Christmas Eve started off later than normal for us. Somehow the boys, well Kaden, slept until 7 o'clock which is a rarity and Logan, well my mom decided she would have him sleep in her room so I am not really sure when that lad woke up. We had kids on blow up mattresses, a kid on the couch and two kiddos who wanted to sleep on the upstairs hallway-we were everywhere. It was perfect. We hadn't been up for 20 minutes and the "when are we eating" questions started coming and of course Grandma had a plan. She had her homemade donuts ready to go for appetizers. Kaden was obsessed with these and he didn't like having to wait for Aunt Jennifer to cut his donuts up one bit…
And this little guy had the best seat in the house-Papa Richard's arms.
Finally it was the time everyone had been waiting for, especially the kiddos, it was present time. We all gathered in the living room and waited as Kaden helped Blake and Leah passed out the gifts. One by one we took turns opening up a gift. Here are a few of the favs...
The girls got Fijits.
The newest hunter in the family walked away with a new camo backpack that had a built in water dispenser.
|Check out those totally awesome pants. They matched my uni-pajamas.|
Kaden got the ever-so-popular Rock Star Mickey and Logan he ended up with some clothes and some money.
The gifts were great but being with my family, now that is what its all about. As I looked around the room there were so many
We finished up just in time to watch the Chiefs and for the kids to take their naps. Once everyone was up we headed outside to enjoy the weather. We snuck over the fence and took a few quick pictures before heading off to Christmas Eve's service. Most everyone remained troopers through our little photo shoot except for my youngest nephew, Blake. He wasn't all too happy to have his picture taken but when he finally figured out that the quicker he smiled the quicker we were done, his frowned turned upside down. Christmas Eve's service was the perfect ending to the Hartley Christmas. It gave us time to worship as a family and once again to reflect on our blessings. I stood there with my husband on one side holding Logan and Kaden standing between us holding my hand with my family all around us. Life was good.
We finished the evening off at Scott and Kelly's for the entire Hartley Family Christmas. Its pretty special when a family of 14 can all get together and not have a conflict but when a family of 24 can do the same, now that is something. We gathered around hot cups of soup and dessert. I had 1/2 a blueberry pie-not all at once but within two days I devoured my portion. A big thanks to Sandy, she makes the best blueberry pie and get this, it isn't for her kids, they don't even like it. Instead she makes it for Jennifer and I. Seeing that blueberry pie makes my heart skip a beat. Delicious.
Finally it was time to head back to Kansas City. We loaded the kids up in their pajamas and arrived back home just before 10:30. We sat down and opened the last book for Advent. We read through Twas the Night Before Christmas, sat out our cookies and milk, said our good-byes to Elf and then tucked our boys into bed. Tomorrow would be Christmas and this mom was giddy with excitement. What a perfect start to our Merry Little Christmas...