Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas was so fun this year. I have always loved the Christmas season, but with kids it is like a million times better. The anticipation, the excitement, and teaching them how to serve others... it's all been wonderful this year. We were able to spend a ton of time with all sides of our family, which made the celebrating perfect!

We had Derek's side of the family over on Christmas eve. We had a delicious BBQ dinner and played some holiday games to get in the spirit! Fortunately, everyone was a good sport and the kids had a really good time.

The kids dressed up Derek and Uncle Brad like Frosty the snowman! Unfortunately, the decorations are covering their enthusiastic smiles.... but I'm sure you can imagine. :)

Rudolph Training

After the kids did Rudolph training, the grandparents became Rudolph and had to carry Santas around. 

How cute at these bearded Santas??

The lady at church who is normally in charge of getting the candles ready for the Christmas Eve service was out of town this year for her daughter's wedding, so I volunteered to fill in. The kiddos did an excellent job. 

And after they were put together, they handed them out to all. They were great helpers and did such a good job of serving others. 

The Christmas Eve service was interesting. Belle managed to walk up to the front of the church before I was able to stop her. I hadn't put much thought into it being her first "big church" experience and didn't plan well. She was fidgety beyond belief, though she entertained herself by "fixing" my hair and whisper-yelling. Yes, that really is a thing. Before I had the chance to apologize to the people in the row behind us, one of them actually told me she was thankful for the opportunity to sit behind us. Her kids are grown and she simply told us to enjoy this stage because they grow so fast. I was thankful for that perspective so I can look back on that Christmas eve service with fondness and not embarrassment! 

After the service, Derek's family came back to our house. The attempt to go over the Christmas story with the nativity scene, a pop-up book, and 4 very excited children was a humorous endeavor, but I'm glad we were able to make it fun. Then came time for presents. Oh man. There aren't even words to explain the chaos that followed. Jackson was absolutely hilarious. I only wish I could have a recording of him opening presents. He screamed with excitement after opening every single gift shouting phrases like, "I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED THIS!" about things he never even knew existed. Needless to say, he was thrilled beyond belief. Belle opened her presents one tiny bit of wrapping paper at a time and she was so happy to open many Minnie Mouse items!

After all the excitement of Christmas eve, the kids went to bed very easily. Jackson promised me that he was going to wake up first to find the presents. However, Derek beat him to it, though he "slept in" until 7am this year. Christmas morning was fun. They liked their gifts and we enjoyed some yummy cinnamon rolls. 

We packed up and headed up to my parents house mid-morning. Even though we had been up for hours, when we arrive after 10am, my siblings were all still in bed. We were ten minutes away from my parents house when I realized that we didn't pack up the Christmas presents! Fortunately, Derek was able to meet up with his brother who was driving a little bit in our direction and so he didn't have to drive all the way back! The kids played with their new big gifts while we waited. Jackson is drawing presents for everyone and Belle was playing with her new dolls!

Eventually everyone got out of bed and we did another round of Christmas.

My favorite part of Christmas were the parts that I don't have pictures of-- Mom's Christmas brunch, playing games, watching movies, just hanging out with the family. My brother gifted my sister a fun train game and we played several times. On the 26th, my Mom's side of the family came over and I really enjoyed getting to visit with my family members that I only see once or twice a year. Jackson was thrilled to have some older cousins (second cousins?) to play with and as expected, we loaded up with toothpaste to help with our dwindling stock at home. Thanks Grandma! :)

It was a good break to be away form social media last week to enjoy the festivities! It's also been fun catching up with all of the Christmas posts, too! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!


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