I'm not going to lie - the days leading up to Christmas were pretty rough at our house. Luke got the dreaded stomach bug on the Saturday we were coming home from Lubbock and started throwing up Sunday night. He was absolutely puny and a mess all day Monday. We thought we had taken a turn for the better, when Dave came down with it Monday night. He was up all night and even missed work on Tuesday (if you know Dave you'll know that the last sick day(s) he took were in 2005 when he had Meningitis and was put on "bed rest" for almost 2 weeks). Dave was feeling better by Wednesday, but Luke's poor little body was still taking hits :( Thursday was Mark's 24th birthday and also the day that my Oma (Dutch for Grandma) and her sister, Tanta Anneka (Dutch for Aunt Anneka) arrived from Canada. We headed out for dinner not quite feeling ourselves and by the time we got back to our house for cake and presents I had come down with the bug as well. I won't go into the details, but I will say that I think that this is the most violently ill I have been in my whole entire life. It was horrible! Unlike my boys, I developed a pretty high fever and spent the ENTIRE day on Friday sleeping. No baking cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning. No last-minute gift wrapping. No dinner at Dave's granny's house. And no Christmas Eve service. BOO! Hopefully this will explain why I took about 12 pictures from Christmas Eve through Christmas morning. I was more focused on keeping my Sprite down than on making sure I had my camera ready. ha!
By the time Luke and Dave got back from Christmas Eve service I was able to get myself off the couch long enough to take pictures (from a safe distance) of them putting out cookies for Santa. Luke was very specific that Santa needed six of each kind of cookie and that the reindeer DID NOT want carrots, but cookies as well :)
He even wanted to pour the milk...
After we put Luke to bed Dave and I watched a Christmas movie and then CRASHED. On Christmas morning, Luke was super excited to see that Santa had left him some new tools (and a new toolbox to keep them in!)
"Look, Mommy! A drill just like my HAHA!"
"And TWO different saws! WOW,MOMMY!"
Stockings were always a BIG deal growing up in my house - Santa would always fill them with lots of little things that Mark and I loved and then leave them at the foot of our bed during the night. On Christmas morning, Mark and I were allowed to take our stockings into each other's rooms and open them and play with our stocking items until the designated time we could go downstairs. hahaha
This year, Luke's stocking was filled with some of his very favorite things - stickers, play-doh and CARS!!!
The stocking tradition has evolved to where each of our adult family members secretly draws the name of another and we shop for that person's stocking items. We limit it to $20 and it's fun to go shop for little things that you know the other person will love.
This year, Mark's girlfriend Diana got in on our stocking tradition and picked out this "Merry Christmas, eh" hat for my dad :) He wore it literally all day. hahaha. The look Luke is giving him CRACKS me up!
After stockings we had our traditional breakfast casserole and biscuits and gravy breakfast. I still wasn't feeling 100%, but thankfully Dave was a big help in getting everything together.
After breakfast it was time for more presents. Gibi LOVES to ride her bike and despite being told multiple times that "she's ridden a bike for 50 years and has never needed a bike helmet", Haha decided to promote bicycle safety and get her a helmet anyway. :)
I'm not sure Gibi was super excited, but Luke was :) (Please note the tears in homeboy's eyes... it's because we wouldn't let him have a FOURTH shortbread cookie! Rough life this kid has)