What a wonderful Christmas we had this year! Each day brought surprises and unexpected blessings. It is amazing to me how God knows exactly what we need and puts it in our lives just at the right time. It has been a season of trusting in the Lord and truly feeling His presence as He has answered our prayers one at a time in His time of course. That's the tricky part, just waiting for His time! ( And anyone who knows me knows that patience is NOT my strong suit!)
We started off the Christmas fun by having the kids pick names among each other. We had a lot of fun when the kids exchanged their "Secret Santa" gifts with each other. It was neat to see what they picked out for each other. I think that they were actually more excited to give their gifts to each other than to get their presents.
The next fun Christmas activity was Christmas with my Mom and Dad, Chris, Jess and their families. My parents had a neat idea to try something different. They had everyone meet at their house and they gave each of us a very Christmasy fancy decorated envelope with $ in it. We then loaded up into our cars and headed to the mall. There were a few rules...1) you had to spend your money on yourself. 2) you couldn't make fun of the giant fancy envelope (that was mom's rule because she was the decorator!) 3) the person who spent the most money without going over won a secret prize. That added a fun little twist to the day. The boys can be the tiniest bit competitive...I know you are probably shocked by this, but it's true. When there was mention of a prize...it was GAME ON! It was slightly chaotic and crazy, but a lot of fun! The kids really enjoyed shopping. As Hannah said, "I LOVE envelopes...and I LOVE money... and I LOVE shopping!!!" I must say that I agree. I was able to buy myself a tiny little camera that fits in my purse. LOVE IT!!! All of the kids were very happy at the end of the day except Coley. She had been saving her birthday and Christmas money to buy a mini-notebook computer. Well...when we finally got to Walmart, they were sold out. She was sad. But two days later Pap-pap came through. He called me from Staples. They had the computer that Coley wanted and there was only one left. He picked it up for her. She was so excited! So even though it was belated, she was also a very happy Hough. The other very happy Hough was Isaac. He was the winner! I thought that I had it in the bag with 32 cents, but the little booger beat me! He only had 8 cents left! He won the "big prize." It was a very fancy fish ornament. He is to keep it until next year for the next winner. After a long day of shopping, we headed back to Mom and Dad's house to eat a yummy meal of spaghetti and meatballs. All in all their crazy idea was a success! Fun was had by all!
Here is Mom making the pasta.
Coley and Franny waiting for dinner
The boys table
Even Lucy was dressed up for Christmas. Don't you just love her fancy dress!
Here is Isaac with his Trophy Ornament!
Everyone playing with their new stuff.
Mama and Pap-pap with the Hough kids
Our next big Christmas event was Christmas eve. Brian took all of the kids except for Aiden to Pittsburgh for our annual trip to see the Santa exhibit. I stayed home and made pies, our breakfast for Christmas morning and got all of our church clothes ready for the evening. I actually had a little bit of extra time to paint my nails and straighten my hair! Merry Christmas to me! I enjoyed the gift of a Silent afternoon, while Aiden took a nap. Brian and the kids got home in time to run in and change and then we all hopped into the van and headed to Brian's mom's house for the traditional Vagilia Polish dinner. The food was delicious. The company was wonderful. It was a good night.
Gia and her pillow pet
Rexton, armed and dangerous!
Aunt Ne' just wanted a picture with her godson, but Aiden wasn't having it!
Here was a good one!
A blast from the past...an old Christmas card featuring my three biggest kids...sooo very cute!
Aiden trying to escape...nice try!
Hannah was loving her Pillow pet too!
All that Isaac really really wanted was a bb gun and "Priest clothes with church stuff." Babee' came through and found the robes and a bunch of "church things, like a chalice and a paten.
Sweet baby Jude
Noah was so handsome in his fancy Christmas clothes.
Noah and Sissy
After we left Brian's mom's house we headed to the 8:00 Christmas Eve mass at our church. It was packed!!! There wasn't a single seat left in the church. Not cool considering that we need at least 8 seats just for our family. Brian and the boys went to the basement and brought up some folding chairs which we set up in the entry area of the church. At first I was a little bit disappointed, but I think that it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The main church was so crowded that it was REALLY hot and stuffy. We had a good view of the altar, we could hear everything and it was nice and cool. Definitely a good thing. After mass we loaded back into the car and headed home. It was about 9:30 when we got home and the kids just wanted to get their jammies on and get in bed to get ready for Santa, but I made them get their pictures taken first. I threatened to stay up all night so that Santa wouldn't come if they wouldn't cooperate. Mean, but effective! ;0)
My handsome boys
My lovely ladies
My Beautiful Brood
My Handsome Husband and I
Christmas morning brought the usual chaotic whirl of activity. The kids actually woke up before we did. Not a normal thing around here! I popped the breakfast casserole in the oven and Brian turned all of the Christmas lights on. The kids came out and gathered around the table for the reading of the yearly Santa Claus letter and to light the Christ candle in the center of the advent wreath.
Coley reading the traditional letter
Santa DID come!
The gift opening commenced. There were many squeals of delight and excitement. It is so much fun to watch the kids open their gifts! They were all truly happy and thankful for everything.
Aiden in his new Christmas jammies
Isaac and his recruited altar server, Gia playing church with his new church stuff.
Gianna and her "little kid laptop"
Coley and her new camera
Jake and his ihome
DJ and his new gym bag
Hannah checking out the new tea set...plastic so that Noah can't smash it like their ceramic one.
After we were done opening gifts, we had the big Christmas morning breakfast...well, most of us did. Hannah had a stomach ache and threw up from waking up too early. Poor thing. She went back to bed for a couple of hours and was fine for the rest of the day. We eventually got showered and dressed and went to Mema and Poppy's for lunch. Again...YUMMY food and fabulous company. It was so nice to see my family. Unfortunately Jess and Franny weren't there. They both had the stomach flu and spent their Christmas day on the couch. After a nice visit we headed back home to relax for a little while before Joan, Patrick and Gramma Hughan came for a visit and to see for themselves what Santa had brought for the kids. we had a REALLY fancy Christmas dinner of frozen pizza, mini tacos and corndogs. Don't judge me! We had been eating giant meals for days and just needed some food to pick at. I thought that it was quite yummy!
There you have it...our Christmas 2010 in a nutshell. It was full of family, food and blessings. I couldn't ask for anything more.