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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Recap Take 1

Ahhh, Christmas Eve!  So many fun traditions packed into one day.  Most years it looks pretty much the same with only a slight variation here and there.  This year was no different.

To kick things off?  Heading down to our city's great, big, beautiful food market.  We stopped to window shop but did pick up a few items here and there.  J's salivating over the meat.
 Me?  I'm salivating over the sweeties!  Ha!!
 Next stop was the post office (?!) and a Christmas Eve selfie.
Time for church!
After the children's service at church in which the Noodle was singing, we came back to our house for our annual Christmas Eve tea.
Lala and Papa had also been down at the Market earlier in the day and they picked up raw oysters.  It isn't pretty or elegant, but gets the job done!
Here's a panoramic view of the spread.  We had TONS of food.  Various cheeses and crackers, raw shrimp, oysters, chicken salad sandwiches, banana nut bread with cream cheese, scones with clotted cream and either lemon curd or peach jam, jaioxi, fruit salad, trifle, Christmas cookies, chocolate mint bars, chocolate dipped oranges with sea salt, tea and of course, champagne.  It was all delish!
This year, we invited some goods friends from church to join us for Christmas Eve.  They have been so kind to share many of their family's traditions with us that we wanted to do the same.  Their oldest is quite a "foodie" so he was ALL ABOUT experiencing English tea.  Ha!
Here is their oldest son checking out the spread.  Both our friends and Lala and Papa love oysters and their son was eager to try one.
 Getting the instructions as to how to slurp eat them.
 His take on the oysters?  So GOOD!!  I think his parents were pumped that he enjoyed them, right?!
 J and Mei Mei giving it a try.  Both of them liked the oysters too--Mei Mei especially.
Now it is my turn.  I think you can tell by my face what my reaction was...I'm more than happy to leave the oysters to those who enjoy them ;)
 Finally it was the Noodle's turn.  She's with me in my camp.  Thanks, but no thanks.
 Pre-tea snuggles.
 It was a tight fit in our dining room, but we did it.  The older kiddos were at their own table.
It was such a fun, relaxing evening.  The kids did a great job, even as the adults continued talking waay into the night.  Excitement levels were high but when it was bedtime, everyone fell right asleep.

Christmas morning, the Noodle woke up first at 6:15 but had been given strict instructions not to wake anyone else up until at least 7:00.  I went up to talk/read/play with her around 6:45 and everyone else slept until 8:00, at which point I was ready to crawl back into bed.  Oh well!
Mei Mei got "a barbie with a cut off head" (obvs. her words) and the Noodle had an inkling what was in the bag as she was opening it.  It is no secret that the Noodle has interesting reactions  to dolls (see here for a Christmas past, example), as evidenced by this picture.
 It provided J with numerous opportunities for giggles and laughs.  Good thing Mei Mei loved it!
 Opening up presents--such excitment!
 Sister love.
 Matching slippers for 3 out of 4 of us.
It was a great Christmas morning and everyone was all smiles with the lovely presents that they received!

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