Our "weekend" started with Ben coming home from work around 4pm on Wednesday night (early, YAY!). We made a family trip to the Azle Wal-mart to pick up the boys' big Santa present (which was covered up in the back of the Armada and they were watching The Polar Express on the DVD players, completely oblivious to what was behind them). Then we dropped it off at home and went to Taste of Italy off of Boat Club Rd for dinner. We had never been there, but Ben and I have an intense love for real Italian style cheese pizza, so we decided to test it out. It was pretty good!
Our Christmas Eve day began with me heading up to Wal-mart with all 3 kiddos to do a little grocery shopping. I left the house by 10am and was done by 11:30, and it was on Thursday the 22nd, so it wasn't too bad as far as crowds go, and my kiddos were pretty good, but if I ever have to take them all on major trips, I bribe them with check-out chips to share if they are good all through the store while we shop. They rarely get chips, so this is a great bribe. :)
Why did I take all 3 kids when Ben was home, you ask? So he could sleep. Yesterday was the ONLY day off he has had/will get for the entire month of December. He works AT LEAST 12 hour shifts every day (once worked a 20 hour shift) and is on call every 4th day. Anyway, he needed to catch up on his sleep. He slept till noon, then took a nap at around 3pm. He deserved it!
Later that night, we dined on fajitas and did a lesson out of our December daily Christmas lesson. It was about why we see stars on the top of our trees and in decorations at Christmastime. Then we read a scripture from Luke and sang We Three Kings. After I got Sam in bed, Jackson and I put Christmas cookies and milk out for Santa.
Once we go the kids to sleep, Ben and I did the usual Christmas Eve work of wrapping a couple last minute presents, stuffings stockings and putting out Santa presents. From Santa, the boys got a blue Ford F-150 Raptor Power Wheel and a cap gun set (not my idea) to share, Jackson got his Thor hammer he has been asking Santa for every time he sits on his lap ("...you know, Santa? The one that Archer has...", Sam got an Optimus Prime Transformer and Ally got a mat/activity center to play with when she is laying on her back.
On our Christmas morning, Sam was the first one up, as usual. He came in our room at about 7am, and since everyone else was still asleep and he couldn't get downstairs because the gate at the top of the stairs was locked, I put a movie on for him. Jackson woke up around 7:30, and forgetting it was Christmas (?!), he sat down to watch the movie with Sam. When Ben and I heard them both up, we got up and led them downstairs to the maze. (Ben ran ahead and turned on the lights and got the video camera, while I stayed behind to lead them through slowly.) Note: Ally slept last night from 8pm till 3 am, woke up for a total of 15 minutes to eat, burp and get a diaper change, then slept till 8:30am! Saaaa-weeeet!!!
Santa left a note for the boys telling them that since they had been such good big brothers to their new sister, he had brought them a very special present, but they had to take good care of it and immediately start being good for NEXT Christmas! They were in awe as I read it to them! :) They ripped off the bow and sheet and were in shock for a few seconds and then they scrambled to climb in the Raptor truck. We had to unplug the battery because Jackson was trying to take off in it in the middle of the dining room!
Next we opened the other Santa presents and of course, there was excitement all around. Superheroes and Transformers are the thing in our house this year, so no one was disappointed. We then moved to open the presents from Mom and Dad. Both boys got a new pair of PJs, a Superhero shirt (J got Captain America; S got Superman), a Superhero mask (J got Wolverine; S got Captain America), and a building starter set (S got a Trio set; J got his first real Lego set), then Sam got a foot high Captain America guy and a stuffed Mickey Mouse (He loves MM Clubhouse.), Jackson got a Lego Police car kit and a bucket of Army guys. They each also got 2 movies (Cars 2, Bugs' Life, Monsters Inc, and Lion King) and Jackson got a new game for his MobiGo (which they really share). In their stockings they got Superhero bubble bath, a few small Superhero action figures and a lot of candy. They were two happy little boys!!
After we opened presents, the boys and daddy went outside to drive the Raptor truck while I made blueberry pancakes and bacon and fed Ally (who had finally woken up). Some of us couldn't stand to leave the toys for a second, so they joined us for breakfast. (Normally this is against the rules, but...it's Christmas!!)
Next, Daddy played with Ally for a bit, while the boys played with their new toys and I cleaned up the kitchen. Then Sam so graciously offered to open Ally's gifts for her since she couldn't do it yet. hehe, I think he enjoyed the opening part more than the playing part! Although he was a little disappointed to open 2 boxes of rice cereal, diapers, wipes and an assortment of level 1 baby food. Not too exciting...I don't think he'd trade Ally. :)
The best part was when Jackson and Ben sat down to put his Lego Police Car kit together. I'm not sure who enjoyed that father-son time more, J or Ben.
While they did that, Sam and I built a cool house with his Trio Set. It had a garage door that lifted up and everything! (I didn't get a picture of that.) We played with the car that came with the set and a Batman guy and car that we already had. They went in and out of the house and then back out to fight bad guys over and over again!
The boys basically played upstairs with almost NO fighting all day. Then we had a thrown together fairly last minute Christmas dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole and sugar cookies for dessert. (I don't know why I hadn't thought to make a Christmas dinner ahead of time. I guess I was just too busy doing all the Christmas shopping since I had to do it all by myself this year.) I was lucky I had a frozen Jennie-O turkey breast in my freezer that could go straight in the oven and be done in a hour and a half!
We were sad when Ben had to go back to work, and we won't see him much tomorrow since he'll need to sleep, but we will wait for him to get home from work on Christmas Day and then go out to Aunt Sara's for Christmas dinner and to play with Keagan and Levi (my cousin's boys, age 5 and 3). Then my family will be coming to Allen on the 27th. Our plan is to have another huge extended family dinner at my Grandmother Pat's house, then Meg and her girls and me and my kiddos will drive to Celina (N of Frisco) to spend the night at my Aunt Sara's. All the boys (sans Ben and Chris, my cousin) are going hunting in East Texas on our land so we will have overnight girl time and the kids (Keagan, Levi, Addy, Ella, Jackson and Samson - all between ages of 2.5 to 6.5) will all get to play. This works out perfectly since the 27th is the next day Ben is on call and will be at the hospital overnight and sleeping all day the 28th.