My mom came and picked Charlie and Wes up this morning to take them to her house for the night and I immediately put James down for a nap and read a few pages of my book and took a long, hot shower, and put a load of laundry in and ate all the leftover mac and cheese from yesterday's lunch all by myself and wondered many times what the heck I used to complain about all the time when it was just me and Charlie. Dude, this is cake.
Ryan snapped a few pictures on Sunday before Church started when the kids were doing some not-exactly-OK frolicking in the poinsettias on the stage.
And then it was our family's turn to light the Advent candles. Ryan and I were getting ready that morning when Charlie picked up the Advent reading Ryan had planned to do and read the whole thing aloud. We looked at each other and Ryan asked Charlie if he would be interested in doing that in front of the whole church. He said he was, but seemed nervous, so we practiced it a few more times in the car on the way there. He got up there and read the whole thing into the microphone in front of all those people like it was no big deal. He did GREAT. When he finished the whole congregation exhaled simultaneously in a combination of "Aww" and "Phew!" Which were my exact emotions. I also had to sit down immediately because I was shaking so bad with nervousness for him.
Later we tried to get a staged shot of Charlie up on the stage with the microphone. We took several and then while Ryan and I were reviewing them on the camera and not paying attention to the kids at all, we heard a little voice singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" broadcast on all the speakers in the sanctuary. When Wes saw us both look up at him he quickly put down the microphone and ran down the steps.
Christmas Eve I was sick all day and SuperRyan decorated gingerbread men with the kids and made a spectacular dinner of pierogis, applesauce, and broccoli.
I rallied for church in the afternoon. We gave James some earrings.
Charlie sang in the choir.
And the big boys got to hold their own candles for Silent Night. This is always my favorite part.
The next morning the kids came running into our room dragging their stockings behind them and we opened them on our bed.
Wes wore Santa's favorite jammies, according to him.
James didn't really get it but had a great time anyway.
The presents were blocked by cones!!
That did not stop them.
The rest of the day we played and layed around and watched "A Christmas Story" (which is much funnier as an adult, I noticed) and ate dozens of Christmas cookies gifted to us by our very talented neighbors. Such a great day.
I'll leave you with the words Charlie wrote on the Christmas card he gave me and Ryan from school:
"Ho Ho Haliaedays and Happy New Year and relly MOM you do make fabyaules and outstanding diners Great work."