I know that I am totally just typing into thin air here, because there are fewer people on the internet today than there were people checking stock market quotes with glee and happiness all year!

But unlike all of the other bloggers out there who are taking “Christmas Breaks” or some other sort of nonsense, I still care about those 5 people on the internet today, and so this post is for you!! (I can hear your cheers and tears of gratitude now. Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you!)

I AM sort of curious what everyone is doing that is making today a slower internet day than even yesterday, Christmas day!! Shopping? Returning? Surely not working!! Playing with toys? Still sleeping from yesterday’s craziness?

Anyway, on to the post. . .

We slept until a glorious 9:30 am this morning (there are benefits of keeping toddlers up WAY past their bedtimes), so I am feeling refreshed and ready to share our Christmas adventures with you.

We started out our traditional Christmas events on Christmas Eve, when we always go the the Candlelight service at church, then return with the fam to our house for Lasagna, prepared by Mom.

Ali couldn’t wait to get the holidays kicked off!!
The annual mysterious Bonsai tree sellers were out on our way to Church. They just showed up this week – I guess the only people who buy Bonsai Trees sold on the side of the interstate on-ramp as Christmas gifts are those who are looking for presents at the very last minute.
I didn’t get any pictures of the Candlelight service, because I was much too busy making sure that my child didn’t disrupt the very quiet and worshipful service. We told her that she could come to big church if she sat very still and quiet, but otherwise she would have to go to the nursery. She did amazingly well!!

Other than the excited greetings every now and then of, “HEY Mammaw!!!!”.

Oh, and during the especially quiet part of the candlelight singing. We allowed her to hold Chris’ candle until it was lit, and then Chris told her that he had to hold it because it was very hot. So our overly cautious child thought it was best to make sure that we (and those around us) fully understood the risks we were undertaking by repeating over and over the whole time it was lit, “It’s hot. It will hurt you. It’s hot!! It will hurt you. It’s hot!!! It will hurt you.”

It was very helpful.

So then we all headed back to our house. Ali and Eli had fun dancing to the Christmas music:
And then after dinner, it was time for them to go to bed so that Santa Claus could come.

Ali’s main gift from Santa was Thomas tracks and trains (which Santa purchased off of Ebay to save LOTS of money), and Pop built Ali a Train table and Gramamma painted it. It is sturdier and better than any genuine Thomas table ever thought of being!
So once Ali went to bed, Santa delivered the track so that we could set it up to be ready for the morning. I must say that it always looked very easy to organize and assemble at the bookstore and toy store, but once we started trying to fit it all together, we realized that it took a village to get all of the tracks to meet. Chris and I started out working on it:
Then I sat back because Mom and Dad thought they knew just how to get it together.
I swear I didn’t stage this picture with everyone’s hand on their chins or heads in complete and utter puzzlement from putting together a children’s toy:
note to self: when buying miscellaneous tracks off of ebay, they may require more brainpower to assemble than, say, a nice “figure 8 set” bought in a store where every piece has a purpose.

However, Chris spent the time of everyone else’s efforts to quietly study the layout. And five minutes after everyone left, VOILA! The engineer came out in him and he got it all relatively connected and put together:
And it paid off!! Ali was so thrilled when she came down on Christmas morning. “THOMASS!!!!”
And then when she realized that she had actual presents to open on top of the train table, utter amazement!!
Her first present had all of her trains in it.
So after much gnashing of fingernails (and teeth), I managed to get them all out of those devilish plastic wrappers,
and read all of the information cards to Ali about each train,
Which made for one VERY happy little girl.
She didn’t get all of her Santa presents opened (she still has two that are wrapped) because she was having too much fun with Thomas. So I set off to start my Christmas lunch slaving in the kitchen.

Last year was the first time that I cooked an entire holiday meal, and I was very disappointed in my usually organized self for having dinner a over a half an hour late. So this year, I employed my favorite index cards for a full organizational overhaul, which included spreadsheets and flow charts:
So I had a plan. Starting with pre-heating the oven at 9:30.

