The baptism and baby blessing were on the morning of Christmas Eve. After we got done cleaning at the church, we did a little bit of song practice for singing in sacrament meeting. Then we headed home for dinner, cookies, and ice cream. The kids got to decorate sugar cookies, eating most and saving a few for Santa. Weston wouldn't eat any of the cookies, but he made sure to put tons of sprinkles on for Santa. I think his cookies are the ones pictured below.
Then it was time for the cousin gift exchange and opening new PJ's. The gift exchange went pretty well... until it was Weston's turn. He was so excited to open his gift, but when he saw a plush angry bird, he started bawling and threw it aside, saying, "I don't like the birds!" He only likes the green pigs in Angry Birds. Luckily Owen received a really cool knit pig hat and gave it to Weston, taking the red bird that Weston didn't want. Weston did get a book that he likes, and he does like the red bird now too. He just didn't think he wanted it at the time! We were all laughing at his raw, unfiltered emotion, although I felt sorry for the cousin who picked out the gift for him (I think it was Evelyn). The kids all did a big group hug after the gift exchange.
Somehow we managed to get the kids to bed every night, although by "we" I mean someone else. I probably helped get the kids in bed once while we were there (too busy doing other things). I think the guys had to do most of that work, and it was pretty crazy in that bunk room! Anyway, the kids woke up to lots of presents under the tree in the media room, but they weren't allowed to open anything until AFTER church.
We had a nice church service, filled with musical numbers. The kids all sang "Away in a Manger", which turned out to be funny and adorable at the same time. Eli had the microphone because he sang a solo for the first verse. Then all the kids joined in on the chorus. Eli was supposed to set the microphone down after his solo verse, but he held onto it the whole song! He didn't sing through the parts he didn't know, but when it came to the chorus, the part "Asleep, asleep...", he belted that out!
Some of the adults sang a musical number right after the kids song. Mom, Dad, Sam, Audrey, Mike, Alison, Micah, Ashley, and I sang an arrangement of "Once Within a Lowly Stable", with Carrie as our pianist. It was fun to sing with my family again.
Once we got back from church, it was time to open presents. The kids sorted out the presents, and once everyone had their own pile, we let them loose. I have no idea what anyone else got - I just tried to keep up with my kids.
Here they are with a before picture:
I didn't get a shot of each of their piles, but this is a few things they got:
Nathan got a Soccero game, Amazon Echo Dot, and a couple other things. Jared got a watch, Lego set, and sleeping bag. Owen got a Lego set, walkie talkies, and Pokemon cards. Weston got a couple of Lego sets and plush green pig. Savannah got a mermaid doll, doodle board, and a few other things.
Nathan wanted an X-box for Christmas... We gave him a box with an X on it as a joke! Ha ha. We didn't give in on the X-box yet.
A special extra delivery came in the afternoon, from one of Santa's helpers, who drove in on my parents' mule with presents in the back.
The kids were pretty excited! I love the cowboy boots that Santa's helper is wearing! Gotta love Texas.
Our birthday party for Jesus didn't turn out quite as planned - it's hard to light candles and keep them lit outside (too much wind). But we got a few lit and enjoyed the cupcakes. Traditionally we do a spiritual candlelight reading of the Christmas Story, but that didn't happen either. We ended up singing and dancing instead!
It was memorable!