After having Christmas at mom and dad's last Sunday, we went for round 2 with the Westerhold side of the family on Christmas Eve.
This Christmas Eve brought changes. The biggest change is that Debbie and David were able to sell their house this past year so instead of being in North County, we were out in Lake Saint Louis in their new home. Since they are out here, they have found a new church, too, so we didn't go to Chapel of the Cross for Christmas Eve service. We also decided to try going to the early service instead of the late night one and it worked out great! We went to church with -Debbie, David, Sarah, Alissa and Ben out at Emmanuel Lutheran in Wentzville and then right after church we headed to their house to eat and open gifts. Jeff, Dayna, Kelsey, Kurt,Rick, Michele, Emma, Mindi and her friend, Jay, met us out there. It worked out so well because in the past we have always gone to their house and did the gift-giving and then went to the 10:30 or 11:00 service which meant that we didn't get into bed until 2am or after.
Since Daryl is currently in Iraq with the Navy, Mindi was able to set him up on Skype and we all said hi and Merry Christmas. That was kind of neat. He woke up at 4:00am to see us and he wasable to show us where he is staying.
Of course, we had to continue the tradition of taking each individual family's picture in front of the Christmas tree and then we took our big family picture, too. Of course, we had to take quite a few of these, as always, because someone is always blocked or not looking.
At the end of the night, we got smart and we put pj's on all of the kids so in case they fell asleep in the car then they would already be ready for bed and for Santa to come.
Along with the new house, new church and new church time, another big change that really started last year is that Doug, Susie, John, Sherri and Kenzie weren't there. Doug and Susie have decided to start doing Christmas in Chicago and, of course, Paul couldn't be here because he is in the Marines out in San Diego. With so many members of the family gone it does take away from some of the fun and chaos with that many people gone but we still had a great time!