christmas eve

it's the middle of january and as i stare at my computer i realize i have SO many christmas pictures to post. 
not really ;) 
this is about all i have.
after christmas eve service, the kids exchange gifts they have purchased (with their own money) for each other. it is one of my favorite things! they put so much thought... wait, let me rephrase, some of them put months of thought into the gifts and some work better under christmas eve pressure. i am not judging, i like pressure too!

mary claire made anna katherine the sweetest ornament with words that describe her. 
oh how i LOVED this!
bennett, growing up with sisters, always does a nice job in the gift department. 
as much as i pick on my kiddos, they are pretty good kids. 
mary claire bought bennett the cutest duck hunt game back in november. about two week's worth of allowance and boy was she proud. 

anna katherine who's love language is gifts, puts SO much thought into every last detail. this sweet girl will spend all her pennies to make someone happy. she ordered bennett these super cool water lights. they dance to the beat of the music. 
we stared in amazement ;) really! for the longest time!
we love this night! bedtime happens around 9:30. jeff left left for my sister's house. little roger got the nicest train from santa. and jeff had the pleasure of hiding it until the big day! 

even though my kids are big, they still get up very very early. a few years ago when one no named middle child woke us up every hour on the hour, we set the six o'clock rule. christmas could not, would not start a minute before 6am. this year they pushed it. at 5:45 two girls were at our door. jeff and i are christmas eve night owls, so were operating on about 3 hours of sleep. 

then all the planning and preparation is over in minutes. 

and then we leave to spend christmas day/evening with the graves side of our family. i hate to say "jeff's family" because after 24 years, they are just as much my family. we are so blessed to be surrounded with wonderful family on all sides. you do not see as much of them on my blog because of distance. but my nephews david and ryan are our heart as much as my sister's kids. and my children LOVE their graves cousins! my sister-in-law and i have commented on how social media actually helps them stay in touch. 

as for pictures on christmas... two pretty sad cell phone shots! i promise to do better next year! 

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