Was it just a week ago we were anxiously waiting for news on Ted's whereabouts, hoping and praying he wouldn't be delayed too much in getting home?! Time is flying!
We had decided awhile ago that we would have a separate "Christmas" when Ted got home. He had fun shopping for everyone and finding unique gifts from Afghanistan, and the kids wanted to exchange presents with each other as well. So we held off on some gifts until this week and planned for Saturday morning to be our Christmas Day together. That gave the kids time to earn some gift money! I didn't think of the idea until fairly close to Christmas, so it worked out, but here's how they did it. We kept an ongoing tally mark sheet on the refrigerator for each of them, and whenever I needed a little task done that wasn't a part of their usual chores, they could earn a tally mark or two for completing the task. Each tally mark was worth a quarter.
As time went on and I was mentally calculating how much each one was earning (I tried to give equal opportunities to do the jobs), I realized there was just no way they were going to earn enough money to give ALL of their siblings gifts. So we had a family meeting and discussed our options, and the kids decided that rather than split the money and buy little gifts for more siblings, they would only exchange one gift--Tobin and Arden would buy for each other, and Kenna and Charis would buy for each other, and Lucan and Zaden presumably wouldn't have a clue they were missing anything, LOL.
So anyway, having Christmas on Saturday allowed the kids to do their shopping for each other when they were out with Ted, as Tobin, Arden, and Kenna all had their dates with Dad during the week. Charis's date wasn't until Saturday night, so Ted took her and Lucan out to do a couple of other errands and the shopping as well.
Everything worked out beautifully! We enjoyed a fun, leisurely morning that actually almost felt like a real Christmas! You can see pictures and read explanations of the photos here. I took a wonderful nap after all was said and done, and Ted got me up to have lunch and finish our Catan game with the kids. Then he and Charis took off for their adventure--they went to church to meet other kids from Route 5:6 and went to Winter Jam in Columbus! Thankfully there were enough people that they drove the big bus, so Ted didn't have to drive. He slept all the way home, apparently! I think they had a lot of fun together!
Back at home, the boys checked out the new sports Wii game we got for the kids while I ran like a whirlwind around my kitchen, stocking up on some needed supplies after a few days of laziness! We had our pizza and movie night, and then after Lucan and Kenna were in bed, Stefanie came over to stay at the house while I drove to the airport to pick up Rhonda. Tobin and Arden waited up so they could see her and played with their new Legos quietly, so Stefanie got to enjoy some quality time with Zaden. :-)
Grandma got to tuck the boys in bed and chat with them awhile, and then she and I visited until Ted and Charis came home. Sweet reunion! I know Rhonda is just as happy that we are that her son is HOME!!!