A Very Merry Christmas, 2014


It was the day before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (No mice, please.)

Yes, the day BEFORE Christmas is when our Christmas truly starts.  We started in the afternoon at our church service.  Wasn’t it beautiful??  Our church is on the “grow” and our pastor, worship team, staff  and volunteers worked diligently to make all SIX (yes, six) services go off without a hitch!  Yes, you really do see electric guitars, bass guitars and the whole she-bang to ROCK the house!!  One of our friends once teasingly said that our church is a bit like the church in the movie “4 Christmases.”  I laughed a little!!

The message was that God was with us ALL THE TIME!  He never promised a perfect life, but that HE would be with us through the joyous times and also the dark times!


After the glorious service, we drove right on over to a local Chinese Restaurant and had a wonderful dinner cooked by someone else- Hooray!  We have developed this new tradition over the past few years to copy one of our favorite Christmas movies, “The Christmas Story.”  Ok, not really….I just don’t want to cook the day before Christmas!


~Christmas morning~

Right around the crack of 9 am the party started at our house!  I’ve noticed as the children get older, we suddenly don’t have to be up and opening presents by 7am!  Yessssss!

Hubby especially loved his new “Christmas Story” boxer shorts! It seems as though we were all good little boys and girls and were spoiled with many fun gifts!!  You’ll notice that son #3 is sitting on the couch alone- very alone- disturbingly alone.  Yeah, he has the flu.  The cough, cough, cough, high fever, please pass the Advil kind of flu. (As confirmed today at the doctor.) He was smiling though! (and out of his pjs)

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Bella had to be the center of attention!


If you ever come to our family’s Christmas dinner, I promise you won’t go home hungry!  The food festivities start with apple french toast casserole before gift opening and continued later with a huge buffet of carbs, carbs, carbs and a side of protein and veggies!!  Grandma blessed us all with 2 pies and a plateful of cookies and candy to end the food-fest.

Here are the details of the dinner:  Turkey (We usually have ham) mashed potatoes, homemade noodles, 7 layer salad, rolls with strawberry jam, Christmas crack bread,  cranberry sauce and strawberry pretzel salad.  Pecan Pie & Apple Pie- YUM!

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After all of that food, you would have thought a food coma would have ensued, but my people played board games, curled hair, started reading their new books, disc golfed in the yard and worked on a puzzle! All of those offerings and I just took pictures!

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Did I mention that these 2 didn’t get anything in their stockings??  OOOPS.  Epic fail by Mom.


The last part of the evening we usually play BINGO, but we “shook it up” this year and decided to exchange white elephant gifts.  Some CLEARLY didn’t understand the meaning of “white elephant” and actually bought candy canes and other yummies.  Others of us made this game the funny, gross and weird experience that it was supposed to be.  Some of the real “gems” were a jar of pickled pigs feet, Santa on the potty toilet paper, a light up Easter tree that looked like a stalk of broccoli and a most beautifully weird ceramic candle snail thing.  Awesome!!

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After talking to several family members this morning, we all have fond memories of Christmas day and I will also note that 3 of us had major heart burn in the night. Woo Hoo!

Thanks for checking out our Christmas Extravaganza!  I hope YOU had a great day too!


  1. Sue Mackey says:

    It was a wonderful day….I don’t even know where to start, but everyone, including the doggie girls, had a wonderful time. We thank you for having such a great family get-together. We need to be so thankful for our many blessings. (Next year, at the white elephant exchange…..be prepared. The food was all good, but the Pretzel Salad was beyond “de-ricious”. I wish to thank our handsome and beautiful host and hostess for such a wonderful day.

  2. So awesome… Love this…happy holidays to you all!

  3. Patricia Groth says:

    Did not get to this till Saturday morning but it looked like everybody had a great time! Happy New year and many blessed days ahead.

  4. Michelle Limbach says:

    Bella laying amongst the wrapping paper was classic. I’m stealing your white elephant bingo tradition for next year and maybe even new year’s eve.

  5. Love everything about this post! We’ve been doing the Chinese dinner after Christmas Eve services for many years, and we love it! So glad we’re in good company…I feel better about our traditions knowing you have the same. 🙂 Love you guys!

  6. I love how you are documenting each year. It will make a wonderful keepsake for the kids when they are older. For you too.