We had a great Christmas Eve with the extended Earls. Though I must say, there were not enough of us there. So if all of you who didn't get their butts up to Moses Lake for Christmas this year can step it up next year and get it right I would really appreciate it!
Jon brought one of his family traditions with him this year, the Christmas chimes. His family takes a casual approach to the chimes. They all hand out the different chimes and politely play along with the music until they figure out which tune they are playing. Nothing about that is Earl style. first off, each of us tried our hardest to get the chime that got the most play time. Then we practiced the tune several times in order to sound good enough for the Earl talent show. Corrections were shouted out frequently during our practice session, 'Bryan you aren't holding your spoon right.' 'Dad, that's not your note!' 'Courtney you are high C, not low C.' 'Bryan, you are still not holding your spoon right! Are you going to do it correctly or not?' I caught Jon shaking his head in resignation a few times.
The truly funny part was, the chimes were not their first choice for Earl talent. My parents were dead set on the family learning this lovely routine.
I will admit, my dad doing a little Beyonce booty shake would have been pretty dang funny, but we just couldn't get our moves together in time. So we moved on to the chimes.
That night, we opened our Christmas pajamas and the photo shoot ensued. I am just remembering as I type this that we used to runway style walk down the stairs in our new pjs, do our model turn, hair flip, and continue back down our runway... I will tell you you really haven't laughed hard enough if you haven't seen Kristy's 6 year old model walk. Oh the good ol' days!
We debated back and forth whether to wake Scarlet up for Santa but we finally decided to go for it. So when my dad came downstairs in the wee early hours of the morning (ok, about 6:30 a.m.) I grabbed a half awake, half frightened Scarlet out of her bed, pacifier still in mouth, and we crouched under a well placed table. She laid in my arms pretty peacefully until Santa walked in the door. I could feel every muscle in her body tense and she was instantly wide awake. I could see her eyes following those boots as they walked back and forth across the room. At one point he came up to the side of the table and we could see him from head to toe. She instantly grabbed tight to my hand and I could feel her slightly shaking. I held her tight and she continued to watch his every movement until he walked out the door.
Then we all came rushing out of our hiding spots to see what he had left behind. Scarlet got a Baby Alive doll, which she loved. Rhode (who we got after Santa has exited) got a winnie the pooh tummy time mat. So far, he still isn't a huge fan of the tummy time but he had a great time staring intently at the box for awhile.
My mom never puts our names on the presents. She doesn't want us trying to figure out what we got or how many are ours so the names are always in code. This year we were all pop stars. I was Shakira this year and Jon was Hannah Montana. We got some great presents this year. Jon and I tried to keep things pretty low key this year. He got a pretty expensive speeding ticket the week before Christmas so my present to him this year is to do his online traffic school for him. He got me a much needed new set of scriptures.
Scarlet trying on Aunt Kylie's new Christmas hat.
Scarlet did very well. Jon and I got her several sets of color wonder markers and notebooks in hopes of saving our walls from further graffiti and some new books. Aunt Kylie got Scarlet the new Tinkerbell movie. And my parents got her several adorable outfits, snow clothes, an electronic purse, a teddy bear, a toy vacuum cleaner, and SEVERAL others that made a lot of noise. She was in toddler heaven! Rhode also got some fun toys from grandma and grandpa, we played the 'he's not old enough to care' card and got him nothing!
One of our favorite gifts of the year was Jon's gift to Bryan, his secret santa sibling. We had the hardest time decided what to get, so Jon decided to get him... a machete. Yeah, a real machete. It was pretty awesome. Bryan seemed excited about it. I think Jon and Bryan found a few things outside that needed machete-ing before we left. Boys...
We spent the rest of Christmas day in our pajamas, playing all our new games and eating all the junk we could. Scarlet kept going up to different aunts and uncles saying, 'I'm hungry!" which actually sounds like "I'n hun-gee". They would then say, ok what do you want? To which she would reply, "candy!" or "tan-dee"! She scored a lot of chocolate that way. Every time I would find her with another mouthful of chocolate, I would turn to the offending aunt or uncle and they would look at me with their innocent eyes and say, "She said she was hungry!" So easily fooled by a cute face....
I loved seeing my children get to spend so much time with my family. Scarlet was constantly beckoning one of her aunts to "come!" and follow her to wherever she wanted to play next.
She even learned a few names! Kendall (Ten-dow) is her favorite name to say. She still will turn to me occasionally and say, "mom, where ten-dow?".
Rhode got spoiled rotten as someone was there to hold him every second of the day.