The kids spent hours preparing for Mass. The girls did their nails and their hair. Then the rains started, the wind blew and we were not sure if we would make it. The rain was pounding but we wanted to start our celebrations with Mass so ahead we went.
After getting there early we rushed into the gym. We like the shorter overflow Mass held in the gym.
Because of the rain, very few people came.
My adorable crowd was very well behaved. I just loved what Fr. George Vattappara said at the Christmas Eve Mass (6:30 in the gym.)"Christmas is not a celebration of how much I love God. Christmas is a celebration of how much God Loves me!"
After Mass cleared out we positioned the bunch in front of the gym's alter. We were able to grab a few shots before Jumba and Bagel lost it. The hair was messed up and the clothes were still a little wet.
We are a great looking group, if I do say so myself!
The way home was even eventful. With the rain pouring down we grabbed a few shots.
These two melt my heart!
My boys are the cutest things on earth.
Bagel takes the best pictures. Her eyes just light up everyone else. She has the magic of the season in her eyes. She has the hope of heaven, the love of humanity and the joy of her family all in her precious eyes.
These two also show the love of the season.
These three kiddos are maturing into amazing young people. It really is my honor to be their mom.
They are goofy for sure.
With everyone dressed up mom worked hard to grab as many pictures as I could.
So much love on those pretty faces.
OK, and a some craziness as well.
After we finished all the dressing pictures we started to play on the computer as everyone changed. We skyped with Tim-Tim my nephew in St. Louis and his mom (my sister KeeKee, dad and sister, M.) Our favorite part after seeing everyone the first time was when Uncle Mike and Tim-Tim took us next door to Mimi's house. The rain we got was snow everywhere else in the country. We loved getting a peak at the snow as they walked between the houses.
We grabbed a few pictures and I struggled not to cry. I miss my family so much especially on Christmas.
We said our goodbyes and started out feast. The Christmas eve tradition is to make every one's favorite appetizers. With so many choices it really does make quit a feast.
Everyone gets to pick, we start with dips and chips and crackers until the hot stuff is ready.
Yum Yum Yum!
We always over make and then reheat all the next day.
J and I seam to add a new nativity every year. This past year we went to visit a group of nuns and bought this nativity from them. It features a miniature horse just like the ones that this group of nuns raise to support themselves. Looking back I am so glad we went and so glad we made this purchase. A few months ago it was announced that these sisters were closing this house and moving away from the horses. We now own a little piece of their history.
Having our kiddos getting older means that so many of our traditions will change. We wanted to enjoy each moment with our children.
Linguini made sure that a gift for Pooker would be found under the tree. He conspired with Possible. Pooker was thrilled when she opened a shirt from his school.
Pickle loved his gift from Nannie and Gramps.
Pooker loved spending time with her daddy.
Jumba was fun to be around. Sugar made sure he was well cared for as chaos swirled around as we opened gifts from each other and from family in St. Louis.
Possible took great care to give everyone her special home-made gifts. She was so helpful that night.
Dad got a very cool book from his mom and dad. He was surprised to see a personal note from the author. He looks forward to reading the book.
Pooker's gift from Sugar was an overall favorite.
These two cuties are sporting new outfits from their God Parents.
Buzz Lightyear was Jumba's gift from Nannie and Gramps. He was so thrilled.
Cookies for Santa before heading to bed.
This is a picture of my wonderful gift from Princess. She knows how much I hope to RV next year so she colored an RV and then put a picture of all her siblings in it. I loved it so much.
But it was this gift that made me really cry. The plan is to put their picture taken after Mass into this frame. The words were wonderful, "Dear Blessed Mother Mary, help our Mom to be a good Mother. Give her peace and wisdom, strength and courage, grace and happiness. Be nearby when she needs help. Keep her close to your son, Jesus. Help us to always show our mom how much we love her. Amen." Then they all signed it. Yep I cried!
After we were all snuggled in our beds, Santa came and left goodies for us to open then next morning.
I must end this note by saying that Dad and I are very proud of all these adorable people. We love each of them so much more than any word could describe. Pooker, Goobers, Bear, Sugar, Possible, Pickle, Princess, Bagel and Jumba not to exclude Declan and David in Heaven: You all have taught your mom and dad what love is all about. Merry Christmas!