Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Of Knights and Jolly Men

Warning: I don't think I've ever published so many pictures in one post! And I didn't have time to check for errors, so bear with me. :)

Last Sunday kicked off our family's marathon of Christmas parties for the week, and I have to say I don't know if the shindig thrown by the Knights of Columbus can be topped in our kiddos' eyes. Our girls seriously had the best time I think I've ever seen them have in their short little lives. And of course when our kids are having fun, we're having fun, too!

I wasn't sure about how the night would go, especially because of the corn casserole drama we had right before it was time to leave. Let's just say...our oven has a quirky personality and decides randomly sometimes that it's done enough work for the moment, and it shuts off without warning. So two minutes before we needed to leave with our potluck contribution, I opened the oven to discover a jiggling mess in a casserole dish and no heat. Ugh. We were going to be late. It's always something.

But to our pleasant surprise, even with our setback, we were among the first to arrive! And I was so glad, because that meant our kids could run some of their energy out before it got too crowded, and run they did!

We pulled in at the exact same time as my sister-in-law's family, so the girls had their cousin Austin to pal around with right away. :)

They were having a blast already and the party hadn't even begun. But soon I noticed that the hall was getting really full, so I made sure to get a picture with at least one of my children before the craziness began. :) So here it is, a rare look at myself on my own blog! 

Later, Eric, his mom, and I were spying on Evie and some new friends she made. Hehe. The big kids at the table were cracking UP, so I had to get a little closer to hear what our darling daughter the comedian was saying to her captive audience....

I heard her little Minnie Mouse voice squeak out, "I can't wear any underwear!" Which caused the other kids to bust into fits of giggles. Oh. My. I don't know who was laughing harder, the kids or the adults spying on the kids. :)

Before we knew it they were calling for a prayer to begin the yummy potluck feast. The girls actually sat and ate fairly well considering the buzz of distractions all around them...and thanks to Aunt Amy's bag of tricks. Haha. I swear Amy thinks of everything, and she had lots of toys and little activities to keep the littles distracted and staying put. THANK YOU, Amy. Don't know what we'd do without you!

Once our bellies were full of Christmas feast, including some delicious cake that I wish I had a slab of right now, the real fun officially began. If you aren't familiar with the Knights of Columbus Christmas party, or if you missed my post last year, then I'll let you know that one of the big events of the night is when all of the children gather around to entertain the adults with Christmas songs. It's super, super cute. And for their efforts, the children receive crisp new dollar bills to call their very own. Amy and I had been coaching our kids for weeks to learn Jingle Bells so that they would have something to sing, too. Evelyn often declares that she's "a rock star!" so would she sing for this room full of people?

Evelyn loved watching all of the other kids sing, so when the opportunity presented itself we asked, "Evelyn, do you want to go sing, too?" And with a resounding, "Yes!" she hopped off of her daddy's lap and ran up to the microphone with her cousin Austin.

Only it wasn't Jingles Bells that came out of her mouth, but some very quiet gibberish that no one could quite understand. :) I knew that's exactly what would happen, haha. So we handed the kids some jingle bells and let them shake 'em around.

Don't you love what's going on in the foreground? Hehe, poor Gracie. She just wanted to sing, too. :)

And even though Evie didn't utter a single coherent syllable until the microphone was away from her lips ("Jingle all the way - hey!") she still received her reward:

Now, of course once the singing was through and no one was paying attention Evelyn marched up to the front with a microphone of her own and entertained all who would listen within a six foot radius:

So I guess she's a rock star after all, just not when people are looking. :)

And then it was time. Time for the main event. The thing that all the kids are looking forward to throughout the entire evening - through the playing and the eating and the singing.... A door opened on stage left, and with a rush of cold air came a true childhood rock star. Haha. And Evie, why, she was absolutely beside herself.

She just kept smiling in this enamored, stunned, sort of way like you or I would be if we were in the presence of the very person we had been waiting our entire lives to meet. It was the cutest thing EVER.

Finally, we let her down. And she ran with the masses towards the big guy himself. :D

When Santa made his way to his official chair in front of the Christmas tree, Evelyn was among the youngest who couldn't be bothered with waiting patiently in a chair to hear what he had to say. She wanted to be right smack dab in front of him, haha.

I took a million pictures, because, well...just look at that face. My heart was swollen to epic proportions to see Evie so awestruck. You would've thought Mary and Joseph themselves had just knocked on the door asking for a place to stay for the night. ;)

Gracie was impressed, too. In her own little "I don't really know what's going on, but apparently this is a big deal" sort of way.

And wouldn't you know that Grace's name was the very first to be called up to chat with Santa. She strolled up without hesitation...

And she hopped right up on his lap. :)

Only, her expression changed very quickly. 

Mommy to the rescue! :D

Austin took his turn next.

I think the jury is still out on how he felt about the whole encounter, haha.

And then, it was Evelyn's turn. I had really wondered what she would do this year when it was her turn to sit on Santa's knee. Our prior two expiriences at Christmastime left us wondering what was going on in her little head while sitting on Santa's lap, because she would become devoid of all emotion. No crying, no smiles. Just a blank expression.

But not this year! Get ready for an onslaught of photos. Ready, set, go!

Precious. :)

Whew! Are you exhausted yet? Well, I have just one more picture to show you. The kiddos had fun playing with their new gifts (thank you Great Grandma and Grandpa!) and by the end of the night they were ready to crash!

I can't count how many giggles and squeals of delight were heard on this particular evening. My face hurt from smiling so much. We had a really, really good time. Eric has very vivid memories of his days singing his heart out and visiting Santa at the KC Christmases, so this sentimental fool is happy that his children get to have the same experiences. 

Thank you to the Knights of Columbus and to Grandma and Grandpa Robert who always make sure our kids have a great time. I can't wait until next year! :)


Anonymous said...

beyond precious! :)

Cassie said...


I awwwwed through the whole thing! YAY!

Katie said...

So sweet :) I love the progression of Grace's reaction to Santa...too cute!

The Pettijohn's said...

Awe poor Gracie!Cute photos!


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