A Very Merry Christmas

 Christmas is my Super Bowl.  I begin planning and training for it in August!  Little by little each month I gather gifts as they are on sale or clearance!  
 Nothing makes me happier than bringing joy to the kids and Max.
 Kaitlin's big present was Alexa.  It is a speaker that is voice activated to play music, turn on and off lights, tell you the weather, set timers and many other functions we have not figured out yet.  Big Brother has arrived.  Alexa is here to "help" you.
 Hank had quite the Christmas!  He got a drone that he and Max are still trying to figure out how not to crash.
 Karlie was thrilled to get a pair of green Uggs.
 We open one gift at a time to savor the moment.
 Kaitlin got a mermaid tail blanket to cozy up in.
 Hailey gave her giant teddy bear to Hank for Christmas.  He has been snuggled up with him since.
 Hailey got a camera and a computer.  With all the art and school work she is doing, it was time for her to get her own computer.  She was ecstatic!
This was the Christmas Karlie has been waiting for.  She really might be the last one in her grade to get a smartphone.  We give them a flip phone when they go to middle school.  They have 18 months to prove they can responsibly take care of the phone and be in touch when we need them before we allow them to get a smartphone.   Well someone jumped on Karlie's backpack and smashed her phone 4 months ago.  We had been telling her that she did not prove she was ready and she would have to get another flip phone for the rest of 7th grade.

For some crazy reason we keep all the boxes devises come in.  I am a very mean mom and set up a scavenger hunt with all the prior phones and their boxes.  The first one was her flip phone.  I could hardly stifle my laugh as she tried to put her best face forward when she opened the box.  The disappointment was palpable but she tried to smile and not cry.  Then she read the note that told her she would need to use the force to find her phone since we couldn't call her.  On the Star Wars DVD was the next box which was Max's iPhone 4 that was shattered in his car wreck.  The next clue said maybe some epoxy would help repair this phone.  In the garage next to the glue was the next iPhone5 that was also broken.   The next clue said it was time to get a new phone.  Back in our room under the clock was Hailey's broken iPhone 6 with the final clue that told her to be sure not to lose it in the couch.  Under the couch cushion she had been sitting on all morning was her new phone!  She was so excited that big old smile didn't come off her face all morning.  The long wait made it so special.
 Hailey drew a artist rendition of the microanatomy of the lung for one of Max's papers he published. For Christmas she put the picture on a tie for Max.  The coolest tie he has for sure!
 After three hours of opening gifts we had worked up an appetite.  The ladies helped daddy make creamed eggs.
Santa's Elfs celebrated another very merry Christmas.
 We spent the day setting up and playing with toys.  
 I am not sure if the drone was for Hank or Max.
To finish off a wonderful day we had prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, sweet potatoes, and green beans.
 I went to sleep and slept the best I have slept in months as I dreamed of children playing and laughing with all their toys.  Merry.  Joy.  Happy.  Family.  Blessed.  Christmas.

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