Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas...

It's freezing cold outside today, and all of my Loves have horrible colds inside today. There are fevers and headaches, coughing and runny noses afoot - so even if the weather were beautiful, today would have been an inside day for all of us, regardless.
Ooooooh Christmas Tree....  Please tell me this looks like a tree.  The boys all mocked me.
But, it's cozy...and it's quiet...despite all of the sickness afoot.
So, that's nice.
Psycho Rudolph.
The day before yesterday was our Family Christmas Hurrah...with Kaden already feeling on the edge of yucky. So, we kept our festivities pretty chill...and I told my boys the story of the year when I was sick one Christmas.  I can remember just staying sprawled on the couch all day, unwrapping my gifts in a horizontal position, and watching the festivities all around me.  Sick - but still happy and content to be right smack in the middle of all of the crazy that was my family.
Our Housemates downstairs.  They now know all of our secrets....
That was Kaden just a little bit yesterday.
And that is Kevin, Kaden, and Jesse fo' shizzle today...with London also starting in on a runny nose.
...And Shandy and Silas and Isaac downstairs a bit, as well.

This morning, she be quiet.
We're supposed to head up North to my Ma's and Pa's this morning...but I'm just not sure what to do.
Tis the season for sharing all the love...just not sure if this bug really wants to be shared with all the cousins.
Clues. From the attic to the basement...and back up again we sent them.
Friday night was Christmas Eve, for us.  It was also Charlie's 32nd birthday.  So, we figured we'd lump a whole lotta' festivities together and simply dub the evening "The Booker/Hodsdon Christmas Birthday Extravaganza!"

Shandy made Charlie his fave supper of Chicken Alfredo which all of us big people ate, and I made all five Hoolies reindeer pancakes.  This is always our Christmas breakfast tradition, so we figured we'd just mix things up a bit this year and include the Hodsdon's in some of our fun.  I always let the boys open one gift on Christmas Eve, as well, but they have to work for it.  I send them all over the house looking for clues.  And since this was a Booker/Hodsdon meshing of the families bash...we decided to send all five Hoolies all over the place looking for their gifts that we as the two families got for them.
Breakfast upstairs in the big boys' room for the next morning.
Simple things so we wouldn't have to go downstairs and wake up our friends.
Just silly little Dollar Store things at each station ending with a craft kit at the kitchen table.  Kaden looked like The Walking Dead all night during their adventure, and I tucked him into bed with a fever, but he told me:  "I really did have fun, Mama!  I was just really weak."  Poor Love...
And then they all went to bed with visions of sugar plums and tylenol dancing in their heads...

Everyone slept in until 7:00 - which shows that they were a bit under the weather, but it was still really fun and exciting for the boys to wake up knowing it was our family Christmas that next morning.
I had hot chocolate, marshmallows, banana bread, mini applesauces, little yogurts, fruit, individual oatmeals, poptarts, and juice boxes at each of their places at the table.  They could eat as much or as little as they wanted, and they snacked away while Kevy read the Christmas story.
It was cozy and silly, special and increasingly louder, as the boys started waking up more and more and as their little bellies were getting filled fuller and fuller....they started feeling better...and then the Crazies started setting in....which made me happy because usually my boys are not ever mellow...so when they are I know they don't feel good...but then when they get loud, I get crazy because I get all stressed about them waking up our housemates downstairs who are also starting to feel sick...but anyway...

All that to say, my boys were back in town after being awake for about an hour...
And then London woke up.

And this is what my sweet little baby girl gave me her Mama for a Christmas present.
And uber-dee-duberly wet wet diaper.  Like soaking wet.
Like she drank 10 gallons of milk wet.
Merry Christmas to me.
My Jesse's sweet little gift to me.
He has a passionate love for the glue gun.
And my Kaden's sweet little card - complete with a homemade bracelet.
I've always told my boys that I love homemade gifts far more than store bought.
They also bought me "our favorite candy" in my stocking.
London especially liked the wrapping paper.
I especially like to kiss her little spikey haired head.

Might I interrupt this Christmas re-cap to draw your attention to my most favorite in the world sweat pants and the larger than life bright pink splotches on each leg.  This resulted from my very first and very last attempt at painting my baby girls' toe nails.  Everyone else made it look so easy.  I spilled an entire bottle of polish on me.  They lied to me.....

It is NOT easy painting little baby girl's toenails...
And once again, Kevy printed me off my entire last year's worth of blogging into a hardcover blog book to give to my babies someday when their Mama is old and grey...
My dedication to them.
I plan to print each year off into a book, and this will serve as a year by year scrapbook of our Family's Life together.  Even more than that, though, it will serve as sort of a journal of my life as their Mama, and as their Daddy's wife...as a woman trying to walk life raw and real....and hopefully as a testament of my love and faith in Jesus.

And hopefully...just as I am sure my flaws will be forever engrained in their memories as larger than life...when they read my "journal," I hope they see my love for them just as large. 

No perfection. 
Many mistakes. 
On journey with Jesus. 
Honored at the privilege of being their Mama. 
And madly in love with their Daddy.
Hopefully, this is what they'll remember, as well.

I seem to like this word today.
This year, I tried a different format than I did last year.  I chose to have my book printed exactly as it looks on my blog - as opposed to printing it off in the most space saving way possible, like I did last year.  I do like the layout better; however, I had to print my pictures small - as opposed to medium, like I normally do - or else my book would cost me eight million dollars.

Next year, I'm going back to the previous, space saving format, and I'll be having my pictures be the medium sized again.  Far easier on the eyes, and far less white space in the book.  Live and learn.
And for my trickiest trick of all...
I surprised Big Daddy Kev with this bad boy 3-d deer target.
It was hiding in the shower...and I made him play "hot and cold" like we were five again in order to find it.

I had some birthday money saved up, and for the last couple of weeks, I had been "skimming" off the tops of my tips to round out what I needed for this present.  Like I said in a previous blog post...our family rule about lying is that it's completely acceptable during the Holiday season.  So, for the past two weeks, I've told Kev that I was making about 10 or 15 bucks less than I really was, and he was none the wiser.  It was great fun!
And for the rest of the day, we just vegged out and played with each other...and I resisted the urge to run around like a crazy lady and put everything back in its place and get all neat and organized.  We stayed in our jammies all morning, we played with our treasures, and then we got ready for our traditional Christmas lunch that we always have....which is Chinese food...because nothing says Merry Christmas like your local Chinese buffet.  We rounded the day out with another tradition - watching a movie we've never seen before - which was "Frozen" which was really, really good....and then we came home and crashed for the rest of the day.

And everyone got sicker, and sicker, and sicker....
But it was Merry.
And it was Simple.
It was silly, and it was special.
And it was our very last "First Christmas" in this home to ever celebrate...ever again.

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