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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christmas Eve, 24 December 2009 Part I

Christmas Eve, as always, is my favorite time. When we were able to go home to my Mom and Dad's for Christmas every year, the Marine and some recruits would build us a manger out of old cedar logs. The kids would act out the traditional story of the night Christ was born.
When Mom moved, she brought with her the cedar logs. It's been six years since we spent a Christmas at home. Living so far away and with so many children it is hard to go back every Christmas. This was the first Christmas to be back home since my Dad passed away. It was also going to be Recruit 1's almost husband's first time to spend Christmas with us!

Usually our Christmas story is done on Christmas Eve. The weather was turning colder and unpredictable, so a few nights before we all wrapped up in blankets against the cold air and read the story from the book of Luke while sitting in the manger. Later the horse trampled the trees and knocked down our manger. Next time we're home hopefully the rest of the fencing will be up and the boogers can just stay on their side of the property!
So when Christmas Eve came around, we decided to stay in town at Mom's house and not venture out into the cold. It was a wonderful relaxed day. We puttered around in the kitchen and some of us took naps (The Marine), and I enjoyed having both my mom and The Marine's mom.
Dad was missed.
Everyone helped cook. Sort of. Here is Recruit 5 helping with the fruit. He is such a funny kid. I don't know if I've ever met someone so kind. However, much to my chagrin the world and hard charging brothers are influencing his kindness and I see the steel that I'm sure has always been there. I have been praying the Lord strengthens this dear son of mine and helps him influence some of his tougher siblings. Hmm. more musings about that some other time.

Recruit 1 and 3 and Grammy, who is always working in the kitchen, but doesn't like her picture, is The Marine's mom. It's our first time to ever have her with us for Christmas and we very much enjoyed her being part of our holiday! I hope she does it again! And I love having her in the kitchen!!!

Here you see Recruit 3 chopping strawberries. She is our strawberry expert. For some reason I always have her cut them. I think it's a tradition now. She won't like that, but what can she do? It's been proclaimed a tradition.
I think she is the punch girl here in the picture below. Oh and shhh, it's Grammy in the picture again.

Recruit 1 is almost not mine alone anymore... I have to give her over to her fella in a few days.

Recruit 1 made her first pies. I think the whole married thing has all of sudden made her much more domestic. The pies turned out very nice. We eat pumpkin pie for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack times. It was frightening when we heard the pumpkin might be in short supply. Maybe I'll plant some pumpkins for next year...

Others did other things. The Marine is sleeping upstairs but I didn't include his picture because he looked scruffy. Not very Marine like. When I went up and asked him if he was sleeping, he grunted and said he was " resting his eyes." He was sleeping.

Here are some other activities going on while we cooked and we had a few looky-lou bystanders while we creating the delectable concoctions. Check out his cheek. It's his battle scar from fighting the manger with cedar limbs placed on it. He lost the battle.

Little Red. He has an interesting adventure, but that is a few days down the road from Christmas Eve, so you'll have to wait. I promise I'll get there.

We had four dogs under our feet the whole time. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but Mom would probably tell you it WAS as bad as she predicted.

The good thing was we had as many boys as we did dogs. Yes I said good thing, however there were moments... Below you see Recruit 2 working with Prince Henery. That is the newest member of Recruit 1's pack. Recruit 1 was impressed that he learned to sit so quickly. Recruit 2 gave her a disgusted look. It took him about 30 minutes. Now Henery sits and sort of stays. He is only 9 months old. He is part of Little Red's adventure.

Hmm. First picture with Recruit 4 in it. Wonder where he's been. NOT in the kitchen where I could give him repeated orders. They learn to run and hide.

There were other events going on too while we slaved in the kitchen. This is one of those moments. Can I just say sometimes the dogs are better behaved than the boys?!

And the Recruits' cousin joins in to "wrestle" Recruit 2. What monkeys. You can see Recruit 6's head and body on top of Recruit 2 and you can see the cousin on the bottom underneath Recruit 2.
And someone must have de-tangled the bodies. Not sure who or what, but here you see all is well again, if not somewhat subdued. They are probably watching TV.

I just have to say right here what an incredible big brother Recruit 2 is. He gets annoyed, angry, and very bossy, but he loves his little brothers and I often find him sitting with them playing games or watching movies. Usually after he's tied them in a pretzel, but life's not perfect.

No much later my sister and her family joined us. I'll have to stop here because I need to shower and get moving with my day.


What follows on these posts is true to the best of my knowledge, except what isn't. I only change names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.