Christmas has come and gone and now we are in those cozy little days leading up to new year's day. Time for organizing, reviewing, thinking, and somewhere a little resting.
Just about everyone was healthy in time for Christmas, all but Rachel. We started the festivities with our traditional Christmas Eve dinner in the living room:
We did watch our Narnia film and I did stay up wrapping until 12:30 a.m.
The kids were up at 7:30 for their stockings and Michael and I pulled ourselves out of bed around 8.
We had our traditional breakfast of tea ring, fruit salad, and bacon-wrapped sausages. This year I figured out how to make a gluten-free tea ring!!!! (I used a Bob's Red Mill pizza crust kit to make the dough and just followed my normal tea ring recipe to put it together.)
My mom came over sometime after 9 and joined in the present-opening.
We always begin with Luke 2 and then Michael distributes the presents.
Andrew LOVED this shirt.
Here's James sporting his new hat from a friend and his awesome knight's necklace.
Laura got a "new" doll from Grandma complete with cozy clothes Grandma sewed for her.
She also received several baby buntings and a little rabbit for her baby dolls.
The kids were each assigned one of their siblings to buy a present for. Andrew bought James a magnifying lamp to use for all his special art projects.
Grandma made the three youngest children "Pooh Bear tea" baskets complete with a Christmas mug, cinnamon shaker, honey bear and candy. (Now I'm trying to find places for extra mugs, honey bears and cinnamon shakers which seem to have multiplied everywhere!)
Laura had been wrapping up things in the weeks leading up to Christmas and this was my pile -- several pennies and some sticky notes and something else....all things that belonged to her which she was willing to give away. :)
The present announcer:
Andrew's new favorite shirt: "You just be yourself and I'll be awesome"
Here are the couch dwellers:
Laura certainly had a lovely Christmas -- see that miniature teaset for her dollhouse and the wicker chair for her dollies and the new pink Moses basket!
And her very own Velveteen Rabbit!!!! (more on these handmade gifts in a later post)
Soon Laura had set up a tea party for her animals in the kitchen:
Andrew was thrilled to receive a monitor for his laptop and had it up and running as fast as he could!
The kids designed a Lego Christmas tree complete with presents and snowmen.
Here is Miss Polly and mommy in our plaid outfits!
I sat in my chair as long as time allowed but then it was time to throw the sausage rolls in the oven and pack up things for our traditional Christmas hike.
The weather was much warmer than last year! By probably 20 degrees at least!
It was a delightful walk in the woods!
Some happy hikers:
Our destination was the raccoon tree, hoping we might see some peek their heads out, but they didn't :(.
So we headed back and unpacked our afternoon picnic onto the picnic table.
All the Christmas Eve baking came into its own!
Hot tea or chocolate, homemade sausage rolls and as many cookies and chocolates as you could eat!
Oh and homemade marshmallows too!
Everyone enjoyed themselves!
Then it was back to Christina and JK's for the evening.
And a little present-stealing when no one was watching:
Christina had a beautiful table set!
The kids had their own table:
And John had wrapped up bags of candy for the kids.
The Christmas mice were on display:
A little winter scene:
And there were Italian Beef sandwiches with salads for dinner! Delicious!
After dinner we all opened our stockings (which is what we do now instead of exchanging gifts).
This is one of my favorite tea cozies. Must make some more sometime.....
And set it on fire!
It was so good! Surely it was the best yet?!
We ended the evening with a game of pictionary involving adults and children.
And the next day I just sat, and sat, and sat! :)