys and changing into their new outfits. Birch and I were busy taking down the Christmas tree (like I mentioned...it was really dead), making our special lunch of extra yummy breakfast foods, and packing the car to head to Grannie's house. We were on the road at 1:30 pm and arrived at Grannie's just in time to devour a delicious Christmas dinner of deep fat fried turkey. It was so yummy!
Here we are...just about the whole Ditto clan. Andrew has a couple of more months of his mission but the other 36 of us were all there.
Most of the cousin boys in their new hats from Grannie.
Grannie is so kind, patient and fun with all the grand kids. As they tear through her house, eating all the treats they can find, using up all her paper for drawing, and making more noise than you can imagine she just smiles and loves them. They each know they are loved by Grannie.

Did I mention that Grannie's house is one crazy, joyful, and yummy place to be? The 21 cousins are all running around like they have a bee in their bum while us adults are changing diapers, catching up with each other, playing games, and cooking food. We all have so much fun together that no one likes to go to sleep at night...sometimes that is a problem. This year was extra special because a new cousin joined the family.
Meet Henry...he is seven weeks old and well-loved by his mommy and daddy, Logan and Julia. We had the treat of being in town for his baby blessing (kind of like a Christening). He was just so cute and SO good. I think I only heard him whisper this little whimper like one time. Unreal!!
Birch, Logan, and I had fun doing a little photo shoot of Henry. I noticed that as much as I enjoyed holding Henry I didn't have any "I need a baby" feelings. It felt nice.

We got home Tuesday afternoon just in time for the snow to start falling.
The kids have been busy sledding and drinking hot chocolate ever since then. Alysee lovin' a good ride!

It's been a great Christmas break and we have enjoyed several fun family outings. We've all loved having Birch home more too.


emily a. said...

Henry really is such a cute baby. Looks and sounds like a great Christmas. I'm lovin' Coopy as the angel. So funny.

Ditto Family said...

you for got to mention every thing ELSE we got for Christmas... like my new TRUMPET!!! love-