Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas Is Over

As my grandfather would say, "Well, Christmas is over!" He would always say this as soon as his last gift was opened. At our family Christmas gatherings he was always the last to open presents and when he was finished he would declare Christmas over. I have found myself smiling fondly several times in the last week as I have declared Christmas over, as it reminds me of him - he passed away 11 years ago New Year's Eve. I said it when we opened our last present. I said it again when we ate the last piece of Christmas cake, when the outside decorations were taken down, when the inside decorations were taken down and finally when the last piece of fudge was eaten.

We had a wonderful holiday. We stayed home and kept is simple. We had very few places we had to be and just got to hang out as a family and catch up on things around the house. Michael had 10 straight days at home! I told him we need to win the lottery (which would mean we would have to actually buy lottery tickets) so we could both stay home full time. It made parenting four kids seem manageable. It also made me remember what kind of mom I used to be when there were fewer kids, fewer activities and few responsibilities. I was actually Super Cool Mommy, well at least on occasion. It felt good.

So what did we actually do?

We ate out way too much and mostly pizza and mexican food. The best was Shady Grove where I had awesome enchiladas. They are not on the menu but apparently always have them. They were brisket enchiladas, corn tortillas filled with brisket and cheese and topped with chili and more cheese. Not exactly low calorie but very, very yummy. I highly recommend them.

We went to church on Christmas Eve. Well, Michael, Ruby, Eliza Claire and Rehm did. I worked getting the animals and people set up for the live nativity we had between services. Charlotte spiked a fever due to a sinus infection and had to stay with Grandpa. She was very upset not to get to wear her Christmas dress, but was mollified when I told her she could wear her new Christmas PJs (thanks Dallas, Cathi and Griffin).

After church several couples who all have small children got together for dinner. It is such a fun time with all the kids running around excited about celebrating Jesus' birthday and singing happy birthday to Him. They have a great time and so do their parents. Fortunately for us, unfortunately for our friends that host, their son also had a fever and nasty nose so they and the other families were OK if Charlotte came as well. She was so glad to get to come to the party she didn't even notice that she was the only one in PJs.

Then it was home to get ready for Santa. We left out fudge and milk for Santa and spread reindeer food in the front yard (oatmeal mixed with glitter). Then it was off to bed for four very tired kiddos.

Christmas Day Rehm and Charlotte were in our room at 6:45. We were all waiting for Ruby and Eliza Claire to wake up. At 7:00 we decided it was time to wake the little girls as the big kids were getting very antsy and it seemed cruel to make them wait any longer. Ruby was sleepy but more than happy to get up. Eliza Claire on the other hand wanted no part of Christmas morning if it meant waking up already.

The wrapped presents are from family not Santa

Santa has indeed visited and the kids were delighted with what he brought and all the other presents they received from their parents and other family members. Grandma and Grandpa came over to watch the kids open their presents and have breakfast (stolen, breakfast casserole, and pecan rolls). We spent most of the day hanging out in our PJs playing with all the new toys. Eventually we decided to put on some real clothes and venture to the playground at Rehm's school to get some energy out. We had planned on making a 7 cheese lasagna for dinner but decided we would rather hang out with the kids than cook. So our Christmas dinner consisted of mac and cheese and frozen pizza. The kids of course loved it.

After Christmas we took a couple of days to just hang out and recuperate. Then on Friday we went to Sea World with our friends the Weatherbys. They children the same age as Rehm and Charlotte and then a 2 1/2 year old. The kids had a blast and so did their parents.

Rehm talked to a diver from the shark exhibit about what they do and what kind of education and skills you need to work there. Did you know that if you want to be an animal trainer the best degrees to have are psychology or education? For other areas zoology or biochemistry are good. We also saw a giant pacific octopus while we were there. We've all seen the exhibit many, many times but this was the first time the octopus was where we could find him. He was out on the glass of his tank and started moving around it was fascinating.

Several rides and shows later it was time to call it a day.

We also got to see our friends the Wevodaus and Olney at Zilker Park. We took the kids to play at the play ground and for a ride on the Zilker Zephyr. And of course there was visiting with everyone on New Years Eve.

And those are the highlights of our holidays. I hope your holidays were as wonderful as ours were.


Cici said...

You brought back some really good memories, thanks!

Thought you would freeze that last piece of Christmas cake for me.

Rehm, what is the 'white stuff' hanging out of your stocking? Could it be socks!

Cathi_in_TX said...

Sounds like you had a great Christmas vacation!! Loved seeing the kids in their pjs.