Monday, December 26, 2011

christmas eve with casa gabriel

December 23 - mom tells the kids "I'm going to need you to help out a little bit tomorrow."  The boy-child replies "But mom, it's Christmas!"
Mostly they did quite well with the few chores they had.  Maddy did a crazy amount of dishes, Mia helped with running things up and down from the kitchen we are borrowing upstairs, Cade tidied up the family room and Lucy picked parsley....
 I just finished cutting onions for the stuffing and then I asked Lucy to pick all the parsley leaves off the stems.  She kept complaining that her eyes hurt from the onions, so Eric found a way to "encourage" her to continue her chores while protecting her precious peepers.
Goggles - not only for swimmers.
 Cade also helped out by taking care of his own lunch.  He made himself a peanut butter sandwich.
 Okay, well I ended up spreading the peanut butter on, but he gave it a good go.
Then around 4:00 the people started coming.  All the kids:
 The whole group - minus yours truly and three people who came later:

After a few photos it was time for dinner.

Last year we introduced the unwrapping game (for lack of a better name).  We had to bring it back - by popular demand.  They boys loved it.  Since there are 5 new guys since last Christmas, Eric had to go through the explanation again.
Then the boys had-at-it!
Jesús got the prize again - for the second year in a row!!  Perhaps it is something about the name and the time of year.....
Eric and I also bought a bunch of $2-4 gifts - one for each guy, and had them play the white elephant gift exchange type game (although they were all decent gifts) - where everyone has a number and they unwrap a gift in order.... can either steal someone else's gift or take a new one.
It started off pretty slow, but once one of them (Dario) stole the first gift, it was on!   I'm guessing that next year they will be into it from the get-go.
The guys also all got stockings with some essentials like toothbrushes and fun stuff like candy.

Then we had the regular gift exchange.  We always do a name pull/exchange.  The kids got Danielle (the Douce's daughter), Carlos, Lizandro and Miguel.  And again Jesús..... last year he picked Mia's name and was beside himself not knowing what to buy for her.  This year he got Cade and again his anxiety level rose.  He bought Cade some baseball slippers and they were a hit!
Cade was thrilled.
I was a little (more than a little) sad that they boys had to leave at 8:30 to go play games at another house - I really wanted them to stay and play here.  But we did end on a fun, happy note and I think the guys had a great time.  I know I did.

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