A Castillo Christmas 2014…

Tonight was a very special family night. The kids have been waiting for weeks to open the presents they picked out for each other. With so much planned over the next several days we agreed to let them open their gifts tonight! So at 5:30pm we started our Family Christmas.

As you can imagine….8 kids and 4 dogs – it was just a little bit crazy in our living room! 😀

The kids sat down while Malaya passed out all the presents. Last year we opened presents from smallest kid to oldest. But this year several of the kids got each other the same thing. So instead –  we went around the room and each person opened the present they got from Asher. Then everyone opened their presents from Levi – then Gabe – and so on.  Even though that sounds really organized ….yeah not so much!

Our family night wouldn’t be complete without Momma Gigi! She had a special pile of her own too.

Some highlights of gift giving…..

Izzy’s favorite gift was from Malaya and it was a fake cell phone. She loves to talk….and she was yapping up a storm while walking around with her baby dolls.

Asher really loves to play outside – footballs, soccer balls, & a basketball – that made his night!

Levi is all about Angry Birds. He reminded me of Ralphie’s little brother on A Christmas Story when he opened his gifts. Levi was like – OH WOW – an angry bird ball. OH MAN – OH WOW – LOOK AT THIS….pretty funny.

Gabe also loves Angry Birds & legos. He was very pleased with his Angry Bird Uno game, angry bird stuffed animals, & his lego figurine.

Malaya, Rosie, & Mikela got bags & backpacks with their names on them. They also go nail polish. Malaya’s favorite gift was a deck of cards with her picture on the front! Rosie’s favorite gift was clothes for her baby doll. Mikela’s favorite gift was a journal and a pack of gel pens!

Gigi’s favorite gift was a glow stick with a bumble bee on it! I think she thought we were playing fetch tonight as she would throw it and then Izzy would bring it back to her…..I think this happened 20 times.

Jose got a special daddy cup from Malaya, a phone charger with Asher/Levi/Gabe’s picture on it, a lantern, & a special travel mug with pictures of all the dogs on them. This included a picture of Louie – a black dog we brought from the states on the boat with Tippy when we first moved to Haiti. We really loved that dog and she and Gigi had a special relationship.

I was blessed with enough bubble bath & lotion to last me 6 months! I also got a pink UK shirt!.

Momma Gigi got some lotion, a cross necklace, LOVE earrings, a jewelry box with her picture on it, and a candle with a picture of all of us…that says in Creole – We Are All Family.

In August when we shipped over several crates…..within one of those crates was Miss Beth’s Christmas gift! Miss Beth often teased the kids that she was going to ride their little bikes – especially when they wouldn’t put them away like they were supposed to. So for Christmas they wanted to get Miss Beth a bike of her own! 🙂 We delivered that to her this afternoon.

Mikela got everyone beef jerky for Christmas. As soon as they opened the jerky the dogs were on them… like white on rice. We actually had to chase Diddle & Ella around the house because they were trying to steal the jerky. Ella & Sophie managed to find their way into almost every picture we took tonight. They just had to be apart of the action.

The thing that I LOVED the most about tonight…. the kids were just as happy to watch everyone open the gift they selected for them….maybe even more so than opening up their own gifts.

Everyone was SO grateful for the presents they received too. No one scoured or thought they should have gotten something bigger or better.  To say that about 8 kids – A Christmas Miracle! There was a real and pure JOY that just hovered over our little home tonight.

After we opened presents – we watched a few movies together & played with all our gifts!! 🙂 Though there was MUCH noise in the Castillo house tonight – it’s the best noise in the world. I’m so incredibly blessed.

Tonight I’m reminded of the families who are crying out for their loved ones who are no longer with them. I personally know 10 families who are experiencing their first Christmas without their parent, spouse, or child. Hold your loved ones tightly friends….I know I will not take the time God has given our family here on Earth for granted. Thank you Jesus that our whole family could celebrate another Christmas together.

And here’s our pictures from our festive family-filled fun night! 🙂

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