So you want to know about my holiday break so far? Me neither. But, too bad, because I am going to tell you anyway. And because I am related to George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. I chopped down a cherry tree this Christmas. Just kidding. That which I cannot lie about is that this holiday break has been awesome. I have loved every minute of it :)
Monday I took the kids for a little tennis. Which turned out to be exponentially more fun than last time because the chance that my kids could return the ball back to me over the net increased from 0% to about 35%. What a difference a year makes!
Christmas Eve morning I took the kids ice skating. It was a dream come true. For them. The rink was mostly empty and the bestest part was they were only playing Christmas music, so the experience was 100% Bieber-free!
The good news is that Cindy remembered how to skate after only one lap around and only took two spills right at the end. She claimed the first one broke her tailbone, but her tail was moving just fine by the time we left.
Luke apparently was beginning to get a little sick that day. He had a fever and fell asleep multiple times after we got home. Here he is sacked out at 3:15pm. Poor little guy!
And here is the self-timer feature on my phone in action. Not bad! We sent this pic out to Jacob's family in Utah where they were having a big Christmas Eve get together. It was our way of being there. A lame way, but a way just the same.
But he managed to perk himself up when it was time to open jammies!
I think both of the kids were genuinely surprised and happy with my choices this year. Luke definitely did not see the Wimpy Kid pajamas coming. My cryptic mentions of Ninja Turtles completely threw him off. And eBay came through yet again.
And now, the story of Cindy and the truth about Santa Claus.....
(I took most of this from excerpts from an email I sent to DeAnne)
Cindy having to be told Santa is not real came quite out of the blue at about 11pm on Christmas Eve night.
I was realizing in the past few weeks how much Cindy TRULY believes in Santa Claus. I remember her asking me last year and I just said, what do you think? and left it at that. But usually by 4th grade the jig is up and everyone at school has told you the truth. But not for her! She was the one leading the charge to make the cookies, and make sure the door was left unlocked and she even made a giant sign in the tree to point to the cookies-
(And we didn't just leave Santa some lame-o cookies. Nope, we left him cinnamon Stormtrooper muffins. Boo-yah! Thanks, Susie!)
Cindy even left a blank piece of paper that said "Dear Sweeney Family" at the top and "Love, Santa" at the bottom, so all he had to do was fill in the middle with a note to us. I mean, this kid BELIEVED. In a way, I was just loving it. It kept her young and innocent. So on Christmas Eve night we read the story in Luke 2, then we watched a bunch of videos on Mormon.org and then Jacob gave a little lesson. Jacob was explaining to the children that Satan is the one who gets the world to only focus on Santa, elves, presents, etc. but we need to remember Christ and why we even have the holiday. The kids were reverent and asked a few questions and that was it. It was a nice message right before bed. Luke went right to bed after that but Cindy stayed up to watch a movie. I came into the kitchen and she was pouring milk with a very furrowed brow and said, "Mom, Dad just said that Satan is the one who likes Santa and elves and stuff, and so just tell the truth, right here, right now. Is Santa real?" She was so serious I knew that I couldn't be ambiguous any longer. I stalled for a minute because I didn't know what I wanted her to know at this point. I thought she should talk to her dad. So she went in to ask him and he said "Sit down." And she did and he said, "Cindy, Santa is not real." I literally heard a gasp and the blood drained from her face. And she did the biggest face palm of all time. The worst part was that she was sooooo embarrassed. And I was soooo sad. She just could not believe it. But, hey, she wanted to know and Jacob does not sugar coat anything. ever. So there it was! She asked all the questions, well then who ate the reindeer food last year? Do you buy all my presents? Did you ever mail my letters to Santa? And the best of all was when I told her I ate the cookies every year. She was dumbfounded!!!! I really think she was trying to trip me up so that Santa could still be real. I said to her, "Haven't any of your friends told you that Santa is not real???" She looked at me like I was crazy and said NO! McKeel is more magical than I thought! So after the secret was out she was trying to convince me to let her put out Luke's Santa present. She is funny. I admit that after all this, I felt a little deflated. I mean, that is the funnest part of Christmas- is playing Santa. So after I sent her to bed, I went to Jacob and just cried. It was so surreal to have a moment like that where the kid you refuse to believe is growing up actually does it in 15 minutes right before your eyes. I hate moments where I feel like I witness innocence leaving my child. Plus, Cindy was 4 years old, like, yesterday! Oh, it was just a difficult moment for me. I still have a lot of emotion about it. Of course we had to swear Cindy to ultimate secrecy for Luke's sake. I am not sure how long that is going to last :) But she did not let the cat out of the bag this year, so, for now, Journey can rest assured that Luke did not stop believing.
As for Christmas Day, it was great! Even though I could not sleep and went to bed at 2:30 and Cindy woke me up at 7am by blowing in my face. What. the. heck. I was not amused. Then she told me that Luke was "throwing up bigtime", which got me right out of bed until I realized he was not. He just had a little phlegm and Cindy was about to get thrashed. But I went back to bed and finally got up at 8am and let them open their stockings while Jacob got a few more minutes of shut eye.
The big presents this year were a bow and arrow for Cindy...
She has been using it non-stop. It was a very good present choice. Although Cucuface needs to do some mighty fine steppin' around here now....
There was also some hot wheels track...
Rubber band bracelet loom...
And pencils and erasers all the way from England from Aunt KaRyn.
And clothes, underwear and some other "boring" stuff.
Now, as if this were not magical enough, that night it was kinda sorta cold enough for a fire! On Christmas Day! What are the odds!!? So I built us a sweet one while Cindy told me every joke in the joke book she got for Christmas.
(About 15 minutes into the fire, Luke left and this is where I found him...)
And he was out for the next 13 hours...
Now, as I sat staring at the fire and realizing that I had to eventually get up and go cook dinner, it dawned on me that my delicious steaks that had been marinating for two days COULD BE COOKED ON THIS VERY FIRE!!! So Jacob and I jimmy-rigged an outdoor grill and cooked the most outrageously delicious steaks I have ever had. I am still dreaming of these steaks.
|The most wonderful meal of the year.|
The rest of the night was spent watching Star Trek movies, playing games, and generally doing nothing that required any effort whatsoever. And I drifted off to sleep while reading my new book...