Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

During the morning/afternoon of December 24th, we spent some time prepping foods for not only that night's dinner, but also for Christmas morning breakfast. Jane helped me make our traditional whole wheat and spelt cinnamon rolls, and since a few of us didn't feel well after our junkie thanksgiving day breakfast, we thought we should probably start Christmas with some real foods before we dug into our cinnamon rolls, so we also made an egg casserole which was delicious and I think will become another Christmas tradition. I love Jane's cute little Christmas Eve dress in the picture below, and my hoodie and jeans :), yep, that's typically how things go around here :).

Once both dishes were all prepped and ready, we covered them and stuck them in the fridge. When we woke up we pulled both dishes out, preheated the oven, opened stockings, put the eggs in, and then opened gifts while it cooked.

Christmas Eve we had the missionaries over for dinner again; we loved having them with us last year and so it was nice to have them again. We made stromboli for dinner, each adult rolled out their own pizza dough and put whatever toppings they wanted inside. 

 After dinner we baked sugar cookies (we made the dough earlier on in the day),
 and then we acted out the Nativity. Scott decided to let our rocking horse be the donkey this year (it's typically dad's job :)), and Scott was Joseph.

 Our frightened shepherd upon seeing the angels.
 Our wise men.

 Jane was baby Jesus; she's a bit big for a baby but she had her heart set on the role.

 Nora was supposed to be a sheep, but she didn't really go along with the program :). And I was the narrator.
 The elders were over from about 430-730pm; they got permission to stay longer since we had several things planned for the evening(same as last year...and apparently the elders in the area talk about 'Christmas Eve at the Smith's' in a bragging sort of way, which makes me feel like they enjoy it :)).
 Once they took off everyone got ready for bed, we put the two little girls down and the older kids went to bed around 9. Scott and I had wrapped all the gifts before hand (too many to wrap all on Christmas Eve and still feel cheerful :)), and they were sitting in our closet in big boxes, so once everyone was asleep we pulled those out, set up the new digital piano and the portable soccer goals,

 stuffed all the stockings (each person got an art project with their stocking), and were in bed by 11pm. We slept okay, I think I only stirred once, which is an improvement from years past. I try not to think about it too much, the family seeing their new fun things, before I go to bed, because if I do, I'm up for hours!
 The three oldest got watches in their stockings. Since they're in school and piano, and watch the time when mom's late, which is kind of normal, I felt like they should each have one. I didn't get them anything expensive, I think I spent around $30 for all three, but they do what we want them to do.

 As Elisabeth walked out of her room in the morning and down the stairs, she spotted the new digital piano and unknowingly passed her stocking because she was focused on the piano. That was and still is the favorite gift for the kids. We keep both pianos on the main floor level and we got this second piano for a couple of reasons, 1.) we have three kids who practice daily and so it'll be nice to have two be able to practice at the same time and 2.) A digital piano has a volume control and we can plug in headphones so they can practice when Nora and others are sleeping.

One of my favorite/surprise gifts were these homemade perfume balm/lotions from Scott made with essential oils, beeswax and jojoba oil. I also love my essential oil diffuser, and my new kitchen appliances from our parents (immersion blender and belgian waffle maker).

 I went for a jog that morning and then the Elder's came over in the early afternoon; they got permission to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and wanted to watch it at our house, so we started that movie after we played outside for a bit. While watching I remembered that I really don't like that movie very much. Most of it is pretty depressing, until the very end for like 2 seconds...not really a happy feel good Christmas movie.
I love baked Brie! We made it when we had our work party, and I decided to make it again on Christmas day, but a smaller version, using the triangle brie so that I wouldn't eat so much :). It's fabulous with apple slices and crackers.
 Annabelle got started on painting her russian nesting dolls right away.
 Charles got in his new BYU jersey and took his new football outside to throw around.
 The three oldest and Scott, all got BYU clothing, one item a piece. Everyone got new clothes as one of their three gifts.
 Scott got some workout items(weights and clothes) and some things for his guitar (picks, new strings and a digital tuner) and the Mormon Guitar cd his friend Ben Howington has out at Deseret Book...which he says was his favorite 'surprise gift'.
 For dinner that night, Scott and I made tamales. This is a dinner I had for Christmas many times growing up since my dad is from Mexico. I remember my sister's Mom, Charmaine, who also married someone from Mexico, would make tamales and bring them over, or we'd all sit down around the table and work on them together. It takes a long time to make tamales so Christmas is the perfect day to put it all together because you have the family home to help put masa in each corn husk and lots of time at home to steam them for the hour and 30 minutes they require. They are SO worth it! For the filling we put chicken in half and mozzarella and jalapeno slices in the other half. So yummy!
 All of us have been having fun with the new piano and all it's sounds and features. I love that it will record songs and do a playback and allow you to transfer the on an SD card. We also got a boom stand microphone for Christmas since Elisabeth (and hopefully the other kids in the near future) like to sing while they play in front of audiences. I can pack up the boom stand and plug it in at our church chapel, bringing it up to the piano, which will be convenient.
 Christmas night it started to snow and by the next morning we had several inches. We walked down to a hill at a park near our house and went sledding for a couple of hours. So fun! Though after going over one bump/jump I decided it'd be best to avoid future jumps on the hill as I'm in my thirties now and you feel things more when you land :).
Having Scott home for this week was wonderful! Cooking, cleaning, sledding, shopping all of it together was so nice! I loved all the extra time we got to spend together. I'm so grateful to have him as my eternal companion. I am so grateful for our little family and for our Savior Jesus Christ who made eternal families possible! I'm grateful for his birth, his life and for his sacrifice. What an amazing gift! Just knowing that we have a loving heavenly father and brother, who care for us, who help us become better, and who have a plan for us, is such a comfort. Merry Christmas!

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