However, I didn’t have our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of sausage rolls in the plan, and so while I was enjoying opening presents with Chris, they woefully were not enjoying doing this:
Oh, I was so sad. So in an attempt to right my perfectionistic self, I set to work sawing off the tops of them, which resulted in this plate of edible sausage rolls,
And these unfortunately-more-numerous scraps of burnt ones:
However, Ali was much too busy scavenging my stocking candy that I left unattended while panickingly trying to fix my burning breakfast to mind:
That’s about 26 Jelly Bellys in her mouth and dripping down her chin, if you’re wondering.

So while I feverishly worked to complete the rest of my spreadsheet correctly, Chris’ family arrived, and Ali got to teach Papa how to play Thomas (with Lisa LaPorta watching them in the background):
They were rather suspicious of each other for some reason:
And although I stayed true to my flow chart and masterfully juggled heaps of Christmas dishes, it was all for naught, because Chris’ brother and girlfriend had the terrible Christmas luck of having a flat tire, then a flat spare on their way from Tuscaloosa.

To which Chris ended up having to going to pick them up, change their spare out with the one on Chris’ Mom’s car, and then lead them back, nice and slow, on the backroads to our house.

So, two hours later, we sat down to my perfectly timed dinner (that would have been much fresher had I been running behind like last year):
The Moral of this story is: Organization doesn’t always pay off. Or maybe better yet, Irony likes to bite organization in the butt every now and then.

Ali’s favorite food was corn on the cob, as usual.
Then on to the presents!! Ali had a blast. She got dolls,
and potatoes (with two arms on one side!! Oh the horror!!),
And many other fun toys to add to her way-too-many-I-can’t-believe-she’s-having-a-birthday-in-two-weeks-and-getting-more-toys pile!!!

Then we headed to my parent’s house for dinner. I’m sure that you can imagine how “starving” we were for another Christmas dinner.

So, naturally, after dinner, we were all just about done for:
OK. Kids never run out of energy on Christmas day.

But the adults do!! Lindsay and our special Guest Leanna were also worn out from the day’s activities:
Eli and Ali, not so much.

Eli, in his ever-increasing-7-Month-Old moto-skillz, managed to take Ali’s “purse” (Shapes bucket that she calls her purse), off of her arm and into his own arms while she stood there in utter shock.

He enjoyed his purse snatching finds very much.
Ali took a minute to get over being robbed by a baby:
But then she realized, if you can’t smack ’em over the head with your purse to keep them from stealing it, you may as well join ’em.
When it came time for present unwrapping again, Ali had just as much fun showing Eli how to work his toys:
But she sure loved the Magnadoodle that Eli gave her!
AND the teeny tiny camera!! She’s been waiting to get one to start her own blog.
Eli LOOOVED his new train.
In fact, Eli’s train became a very handy camera tripod to take our family picture at the end of the night. You just set the camera on top of the train, then press a train button and the self-timer button, and VOILA! The kiddos actually look at the camera!!

6 thoughts on “Oh Readers, Where Art Thou? . . .And Christmas Meanderings.

  1. What a great recap! Sounds like everyone, especially Ali, had a fun time! We did too and today we have been in the recovery stage. Laying around in pjs and watching movies, still opening toys out of boxes and already searching for missing pieces. But, it has been relaxing. Hey, can you come next week and do a flow chart for my house?

  2. Thanks for posting. I LOVED all the pictures. I’m glad Ali had such a good Christmas. I can’t wait tom come see all her loot!

  3. I have a flow-chart/list that looks almost exactly like that for my Thanksgiving dinner – down to the veg-all casserole!!! Great minds, I tell you…

    I also totally relate to the “too many present and more on the way” panic. Harris’ birthday is TOMORROW with a big party planned for Monday and Amy Beth’s first birthday is in 4 weeks!

  4. Looks like ya’ll had a great Christmas. Ali’s train table is SO cool too:) And how do you remember all those millions of details? Wow…

  5. I am impressed by your flow charts even if you still had the unexpected delay. I could never pull off such organization. I usually fly by the seat of my pants when I am cooking the holiday meal.

    Thank you for calling me a special guest. I felt more like family, which I like better. Your family is just so nice and wonderful. Everyone I met this past week was great.

    Looks like Ali and Eli had a wonderful Christmas. I know Eli loved all his toys.

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