Oh, how I love this time of year.
I'm not one to take my kids to the mall to visit Santa,
and this year, we found him taking a nap in our backyard!
He brought one of his elves along, too.
Brandon wasn't home, so Santa left this for him.
He informed us that B was on the naughty list. Uh oh.
For the first time in, let's see, seven Christmases,
Andrew didn't have to do tithing settlement after church.
I could get a family photo in our Christmas finery.
Nothing cuter than little (and even not-so-little) girls
in their Christmas dresses.
*Gingerbread House Night*
B-train went with a Hobbit theme.
Gummi bear elves trying to get in the door.
The inside with torches, a table, chairs.
She has caught on to the fact that she gets to eat all the candy
she uses to decorate. She was definitely maximizing her candy usage.
Caroline worked together on a kit.
Here's the side C decorated herself.
I had fun baking up a storm.
Peanut butter blossoms
And the rest of the family helped me make the tags
and assemble the goody plates to deliver to friends.
Cooked up a yummy, yummy dinner.
I don't think I've ever had four pots on the stove at the same time.
In my life.
A new addition to the menu this year:
Andrew, Brandon, and Whitney were in heaven.
I'm their new favorite person.
We also had shrimp, artichokes, mac and cheese, corn,
mashed potatoes, rolls, and red & white jello salad.
When dinner was over, I was reminded of why I
never cook that many dishes at the same time.
Sheesh. My sink overfloweth.
I'm still making my way through that mountain.
After dinner, we acted out the nativity.
Drew was the donkey, as usual.
Care Bear was a wise man.
I got to be the angel.
Jumping for joy
in their new Christmas jammies.
We started a new tradition this year, having the kids do extra
chores to earn the money to buy gifts for each other.
It went really well. I loved seeing them sacrifice for each other.
And the house was cleaner than it's ever been!
We decided to let them open those sibling gifts on Christmas Eve.
Ready for bed.
The anticipation is palpable!