Today was very simple, which is what I've been yearning for and had been wanting for this Holiday Season. While, in the end, the kids got way more then they were supposed, it was still very close to my vision. I dearly love my family and enjoy the time we have together, but at times it can be very stressful. So this year, although I hadn't planned it that way on purpose, in the end I was happy to have actual Christmas day just to ourselves. We've never had a holiday like that to just us and I enjoyed it.

We were all slugabed's although the kids finally got insistent about coming downstairs just before 10. They were all really excited to come and see what they'd been left. They all got their stockings first. At the last minute while they weren't looking, I also stuff little ornaments that their Great Aunt Elaine was kind enough to make and send. Apparently she must have forgotten to send ours last year because we got two years worth in our box this year. LOL The kids were all excited over their goodies in their stockings and all immediately started eating their fruit which I was happy to see. A pear, a handful of nuts and a tangerine would fill their little bellies and hold them a few hours until it was time to eat lunch, a simple fare of crackers, cheese, and meat. It was also much healthier fare than the candy making it's way down their gullets as well. We decided to show patience by only one gift getting opened at a time. I didn't want a huge mad dash for presents and then not even know what anyone had gotten. (Or even what they themselves had gotten.)

They only got a few items each, most of which all fit into a large gift bag that I'd made, one for each of them. The all got poetry books, as well as a book with jigsaw puzzles. James Where the Sidewalk Ends, Charles The Dragons Are Singing Tonight and Deedee a beautiful fairy poetry book with gorgeous artwork and little sliding pictures. And Carey was pleased to note the he got two shirts he'd been wanting: I Demand Justice black T from DespairWear and I Am A Sexy Shoeless God of War! featuring Belkar from Order of the Stick.

After the presents were opened and everything had been put away, the morning was spent quietly playing. James insisted that we get out his new marble run he got from Grandma Sue. It's a bit flimsy but he loves it anyway and he had a blast putting the darn thing together.

We had a good lunch, (I had a nap) and then Carey was off to return some stuff to his mother while I got the kids ready to go. The road was beautiful and clear so we decided we'd drive thirty miles to see the locomotive park in Lewiston. At this time every year, it's always lit with a ton of lights and it's really an awesome sight. The kids had a blast there and Carey's talking about doing it again next year.

We got out on a bit of a late start, so it was later than planned when we got back but we still did our big meal that Carey asked for: hamburgers! LOL He said he wanted something simple and he decided that hamburgers would definitely be simple and fun. After everyone scarfed all of that down with sparkling cider or eggnog, we shared a small plum pudding that I had gotten. I thought it was very good although most everyone else just picked at theirs and ate only the cream from the top. Sigh... they don't know what's good!

The kids got shooed to bed. While Carey took care of the younger ones, I stayed downstairs with James and read one of his new books to him, a really cool pirate book that also came with four jigsaw puzzles. We read the whole book (not very big) and did one of the puzzles. He should have gone to bed with the rest, but he'd been so good just jumping in and clearing the table without my even asking that I just had to reward him. So he's finally off to bed, and even Kitty is asleep! Finally, and Carey and I could sit down to play a game that we'd gotten a couple of weeks ago. It looked like a lot of fun and we'd been looking forward to playing it.

However, Carey threw a wrench into the works and insisted that we go sledding first! So here it is 10 at night, and we're out there with our children's pilfered saucers giggling like naughty children. It was a blast. We only went down a few times and we had the monitor with us in case the kids woke up, but we didn't want to be away for too long. Carey was growling that I went faster and further than he was. I only wiped out once and I'm still not sure what happened. Still, I haven't had that much fun in a long time. It was exhilerating.

We finally went back in and changed out of our wet stuff into nice comfy new pj's to play the game. We thought we had figured it out at least although, Carey was complaining because we were rotating through the adventure decks rather quickly. He had already bought some expansion cards but he'd been assured that he wouldn't actually need them for some time. We finally realized that Carey had forgotten to open of the decks! After that we had a ton, more then enough to last us for quite a while. James is also super interested in it, so I need to figure out how to dumb down a game meant for 12 and up so a 5 year old can understand it and still have a lot of fun. The game is called Runebound, and while it cost an arm and a leg, we're having fun with it. It's nice for once to be able to play a game with Carey that doesn't have to have more than two players to be a lot of fun.

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