A Blessed Christmas Day by El Momma

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas day. We definitely did. It was one of those days where it could have been a complete chaotic mess and that would have been okay. Because, what can you really expect from a family with four kids, age five and under!? But, by the end of the day when my husband and I were sitting alone in our living room by the soft glowing lights of the Christmas tree reflecting on the day, we knew our Christmas day was just as it should be. Perfect.

Our day started with 3 very excited little Els. They were anxious to get downstairs and see if Santa left them a present under the Christmas tree. I think this picture captures them in the middle of saying “happy birthday, Jesus!”

Santa was good to all of the Els. He brought an engraved rocking horse snow globe for the baby, a collector’s baby doll for Trinity, an electric guitar for Maddux and Magic School Bus science kits for Bakri. They were very very excited!

Our day continued with the arrival of my parents to celebrate Christmas with my mom and dad, sister, brother, sister-in-law and three of our nephews. Not leaving our house on Christmas day was such a blessing. I can’t even begin to explain how amazing this made our Christmas. My parents arrived with lots of food and I made a couple of really simple dishes- baked brie, a turducken, and green bean casserole. We just relaxed and prepared the table for food and the kids played with some of their new toys.
My brother and his family arrived and the fun really began! They have 3 boys and another baby on the way. So, we will soon have 8 grandchildren at all of our gatherings. It is a lot of fun. After a casual lunch, we had a birthday party for Jesus.

We gathered at the table for the birthday party!



 We sang the “happy birthday” song three times. One time the candle went out on its own. Then my sister blew it out the second time. Finally, the third time (the charm) the grands blew out the birthday candle. Whew!

Soon it was time to open presents. We gathered in areas of the living room…separated in to family groups! And, actually, it wasn’t that crazy after all. The wildest time was when the boys opened their “pillow pets,” a gift from their Aunt Melinda. It was hilarious. They all screamed and cheered about their pillow pets. So fun!
Leeland got a new blanket with his name and birthday monogrammed on it. He loves it.

 Maddux is a sharp dresser. So, he really loved his new winter sweater and wanted to put it on right away. He did. No big deal that it is on backwards!

 Leeland, Trinity and Anthony got rocking chairs from Grandmother and Grandfather. The older boys got rocking chairs for Christmas a few years ago. These rocking chairs are so nice. They are solid cherry and have their names and birthdays on them. I hope they will keep them forever and someday their children will rock in them.

 After all of the partying, opening of presents, eating, singing and laughing, the kids napped and then watched a movie and I folded clothes and made dinner. Yes, folded clothes. It was glorious! Seriously, with a family of six and all of the rehearsals, preparing for church services, Christmas parties and family events, I managed to keep our clothes clean, but not put away. It took me nearly two hours to complete this task! But, I did it and I felt amazing when it was done! For dinner, I asked the Els what they wanted and the answer was “pancakes.” So, I whipped up a fresh batch of homemade pancakes and they each ate at least three. I think Bakri had five. And then, with full tummies, we put them all to bed, with their pillow pets, of course!

There was still plenty of work to be done in the house, but instead we decided to sit together in the quiet, downstairs. The Christmas tree was lit and we just talked. We talked about Christmas. We talked about our children. We talked about how special the  day turned out to be. We talked about the blessing of Christmas. How do we make it about Jesus when the world says it’s about presents? I don’t know the answer to that. But, I do know that we showed our children a lot of love on Christmas. We didn’t give them a lot of presents, but I know they felt the love and hopefully they will learn that is the most precious gift you can give and receive.

May your days be Merry and Bright.

Lots of love,
El Momma

Christmas Day Lunch with the Maddux Family

Our Christmas tree…it is absolutely FULL of ornaments. I joked that we needed another tree for all of our ornaments. But, seriously, its no joke. I am going to be putting up another tree next year! I have so many ornaments, that I think I can put a tree together with a theme…but, you’ll have to wait until next year to see what that will be!Each year my parents give each of us ornaments. I am the one who writes everybody’s names on them. And this year the ornaments are big red trucks. You can see them sitting on the tables.

Our Christmas table.

The food was amazing. My mom cooked everything and brought it over warm. All I had to do was put it in the oven and thanks to my wonderful husband, my 50 year old O’keefe and Merritt stove was up and running for the first time in almost a year. Moustapha took it apart to restore it. It is looking really great! And it works! That is the most important part.

The kids (James, Bakri and Maddux) sat at this table. Bakri had already enjoyed some sausage balls and water, so that is why one of the plates looks dirty….because it is!
Our fireplace included 8 stockings this year. One for each of us…and 1 for each of the kids “first Christmas” stockings.

We put the kids table in the entry way. The hope was that blocking one of the “tracks” in the house that the kids like to run on, we would decrease the amount of running. For some reasons when cousins get together, they begin running and they seem to never stop. And in our house they can run a big circle around the first floor. It is so loud and a little frustrating for the adults in the house. This table in the entry way did help a little, but it certainly did not stop the running game completely.

Christian joined us at the adult table. He’s 18 months old. So, he’s not quite ready to join the big boys. Next year, though, he’ll definitely be part of the running crew at the kid table!

More views of dinner. Here is grandmother enjoying her great cooking and Moustapha also enjoying.

After we opened presents, we had our annual Birthday party for Jesus. The boys look forward to this very special tradition.

Grandmother and Grandfather gave each of the younger boys wheel barrows and yard tools and they gave the older boys Krazy Kars. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of the Krazy Kars in action yet, but you can see below all the yard work that was taking place on Christmas day!

Trinity had some special time opening presents, ornaments and a few Christmas cards. My parents also stayed to watch her reactions. She got a beautiful new abc blanket with her name and birthday on it and some precious ornaments. She was very happy!

Here I am showing her a new dress. She loves bows and flowers!