Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Great Christmas and a Happy New Year

We had a great Christmas this year. Life was busy and the time flew by. This year we celebrated Christmas a little bit different than years past.

Usually we travel to a tree farm every year to purchase our Christmas tree, but because of a family member being in the hospital, me getting sick with a bad cold, and Mike working extra holiday hours we were not able to squeeze in a day trip. So... we went to a local tree stand and pick out our tree.

can you believe it was warm enough for the boys to wear short sleeves?!

While I did some Christmas baking the boys decided to put together a gingerbread house. Seth got the mixer out and was fixing it because the bowl had stopped spinning. He's the one I call on whenever I need something worked on.

It was quite a job, but they finally got it together and decorated. The icing ended up being a little runny, but they made it work. As soon as they were done they wanted to know when they could eat it. I told them not until Christmas Eve.

Seth constructed this cute centerpiece for our table. He really enjoys seeing what he can make using only things found around the house.

On Christmas Eve we were so busy with family and friends that the boys forgot to eat the gingerbread house. At some point on Christmas Day they remembered and dove right in. This is what it looked like when they had finished.

Here is the tree all decorated and ready for Christmas morning.

We celebrated Christmas with Mike's family a week early, so we celebrated Christmas Eve a little differently than normal. One thing we always do on Christmas Eve is to open our stockings. We each have a designated stocking, which gets filled with unique gifts that we would normally not purchase throughout the year.

Mom and dad were coming and we thought it would be nice to invite a few friends. So everyone brought their stocking and we had a great time together.

Zeah opening her stocking...

Ezra opening hers...

Looks like Joshua got something he was excited about in his stocking, red licorice from the Fresh Market...

Silas, Sabina, and Annalena going through their stocking. Oh, Sabina got some German chocolate. Yum!...

Along with many other things, Seth found a reindeer pez in his stocking...

Christmas morning was a lot of fun. The boys opened up their presents from us before church.

Noah found a really lite box and was struggling to open it because SOME one taped it real good!

Noah's favorite presents were a pair of wool socks for skiing and this hoodie he is wearing. He is opening the last present. Looks like there is a note in side...

Seth really liked his wool socks too...

who knew it could be that easy to please boys!

He also is opening his last gift... and guess what?... it has a note inside too.

Joshua loved his new hoodie also and his new study bible.

and of course the socks too!

You guessed it. He too had a final present to open which included a note inside.

Each note described the official rules to a few fun games...

They finally figured them out and ran downstairs to find a new ping-pong and pool table. We have had smaller tables before, but never one close to official size. It's just not the same trying to play on one of those little tables. I'm sure we all will have fun with this one.

Somehow, I forgot to get a picture of all the Christmas cards sent to us this year. Here they are after I took them down to put on our kitchen table. It is our tradition, at least for a few months, to pray for each family that sent us a Christmas card. During dinner we pull one card off the top of the pile and then after praying we put that card on the bottom of the pile. We end up rotating through the cards several times throughout the next few months. It's nice to remember and pray for the families that thought of us.

We are so grateful to have spent the holidays with loved ones... family is sooo important. we have been richly blessed by the Lord!

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