Today is about our Savior being born perfect in the least perfect, humble setting there could almost possibly be. It's about how He was here before he became Jesus the baby, the man, our Savior. I wish to thank Him for my salvation and pray for everyone else who has not accepted the truly free gift that is offered. Happy Birthday Jesus.
Christmas this year was one of THE most incredible, THE most chaotic, THE loudest, and THE busiest, but I would do it all over again tomorrow. You see, it's the first time EVER we've had ALL our children AND grandchildren here for Christmas for an extended amount of time. Our small home was bursting at the seams with giggles, running little feet, oooos & aaaaahs, the calling of mama, dada, sissy, papa, nana, the sound of ripping paper, tears of joy and tears of sadness (when one child wasn't held quick enough), but most of all our home was filled with love today. There were no arguments, there were no unpleasantries to one another, it was incredible as I have said.
Our Christmas started on Christmas Eve. Alex came over after work and the whole gang headed to my in-laws, Papa Art & Grandma Judy. The ride out was probably the most emotional one with me being on edge knowing all that still needed done at home (I should've been called Martha right at that moment) and feeling lousy with a respiratory infection, Alex had a rough day at work, Carmen not feeling well, and all of us were in one vehicle traveling 45 minutes. After tears, hurt feelings, and apologies, we entered the home of the Verbeke family. There was a lot of laughter going on and since we were late everyone else had eaten. All of us dug in and ate, talked, laughed and then came present time. Zander hadn't opened anything but his small advent calendar gifts so he wasn't sure about these bigger items. Since he was the only little one at Christmas, he was the only one to receive gifts for unwrapping (everyone else received gifts envelopes). He is a meticulous opener! He tears off tiny piece by tiny piece, not allowing it to drop to the floor, NO, he has to find his daddy and hand him each piece until he is completely done. He loved his new drum set that also contained different musical instruments and also his dream lite penguin, which he loves!
After we arrived home the kids opened all their gifts from Alex. She went overboard on them this year, but they absolutely loved their items. Richie received a book & RC helicopter, Carmen received a yoga outfit, and Zander received a set of Mega Blocks. Tim received an IPOS shuffle and myself a gift certificate to Sephora. Alex was very upset, she had wanted a bunny for years, but had also asked for a mirror for her new apartment. So off on the hunt for her mirror I went for over 3 weeks. I couldn't find a thing to match her apartment and personality so last week we changed gears toward a bunny. Well, I scoured high and low, asking friends, searching Craigslist, trying private owners, etc. To no avail, I was unable to find a bunny in time for Christmas so she was disappointed. She has very high expectations on this rabbit mind you. It can't be very large, it has to have floppy ears, it cannot have pink eyes (she said they freak her out), it cannot be white, etc. etc. etc. (and she wondered why I haven't been able to find her bunny!). For Brandy's Christmas she wanted clothing so we went shopping a couple days for Christmas and purchased a lot of clothes.
We arrived home at almost 10 pm and by the time the kids were in bed it was 11. I wrapped gifts until almost 4 in the morning and while I usually wrap on Christmas Eve, I usually don't have SO many gifts to wrap, you see we were having all the kids full blown Christmas here, they weren't going anywhere else to open.
Zander was the first to awake at 7 am, seeing the gifts under the tree dumbfounded him, he wasn't at all sure where they came from. Next was Richie waking up and his mouth dropped when he saw how many gifts were under the tree. Next it was Carmen's turn to wake and because she wasn't feeling well, she wasn't moving fast enough for Zander so he had to go give her a bit of help waking up. Alex, asleep on the couch, actually slept through the whole morning unwrapping.
Carmen was extremely excited with everything because, as she put it, quote, "it was the first time I haven't peaked". She loved everything, but her favorite was her One Direction necklace and hoodie. Richie dug into his items next and his favorite thing (which he thought I couldn't get because they were sold out everywhere), was a Lego Ninjago Epic Dragon set. He wanted to know if I got the very last one (of course I did right?). Last but not least was Zander. In his epic Zander wrapping skills, it took him a LONG time to unwrap everything. He seems to enjoy his shake-up cars and Elmo microphone the most out of all his gifts.
Next all the grandkids came. Savannah LOVED her new Zinkies and different Squinkies items along with her Tinkerbell things. Kalya ripped through the wrapping paper and it seems her Potty Time Elmo is the favorite among her items. Sophia played opening the same present the whole time. Her definite favorite thing was these 3 little hand-held beans. Finally Savannah didn't have any rest in her hiney until Alex opened her presents of a necklace, Starbucks gift card and a Rabbit Starter Kit (has everything you need to start your pet off from bedding to cage).
Richie disappeared into his room for the remainder of the day to build his Legos. Carmen went back to bed since she was so tired, Savannah went into Carmen's room to play Squinkies and Kalya, Sophia, and Zander played, head-butted and ate the entire rest of the day. Watching Brandy with her little ones made my heart swell with pride for the mother she has become and is working on becoming. Zander was hooked at Tim's hiney and wouldn't allow him to go anywhere. The high point of contention is if anyone, even Carmen, tried to show affection to myself or Tim, Zander would have a fit! he has become quite possessive over the last month.
Papa Richie made an appearance in time to see all the littles and to open his gift. I love this man with all my heart, he is an incredible dad, uncle and grandpa. He recently remodeled his bathroom so he received all the trimmings to complete the look.
After a very long afternoon, everyone was back home at our house was empty by 4 pm. Time for a nap!, After 2 hours I woke up feeling miserable so our evening festivities at my sister Tina's home were cancelled until probably tomorrow. We spent a quiet evening at home watching Zander play with his toys. Richie was the social butterfly and is spending the night at our neighbors house to play with their grandsons. They are WAY too crazy for our small home, but he thoroughly enjoys his time playing with Ethan & Gabe.
Alex went home, Carmen, Tim & Zander are in bed and I'm about to sign-off on this posting since I can hardly keep my eyes open. I pray Zander will sleep in pretty late since I'm off work the rest of the week!
Sorry this posting is so mundane and in a timeline fashion, but my brain is very foggy and when I'm tired I get VERY wordy! Enjoy all the MANY, MANY, MANY photos!
Love to everyone and we pray everyone had a blessed Christmas.