Friday, December 25, 2015


We hoped and hoped that Ruby would be home for Christmas, and we got our wish. It was so nice to have all of us together for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! Ruby's counts were too low for her to go to church on Christmas Eve, but we still drove around and looked at lights together and celebrated in all of our other traditional ways.
Eli and Maddux got to sing in the Christmas Eve service, so they got all dressed up. Had to take some pictures, because they looked so fabulous and way too old. After we got sushi take-out (might be a new tradition!) and looked at lights, the kids got dressed in their PJ's (matching ones from Grandma Cathie, their favorite tradition) and they opened their gifts to each other.
The morning of was fun: seeing Ruby come down and find what Santa left was a treat. She got a crawl-thru tunnel and two hands-on toys. She (and Eli and Maddux) dove right into the tunnel.
I set up a Jesus scavenger hunt the night before, so after they got Santa gifts, we steered them towards putting Jesus in the manger (which we typically do before anything else). When they went to the drawer to get Him, I had our "Keep Calm And Find Jesus" ornament in there with the first clue. They had to work together to find the next clue based on the card (sometimes it was a verse or something that rhymed or whatever worked for me at the moment of me writing them out :). The hunt had some ups and downs, but in the end they got it and it was something we will hopefully do each year.
We had our traditional breakfast of dutch babies....the kids insisted. Presents and playing ensued. As far as gifts, Ruby loved the tearing into presents, but she had no real care for anything inside. It was so fun to hear her yelling in excitement as she ripped the paper, only to drop the box once she'd unwrapped it.

The only 'big' gift was ours to Maddux: she and I will see the Nutcracker at the Fox Theater tomorrow. She's been asking for about a year to go to the Fox (she's been once for one other gift), and this month she's been hitting hard with the request to see the Nutcracker. She was super excited when she opened that gift.
When Ruby went down for a nap, we all played "Clue"; it was the big kids' first time. They loved it and it was about an hour of fun and family....perfection.

My favorite memory from today was making dinner. Our 'tradiitional' Christmas dinner is homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Lehr and I made the meatballs yesterday morning, but the pasta itself is saved for the afternoon of, and the kids usually help.
Maddux was very into it, as expected, and Ruby participated as well. But her part was more of a 'grab and go' style: she would walk over to Maddux at the control center and look up at her with wide eyes. Maddux would give her a strand or two of (uncooked) pasta and Ruby would take off as she stuffed it into her mouth until she got to the back porch or it was gone, whichever came first.
Rinse and repeat.

We ended the day with a birthday cake for Jesus, something the kids have always had on this day. They asked for chocolate cake this year, which seemed to go over well with the rest of the clan.

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