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Christmas Eve pretty much wraps up our traditions at our house! Hermey, our elf on the shelf, leaves us until the next Thanksgiving. The kids always wake up to see him one last time as when they get home from G-Mama’s on Christmas Day he’ll be back at the North Pole! Zach and I also already have the car loaded up with all the gifts so our Christmas tree is bare again!
This year for his big send off Hermey had a letter from Santa, Christmas pjs for all the kids to wear that night, a new devo book, and some new veggie tales movies to start the year off focusing on Jesus!
Every year we have a little countdown calendar and we have it end on Christmas Eve. Each kid does a great job alternating turns each day for who gets to put up the item!
We headed to Mrs. Charlotte’s first thing and got the ball rolling for the big football game (which was a bust this year but thankfully didn’t take away from the fun of our day!)
Sweet cousins baking cookies with G-Mama!
First year doing some cookie decorating!
Having our family day on the 23rd had a LOT of advantages! Such as I knew Tess would not handle cookie decorating well at G-Mama’s so I kinda hid her around the corner while everyone was decorating and kept her entertained with some raisins 😉
Of course she had to have a little snack too 😉
Big Papa’s thing is tracking Santa! The kids LOVE IT!
We always watch a Christmas movie…this year it was Frosty (per request of Britt as she’s obsessed with some Frosty!) Please take note that my children brought along their Kohl’s blankets 😂#lifechanging
Tess was SO stinking cute during the movie! She kept dancing and shimming her little shoulders to the songs 😊
It was a BEAUTIFUL day! A LOT of people were complaining on social media about how hot it was over Christmas. We actually had a record high for the warmest Christmas ever. Personally? I didn’t mind it. It’s not like it ever gets cold enough to snow here anyway, so if it’s 80 degrees at least we can run outside and not worry about a bunch of layers!
Kye and Colt vs G-Mama and Aunt Casey
Of course Aunt Courtney was coaching em up
(and of course I was behind the camera and zero percent involved in any of this activity 😂)
Obviously it was an epic golf cart ride!
Casey and I bond over our love of being in pictures 😊
These two are seriously beyond adorable together! They play together so so well. They take turns and are both so passive aggressive with each other it’s hilarious. If he takes something that she’s playing with she will just go take something of his ha!
This year was a bit sad as it was the official year of privacy starting among cousins! The boys showered and the big girls took a bath with the babies. Kye was upset that he didn’t get to bathe with the babies. They all were excited to track Santa though!
Every year G-Mama reads “The Night Before Christmas” before the kids go to bed! This year we heard Santa’s bells so we knew he was getting close!
The matching pjs!!! 😍
This is my fav…even Tess gets in on the silly!
My Christmas babies!
We brought our reindeer food and each of our kids shared with their “bff cousin” I LOVE that each of our kids has a cousin close to their age that truly is their buddy. It’s so precious and that means Casey and I need to figure out when the next cousin bff buddies will come about 😉
Last year was the first year the cousins all slept together…at least the big kids. Colt, Kye and Payton all slept in Mrs. Charlotte’s and Mr. Rusty’s room on Christmas Eve. This year they did the same thing and I felt BAD about Britt being left out again. However, the times she’s tried to sleep in the same room as other people it just hasn’t gone well. On our trip just her and I back in Nov I had to just straight up ignore her and fall asleep to get her to stop talking haha She will be a sleepover queen and will totally be the one freezing everyone elses bra 🙂 But for now she can’t handle sleeping in the same room as the big kid cousins, especially when getting sleep is important! We did let her hang out in there so she could partake in all the giggles 😀
Tess was SUPER cute and wanted to be part of all the action too! Tell me that isn’t the face of a kid who plans on sleeping there for the night? Big girl!
My FAVORITE Christmas memory from this year was when we heard Santa’s bells again at about 7:45. We heard them and knew it meant Santa was coming soon. I raced into Mrs. Charlotte’s room to tell Britt we needed to get in her bed so she could go to sleep. When I opened the door all four of the big kids were pretending to sleep as they had heard his bells too and we saw them over the monitor when they heard them…they all INSTANTLY had their heads hit their pillows! Britt was SO worried about Santa coming before she was able to get in her bed that she RUSHED across the house and busted into the room where she was sleeping. Which also happened to be the room where Tess was sleeping…so she totally woke Tess up haha. It was SUPER dark and I can’t see in the dark at all and once I got her in the bed I went to try to turn on her fan and it wasn’t plugged in! So I was struggling to find the spot to plug it in while trying to keep it dark and quiet for Tess to go back to sleep and Britt was so anxious she kept saying “MOMMY don’t worry about it! Just go Mommy just go! I don’t need a fan! Santa is COMING!” It was seriously the most adorable moment!
