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Today is going to be a nice winding down day....I really am so thankful that I don't have that big Christmas Crash. You know that feeling (at least I do from past years)...the one you don't really want to admit, but you do feel somewhat let down, disappointed, empty after the big hype of opening presents, running around to please everyone but yourself and your family (who should matter the most). This year....I am thankful that we did not overextended ourselves with gift buying and over scheduling our visits.

On Christmas Eve, the kids get to open one present. It usually is the present that their siblings bought for them. I have to say.....they really looked like they truly loved each other during that time. (*insert a snicker)

We went to bed fairly early after watching A Christmas Story and stuffing our faces with every imaginable kind of food. (thoughts of needing Tums for Josh's stocking was an after-thought)

This Christmas morning, we woke up at a nice acceptable time of 7:00. Unlike, in the years passed when the kids would wake up at 4:00AM which was approximately 2 hours after we normally got to bed. This causing us to be in zombie mode for the entire Christmas Day festivities. We were released from the late night scrambling for batteries, constructing of bikes and other "easy set-up" toys that required a degree in engineering.

No, we woke up fairly refreshed and alert......we actually could have slept in a little longer, but Mufasa was licking Josh's face at 6:50 to go out. This was a gift in itself, rather than waking up to a puddle or worse.....stepping in another kind of present.

Now that Josh was awake, he decided to walk around the house HO HO HO-ing in his best Santa voice and waking everyone up. I love seeing all our little "creations" (as we loving call them)....stumble in the room, one by one with Don King hair and half open eyes.

We sat around and the kids opened their presents and it was the best gift to see all the smiles. As much as we know Christmas is about Our Savior's birth.....we felt so happy to be able to have them get some of the things on their lists.

Favorite presents were

N- we scored a used GabeCube system with a Sonic game. Now there will be no more lock-picking going on to get into E's room for a quick game.

E- china and splash cymbals for his drumkit....(I know, what were we thinking??)

H- some "shrig rig" thingamajig (no clue) but it goes to his HV20 video camera and apparently he is very cool to have one now and this will bring him to new heights with his film-making.

G-we pitched in with Grandma/Poppy and got him an X-Box 360. We really tried not to get sucked into the world with video games and systems, but it was the only thing on his list.

and Mufasa- a nice dog bed for our bedroom, instead of the blanket that gets kicked around. Granted he has to curl himself in a ball to fit completely on it....but it was the largest one they make.

We then had a big breakfast compliments of Josh.....scrambled egg wraps with all kinds of good stuff in them like mushrooms, onions and bacon. Thankfully I have been living in yoga pants for the past week, as he has been cooking these kinds of breakfasts every morning since taking his mini vacation this Christmas. Sometimes you hear about when husbands are home, they mess up your everyday routine....well mine messes up fitting into any sort of pants with a snap and zipper.

We later packed up and headed over to both sides of the family for more eating and hanging out. Again it was really nice to not be bogged down with extra bags of "stuff"....instead, we left with a few baskets of homemade treats,good memories and probably a few more pounds added on. The kids did get a few extra presents which were all awesome practical gifts. N got a new coat and snow boots that she desperately needed and H got a couple of film making books that he has been eyeing on Amazon. G got a gift card to buy another X-box game and E got a double bass pedal for his drumkit (because what "practical" drummer doesn't have the heavy metal sound of double bass?)

Josh and I got some very nice practical gifts.....grocery store $$$, a gift certificate to our favorite restaurant and some movie passes. *very* practical.......children need to eat to be happy and healthy......and parents need to have our scheduled "date" nights to keep everyone happy and healthy. ;)

We also got this fantastic present from Josh's brother......it was Psalm 127 matted and framed. What a POWERFUL scripture.....and such a thoughtful gift that is priceless. We read it before we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus (N and I made a quick carrot cake this morning, thanks to Duncan Hines).

We were home at a decent time and caught the tail end of A Christmas Story again. Gotta love the marathons on TBN or USA network. N now has Flick's cry for help perfected.

So I guess today will be a nice winding down day (I cannot say quiet, remember.....double bass pedal and new cymbals).....but.....I won't lie...I am tempted to hit Target and grab some after Christmas clearance stuff.....but I fear I will get caught up in the long lines and craziness......

and I still want to hang onto the spirit of Christmas for just a little bit longer.




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