Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Day

For Christmas Mass, we went to Baltimore to St. Alphonsus. It was the Tridentine Mass, a low Mass. I'd never been to a low one before. The church was beautiful.

I also wore my chapel veil for the first time. I really liked wearing one. My only caveat to that would be that I really liked wearing it WHEN IT STAYED ON! Having little ones seems to make wearing a veil at Mass quite the challenge without super glue. However, Cam over at A Woman's Place... recommended buying one from Veils by Lily with a comb sewn in which should make it much easier to keep it in place. I've already ordered one and hope it arrives soon.

Anyway, Mass was beautiful. I was especially touched by the homily. After Father reminded us of the reason for Christmas, he ended his homily, "I love you. God bless." James and I were both struck by this. How often do priests tell their parishioners that they love them? Neither of us could remember having heard it before.

After we got home, everyone had a snack as we'd had a big, late lunch earlier, and then helped put the ornaments back on the tree that Elizabeth had pulled off earlier.

Then we got the girls to bed and got busy putting out the presents and filling the stockings.

(Now, I moved the nativity to the far left where the Advent wreath was and the wise men are slowly working their way from the far right end of the counter towards the stable. )

Maybe we went a little overboard this year. lol.

Elizabeth absolutely loved her car. (I am so proud I got it completely for free! Who knew entering all those Pampers diapers and wipes codes could be so profitable!) She is definitely not ready for her license yet. She has already run over me. Fortunately she has avoided Teresa though.

Cecilia had outgrown her Hello Kitty pajamas and so was thrilled to get a larger replacement.

As she does some schoolwork at our co-op, it was time to get her her own backpack.

Now, all my girls love playing dress up. And Cecilia loves dinosaurs. I had trouble getting her out of a friend's dinosaur costume at a play date. So when I saw a costume of her favorite kind of dinosaur, it seemed like a good fit.

Both older girls got Super Mario pajamas.

Each of the older three got a set of plastic animals. We had farm animals, but nothing really beyond the barn. So now we have some ocean ones, jungle ones, and safari ones.

We have had a play kitchen since Cecilia's first Christmas but, well, with 4 little girls, we thought it would be nice to get something a little larger that multiple girls could play with at once without climbing on top of each other. Felicity is our exquisite chef, so her big present was the upgraded kitchen. (We will be donating the old one.)

So each of the older three girls also got some play food to share in the kitchen. From the basics to ethnic foods, they are ready to serve you!

Elizabeth is a huge Wallace and Grommit fan, so I had to get her a plush Grommit.

Felicity also got some additional play cookware for the new kitchen.

Cecilia expanded her reading list with The Little Prince, The Fabulous Mr. Fox and more.

Elizabeth got a beautiful wooden doll stroller and a lovely doll designed to look like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. It took a few explanations about how Elizabeth was not supposed to be the passenger, but all the girls have had great fun pushing around Dorothy and various dolls, babies and stuffed animals.

My brother and his girlfriend sent Elizabeth plush versions of themselves: Abby Cadaby and Oscar the Grouch.

In their stockings, Cecilia and Felicity got "tickets" to go see Cats and we explained that we bought tickets for Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa to take them to see Cats performed on stage.

Teresa got her name/birthdate embroidered baby blanket (I buy each girl their own for their First Christmas), her First Christmas tree ornament, a toy that requires her to push or turn knobs to make animals pop up, a plush Jesus for her bed and an absolutely beautiful statue of her patron.

After opening all the presents under the tree, and eating some cinnamon rolls, we went to my parents' tree, under which waited 5 more presents for each girl. My other brother gave each girl a plush (you see Cecilia holding Walter of Muppet fame) and Cecilia and Felicity each a ticket to see Cirque de la Symphonie at the Kennedy Center in February.

Then each of the three older girls got a puzzle of their names (Felicity and Elizabeth will benefit from the practice).

