Christmas Time is HERE!!

We’re all about celebrating the Christmas season, not the Christmas shopping season to loosely quote a friend’s late mother.

But we opened some presents early. I’ll go ahead and apologize right now for not having very many pictures it just didn’t happen.

Sunday, December 21st, Jeff’s dad and step-mom came over. They traveled to Maryland to spend the holidays with Jeff’s half-brother and his new wife who was not able to travel because of her job in their first married Christmas. So, they brought presents over to exchange and for dinner. The boys both got science kits, Joseph for growing crystals and William got a bio-dome. Shelby got a Princess Tiana costume. Wouldn’t you know, I did get some pics of her in costume.

IMG_1555 IMG_1556

Tuesday, December 23rd, I woke up at 3 AM feeling awful. My planned day at work did not happen as I came down with a stomach flu and instead spent the whole day in bed and in the bathroom. Thankfully, it was only 24 hours and I was the only victim. Since the kids had been out of school since Thursday, I must have picked up the virus at work on Monday.

Wednesday I was recovering but we had a Christmas tree to put up and decorate. It took all day because I kept having to take breaks. Because I was so soon off my virus, we initially planned for Christmas Day mass. But when William had a fever and Joseph complained of terrible stomach pains (oh, he got diagnosed with walking pneumonia on Sunday and was on antibiotics), so we decided not to contaminate the parish.

Thursday morning the kids opened up their gifts and were pleasantly surprised. The boys had gotten one of their gifts early, the full version of Minecraft which they borrow my laptop to play. William got an Enderman Minecraft plush toy and a Minecraft miniature crafting table with “Steve” character. Joseph got a Minecraft Zombie Creeper plush toy, a watch and a headset to use to make videos of his gaming. Both boys also got fluffy cuddle pillows. Joseph’s was Lego Movie and William’s was Mario Brothers. Shelby got some fun socks, my Little Ponies, and toiletries (she likes organizing them, so we got her a gift set). They each got movies in their stockings too. Joseph got How to Train Your Dragon 2, William got some episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from a 90s series, and Shelby got the first two seasons of Spongebob Squarepants. They each got some candy too. I got a Keurig, winter coat, robe & slippers, and a new cookie sheet. I had given Jeff a day with friends where he didn’t have to get a babysitter a few weeks before and he got several gifts from students. We spent a lot of the day snuggling and watching movies.


I did manage to make fudge (which marked the beginning and end of my holiday baking) and we enjoyed a lasagna dinner.

Friday I worked for the first time since Monday. We were surprisingly busy at work which made the time go by much faster than it normally would have. I was exhausted by the time I got home and went to bed very early. But we did get some gifts. My great-aunt and great-uncle included $10 in their Christmas card that arrived that day and my grandparents sent a $50 gift card.

This morning I got up early to clean up as while I went to bed early, and get ready because my parents came to visit today. They brought Shelby school uniforms, an Ariel doll, and pajamas. Joseph also got pajamas, a telescope, and  binoculars. William got a solar system projector, pajamas, and binoculars. We went to lunch at Highway 55 and afterward, the boys and I went with my parents to Wal-Mart. The boys each got a Lego set. Joseph got a Star Wars Interceptor while William got Cloud Cuckoo Land from Lego Movie. Jeff got a Sears gift card. I got pajamas, a Mary Engelbreit day calendar, a Marian retreat book, and a cross. I got some K-Cups and a copy of Holiday Inn. After an afternoon of haircuts (for Joseph) and lego building, my parents headed home.

And we aren’t done yet, we will head to my parents’ home New Year’s Day to visit with my mother’s parents.

Obviously with our illnesses it hasn’t been an easy go of it. In addition, I’ve lost my debit card and am waiting on a replacement. All minor annoyances to be sure. And this morning, we received the news of Courtney Lenaburg’s triumphant return home to God. We are saddened but also joyful knowing that she is in the arms of Jesus now.