First Night of Hanukkah 2016

This year Hanukkah actually falls around the same time as Christmas.

For once the kids have time off to enjoy the presents they receive each night.

Yesterday my sitter and I played elves, wrapping all the gifts for the kids. Logistically, four kids getting eight presents each is quite a puzzle.dsc_0350

In the end we labeled all the wrapped presents, then Adam and I laid them out in a grid, switching them around if they seemed uneven.

This being the first night, we decided to go big.

The twins got the most amazing present. One that I would NEVER buy them. But Adam won it at the Illinois Manufacturing Association Luncheon.

Here is Adam’s colleague, Mark, standing next to it after the lunch. Mark is 6 ft 4 inches. He very kindly waited until I showed up in our big minivan to help load it in, because it weights well over 100 pounds.img_1749

We stayed up late assembling this bad boy last night, then wrapping it so the twins wouldn’t see it.dsc_0360

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But there was no way we could ask them to wait all day to open it! Usually Hanukkah presents are doled out after we light the candles.

(Welcome back, Hanukkah Bears.)dsc_0368

Which meant the older boys got their presents early too.dsc_0386

I’m glad we opened the toys early, though. Normally in this kind of weather the only thing to do is hunker down and settle in. But we couldn’t just sit in our new Gator in our basement, could we?

So we went out. Sam proved to be an excellent driver.dsc_0414

As did Jack.dsc_0405

Aaron seemed happier as a passenger. (Here they are playing a game where they try to run away from Jack while he tries to get in the car. Every time he gets close they push him out and giggle hysterically. For his part, Jack pretended they actually could overpower him.)dsc_0421

Ben drove like Rain Man. We quickly moved him out before he crashed it.dsc_0410

It was also an opportunity to ride bikes.

To play tag.dsc_0428

To have races.dsc_0420

And to eat snow. Dirty snow.dsc_0401

Afterwards, we came back for hot chocolate and lunch.

The older boys built their lego toys.

Now that I’ve had some experience with how painful it can be to lose pieces, I had them line up their packets and only open them one at a time, carefully putting the pieces into a tray and building from it.dsc_0388 dsc_0393

Finally, after dinner we lit the hanukah candles and played the dreidel game.dsc_0434 dsc_0441

Another successful Hanukkah day. What will tomorrow bring?!!!

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