In a nutshell, our Christmas was great! The whole week flew by and was really packed full of busy-ness and fun. I'll try to keep this recap down to the bare bones...which shouldn't be hard, since the longer I go without posting anything, the more I forget and therefore, the less there is to post.
Tuesday, we were visited by someone almost as important in this house as santa: LINDSAY! Our nanny (okay...so technically, she's our "former" nanny, but I'm in denial) has been off serving the Lord on a mission's trip around the world. She was granted a one-week "vacation" here at home, so we got her all day on Tuesday. She even picked up Zoe from school...MADE HER DAY!
Christmas Eve (Wednesday), we all went to church and then the whole family came to our house for the traditional "appetizer" dinner. All = Ringwood Higby 5, Midland Park Higby 3, MD Higby 1, W. Milford Touw 5 (no Jacob) and us 7. Phew, that's a lot of family. In the old days (i.e. When Shane was a kid) each of the kids would "present" a "gift". Shane would read the Christmas story from the bible, his sister would play the violin, you get the picture. This year, we thought the kids were old enough to start this tradition back up. Pop Pop Higby started "the program" (as Zoe called it) by reading to the kids. Things went downhill from there. Even though they were so excited PRE-Christmas Eve, (Zoe even typed up a list of what everyone was planning to do) the kids got a little shy. Kaylee did a little dance for us. Zoe read/recited Luke 2:7-12 (her memory verse from school). We all joined Ty and closed with "Away in a Manger". Maybe next year, it'll go a little smoother.
Before bed, Shane was reading the kids a Christmas story and Zoe informed him that Santa was NOT real. When he asked how she knew, Zoe flipped the book over and said, "see...right there...it says 'fiction'." Ok. I guess we have a future librarian on our hands.
Christmas Day we had a wonderful morning here at home. First, we put the babies in their gated community and let Zoe & Ty have our undivided attention while they opened their presents. When I asked Zoe what her favorite gift was, she couldn't choose: her first "Big Girl" Bible, Clothes & Wardrobe for her American Girl Doll, or her decked out 3-ring Binder. Yes, the office products
After the big kids were done, we brought the babies each their gift. Single. One gift per baby. Ava slowly ripped small piece after small piece of wrapping paper off her gift until eventually, the purse was reveled. Then she got really excited and tried to rip the purse off the
The rest of the day was spent at Shane's parents' house. 8 kids ages 6 and under. 9 adults. Brunch. Naps. Dinner. A full day of family. Ty lost his new DS baseball game. Must be a new record: under 6 hours. Why do they need to make those games so stinkin' small!?!?! I think maybe one of the triplets found it and put it in the garbage (they were having a blast putting things in the trash can with the flippy lid). Next year, I'd like to suggest a change in the schedule. This year, we ate...put the kids down...they slept...then they woke up...then we ate again. I'd like to change things up so we could maybe eat while the little kids slept? Does anyone know where Nana and PopPop keep their suggestion box?
Around 6, we packed up from the Higby's and headed home. As fast as we could (which clearly isn't that fast since it took 2 hours), we unloaded the minivan, packed our suitcases and reloaded the minivan so we could head up to Connecticut to visit my folks.
Our time with my parents was great. On Friday, we did Christmas all over again with my parents and my older brother. After dinner, my Dad (Granddad) and Shane took the big kids sledding. It was a bit icy and apparently, there was a "jump" that the kids liked to make sure Daddy always went over. Apparently, it was big enough for Daddy to "get air".
Saturday, we visited Kids City in Middletown. It was a blast. The kids loved it. Kids City is a hands-on experience. They have all sorts of themed rooms: Space, Fish Market, Video room, etc. They even have a special area for 3-year-olds and under. BIG HIT for us. We definitely got our money's worth out of the visit. Feeling brave, we stopped by McDonald's for lunch. SUCCESS! We were in and out of there in a half hour. Our 5 kids finished 2 happy meals plus 2 extra 4 piece chicken nuggets & a small fries. By the end of the day, the kids were exhausted. But the parents managed to save enough energy for a scrabble game. Even though Dad started with a 7 letter word earning him 64 points, I managed to tie him in the final move of the game. Quite an accomplishment, if I do say so myself!
(Zoe putting some fish on the belt...a lot of fun, apparently.)
(Ty checking out the igloo.)
(Eli LOVED the bubbles!)
(Ava checking out the "Reading Nook".)
(Cole getting some serious speed on a slide in the Music Room.)
(Grammy & Granddad with the Higby 5)
My younger brother and his family came into town late Saturday night. So, after church on Sunday, we had another quick Christmas present exchange and then headed over to JC Penny Portrait Studio for a Christgau Cousins picture. I'm not sure if it was as much work as the Higby shot, but it was successful. Unfortunately for you, you'll have to wait until mid-January to see it, sorry.
After dinner, we headed home and collapsed. Christmas is great, but it sure is exhausting!