Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

We had a very good Christmas, and we hope you did as well! It has been so nice having everyone home! I was just thinking how glad I am that Josiah still has one more week off.

Ella always want "funny face" photos. 

We did 2 separate Christmas Eve services, one at our home away from home church {the church we attend to just be "fed"} and the one at our church. They were both so nice, in completely different ways. 

Christmas Eve we decorated cookies, said goodbye to Joe - our Elf, opened our Christmas jammies & blankets and read the story of Jesus' birth. 

The kids didn't get to "see" Santa this year, and for the second year we didn't write him a note. I love Santa, I love the tradition and the innocence. But this year I broke some news to my kiddos. I told them there is no naughty and nice list. 

Josiah knows the full history of St. Nicholas, and we teach that Santa is solely here to help us celebrate the birth of Christ in fun ways. Santa is a servant of Christ. And just as Christ bestows grace on his children, so does Santa. We sin, we mess up, we try harder and we still mess up. But Christ was born ANYWAY. And Santa celebrates ANYWAY. My mom asked how Joe the elf plays into that, since after all his whole purpose is to report naughty or nice activity back to Santa. It's a good question, and I haven't figured out exactly how I'll relate that or even if I need to. Our elf basically does nothing but move locations at night, and the kids eagerly look for him in the mornings. My kids do enough mischief on their own, I don't need a stuffed elf taking part. He's just a fun visitor. I have rarely "threatened" them with the "elf watching" thing. I think next year Joe the elf will come with a note, maybe saying that's he simply here to celebrate Jesus with our family and tell Santa about all the ways we're showing each other grace and love during the holiday season? 

Anyway, we got the kids bikes, and I so wanted a way to get them to "see" them at the same time. Josiah is a very early riser, and Ella not, so we decided to hide them in our laundry room & bring them out after everyone was awake. The kids came to our bed for Daddy to read the Christmas story from the Bible, and then he left for the "bathroom"and got the bikes ready.  This is what happened when they came out. Josiah didn't even NOTICE his bike! Sorry, heads are cut off which is a bummer, because I'd love to see their faces again, but I was too busy looking myself and not paying attention to the camera.

Our kids get 3 gifts each + a stocking and they seemed to really enjoy what they got. 

Josiah really wanted a whole Power Ranger set. 

Doll house time! {Fold-able dollhouse for tiny real house!}

Bouncy horses that have seen much use from Grandpa. 

We spent Christmas day with both families and had Christmas dinner. 

Ella and uncle, who leaves for the Army in a few days. 

Ella got the Ultimate Disney Princess Dream Castle. Something with a name like that should be this tall. She was in princess heaven. 

The next day Jason took the kids out on their bikes. 

Drew had a Christmas tourney, and a few great photos turned up from that. Soon begins his Senior season! 

We've spent a lot of time in jammies, hanging out at home. Playing games and making playdough cupcakes. Lot's of fun! 

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