We had a fun time together on Christmas Eve morning, starting with breakfast together at my house, and then doing some cookie baking (some baked, some ate).
Erica started running a fever on Christmas Eve afternoon, so the Masseys stayed home from the Christmas Eve service. Since Daniel didn't get off work in time, Mom and I attended the service at Grace, and then joined the family for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Chinese food.
And then we got into our pajamas and took turns filling each others' stockings. We finally got the girls into bed to hopefully fall asleep. It took one of them longer than the other, but eventually we were all nestled in our warm beds ( I bunked in the room with the girls).
After the girls were asleep, Jeanette and Russell quietly switched out the comforters on the girls' beds and put a new pillow on the foot of their beds for them to find on Christmas morning. About 4:30am, Erica woke me up and asked if she could go to the bathroom. I told her it was fine and she said, "What about flushing?" Mary Lane sat up in her bed and said, "Yeah, it might wake everybody up!"
Erica came back to bed and I was hoping that she wouldn't notice the different bedding. She sat up a few minutes later and said, "Oh! What's this? The comforter is different!" Mary Lane looked at her bed and said, "It's not black and white anymore!" And then she said, "It has hearts all over it and I love it! It reminds me of Mommy!"
I tried again to settle them down and held out hope that I could talk them into going back to sleep. After another five minutes, Erica noticed her new pillowcase, which was made from one of her paintings in art class. She was very excited about it and then saw that Mary Lane had a new pillowcase as well.
"Look! You have new pillow, too, Mary Lane!"
"Oh! It's made out of my artwork, too!" (It wasn't, but it was an applique of the state of Tennessee, lovingly chosen for her).
By this time, I realized that all hope of going back to sleep was probably lost. Mary Lane asked if she could go tell her Mommy something and I told her she could. Mary Lane brought Jeanette back to our room, just telling her that she needed to show her something. When Jeanette came into the room, she didn't know we were all already awake, so I spoke up and the four of us piled into my bed to wait until the more "reasonable" hour of 6:00 before we got up.