Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends. We had a very nice Christmas, though not with much family this year. First off, Merry Christmas to the family and friends that we usually spend time celebrating with but will not see this year: Dad, Barbara, Maya, Kevin, Noah, Maggie, my adorable nephew Henry, Jeff, Melissa, Bill, Charlotte, Phil, Shirley, Brandon, Lelah, Sarah, Gene, Baby Eleanor (well this would have been the first), Emily, and Kyle. We missed you today and talked about you all! Hope you had a great day if we didn't get a chance to wish you a Merry Christmas on the phone!
We had such a good Christmas. We went over to our neighbor's house last night for our annual cul-du-sac, out of staters party. We get together every Christmas Eve (this is the 4th!) with our neighbors who are from out of state and have a party together. The food and conversation are always great and the kids are always SO excited. It has been a real blessing to have such wonderful neighbors here in North Carolina.
Then we got to deliver the gifts to a family that our small group "adopted" for Christmas this year. A single mother of four who goes to our church had a hard year and we were able to give them some special surprises to help them celebrate the day today. It was such a privilege for us and I had too much fun shopping for them. What a sweet family. The kids were all in bed (we went over about 11:30 at night) and they were surprised I am sure to see what Santa left them when they came down stairs this morning.
We unwrapped our traditional Christmas pajamas and slippers last night before bed and Kevin gave me one of my presents so I could use it on Christmas morning... a Nikon Digital SLR camera! It is amazing and it will be so nice to take to Ukraine! He really spoiled me this morning as well. I got a bunch of nice things from Gap, lots of bubble bath, bath bombs, and salts, DVDs, etc. I got him a rolling garment bag, nice dress clothes for work, running clothes, a running watch, cologne, and all kinds of other wonderfully boring things that I am sure no one really wants to read all about. ;) We slept in this morning, opened our stockings, got breakfast in the oven, opened our presents, and ate while we watched a new DVD Kevin got me. Then we picked up the mess we made and Ryan (Kevin's brother) came over. We played Clue and got dinner ready and then we stuffed ourselves and played more games and opened presents. It was such a nice day.
Some of the presents that we got this year have to do with our adoption! My best friend and her husband sent us several of her favorite childhood Christmas books with a special note I am going to tape inside about them. (Aw.) Ryan got us travel books on Ukraine and a Ukrainian recipe book which will be great to incorporate some traditional Ukrainian recipes into our family's diet. Kevin's parents gave us Best Buy gift cards so that we can buy the video camera we were hoping to get before we travel! We were very spoiled by everyone who made or bought and sent lovely cards and gifts and sweets for us this Christmas! We have such nice family, friends, and neighbors. Thank you all!
Okay, let me see if I can download some pictures from the new camera so I can share some of our pictures with you. (You do not even want to know how many pictures I have already taken. I was shocked, but the camera is so quick that you take about 10 pictures in the time it took to take 1 on our old camera!)
In front of the tree last night in our Christmas pajamas. Keaton was going to wear the antlers but took them off and ran away. We were going to take the picture without him but he ran in with the antlers in his mouth and plopped himself right down in front as the camera clicked. We were laughing so hard!
Okay, I will have to add the rest later. It is way too late and the computer is moving very slowly.