Jan 3, 2013

Christmas Adam

To explain the title of this post about December 23:



Now that I've taken care of THAT, I will tell you that we had driven into town late the day before after having picked my sister up from the Atlanta airport. (Long story, but she rode with us from Atlanta to South Carolina so that she could see my grandmother for a couple of days before going up to North Carolina to spend Christmas with my parents.)

Nathaniel and Nick brought their backpacks with their laptops in them, and when we went to Debbie and Gerry's house on Christmas Adam morning, they wasted no time setting up at the dining room table to play Minecraft.



They wanted to be sure that Grant got hooked learned how to play while they were together. (By the way, when I took this picture, I didn't even realize Jake was in that corner back there.)



Scared me to death when I got a little closer and I saw him there.



Debbie decorates her home for the holidays more thoroughly than anyone else I've ever known. Amelia's favorite favorite FAVORITE thing in the house was this nativity set that she thought Aunt Debbie set within toddler's reach of the back of the couch JUST FOR HER.



You have to admit ... to Amelia, those little figures WOULD look really appealing.



I could have taken pictures of every room in her house and done a separate post for each room, so thorough is her holiday decorating -- but instead I'll just share a FEW samples with you. Precious ornaments on the trees ... Yes, "trees" with an "s" ...



Bowls of shiny goodies on every flat surface ...



Holiday nightlights in each bedroom and bathroom ...



And even winter soap dispensers at each sink.



But of everything on display in the house, the thing that actually impressed me the MOST was the fact that she even changed out the stack of coffee table books. I mean, INTERNET. The attention to detail. UNPARALLELED.



So many of you ask me where I find time to blog. Here is the answer to that question: I use the time I would have spent switching out books on my coffee table for every season and special occasion to blog. MY SECRET IS OUT.

While all of the decorations throughout the house were busy being pretty, things in the breakfast nook were always busy being noisy. (I have to note how much I love that Jake is clearly deep into a passionate description of something in the picture below, complete with hand gestures.)



Amelia was the only cousin who ate in the dining room with the adults ... the kids were MORE than happy to be relegated to the kids' table.



Precisely BECAUSE of the volume that arose at the kids' table, though, our brother-in-law Gerry had wisely pre-arranged a visit to a neighbor's house on Christmas Adam. So at 1:00, we walked across the street for each of the kids to paint a pottery ornament. Please note that Nathaniel is wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt while Kim is wearing a puffy black coat guaranteed to minus 20*F.



Oh my gosh I just realized I've been writing this post for about 192 hours and I'm only halfway through the pictures that are loaded into it so it probably should have been three separate posts but it's too late for that now so I'm about to blitz the rest of it.

Neighbor Talitha had a bunch of brushes ready, as well as samples of the paint as it would look after it had been fired in the kiln. Okay that sentence was still too long and I can't stop myself and now I'm worried they're going to find my cold dead body here hunched over my keyboard sometime tomorrow so I'm going to try harder to move on.




Ornaments to choose from from which to choose (Sorry, couldn't let that one go.)



Each kid chose an ornament and got down to painting.








Talitha said we could do a handprint ornament for Amelia, and I was all over that. She hardly had the words out of her mouth before I shouted, "YES!"



Amelia, on the other hand, was like, "LADY, what are you DOING to my HAND?"



Because Grayson will gladly tell you that I will try to squeeze approximately 40 more things into a 24-hour period than can reasonably be completed in that period of time, we went straight from the pottery-painting session to my grandmother's house, 40 minutes away. The kids opened their Christmas gifts from my side of the family there. Minecraft swords!



Before you get all excited and go out to buy any of them, please be warned that being hit by one of them is like being smacked by a naked two-by-four, and I'm not even kidding. That's not your granddaddy's foam sword, Internet.

Amelia loved the boxes more than the gifts, as is always the case with the most discerning of human beings, TODDLERS.



My beautiful sister, my skeptical toddler who would have preferred being left alone with her box, and my wonderful grandmother.



My oily T-zone, my tearful toddler who was REALLY missing her cardboard box, and my beautiful grandmother.




After we'd driven back to Florence, we had one more thing on the agenda for Christmas Adam. I KNOW!

Yeah, whatever you're thinking, rest assured Grayson's already covered it.

We pulled out a store-bought birthday cake for Nathaniel so that we could celebrate his birthday -- if even in a small way -- with some of his cousins before the real bulk of Christmas activities overtook us.

I just don't know what says "My birthday is six days before Jesus's" more than Vader and Luke having it out on the top of your cake.



The family all gathered around to sing the Happy Birthday song.



And I know that some of you are already laughing because I pulled a Michael Jackson and blurred Baby G's face out of these pictures. (GRETCHEN B, I'M TALKING TO YOU.) But I wanted to post them, and because he's a member of our family as a foster child at the moment, I have to protect his identity.



But it really does make me feel awful. He's such a precious little guy with an infectious smile, and I hate that we can't share him with you yet. I did feel like this was a better option than throwing a blanket over his head. (RIP, Michael Jackson.)



In the end, we were able to save the cake from Jake's tongue, and everyone loved it.



And then we closed out Christmas Adam with some good, old-fashioned hang time in the living room. Smiles, snuggles and obscure Duck Dynasty references abounded.



And that, Internet, is what Christmas Adam is all about.

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