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Christmas fun at the Duke home

Christmas Eve

It was pouring rain nearly all day on Christmas Eve.  We had a breakfast party at our neighbors home, got to be Secret Santa’s to a less fortunate family, last minute grocery store run, & then we went to see another neighbor sing a solo at her church’s service. My youngest fell asleep on the drive home (5:30 p.m.) and I could not wake her up for a good hour after that.  We made and ate dinner, and before everyone changed, I wanted to grab a quick picture in all of our festive-ness….even if the baby was asleep;) When she woke up, I had to get a happy shot of her in her cute outfit.

Below…the tree on a tripod with a slow shutter speed….hmmm…not my finest.

Below is our Christmas miracle…4 children, sortof happily posing in front of the tree like mama asked…but don’t be fooled…

…then 5 seconds later…

I was so excited to find matching jammies at The Childrens Place, just a week or so before Christmas.  I meant to look sooner…it just kept getting forgotten.  Most of these are using my external flash.  I don’t know how to use it very well, and I don’t pop it on my camera too often, but I like these results better than super high ISO.  I set up my camera on a tripod to see how it would work on Christmas morning.  This was during our family dance/wrestle with excitement before the kids scurried off to bed.

A tradition carried on my from childhood is that the kids all sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve.  They’d actually been doing it all week.  My flash went SUPER bright here, but I love the expressions on their faces.

I left just after this pic, and 10 minutes later my youngest came down because “she wasn’t tired.” I let the big kids settle down with her on my lap, and then took her off to join them.  Just before 10, it was finally silent.

Christmas morning

We saved something special for the end…my son really wanted a hamster.  We gave him a poem that led him to the excitement!

Below, I surprised my hubby with an iphone.  He recently had a pay per minute trac fone, then upgraded and didn’t think he’d be able to get this latest and greatest, but I found a way.  He does so much for us, and never wants for anything fancy like this…I thought he could use a fun surprise. I have been planning it for almost 2 months, I was so excited for this moment!

my loot…

 Hope you had a wonderful day!