We got to Mom's and Dad's on Thursday afternoon, and got to hang out before everyone else started getting here yesterday afternoon. The family is getting big- 15 of us now! - and we're so excited that everyone was together to celebrate Christmas this morning!
Bret got to shoot his bow (early Christmas present) for the first time!
Jack the Elf was already back from his visit to the North Pole. He was busy taping toilet paper streamers across the boys' bedroom door to remind them not to come out. Lydia and Kelley decided to help him out and made toilet paper streamers across the entrance to the living room, too. (Having an Elf on the Shelf around is fun!)
The rule at Mom's and Dad's is that no kids can go into the living room or see the tree/presents/stockings until everyone has gotten up and eaten breakfast. I remember when we were growing up, the four of us would end up in one bedroom, sitting by the door, staring at the clock. It always seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Then when it was finally time, Mom would put a blanket over all of our heads and lead us to the tree. Dad would spin us around a couple of times, yank the blanket off, and we'd go hog-wild. That part was cool - finally seeing what had been so anxiously anticipated. I know the kids kind of hate it right now, but really its fun. And I really like for them to experience that intense anticipation - that's part of what Christmas is all about.
Here they are waiting - dressed and ready to go, eating breakfast on a picnic blanket in their bedroom.