We stayed at the lakehouse pretty late, so that by the time we got home, it was time set cookies and milk out for Santa, and then tuck the kids in to bed.
And then...Santa came!
He polished off his cookies and milk, and then wrote a letter to the kids.
Caroline made a small stocking for the big stuffed dog she hoped she'd get!
Here's the tree and presents before the kids came downstairs in the morning.
Just before the kids woke up and came downstairs, my parents came. So they were able to see the kids' excitement Christmas morning!
Henry and Seth opened stockings with Grandpa.
Moxie got a stocking full of candy cane bones, a very strangely shaped ball and a Christmas lights tug-of-war toy.
Here's Caroline with her stocking.
I snapped this picture just before the kids opened their presents...grandparents and grandchildren!
Santa did not dissappoint! Caroline got the big stuffed dog she wanted!
Seth got a lego Millenium Falcon.
Henry got an IPod Touch and case.
Evan was so excited about all of the Star Wars stuff he got.
Caroline also got a big make up case, and has been having lots of fun doing make overs on herself and her mom!
Another big hit was Caroline's Password Journal...
and Evan's Operation game that he "always wanted"!
Oh, and how could Santa resist? A Moxie girl for a Moxie girl!
The kids and I gave their daddy some new football cleats, a Wii remote charger, and a special photo album book that their Uncle Mark designed on Shutterfly.
Dave and the kids gave me a new set of luggage, a super warm Sherpa blanket, and a heated car seat. They all know that Mom is ALWAYS cold!
Here's our family posing in all of our Christmas chaos!
Underneath the Christmas tree, Henry played games on his new ITouch and Evan did the same on my (or as he sometimes thinks, HIS) IPhone.
One of MANY Beyblades tournaments on Christmas Day between my brother, Bill, Seth, Caroline and Dave
Moxie got a special present under the tree too...a huge bone that is almost as long as she is!
My sister, Karen, her husband, Jim, and their son Robbie came to celebrate with us too. They always give the kids special ornaments to commemorate something from the year, a little scroll describing the reason for the ornament and a little faith lesson. This year Evan got a baseball ornament, Caroline got a funny fish to remind her of her trip to the aquarium, Seth got a spaceship because he is the expert on all things space in our family, and Henry got a rat in honor of his being on the River Rat swim team!
Uncle Jim also picks out special books for the kids, and then writes inscriptions to the kids on the inside cover. Caroline was thrilled to get her third Knuffle Bunny book. That series has always been a favorie for her!
Then our nephew, Robbie opened his gifts...legos from Grandma and Grandpa, and a Diego game from us. Silly Moxie...don't open Robbie's gift!
Then we sat down to our Christmas dinner. Thanks for the yummy food, Mom and Dad!
Another Beyblades tournament...
and yet another! The competition was fierce between my brother and me!
Although there was some question as to who won, we still love each other! ;)
We had a brief scare when Dave told us that Moxie had run away. My parents stayed with the kids while Dave searched the neighborhood on foot, and I searched in my car. I drove down the streets she usually goes to when she gets away. With my windows open, I kept yelling loudly "Moxie, do you want to go bye-bye in the car?" I'm sure all of my neighbors appreciated that!
I spent about 5-10 minutes driving around, and it seemed like forever. I was near tears thinking of how awful it would be to lose our beloved pet on Christmas Day, and the immense pain that would cause our family. You can imagine my HUGE relief when I saw a flash of white running across a yard. The tears came when Moxie turned to see my car, and I could tell she recognized it. She came dashing across an intersection towards my car, excited to "go bye-bye". (It's crazy how we talk to her, I know.) I pulled into the intersection to ensure that she wouldn't get hit by another car, and then she leaped through the car door and into my arms. THANK GOD!
We ended the night by snuggling up to watch a movie together. The kids all fell asleep on their bean bags...
dreaming happy Christmas dreams...
and, in Caroline's case, snuggling with her favorite Christmas toys!
who even had breakfast with her the following morning!
Merry Christmas, everyone!