Sterling sang in a men's group on Sunday and they sounded awesome! Also, the night before was our ward Christmas party and it was AMAZING. It was Christmas Around the World and everyone was supposed to bring traditional food from their heritage. Well, since we are one of the few who are NOT first or second generation immigrants, we had some spectacular food there, let me tell ya. (I wrote that and totally just realized that I AM a second generation immigrant. I'm blaming lack of sleep...) I got TWO heaping plates full (I was helping hold a twin, she was TO DIE FOR ADORABLE and Sterling was trying to feed our three kids, so I was just trying to get some food out there) and when I sat down Tricia kept asking me what things were. I did not know a single dish on my plate. But every single one of them was delicious. It was so much fun! (My piano solo, huge bust. I guess I don't play frequently enough to just pull out these outstanding pieces anymore. Sigh.) Also, my nanaimo bars turned out amazing and everyone liked them, so that was great since I spent so much time on that!
After church we had to pull out Charlie Brown Christmas, because that is a tradition Sterling will stick to, haha.
|Will when I said "say cheese!" hahaahaa|
|Molly's taken to wearing everyone else's shoes around. I love it.|
Look at these next few photos. I am DYING:
Can there BE a more painful 'cheese' face?!?! HAAHAA I love looking at those over and over and over again!
On to Christmas Eve. When they changed Sterling's shift and we decided to contact Santa and have Christmas a few days early, it felt a little crazy just because it was so soon and it's hard to just suddenly jump out of the anticipation and into the 'this is happening right now!' But it was just perfect. We had such a great night. I tried making hoagie buns for Sterling, gluten free, which was a huge bust, but I did manage a loaf of bread that he really enjoyed! We had our traditional hoagie meal (after Ruth and I watched Little Women that afternoon--tradition!) and then we had the nativity:
|Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.|
|Molly got a little obsessed with having this blanket 'burritoed' (Will's term) around her just right. There was a LOT of screeching when it fell/got pulled off. Wowza, I'm still sometimes amazed at the lungs on that girlie.|
|Aww, he found the Joseph! Just like me, mom!|
We started sibling gifts this year. They picked them out for each other, under four dollars, under the direction of a separate parent. They LOVED what they got each other. I was thinking, wow, for 8 bucks why did we do anything else for Christmas?!?! Haha. Ruth got a tiny Anna figurine and Will got a ninja turtle that squirts water.
On to the pinnacle of Christmas Eve excitement--Christmas pjs!
|Ruth looks adorable here.|
|All three semi looking.|
|Will is adorable here.|
|Molly yelling "YAY" as she runs out of the photo. Haha.|
The goods that we came down to Christmas morning! I was true to my word with Sterling and wrapped every single thing we'd bought for him since September even though he'd used them all! HAHA! Our tiny little mini-tree looks dwarfed by presents!
Waking daddy up. Yes, he was in Will's bed. So Ruth woke up at like 2:45am and asked if we could go downstairs (we'd warned her SEVERAL times she had to come into our room BEFORE going downstairs). We said it was too early, so she crawled in bed with us. Then Molly started to cry and woke Will up, so Will got in bed with us while Sterling went to calm her down. I guess Sterling decided that Will's bed was a better option after that than ours, which already had three people. Haha!
Awww, the excitement! I thought it was so adorable that they were so happy about their stockings that they had to have everything opened, out of the container and actually PLAYED with before they even moved on to presents! Sterling and I were getting antsy before they were even ready!
|This. This made a dream come true.|
|We were the recipients of some secret santa gifts, which we saved to put under the tree. This was one of them. And, I might add, it was SPOT ON!|
|Molly wouldn't let go of the box so we could get her stacking cups out, haha.|
|Will's secret santa gift. He is enthralled with the BIG RED tongue in the chomping mouth. Haha.|
|Pez in the stockings! It never gets old.|
|Molly's face in this one. Thanks for the remote, grandma R! She dances to the music like CRAZY. (And we might be taking out the batteries...)|
|Will got a car rug and matchbox cars. He was in HEAVEN. Especially because the matchbox cars had a boat. Haha.|
Sterling made my dreams come true and got me an electric skillet. We have a griddle and I guess I complain enough about not having sides and a lid to cook a whole bunch of things at once---we used it right after opening presents and I am already in love! Best present ever!
|This music box is adored. Absolutely adored.|
|Santa found the absolute SOFTEST stuffed animal in existence. It was worth the search! She loves it just as much as the puppets at library story time, which makes me SOOO happy!|
So they spent a good amount of time playing with the tiny little toys they got in their stockings (their stockings mostly had tiny boxes of sugary cereal and boxes of animal crackers. Oh, and the traditional tooth brush.) and then all the sudden Will spies the presents under the tree and yells "A CHICKEN!" and runs over to play with the kitchen. Sterling and I were laughing SO HARD. I have to say, I think Santa's elves did a pretty superb job on that toy kitchen. They've already been playing with it so much!
|I don't know what they're playing with, but you can see the toy kitchen behind them.|
|Terrible photo, Sterling got new guitar picks!|
|Molly's face in the background!|
Santa did not disappoint! A doll with red hair and brown eyes just like Ruthie! They even got matching ballerina outfits! To top it all off she got to wear her new "lipstick" from her stocking and the crown and earrings and necklace and shoes from Grandma R. She has been decked to the nines all day, let me tell ya. I just LOOOVE looking at that picture. Ruthie heaven, right there.
Due to a really INSANELY great sale, I got a two dollar set of two Fisher Price princesses for each kid. I thought that Molly was about the age Ruth was when she played with those a lot, so it would be nice to revamp our supply. I TOTALLY forgot that our princess castle plays different songs for every princess you put on it, but Sterling didn't! We pulled it out and got to listen to each new princesses song as she danced on the castle. Unexpected bonus!
|Poor Sterling worked at 4am on our Christmas Eve, so had been up at 330am, stayed up until midnight--playing Pandemic, so his choice, but still--and then up again at 6am. This was about how he felt after the present opening festivities!|
|A doll, shoes, and a purse. All set!|
Bridget and Cade got us an AMAZING bike rack for our van that I am SOO SOO SOO excited about. Unluckily, it's not quite right for our vehicle. So until we get that sorted out, we decided to go on a bike ride just around our neighborhood. We ended up going pretty far to one of my favorite parks, let the kids out to play, then came home where everyone was so exhausted they all went to sleep. Except Ruth, who is making me so happy by playing with all of her new Christmas gifts with all of her childhood excitement at a level 10 still!
This was right when I was figuring out that Molly (who I thought was stinky, but upon changing her realized she wasn't) was indeed not stinky, but had stepped in DOG POO and it was now ALL OVER MY SHORTS from holding her!!!!! It was, luckily, not an indicator of how the rest of the afternoon would go.
|Always a good park day when you look that dirty by the end.|
It was a magical, beautiful, wonderful Christmas. I was a little worried how it would play out with JUST US (last year we had friends over, this year they were all out of town or had family in town). But it has actually been really fun. The kids are so much fun and are old enough to just play and play and play. We had enough things on our 'fun activities' list to keep us more than occupied---we even plan on going to see some lights tonight---and we feel so loved by friends and family and all the gifts, calls, and everything else that they've done for us. Merry Christmas everyone!