Lunch at Miss Molly's Tea Room with all of the M family girls - Grandma Alma treated us all and it was such a fun afternoon!
David wanted to start a new tradition of sleeping by the Christmas tree on the night before we opened our presents, so on the Wednesday night before Christmas, we did just that. A certain 4-year-old was just a little too keyed up about the whole experience, and was awake at 1:00 AM begging to open his presents. He stayed awake until sometime around 3:00, when we decided to give him a dose of Benadryl, which made him sleep until around 8 o'clock. At 7:30, while David and I were having our morning devotions by the light of the tree and a dimly lit lamp, he gazed lovingly down at our sleeping son and said, "At 3:00 this morning, I was convinced that we would never do this again, but right now I think it's a fabulous idea!"
After Yikealo opened his presents, we packed up and moved into Mom and Dad M's house for the remainder of the weekend. We had a marvelous time playing games, singing, having great conversations and eating lots and lots of good food. Yikealo had the chance to sleep in the basement with all of his boy cousins, which he thought was just great.
Notice the truly lovely face that Mr. Y is making in this photo. That's pretty much what we get if we tell him that we want to get his picture. Here are some other gems that he insisted on showing us:
On Wednesday of last week, we packed up again and drove to Mom and Dad W's house, where we had several long, relaxing days. On New Year's Eve, Mom had a birthday party for my brother Doug, my sister Erica and her husband Chris, all of whom have birthdays in December.
On New Year's Day David and I celebrated our 16th anniversary, and my family also celebrated Christmas. Everyone came in time for lunch and later that afternoon after naps for the babies, we opened the mountain of presents. There are 14 grandchildren - ages 9 and under (with three of them not even 1 yet) - so things can get fairly chaotic at times, to say the least! Here's a picture of the whole family:
Lots of presents:
Zavier, Ashton and Malia in their new dress-up clothes: (You can tell that these kids belong in our family - we spent HOURS playing dress-up when we were little!)
David and Yikealo enjoying a little quiet time:
We played lots of games: Quirkle, Five Crowns, Settlers of Catan, and Pictionary.
All in all, it was a fantastic Christmas, but like I said earlier, it's good to be back to our version of normal. On Monday morning when he came to wake me up, the first words out of Yikealo's mouth were: "Mom, are we done with Christmas, or do I still get to open more presents?" He pouted briefly when I told him we were all done, which gave me a good chance to talk to him about some imporant things like being thankful, not coveting, and thinking of others. We counted up the presents that he's received from teachers, grandparents, cousins and us this year - somewhere around 15. Then we talked about how his birthmom and his new little brother or sister in Ethiopia probably didn't even have enough to eat while he was opening so many presents. I think that I got through, because when I was done talking, he looked at me and said, "You're right, Mama - I DON'T need anything else. Who should I give my stuff to? Should I give it to Quinn?" I told him that he didn't need to give away his new things, but that he needed to have a thankful attitude and that he should always be ready to share what he has. We'll see how long that lasts...