This Christmas seemed a lot different from others in the past. For one thing, family all around us had been sick and we didn't even know if we would make it to VA to be with our family! So we were ever so thankful when Christmas Eve found us all happy and healthy and spending the night at my parents' house.
Secondly, for some reason this seemed to be the first Christmas that Karis and Karlie really remembered all our traditions and were incredibly excited about everything. They had been talking about opening a present on Christmas Eve, making cookies, doing the gingerbread house, and especially the stockings that Grandma and Papa fill each Christmas. We were informed that Papa does a better job with stockings than we do because he leaves things sticking out of the top so they can peek and because he gives more candy :) So they were super excited about Christmas morning, more than ever before.
Christmas day dawned bright and early for us... At 5am, we heard the big girls trying to go downstairs to see if Papa was up. Mark quickly intercepted them and instructed them to stay in their room til we opened their door. We didn't hear them again until about 7:45, which we deemed a much more acceptable time. We went downstairs and waited for the excitement but it seemed that they had forgotten about stockings and went straight for the kitchen table where they knew Grandma always (regardless of whether it is a holiday or not) leaves a fun sticker page for them to do while Papa cooks breakfast. They began excitedly doing their sticker page and we had to actually call them into the living room to see what their grandparents had left out for them!
Once in the living room, they had hilarious tunnel vision. All they noticed at first was the fancy Belle doll, then the cat hiding under the table, and then they saw their pink art tables and had to immediately race them to the dining room table to do them! They did not even notice their beloved stockings that they had been talking about for weeks or the humongous stuffed purple unicorn under the tree! It was so funny. We let them play with their art sets for while and then asked if they had forgotten about their stockings. Then the fun chaos really began! (And Abbi slept through the whole thing... we did her stocking later.)
Giving Papa a well-deserved hug. Grandparents are ever so generous!
Christmas morning family photo... please excuse my lack of make-up and Abbi's confused scowl. She was barely awake and couldn't figure out what all the excitement was about.
Daddy had to curl up in th sleeping bag and show them how it worked...
Al the girls got poofy clips for their hair and were very excited about it:
They ere super excited about Daddy's humongous present (a very cool wheelbarrow).
Karis was excited about some shiny boots (and I was, too, because she had been wanting to wear her rainboots all winter!)
Helping Grandma open her present:
Abbi opened some books and immediately crawled up in a chair and started reading them to Grandma:
Abbi LOVED her Hello Kitty pillow/ bokbag
Annual ChristmasTree photo after finally getting dressed...
Then we headed up to Nina and Papa's house! Unfortunately, we didn't take as many pictures there, but these will have to do:
Abbi having fun with Jack!
An exciting surprise for Mark? Never happened before... (my husband is really hard to surprise)
But I did it! An original paining from a favorite friend. He was so surprised :)
Eating dinner with the other big girls
Uncle Jay made them a huge fort in Nina and Papa's basement! Yes, it goes all the way back... We didn't see much of the big girls for the rest of the day because they were so excited about their fort!