And the elves are hard at work! It's Christmas Eve at our house and I am sooo excited! I have decided one of the greatest joys of my adult life is playing Santa Claus for my kiddos. I love it! Something about filling stockings and leaving just the right amount of cookie crumbs all while listening to sappy Christmas music just makes my heart swell. I also love the tradition of sharing the story of Christmas. As we were talking about Jesus and the reason we celebrate, Ella said, "You know, it really doesn't matter if we get any presents. If I get one present or two presents or no presents, it's okay. It's more important that we're a family and think about Jesus and love each other." I loved hearing that out of her, but, of course, she's hoping for something other than no presents. =) She and Cade were on their best behavior tonight. They went to bed dreaming of what the morning might bring. They were completely wiped out! Chris had the day off and we played, shopped, played, wrapped gifts, and played some more. There were no curious, little eyes peeking out of their room tonight- they were both asleep in under five minutes. We've had a lot of fun the last few days. Ella brought home a "family gift"- a self-portrait she painted at school. In it, she is making a scary face and Cade thought it was so funny.Cade has enjoyed taste-testing all the Christmas goodies in the kitchen. He "helped" me make oreo balls a couple days ago and we both decided they are pretty amazing. Another taste test after dinner Ella has discovered a new passion for wrapping presents. She's pretty good at the wrapping part, but what she excels at is the bow-making part. She wrapped these two gifts for Daddy. She added so many bows and ribbons, she used up a whole roll of tape putting them on. =) Harper's little sweet self just loves being part of all the action. I decided to cover some more chocolate pretzels tonight since we went through the first batch so quickly. Cade was more than happy to help again. The difference in our methods was that his pretzel pieces were going straight to his mouth! And again! Mmmm... haha! I think these are so cute! I have about ten more just like it. He was enjoying himself so much! We had chocolate pretzels, popcorn, and sparkling cider tonight. This was Cade's first experience with a "special big boy glass". Pretty sure more cider ended up on the floor and table than in his mouth, but he was so proud. Ella chatted with Harper about her first Christmas for a bit. Ella's hoping Santa brings Harper some new hairbows in the morning. We'll see!! Cade posed for a picture before bed. Look at his oh-so-excited face! It does not get any better!! I can't wait to see what the morning brings. I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when they come down the stairs and see the tree!! Such a special time with our young kiddos. It was more difficult than we anticipated getting Ella to believe that Santa is coming tonight. We should have known she'd be on top of it this year, but she kept saying, "He's not coming tonight. It's not the twenty-fifth!" We finally managed to convince her that since we won't be here on the twenty-fifth, we asked him to make a special stop tonight. She is something else, too smart for her own good, alright. Love her to bits! And I am just too excited about the weekend. I am off on Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day for the first time since 2007! I still can't believe it. We actually get to spend the entire holiday with family this year and I am just beyond thrilled. We have just a few more things to do before bed. Chris is hard at work writing a thank you note from Santa- he's going to have to convince Ella and Cade that Santa loved the Oreos we left for him. Apparently Santa prefers chocolate chip cookies (or so said the one at the mall!), only we didn't know this until bedtime! Pretty sure ours prefers Oreos. =)
Love, blessings, and the merriest Christmas to you! May your hearts be filled with His peace and joy in the coming days!