Nonetheless, we are a family with strong traditional values, which means we don't miss this ridiculous tradition no matter the torment.
For the third year in a row, we met friends at a community fire station for a bit o' Christmas fun. And because we are really amazing parents, we let the kids sit with Santa first as to get the worst over with. Aren't we thoughtful?
Oh, and don't fret. This year was actually slightly less horrific than last year's experience. This year Harper actually warmed up to the ol' man (she didn't mind him so much in 2009, but something tells me she was a bit clueless). Henry was still frightened, but I think my minis are actually starting to find this kind of torture bearable. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Notice that Henry is the little guy cutout of most of the pictures because he refused to get on the truck. In one picture, you can even see that he is wiping his tears. I made him stand on that dang truck anyway. It's like he doesn't even care about making memories. Well, he cared, but not until Mr. C handed him some candy. What a scrooge.
After the torture chamber, the kids got to make crafts, eat cookies, watch a movie, and pick out stickers and temporary tattoos. It's good clean fun, and as you can see by these pictures, they have completely forgotten about the nightmarish Santa encounter.
Us gals thought we should get a picture of, well, us. There are six kids between us, and at the time that this picture was taken, there were two more on the way. My beautiful friend, Amy (far left), has since had her baby (Grace Elizabeth), and that means I'm next. Woot!!!
Not to be outdone, our men decided they needed a picture of, well, them. Too bad they got a bit carried away. This was supposed to be a good clean fun family affair. The photo shoot started to head south the minute Billy and Justin stood next to each other (see the two dudes with hair in the middle). Note to self: never let them stand next to each other in a photo shoot ever again.
Oh, oh! And this is Bobby (left) and Matt (my man). See, they really are two different people. They are often mistaken for the other (even by our families), and there are some folks who most definitely think they are the same person (which makes me wonder, do they think Mary Kate & I are polygamous? I've always wanted a sister wife.)
Here are the 6. From left to right: James, Henry, Kaitlyn, Harper, Gregory & Ethan. I know what you're thinking, they are perfect.
This picture makes it look like the three in the middle were bullying Gregory and kicked him out of the group, but that's really not the case. We have a zero tolerance policy for bullying (and drinking and smoking), thankyouverymuch.
But gee whiz, what are they laughing about? I have no earthly idea, but I really want in on it.
My only regret is that there is not a picture of us parents taking pictures of the kids. All 8 of us were paparazzied together snapping pictures and making Cheshire Cat smiley faces in an effort to get these kids to sit and look our direction. At one point I turned around and the entire room was staring at us. We've become those parents. And it's worth every ounce of humiliation.