December 11, 2014

Decorating Gingerbread (or Graham Cracker Houses)!
(click here for today's pictures)
  • Sometimes the kids say "this was the best day ever" and I am sure they would say that about today too but I certainly will-this was the best day ever (or at least the best day in a long time!)
  • We slept a bit later than I would have liked to but when we were up, we quickly started getting ready for the day.  I served up breakfast and woke up my little Whitman who was feeling much better today.  His fever didn't come back until tonight.  The kids were so excited that after breakfast they quickly put on their clothes and then came to ask what they needed to do to get ready.
  • As much as I usually rely on the kids help, I needed them to not help and be busy doing something for a bit this morning.  The big folks played their kindles and the little girls watched/tormented Whitman.  Robby and I were busy working in the garage.  The gingerbread house decorating was taking place in the garage today-because it is the easiest room to clean!
  • Robby had cleaned the garage last night and after getting the music and heat turned on in the garage, we started hanging Christmas lights-because a party is always so much more fun when there are Christmas lights!  We filled the tables with a gingerbread house and ice cream cone to decorate for each kiddo.  There was also a table that all of the Mamas filled with goodies to decorate all of those houses with.
  • After we had finished the main stuff, the kids did have time to help us getting ready and they even had time to finish 2 school boxes.  Before too long, our friends arrived-Stotts, Powells, Kamps and Heltz-a total of 16 kiddos plus us 5 moms along with Robby who was working from home today.
  • Once everyone unloaded, the kids quickly started to play.  They are always excited about the activities that we have planned but really they are just as excited about playing with each other.  Our first two activities today were games.  We played a decorate a Christmas tree game along with a bingo game-those games were certainly hits since the game was played with MMs.  Though my Campbell couldn't even finish her games because she couldn't stop eating her candy-I tried to get on to her but my mouth was too full of MMs myself-she is definitely my child (and not mixed up at the hospital as my grandmother had feared!)
  • After the game, we had the kids stay in their seats and we served up Jodee's taco soup and Sara's cornbread.  The kids ate it up-or at least they ate some of the things in their bowls. Charlotte ate all of her bowl except her corn and beans so I then passed her bowl to Whitman who ate the beans.  We would have been in luck, if we had another baby here that would have eaten just the corn.  
  • As soon as the kids ran off to play again after lunch, the moms did what we do best-chat!  After cleaning the kitchen, we eventually did start our partying again.  The next thing we did was watch a Christmas video and then it was finally time-time for the gingerbread houses!  
  • The kids did wonderful at decorating their houses.  Only one house broke (my prayers were answered) and thankfully we had plenty of extras.  I just can't explain how great the kids all were at this.  Even Keaton took such time filling her roof with candy.  
  • Whitman even got in on the act-I did hand him a icing filled knife to lick which kept him happy most of the time.  At the end, I did let him put a few candies on his little house.  Mostly he put the candy on the house and then promptly took it off to eat.  Reagan made a doghouse with her gingerbread house.  Graham used an upside down ice cream cone and called it his mailbox. Anderson made a marshmallow fence, Campbell worked incredibly hard on her room and Keaton was so happy that I helped her make a door.  
  • It really is interesting watching them use their imaginations and seeing their creativity come out doing the houses.  We know of a family with grown kids now but they have a gingerbread decorating contest each year and I think that would be such a fun tradition to start.  Though mine aren't really great at competitions yet-it is just better for all if we keep the upward philosophy of us all being winners! 
  • Some of the kids could have decorated for much longer-Reagan would have been one of those and poor Eden just sat in the empty garage alone as Robby started cleaning up because she was still working.  
  • The next event was choir.  We lined those kiddos up and made them sing Christmas carols-next week everyone is going with us to sing at Beebee's place so that is super exciting to me and the kids.  Sara led everyone in singing and they did really well-Keaton even stood by everyone and sang something or another.  They did really good-good enough that we won't be embarrassed next Wednesday!
  • And finally, it was the big event-presents. The kids had all drawn names and had 1 dollar to spend for the friend's name that they drew.  Reagan received a pack of markers, Anderson a mini basketball set, Graham a set of silly straws, Campbell a Hello Kitty dry erase board, Keaton opened a mermaid doll and Whitman also got a marker board (which Keaton quickly took from him.)  But the kids were almost more excited about the gifts that they were giving then what they received (really, the way that it should be).  
  • We ended our party just like you should end every good party-with cookies.  The kids ate cookies outside-unfortunately, we had forgotten to pass out the fruit at lunch (Nonna-you aren't the only one that forgets the fruit at lunch)  As soon as the kids had finished their cookies, they ran off to play as long as they could before having to go home (others) and having to come in and pick up (mine).  
  • When everyone had left, Robby had already cleaned the garage and we just had a bit of work to do in the house.  Reagan quickly picked up the bonus room and I laid Whitman down, the boys straightened their bedroom and Keaton then took her nap in there. Campbell went to run a few errands with Robby while I cleaned the kitchen and the big 3 watched a movie.  
  • Graham did take a few minutes to play with his fancy new straw and of course Reagan and Anderson did as well-I think they all liked the straw but I think that all really liked the 3 kinds of cokes they were sucking up at once.  
  • The afternoon was pretty restful-even though it was very short.  Robby decided that tonight should be a movie night-Campbell had helped him pick out a Charlie Brown movie at the Redbox.  We hung up the big sheet and watched Charlie Brown and then we passed out supper and ate as we watched Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  
  • At one point, Anderson looked back at Robby and I who were sitting on the couch with a fussy Whitman, a scared Campbell and a scared Keaton and he said "I am pretty scared." Everything turned out well and just as we are now a 2 Jiffy box family, a 2 cans of biscuit family and a 2 boxes of doughnut family, we are also now a 2 bags of popcorn family.  
  • I put Whitman to bed early and after the movies, we even had time to read out December Bible verses, look at an ornament on the tree (tonight Graham picked the Model T ornament), pulled our Santa and then we even read our Bible story upstairs.  We had been skipping our story a bit since the other things had been making our bedtime later than usual but tonight we read it despite it being late.
  • We also left their Christmas tree lights on tonight.  We do not usually leave their lights on because we are afraid it will keep the kids up but nothing would keep them up tonight-they were exhausted!

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