Christmas Eve was awesome this year.
It started off with a rare sugar cereal breakfast (that I left out for the kids) along with a note telling them they could have two bowls and watch a show (and let us sleep in!).
I think they ate the whole box... and they also let Kevin and I sleep in until 10:30am. Ryan slept in and then read books in his crib until we got him. He never called out or asked for us to come get him. Amazing!
LOVE these kids and man did all that sleep feel good. We were up until 2am wrapping presents last night so it was needed.
Once we got up I went running and ran an errand or two while Kev played with the kids and got them making his annual candy cane cookies. He made them growing up and LOVES them, so of course the kids love them now too!
Then I had the kids take turns joining me in "Santa's workshop" to wrap the presents they bought for one another the other night. Santa's workshop is awesome because you wrap presents and eat treats. They were all big fans of that activity :) Ryan mostly ate his treat while I wrapped his presents... but he was there for moral support.
I rounded out the afternoon by organizing Catie's room for a few hours. I re-organized Ryan's room last week and Andrew's room yesterday so now everyone's rooms feel prepared for a few new toys tomorrow!
(Here's a sneak peak of Andrew's room from yesterday. I should've taken before photos, but his room was such a disaster I couldn't bear to do it. We also moved his furniture around to make space for a new gift he is getting tomorrow.)
Around 5pm we headed out to dinner at a favorite local Mexican restaurant. The food was so yummy and the kids were so darling. It is so nice to not have to bring any entertainment for them and just sit and chat together and have everyone be well behaved (though goofy).
I'll blame it on the baby and my 4 mile run earlier today... but I ate every single bite of my two cheese enchiladas. They were so good!
After dinner we did a few cookie deliveries and then we went home.
We kicked off our evening festivities with new Christmas jammies. Catie is looking forward to next year when she'll have a matching buddy to dress up with.
Then we ate candy cane cookies and read a few of our favorite Christmas stories while we drank hot cocoa. The two favorite stories for tonight were The Christmas Train and The Miracle of the Wooden Shoes.
The kiddos also helped us use the many nativities we have around the house to retell the story of the first Christmas.
After that the kids exchanged their siblings gifts. They were SO CUTE about it. They did a really good job finding gifts for each other that were the "perfect" gifts so there was a lot of jumping and smiling and thanking. I loved watching how excited they were for each other. They got to play with their new toys for a bit and then we got everyone's teeth brushed.
We ended the night doing our scripture advent that we've been slowly doing all month. You are supposed to read different scriptures each night, but we only managed to do it 2-3 nights per week this month so had several to catch up on. Each of the scriptures in the advent teaches about different characteristics of Christ. Andrew is a very enthusiastic scripture reader so we let him read a lot and then Catie would "help" read by repeating different sections. While we read our advent candle burned... which of course is the highlight of the scripture reading time... especially because everyone wants a turn to blow it out.
Tonight we read several really great stories about Christ and his life and it was fun to sit around together and talk about the miracles he did. Catie and Andrew get goofy and break into song singing their favorite primary song "Jesus is the God of miracles" whenever we read about some of the miracles mentioned in the song. It really brings such a sweet spirit into our home.
We ended the night by putting everyone to bed... and then getting visited several more times by the big kids... then remembering we forgot to put out cookies & milk & carrots... so we did that... and now we are hopeful everyone is asleep!
We wrapped all of the gifts last night, so tonight we just have a few things to set up. If we manage to get to bed before midnight it might be a Christmas miracle!
Although we have missed spending Christmas Eve with extended family this year we have really enjoyed the time together as just our little family too.
Merry Christmas Eve!