Before your Christmas day ever began, we were winding down, assessing the damage, recovering wrapping paper remnants from every corner of our apartment, washing dishes in the aftermath of friends who spent the day with us and settling sugar-infused kids into beds.
7:00am Eastern Standard Time = 7:00pm SouthEast Asian Bedtime
That 12 hour time-warp.
We celebrated Christmas Eve with my family's traditional stroganoff before heading out to a candlelight service at church. This has become a favorite tradition in our family. A quiet reflective time to focus on the real reason we celebrate and the gift of Jesus….God in flesh….incarnate deity….helpless as a babe….Emmanuel - God with us…..before the hustle and bustle of Christmas morning chaos.
However, as another friend noted, Silent Night always seems like the wrong song when Im trying to keep 6 kids from lighting their hair on fire!
10:00pm - after laying out cookies, all the kids made a tent and slept together under the twinkle lights in the girls room.
12:00am - Still not sure how Santa found his way in without a chimney.
Thai Santa must know some tricks….but he was most certainly here.
6:12am - Kids awake. But, being the killjoy parents that we are, we turned on a Christmas movie on the lap top and told them not to come out of their room till it was over.
We……went back to bed.
(I know….we should have our parental license revoked)
7:53am - more stall techniques while we juiced C up on coffee and I put breakfast in the oven.
8:36 - rug rats released from their room
8:45am - I bribe, beg and threaten coal in the stockings if they don't sit cute for 2 minutes for a Christmas morning picture.
8:53am - Stockings!
Gigi needed one thing and one thing only to make her happy. A tube filled with M&M's.
That child had a death grip on them and made certain that not a single….morsel….went to waste….
9:17am - Face Time with Grandparents and California cousins
Special to have family with us for Christmas - Uncle Raymond visiting from Seattle for a couple weeks spoiled us big time with tons of treats from home.
I mean, have you ever seen a super-sized jar of Nutella like this? We should be set for the whole of 2014! (nah…who am I kidding? We'll make quick work of it!)
9:30am - Breakfast complete with Aunt Marvels sticky rolls, Daddy's breakfast casserole and Mother's tea ring = a birthday cake for Jesus.
10:15am - Scavenger hunt for Evie during breakfast clean up. The clues took her cute-pajama-clad self all over the apartment complex until she found this….
Evie tells us all the time that she wants to be a singer when she grows up and is very proud to be rocking out on her little guitar now.
11:00am - Family time reading the Christmas story. Reflection on the birth and the death & resurrection of Jesus. Christmas would be nothing without Easter. That baby in a manger came not so that we can have a day for presents - but rather to redeem a lost world and give us the gift of Life. Life to the full. Life eternal!
12:15pm - Skype with Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles in Georgia
12:30pm - Kids got dressed and Gigi (aka T-R-O-U-B-L-E) got an early nap time. Maybe it had something to do with a pound of chocolate and cinnamon rolls being the only substance in her belly, but she was showing her "grinch-y" streak, so got a little siesta.
Lucky for her she's so cute. Otherwise she certainly would have had a stocking full of sticks and stones this year!
1:00pm - brown paper packages tied up with strings…..
Blessed my heart so to see the kids gifts for one another. Allowance money spent on others. Favorite things wrapped up and gifted. And the delight in their eyes to see their gifts being received - priceless!
1:45pm - one final effort at a family photo on Christmas proved a total flop. The biggest challenge of all to get to smile and keep their eyes open…..the guy on the left!
2:00pm - Several friends dropped in for the afternoon. Hors devours. Desserts. Cider. Coffee. No fancy-schmancy-stressful big meal….but home and hearts full of friends and family….and bellies full of yummy-ness!
7:30pm - Tristan and Izzy got some very big news just before bed.
A special Christmas gift awaits them…(any guesses?)
Thats another blog post all of its own.
Girls took half a dozen new Disney Princesses to bed with them.
And just as your day back stateside was beginning to unfold….we were collapsing.
Happy and tired.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace!