7:30 or so we woke up and I was SO HAPPY to be in my very own house for Christmas day. Ruby was already doing art in the office, crafting away in her p.j.'s. I left Ben to get up the boys while I ran downstairs to pop the quiches in the oven which I had prepared the night before. I sliced some panatonne and started the water for the French press. As I put the plaid dishes on the island, Oma and Opa came out of the guest room, called "Oma and Opa's room" around here.

The kids and Ben came roaring down and we had the kids sit in their chairs one by one to open their stockings.

Ruby let out a shriek when she found....50 plain white envelopes...that Santa knows how this five year old LOVES envelopes.

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The boys got balls and wooden cars and before the scuffling for each other's balls began in earnest, we popped them in a chair for a five minute gnaw on their Belgian chocolate characters which Santa also brought. Tymen looks suspiciously at his mother, knowing that this sugar spree will not go on forever.

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Ruby and Opa tried out her new Etch A Sketch. My dad is so good at getting down and playing hard with the kids. He races cars, gives horsy rides and teaches art lessons.

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LOVE this one from down the table of Jeppy getting a Christmas smooch before we all dig into breakfast.

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Always a ham.

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Coffee cups were refilled. We read the Christmas story and sang "Away in a Manger" and did the actions. We opened the family gifts. Jasper loves to cook right now and we all "ate" cookies for the rest of the day. I love imagination gifts like this.

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Tymen got a wooden train. You can see his mouth saying, "Choooooooo!" My sweet boy is getting really good at machine noises.

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The debris was tidied. The kids played furiously with their new toys. We all sat around and chatted until hunger struck.

Croquettes for lunch. Deep fried creamed meat dipped in mustard. Dad declared that they were as good as his mother's....a high compliment.

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Ruby did some art. They boys were put down for naps. A knock at the door...my dear friend dropped by with her girls. We taught them the valuable art of mandarin orange peel elephant faces.

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Then I put the camera down and happily cooked away at dinner. Beef tenderloin which my mother was teaching me how to cook. She hovered but tried to keep her hands off. Twice baked potatoes. Roasted carrots. Creamed spinach. Bread. Vanilla apple bread pudding.

We moan and groan and play the new Wii which Ben got for Christmas.

I am happy. And now I am happy that all the Christmas stuff has been packed away.

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