This Christmas was definitely one we will all remember. After 30 years, Scott finally got his whiteChristmas (which means the rest of us did too :). Both of us having grown up in the South, had never experienced a white Christmas... but this year was different (more to come on that later).
Each year Christmas planning seems to be the most difficult thing... how can we see everyone over the course of two days, enjoy ourselves, and not wear out the kids? Well this year was definitely the easiest year to do that. I feel like we managed to see our parents and each of the kids grandparents without putting too much on our plate-ok, the theoretical plate, the actual plate probably got filled way too many times making it very easy to decide our New Years' Resolution...eat less, exercise more- but I digress...
Shortly after opening gifts we headed home so we could get the kids into bed before Santa came. Before heading inside, we were sure to sprinkle our reindeer food that Santa gave us so they could find our house. Our Christmas Eve tradition is that they can each open one present on Christmas Eve (secretly selected by mom or dad). Each child got a new pair of PJ's so they could get ready for a good night's sleep before Christmas morning. You can see in the pics that Ella still wasn't feeling great. She just looks miserable in her Christmas PJ's doing her nebulizer treatment. Aunt Ruth decided she would stay with us so she could see the kids open up gifts on Christmas morning. I think when she decided that she didn't really mean LITERALLY stay with the kids, but that's what happened. I told the kids they could have a sleepover (I meant in Harbin's room) and they thought that sounded good... they all piled into the trundle bed in Catherine's room and poor Aunt Ruth slept (or didn't sleep) on the daybed in there with them.
Christmas morning came early (well, at least to me 6:30 is early), but the kids were excited. Lydia seemed a little grumpy at first and Ella still wasn't feeling well, but once we got into the living room to see all the things Santa had left, they seemed better.
Santa brought Harbin a Criss Cross Crash Track (something to use with his Hotwheels). Catherine got a new art table with paper and a box of art supplies. Lydia got the "pink car with 2 cup holders" she'd been asking for and Ella got some Weeble People. In their stockings, Santa brought them chapstick (or chopsticks as Lydia says it), toothbrushes (even Ella got one for her one little tooth), and Lydia got a special surprise of big girl undies. Funny story actually....everything she opened she was very possessive over (and she opened each item inside her cozy coupe pink car). Everything was "this is mine"- not mean, just matter-of-fact. Then she opened up some Minnie Mouse big girl undies and said, "these aren't mine- these are Catherine's." We couldn't help but laugh!!
We didn't wake up to snow on Christmas morning, but the weather reports were saying we should get it before the day ended. Since we were heading even further north to Chattanooga, we decided to get on the road and head up there before the weather got bad. We packed, loaded, said our goodbye's to Aunt Ruth as my mom came to pick her up and then started out towards Scott's family's house. About halfway there the snow just started to fall. The roads got covered, the trees were dusted and it was just beautiful. Once we arrived at Scott's parents house, we quicky decided we wouldn't make it up their long, steep driveway. Instead we unloaded our stuff onto sleds and Scott's brothers helped us all get up to the house. Since Ella was still not feeing well, we decided it was best to keep her bundled in her infant carrier. So, we loaded her on the sled and Alex pulled her up the hill! You can see the cute pic of her infant carrier just going right up the driveway.
The kids played in the snow for just a bit before we headed in to celebrate Christmas with the Tinney Family. They handed out more of the Christmas ornaments they had made and enjoyed opening the presents that everyone had gotten them. We ate some lunch and spent the rest of the day relaxing and playing with the new toys everyone had gotten.
On Sunday (the day after Christmas) we headed to Ma and Da's house for our Christmas celebration there. We were fortunate this year that everyone's schedules allowed us ALL to be there, spouses, kids, EVERYONE! Lunch was wonderful and then we did "Dirty Santa", "Chinese Gift Exchange", "Greedy Grab", or whatever you call it game. We swapped some presents around and then let the kids start on opening some of their gifts. Ma and Da got the 3 older kids bean bag chairs and they just loved them. As you can see, Ella enjoyed sitting on them too!! By this day she seemed to be feeling a bit better and even smiled for all of us a few times. She didn't nap as often and enjoyed eating... I mean opening a few presents.
Well, that's a recap of our Christmas. The kids seemed to do ok throughout it, although Harbin, Catherine and Lydia ended up still having fevers at the days end and we returned home to more doctors visits and medicine. Ella finally seemed to recover about New Years Day. We didn't go out for New Years and just had a few friends over to watch the ball drop, so no post or pics to come on that.
I have added a link to the right labeled Christmas2010 for those of you who want to see ALL of our Christmas pictures.