Santa found us.
He left his squiggly writing like always, except this time it was even more authentic.
(Remember my dad was in town visiting…)
And not until 7:15 did we get woken up by their ruckus of caroling coming from this room:
These girls were pretty excited.
Here they are lined up to go see what was in the family room:
(I’m sure Elle was probably doing something very important on her phone right about then…:)
Then the present-opening festivities began:
Claire came in again with a great gift for me and Dave: a home-made flower garden complete with paper flowers, real grass and candy.
I’m going to give her an A+ on creativity on that one.
Grace gave us some of her best clay work from her clay class at school…filled with candy too.
Check out the detail on those suckers!
And Elle gave us a picture of the Hawaii temple along with a watercolor she whipped up that I love.
Lucy made all kinds of pretty awesome Braille tags and gifts for us, which I better photograph and get on here at some point too.
I made a Chatbook of random pictures from the year for each girl. They were pretty excited about those.
My friend started that company (Chatbooks) and it is pretty dang awesome. Check it out HERE.
Speaking of photo books, our friends who took care of and housed Elle in London for her internship (who we didn’t even really know at the time but who have been planted firmly in our hearts forever) sent us a book of some of the adventures over there in England.
It is SO BEAUTIFUL!
We are forever grateful for that wonderful Croft family.
(She was kind of mad about that as you can see…HA!)
We left the traditional eggs Benedict until after church.
I was so excited to have my mom, the expert, there to help with the hollandaise sauce. That’s a lot of concentration right there I tell you!
Everyone helped to whip up that delicious brunch.
…which we all thoroughly enjoyed.
Nana and Papa came over for a little visit to give us our gifts, and give Elle Nana’s traditional “first-year-of-college” blanket which she was pretty excited about.
We dropped off my parents at the airport (more about their visit soon…we got to so so many great things together)…we were sad to say goodbye but not too sad since we were going up to stay with them the next day…
…and headed to Dave’s parent’s house for their traditional Christmas Day potluck dinner that we have missed the last few years.
So good to be with these great cousins we adore:
That’s where we got our special book from Kara that I talked about back HERE.
Then we went home to whip that Christmas house of ours into shape before talking to Max and packing up to head out early the next morning.
By this point the Christmas rush had hit, and there was so much to do and I think stresses and all the commotion leading up to this point somehow mixed up to fuel a great wing-dinger of a fight between Dave and me.
Luckily Dave is pretty great at saying he’s sorry…even when it’s my fault, and we were able to clear out that horrible feeling in time to get ready for the talk with our boy.
Love Elle's dress
What a wonderful Christmas. I would love for you to do a post on how you control phone/electronic users in your teenagers..lol
We talk about it a lot, and are continually revamping. It is so tricky! I don't have any new ideas since I talked about it back here: https://71toes.com/2016/10/social-mediatechnology-trainers.html
i have a totally random and unrelated question for you – will you please share the details (brand & model etc) of your couch in the pictures above?
everyone always looks so comfortable on that couch!
i'm looking for a couch that accommodates tall people – lol
my 15 yr old son is 6'4 and still growing.
actually i would love for you to do more posts on your beautiful house and all of the furnishings – you have incredible style!
Those couches are from "Thrive Home Furnishings" which has a whole slew of great couches. These ones are almost too deep but I do love how they look. If you get something there make sure to pick a super soft fabric…just a little advice from someone who picked kind of scratchy stuff 🙂
Some day I really will update that house blog! I appreciate so much the things I found online to help us with our home, so I'd love to return the favor and share what's worked for us but there just aren't enough hours in the day. Hopefully with my new whiz-bang 2017 schedule I will get to it at some point!
Looks like good family fun and traditions. Noticed that some were wearing "freedom" tshirts. What's the significance?
That is just a board shop my husband and brothers help manage. They make super soft t-shirts that we all love.
I loved reading this! Your family is forever planted firmly in our hearts as well. We love and miss Elle and talk about her all of the time! She set the best example of what a big sister should be and we are so grateful! So glad you had a wonderful Christmas. xoxoxo
Miss you guys Rachel!
What a fun and memorable Christmas. I was wondering were you purchase your Freedom shirts.
It's just a little hole-in-the-wall shop in a strip mall. I wish they had an online store!
I'm glad I married a guy who says sorry first even when it's MY fault, too.
Looks like a great Christmas! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Great to see what happened after we left! Never a dull moment! 🙂
YIKES! I just realized that I forgot to show that talk with Max on my blog post about our family being all over the world! I don't know how to copy this great picture to get it in with this new system on blogger, but i've gotta do it! Such a grand moment for you all!