And each of the older three got two lollipop drums. I love these drums. Every drum we've gotten was broken in no time. Our co-op uses these and they are much more resilient. And they are colorful and fun too. They come in 3 different sizes too, so there are multiple tones.

Then the girls helped Grandpa, Grandma and their uncle with their gifts.

Grandpa loved his coffee.

Grandma and Mommy now have matching pajama pants! (They are so soft and warm!)

Elizabeth and Teresa find Grandma's and Grandpa's Mickey Mouse nutcracker. Grandpa gets nervous.

Teresa enjoyed watching everyone while blowing raspberries and clapping...... what she did through most of Christmas Mass.

To finish the day, that evening, Teresa gave us one more Christmas present. She took her first steps. She only made it two steps before she fell down and then got so excited by our reactions she couldn't even stand again. But first steps she definitely took.

Cecilia's big present was her first 2 wheel bike, with training wheels.

Felicity now has unrivaled access to the tricycle.

Hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas day and continue to be blessed through this Christmas Season! Merry Christmas!!!


  1. Wow - your church is magnificent!

    You guys got a free car from Pampers, too, huh? I hope you didn't have as difficult a time as John and I did trying to get that bad boy together...

    The play kitchen is too cute! I've never seen one like that. What a good idea.

    Also - and I realize this is random - but the bookshelves you guys have... they're both massive and gorgeous. Are they built in, or did you buy them somewhere? I've been looking for shelving...

    Finally - Merry Christmas to you and yours. Glad you wore the veil (and enjoyed it) and hope you find Lily's the answer to the problem. She really makes beautiful things and with the comb, they don't move.

    Garlands of Grace also offer options which help with that problem, but the veil style is a little different (I'm wearing one of those in the Christmas Eve entry with my son).

    Best wishes and many, many blessings!

  2. Hi Gina! Merry Christmas!!! The only problem we had putting the car together was that one of the tail lights' plastic was not ribbed right and wouldn't stay in. I called and they are mailing me another free of charge. Otherwise, I think it went well. We put together the car on Friday night and the little kitchen on Saturday night.

    The bookshelves in the pictures are my parents and, unfortunately, aren't available anymore (or my dad would buy more). We recently bought shelves from IKEA and absolutely love them. They are very tall so they can hold 6 good sized shelves and come in a similar color and are reasonably priced. We bought 4 for my husband's office and I'm eyeing getting another one for children's books.

    Thanks for the suggestion for Garlands of Grace. I'd never heard of them before. They look like they have some beautiful coverings.
    God Bless and Merry Christmas!

  3. Ah... the two front "arms" of our car didn't fit into the holes. Apparently they were cut incorrectly, so John had to shave some of the plastic off to get the latch to catch on each. Ah well.

    We've got the IKEA shelving units, too. I think the Billy Bookcases? They went within two years of use, unfortunately. The ones your parents were lucky enough to snag seem so much sturdier than ours. Ha ha. Grass is always greener, huh?

    Best wishes in your use of the chapel veil. Lily's and Garlands of Grace are the two I use. Lily's for more traditional Masses, and Garlands of Grace for "everyday" Sunday use. Both stay in place perfectly, even with my son constantly yanking at 'em. :)

    BTW, your entry on veiling was incredible. For as much as I've read up on veiling and the reasons behind it, you really taught me a thing or two. Thanks! :)

  4. Oh Gina, I'm so sorry they made it so difficult! Glad your husband was able to fix it.

    Yeah, we have the Billy bookcases too. We got them last summer. I hope they last. My parents bought those bookcases at Ethan Allen back in the 90s. I don't know when they stopped carrying them. When my parents moved here, my dad gained a study and he is hunting shelving for in there since he can't get more of the ones they had bought.

    Thank you very much. I began writing that post on veiling last Spring but wasn't ready to embrace it myself so just held on to it until the time was right. It is right. :)

  5. hmm...a comb to hold the veil in place. I'll have to look into that. I wonder if it's actually babyproof, though!