Luckily I have the type of job that I can pick whenever I want to work. So I picked up a lot of shifts during the break! So I worked the day before Christmas Eve and then the day after Christmas since we then had to leave to got to Arizona for my Cousin's wedding.
Christmas Eve festivities started with a trip to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to see a free Christmas concert that they put on there. They've been doing it for years and was a family tradition when I was a kid. The kids loved it and Troy kept clapping and singing.
We tried to get a family picture in front of the beautiful Christmas Trees, but Ashlin wasn't cooperating very well.
Abby was more than willing to have HER picture taken!
Abby and Grandma Bayles
After the Music Center, we rushed home to get ready for Dinner. We had about 30+ family members there. 5/7 kids and families were there as well as John and Gracie Peterson and family. Stephanie had a fun time playing with Gunnar and putting flowers on his head!
The kids all dressed up as animals for the nativity scene
Ashlin the giraffe
Andrew and Troy were cows.
Jacob and Ashley played Joseph and Mary
Daniel rode the horse, and Gunnar was Jesus
Abby was an angel and she recruited Grant to help her fly!
Lizzie was also and angel. And here's Daniel sitting on Natalie-a very reverent rendition of the first Christmas as I'm sure you can imagine!
The whole gang! Stephanie is holding up Emma. Brian was both a wise man and a shepherd. And Stephan was the narrator.
After the nativity, the kids do a little talent show. Most of them played piano or sang. My kids wanted to participate, so they tried to sing a couple of Christmas songs.
Here's Troy singing who knows what?!
The girls sang "Jingle Bells"
We left my parent's house and went home to get ready for Santa. We gave the kids their jammies (which this year were actually robs-they were too cute to resist). We set cookies and milk out for Santa, and Abby wanted to get some carrots for the reindeer. She went in the kitchen, pulled out a bag of mini carrots, opened the front door, and threw the whole bag on the lawn.
Here are our Christmas Decorations before Santa arrived!
Ashlin in her robe. The kids actually went to bed pretty easily, but it was really late because of all the festivities. Only about 10 minutes after they went to bed, Santa arrived. Grant let him in through the front door since our chimney hasn't been cleaned in who knows how long! We went and grabbed the kids. A couple of them were already asleep. So we woke them up and they watched him put presents under the tree through the hole in the door where the door knob is supposed to be.
Apparently Santa heard us behind the door and insisted we come out and say, "hi". Each of the kids got to sit on his lap and hold sleigh bells. Also, he gave them each an ornament.
Santa's little helper!
Troy was a little hesitant at first, but then he noticed a strange familiarity in the voice and warmed up pretty quick!
Big hugs for Santa! These kids won't have a hard time believing in Santa!
After Santa left, we finished putting out any additional presents and then went to bed.
The hose AFTER Santa came!