Christmas kicked off for us on Christmas Eve with a candle light service at the church - and finally an opportunity for the kids to wear the outfits I made them. As you can see by the following pictures the kiddos are just a little bit excited. It really was fun seeing how wild they were for the upcoming day.
Of course cookies were left out for Santa and he was kind enough to leave a note thanking the kids for their goodies.
Charlotte got her Ariel doll.
And Douglass Charles was more into opening presents than his big sister (trying to open both mine and Doug's gifts as well)
And the favorite toy for both the kiddos - this great little playdough tool that kept them occupied for hours.
That night we carried on a family tradition (and one of my favorites) that my family did growing up. Because we didn't have family close by my parents would always invite friends over for a Christmas potluck. We decided to do the same and invited our friends the Zenus family and the Martens family over. It was one of the highlights of the holiday.
Angela, me, and Marlene
Stephen and Michael tending the babies
four of the eight kids
Doug and me
The food, lots and lots of wonderful food.
Both of the families who celebrated with us have three kids so the joke the whole evening between the guys and Doug was where was his baby. :)
Then it was off to Birmingham to spend a few days with Doug's family. Did I mention we got 3 1/2 inches of snow on Christmas day. It was beautiful, but not great for traveling in the South, so after our little party we packed in 45 minutes (yes, record time for me) and hopped in the car praying that we would make it soundly - arriving at my in-laws safe and sound before midnight (and before the freezing temps set in). This picture was of the kids "riding the pony" with their Pa. I believe they managed to do this with every uncle who made himself available.
Charlotte also loved holding her cousin, Kiersten. Here she is with her Aunt Meg and Kiersten.
Christmas wound up being fun filled and very busy. The kids also received colds for Christmas - which I think is a right of passage at their age, but we have thoroughly enjoyed Doug's time off and getting to spend time with family and friends.