Christmas 2014 :: Part Two

As mentioned in the previous post, we left right after Christmas Eve candlelight service to head up to the camp.  My youngest sister Rachel and husband Hollis had been up there for a couple days and would be celebrating Christmas morning with us.  After arriving at the camp we prepared for Santa, hung stockings, dressed in Christmas jammies, said our prayers, and quickly went to bed.  

Christmas morning was so fun being at the camp.  Stephen and I both are homebodies and love our space and our “place,” but thought the atmosphere of the camp was just too good to pass up, not to mention being a fun memory for the kids.  We TRY to keep Christmas morning “simple,” {try being the operative word here}, and Santa brings three gifts…or three “themes” as it turned out to be this year…in honor of the three wise men bringing three gifts to baby Jesus.  And then there are always the stockings.  And gifts from their grandparents, cousin, aunts and uncles.  I say they do just fine!  The gift-giving aspect of Christmas is definitely something we are working on every year – trying our best to maximize the giving and minimize the getting – but still give the children magical memories and keep the birth of our Savior at the heart of the celebration.  Not an easy feat with 3,4, and 6 year olds but I have to say it is definitely not beyond their comprehension or appreciation.  Don’t ever underestimate what your children can grasp or appreciate.  There is a reason we are called to have faith like a child!  It is a faith unaffected by the world around us.  It is beautiful.

We had our Pioneer Woman’s baked French toast for breakfast – easy and delicious…French toast has become our Christmas morning family tradition. 
My parents came up Christmas day around lunchtime and my mom’s sister Rebecca and my sister Erin and her family arrived later that night.  On the 26th we all woke up, MOST of us kept our jammies on as planned {;)} and celebrated Christmas all over again.  The rest of the weekend was spent cooking, eating, hunting, reading, riding, resting, coughing, dressing up and playing with new toys/games.

Our Christmas in pictures:

^^ Bennett: 1) art supplies 2) bow and arrow 3) street hawk ^^

^^ Emory: 1) American Girl Doll and bed 2) puppy surprise 3) Ana and Elsa dress up ^^

^^ Jacob: 1) big wheel 2) Auburn gear 3) Paw Patrol watchtower and pups ^^

Rachel and I went "hunting" one evening - aka. we bundled up in camo marshmallow suits and sat in a shooting house, watched deer play, and talked for a few hours :)


Christmas 2014 :: Part One

Each year we rotate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our two families.  As the children get older it is getting harder and harder to cut their morning short and/or leave our house by a reasonable time on Christmas morning so over the years our plans have been tweaked accordingly.  This year we spent Christmas Eve with Stephen's parents and brothers.  Both of Stephen's brothers live out of town and I have known these boys since they were small enough to hug me around the waist so it is always wonderful to see and spend time with them.  It was nearly a day-long event of cookie decorating, eating, unwrapping presents, and Christmas Eve service at Stephen's parents church.  Everything was packed up and ready to go the day before because after church we piled everyone {and everything} up in Stephen's truck and headed to the camp {which will be covered in part two ;)}.

Here is our Christmas Eve in pictures:

Jacob has been bucking "overalls" aka john-johns recently.  It breaks my heart!  Bennett wore them up until age 4 and never cared one bit about it.  Bennett was actually bigger at this age than Jacob is and Jacobs so compact and teenie-seeming to me that he just HAS to continue with the john-johns.  But third children/younger brothers tend to identify themselves with their older siblings vs other john-john clad children their age so I know that is what I am dealing with.  I had to work some reverse psychology magic on him but he did end up wearing his Rudolph for Christmas Eve and I was MOST appreciative :).

I love that my mother in law always does Christmas crackers...they are so fun for the kids AND adults...and I know a few adults who kept their paper crowns on longer than the children...

Jacob saying "Yook! TWO FORKS!!!"


Jacob is 3 :: Argh I'm a Pirate

After Emory's birthday extravaganza Jacob had all too much to say about what he wanted HIS birthday party to be like.  He requested a Pirate party with an Auburn cake.  I kept his party much simpler, simply because my age-three-and-younger children generally do not love to be the center of attention in a huge crazy kid-filled atmosphere.  They get overwhelmed and shy away from all the noise and attention.  But turn four, and they are good to go :).

We just invited his small class at MDO and a couple other friends he knows, generally children of my close friends.  Seeing as it was a three year old's party, there wasn't much "activity" planned except running around and jumping on our little jumpy.  Oh, and of course plenty of Pirate's Booty and cake for all!

Jacob kept a pretty stern face the entire party; again, not loving all the attention on him.  But if you asked him about it later he said it was "da best party EVER".  Score!


You are such a fun little caboose! You have an infectious giggle and always say "that so funny isn't it momma?" You are completely potty trained and very sure you are a "big boy" now.  I, on the other hand...I prefer to still see you as my baby.  I am thankful you are a very small, young three year old, vs your older brother when he was three.  You still look and feel so toddler-ish and compact.  I pray you stay that way for just enough longer so I can really soak it up.  You have started to succumb to the terrible threes, with so much indecisiveness your daddy and I are about to go mad.  In the same breath you will say: "I want to eat a muffin I do NOT want to eat this muffin momma I am hungry I want to eat a muffin do NOT give me the muffin I do NOT want it."  It is insane!  I guess every child has their "thing": be it stubbornness or tantrums or what not, and this is yours.  It is complete exhaustion and you usually end up in time out or worse...but you always snap out of it and giggle yourself back into our good graces.  You are always imagining and talking to yourself.  You are obsessed with Paw Patrol and I can hear you on your rescue missions around the house saying "It's an emergency! Chase is on da case! Rubble on da double! Im fired up! Ready for a ruff ruff rescue!"  Your vocabulary is leaps and bounds beyond your brother and sister at your age and you speak very clearly.  This is very much a characteristic of being the third child I know and it makes me laugh hearing such clear detailed sentences out of such a tiny little mite.  You love watching, playing, and pretending to play sports.  You love Auburn and if you had your choice would wear Auburn clothes every single day.  You fight me when I want to put you in a john john.  I still fight you though, because I just do.  You are not too big to wear them and I will hold on as long as I can.

I love you you little bug!

{he calls me mommY ;)}

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