Every year is the best ever

This afternoon, while lazily enjoying all our new goodies, I asked Connor if he had a good Christmas.  He answered with a resounding yes, and then added that every year is his favorite, and every year is the best ever.  That pretty much sums it up for me, too.  I love Christmas, and every year is better than the year before.  Right now we are right in the middle of the magical years, and it is so much fun.  Yesterday was a little nuts, as it always is.  But today has been wonderful!

I have lots of pictures to share, of course.

Our tree this year.  It’s a little crooked, the star would never sit straight, and it’s a little shorter than I would like it to be.  But it’s served it’s purpose well, and I have grown to love the festivity of this little guy.

Our family, last night.  I set the camera up on a timer and took 2 photos.  This was the first one, and I couldn’t believe it!  Everyone cooperating?  It’s a Christmas miracle!

Putting the kids to bed last night was remarkably easy!  I think they were all fast asleep by 8:30.  Everyone knows that Santa can’t come to your house until everyone is asleep.  That was good enough for the kids, and they went right to bed.  Derek and I were able to catch up on the last few episodes of Homeland (are you watching Homeland?  So good!  A new favorite for sure.) and we worked as busy little elves getting everything set up.   I always have the hardest time falling asleep on Christmas eve, and last night was no exception.  I heard the kids rustling around a little before 7:00, which is pretty much what I expected.  We’ve had enough Christmases in this house and the kids are old enough to know the routine.  They can’t come out into the living room until we give them the go-ahead.  Then it’s pretty much a free-for-all to see what presents Santa brought.  Santa always leaves his presents by the fireplace in our house, while the tree is in the dining room with all our gifts to each other.  The kids tore into their stockings, squealing and exclaiming and laughing.  I love it.

I promise that Logan was thrilled with his present.  I have no idea why he was looking so sad!

Santa Claus might have a friend with older girls who no longer played with this.  It’s going to get tons of use at it’s new home!

After Santa gifts, we always move into the dining room for the rest of the presents, which we take turns opening one at a time so we can all watch and enjoy.  I was so excited about this part, specifically giving Derek his present!  Derek had no idea what I had gotten him.  I hid it in Connor’s closet and filled Connor in on the surprise.  It was a team effort to keep it a surprise.  One night a few weeks ago, Derek saw the package in Connor’s closet and asked C about it.  C calmly told him that it was something for Logan and I didn’t want to put it under the tree yet, which was the cover story we came up with together.  I should probably be concerned with how easily Connor lied to Derek, but I was so proud of him for keeping the Christmas surprise!   I’ll definitely be praying that Connor doesn’t have any repeat lying performance in the years to come.  I know he felt extra special and big knowing exactly what was inside the huge box.  So about halfway through the presents, the boys and I went back to get the gift.  We were all so excited about it!

He was so surprised!  Success!

Derek used to play the guitar all the time, and was in a band back in college.  He recently pulled out his guitar and started playing again.  He jokingly said he wanted a Taylor guitar when I bugged him about what he wanted for Christmas if he could have anything in the world.  Turns out the world is his this year.  It was so fun to surprise him with this!

Camryn was happy to pose for a picture in her sparkly pink Toms and her very first Cabbage Patch Kid.

And in her new matching baby and me outfit.

After opening the presents, the kids quickly retreated to their rooms to play.  Logan started on one of his Legos.

Connor started on his K’Nex roller coaster

And Camryn got to work rearranging her house and people.

After church, we came home and spent some time playing with their new outside toys.  Connor got a new scooter.

Logan got a new bike that he can make spin out and do 360s.  It looks like tons of fun!

And Camryn got a big girl bike.  It floors me that she is big enough for a bike like this.  Wasn’t she just born?!

It was a wonderful day.

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