Merry Christmas!

We are having a great time here in North Carolina! This is my 3rd trip here since Mom moved, but the first time for the boys.

Sunday it was almost 80 degrees. We went to the beach after church and had a picnic lunch. I think the boys could have made sandcastles all day!

Christmas Eve was spent baking running errands and baking oreo pudding cookies. Oh, and my poor sister spending an hour and a half in line at Walmart for brown sugar, only for Mom to point out 2 new bags of it to me just as Gabriella was getting back in the car. I don’t think Gabri will ever get over that!

A Christmas Eve tradition in our home is for the kids to get new pajamas to open that night and wear while opening presents the next day. I have to admit, I was really pumped for the boys to open them. Julian is into Angry Birds big time, and Miles’s only Christmas gift request was a “teenager ninja turtle,” so I knew they’d love these PJs.
Now, turns out the PJs were way bigger than I thought they’d be, but at least the kids don’t seem to mind 🙂
We also write a thank-you letter to Santa to leave out with the cookies. This year Miles dictated the whole letter, and then the boys both signed it.

Christmas morning we got to sleep in until 7:40! That was way better than I’d expected. I ran downstairs to get breakfast in the oven, and caught Julian trying to sneak into the living room and sent him back to wait on the stairs for his brother. That’s why he’s crying in the one photo I got of the boys together on the stairs.

Once in the living room, we read the Christmas story out of the bible, then open stockings and a few presents before having breakfast: cinnamon rolls and orange juice. Then we finish opening presents and just relax until it’s time to get ready for dinner.

Mark, modeling the scarf Santa brought me.

Mark, modeling the scarf Santa brought me.

Julian was so excited to get a train set that he spent a fair chunk of the next few hours in this position:

For dinner this year, my sister and I decided to do something more Brasilian than American. Since it was just the 6 of us we kept it very simple, but sooo delicious! We had pot roast, pastels (called empanadas in Spanish: meat, cheese, or fruit in a pastry dough and fried), and an edamame & mango salad.

My sister, frying the pastels

My sister, frying the pastels


All in all a great holiday! I hope yours was wonderful, too. 🙂


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