Just want to see how the new layout works :) Hope to be back to blogging soon.


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!!!"

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