Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

 It was the best Christmas ever.

Baby Ben arrived shortly after Thanksgiving - what a gift. And we were so blessed to celebrate Christmas in our home with both sides of our family -- Ning, Poppa, Sandie, Tom, Nicki and her boyfriend, Mike, were all here.
On Christmas Eve, Charlie and John wore matching ties and sweater vests, and Madeline made a rare appearance in a sparkly tulle-skirted dress. She looked breathtaking. Sandie and Nicki kept the Christmas dinner preparations going and stayed with John, who had the flu, while the rest of us went to church for the early service. Everyone in the packed congregation had a costume (camel hats, wise men, sheep, angels....) and helped act out the Christmas story in a touching and truly funny kids service.
We came home to a feast....and letters Santa left the kids with reindeer food (thanks, Poppa)! 
Towards the end of the convivial meal, there was a knock on the door. When we went to investigate, we discovered that our elf, Tinsel, had come back from the North Pole to drop off Christmas pajamas for everyone (thanks, Ning)!  We promptly changed into them and the dance party began!!! The children each got to open one present before they went to bed. Then the grown ups exchanged ours that night.
And the next morning, we were off to the races! Stockings and presents galore! What JOY!
Up early and ready to see what Santa has delivered!
John received a sleeping bag to match the big kids!
The apron Aunt Andi made her!
The aftermath
Madeline's learning to sew on her first machine!
I made the kids a Fort in a Bag with lanterns, flashlights, clips and sheets

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