Family Christmas Dinner
This was a unique day for both Caleb and Steven. Christmas 2008 Caleb was home but we were not because we were in Ukraine meeting Steven (my nostalgic moment was at the elementary program when Steven was sitting on my lap and I recalled him sitting on my lap in the orphanage last year at the St. Nicholas program)--so in a way it was our first Christmas with Caleb and our 2nd with Steven even though Caleb came home first--and we did celebrate with Caleb before we went to Ukraine last year. But however you look at it, it was our 1st Christmas with all of us at home. And it was a good day. First, we took turns opening presents one at a time from youngest to oldest--Kevin missed a few turns because he was getting the turkey into the oven, but he caught up later. Then we helped the kids try to extract their stuff from the shoplift-proof packaging so they could play awhile before everything had to be picked up for the family dinner at 2:00 pm. We had 19 at the table--though of course 8 of us live here full-time. Our guests were my mom and dad, my Aunts Berta and Beverly, my cousin Dave and his wife Debbie and their daughter Jacki, my cousin Jael, her husband and two small children. Sadly Debra Joy was ill and couldn't join us. After reading the Christmas story from the Bible, we (well, some of us) ate until we could barely waddle, had a $1 gift exchange, played and sang songs (Kevin and Dave strummed their guitars; later B sang "Mary Did You Know?" so sweetly accompanied by S on her clarinet), ate some more, chatted, snacked a bit, tried a couple of these goodies and one of that kind, talked, chewed . . . Good grief!! and then those hoodlums had the nerve to leave a whole bunch of their calorie-ridden goodies with me.