Our letter and everyone’s cookies ready for Santa!
There ALWAYS has to be an issue that comes up on Christmas Eve. One year Brad went to the ER because he was scared he was having a heart attack. A couple years ago everyone had the flu. Last year Colt and Payton went to the hospital because they were sick. This year it was our turn! We were due to be the ones with some random sickness happen!
The kids were all in the beds and Zach and Jordan went and let our dogs out and we all sat around to play a card game (Tripoly). I heard Tess crying at 9:00 which is NOT like her. She often wakes at 11ish and cries for a few min but never 9. I figured it was just because we were in a “strange place” but when I looked at the monitor I could tell that something was up.
Child had PUKED. ALL over herself.
It was a first for me! We’ve only had a couple times dealing with throw up in our history as parents. The one, and only, time Kye has thrown up I was actually throwing up myself so Zach was dealing with it and Britt has a couple times maybe but not many. This was the worst.
Every year we stay at Mrs. Charlotte’s on Christmas Eve and every year I WAY over pack. It’s ONE NIGHT. Why do I pack so much stuff?!? Literally every single year I’ve brought my kids an extra set of pjs. I have them sleep in other pjs and then put their Christmas ones on the next morning to wear to open presents b/c I’m worried something will happen to the Christmas ones in the night. This is the FIRST year EVER that I decided against the extra set of pjs. I mean nothing ever happens at home to their pjs?!?! Why would it on Christmas Eve?!?! Lesson learned. First Kye came out of his room (which never happens either) b/c his Christmas pjs had a massive hole in them (my guess is they got suck on the air mattress material and just ripped along the seam in his arm) and then later on Tess pukes all over hers!
Not only were the pjs an issue but Tess sleeps with a friend. Again, we have a spare but I didn’t bring it for just one night. We got her up and cleaned her off and put on some of her clothes from earlier that day to wear to sleep. We also borrowed a random friend of Payton’s that was nothing like Tess’s normal friend in hopes that maybe it’d work. Since her friend is such a thick material we had to wash it really well and dry it before she could have it back.
She sorta fell back to sleep but not really. At 10ish she was tossing and turning so I went to take her friend to her and she had puked all over the place. At that point I had no more extra clothes. For her or myself! Zach went home to get us some stuff, along with an extra friend for her as we thought it may be a long night.
I decided to just keep her awake until he got back. She was MISERABLE and it was so, so hard to see her that way. She didn’t have a fever and it was strange b/c she’d acted FINE all day. I held her to me and she pushed off of me at 10:30. She stood up and just made these strange sounds and then puked again. It was obvious it was the last of what was in her stomach. She INSTANTLY acted like herself again. Zach got back at 11 and we got her down for the night and she slept fine from then on out!
It was the ONLY glitch in an otherwise flawless Christmas. It was the only point where Zach and I did have a spat. I was worried about her and was snappy about things which I shouldn’t have been and he wasn’t quite as sensitive to the situation as I would have liked. But we got over it quickly and were fine by the end of the night. No one else felt sick at all (although I did feel queasy at one point but I think it’s because I was dealing in so much puke) and we googled it and it was crazy b/c google straight up said that a toddler who eats a lot at the holidays may throw up do to just overeating! I really think that’s what it was as she grubbed OUT during the football game, had the Christmas cookies, and just ate more than she’s used to. We also think maybe it was from Mr Rusty spraying round up outside? Maybe she ate something off the ground when we were playing that had round up on it? Those are our only two guesses!
Even though it was PITIFUL to see her like that, I was thankful that out of all the kids there that she was the one who got sick. If one of them had to, I’m glad it was her. Kye, Britt, Colt and Payton are all old enough where it would REALLY dampen their Christmas to be sick like that. And Carter is Casey and Jordan’s only child so if he was that sick it would have dampened their Christmas. Tess is young enough where she doesn’t really even know what’s going on with Christmas, where she won’t remember it at all, and we have other kids that we have to focus on so it didn’t really ruin our day or anything! We had to just keep on keeping on!
I, of course, didn’t sleep the entire night. Zach and I were sleeping in his old room, Tess was in the pack and play in that room, and Britt was in that closet. I also had the monitor that could see into where the big kids were sleeping. Every single time Tess made any kind of noise I thought she was puking so I woke up worried. And then I was worried about Britt puking. And then I’d check the monitor worried that Kye’d be puking. I was a nervous mama and nervous mamas don’t sleep 😆
Other than the small argument Z and I had and the puking toddler…it was an awesome day! I know how much Mrs. Charlotte loves having all her children and grandchildren together and we all had a great time. The kids are all at such fun ages and it’s so precious to see them having so much fun with their cousins! We are blessed!
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