Then it was time to get to work because we had a lot of baking to do! Joe had already done the oatmeal cookies the night before, but I still had the sugar cookies to bake and decorate and then he took over the kitchen to do his famous chocolate chip. Plus, we had Cruz and his visiting family over for Christmas Eve dinner so Joe also prepared cowboy beans (also apparently known as drunken beans, although we do not actually put beer in his Dad's version), twice baked potatoes and chicken and beef kabobs with grilled veggies.
Jadyn really likes to bake. I mean really likes to bake. Sure, she likes to lick the beaters and taste test the frosting but she also really enjoys the entire process and she really got into the decorating this year. Check out the carefully placed Nestle chip decorations on these cookies. That was all Jadyn:
I like to spread out the gifts a little because I feel it helps the kids appreciate each one and they are more likely to remember who gave it to them. So that afternoon they opened presents from Great Grandma Anita and Grandpa Ken.
Later that evening, they also got to open more gifts from Cruz and our traditional Christmas Eve presents - a board game (this year was Uno Attack) and new pajamas. We also enjoyed playing our new Kinect Adventures game for the XBOX. After a quick glance on the NORAD site, it was determined that since Santa was in Iowa he was therefore getting close enough that the kids needed to get to bed.
I never want to forget Jake rushing around to do his bedtime routine, running outside to dump the reindeer food on the lawn and excitedly picking out cookies to leave for Santa. He was in such a hurry to get to bed so Santa could come. You just had to laugh.
But of course with that kind of anticipation, it is very hard to sleep and so our streak of getting to sleep in until a decent hour on Christmas morning was broken when he came into our room at 2am exclaiming that he couldn't sleep and could we go see what Santa left. He was fairly certain Santa had already came because he said he had heard the jingle bells before falling asleep. We told him it was too early but he proceeded to wake us up every 15-30 minutes from that point on wanting to know if it was time to wake up. We begrudgingly finally got up with him at 5 am but not before Joe looked over at me and repeated a line from one of my favorite Christmas movies, "Strong. Coffee."
When we made it into the living room, this is what was waiting for us: