Friday, February 5, 2016

a New Year

We were so thankful that we were able to spend the New Year celebrations with my in-laws. Healthy children helped make for a more relaxing holiday, and us adults enjoyed a late evening dinner of fondue that lasted into the New Year.

Aunt E knit these beautiful hats for the girls. We are all blessed by her creativity.

Miss T took CJ for a spin on her new tricycle! Isn't CJ starting to look like a little girl and less like a baby. I have mixed emotions about her growing up.

She was even more excited than Miss T about the tricycle!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gingerbread Houses

These weren't JUST gingerbread houses, they were Frozen Sugar Cookie Castles! The girls (+ Benton) were thrilled.

And Grandma and Aunt E are such good home architects!

We were all so thankful that the Harms/Day families were able to join us to celebrate the New Year!

Christmas Day - in pictures

My favorite parts of the day:
  • Opening stockings on a brilliantly, beautiful Christmas morning.
  • The patience and simple joy of giving and receiving gifts, especially through the eyes of my children.
  •  Time with family. I'm thankful my in-laws and some of my Grandparents joined us for the day. I'm a quality-time gal. When people "go out of their way" to make an effort to spend quality time with me, I feel loved.
  • Watching my husband lead and love my girls. He built legos, played games, read them books, and was very intentional with his moments. 

Christmas Eve

The Christmas Eve service was rather entertaining. The highlight: Hannah belted out, "Away in a Manger," along with a couple of other carols that were not sung. She rather likes, "Go tell it on a mountain," and she wanted to make sure it was included in the program.We kept the people sitting near us entertained.

I spent the majority of the service wrestling a very squirmy 1 year old. Foolish mom that I can sometimes be, I thought I'd be able to handle holding a candle and a child - not so. I think I dripped a little bit of wax in the church before I decided I needed to blow out my candle and take CJ to the back of the church!

I do love tradition, and my family always eats chili after church on Christmas Eve. Chili is a favorite in our home and even better the day before Christmas.

Here, Abigail was reading the Bible passage for the Christmas Eve devotion. I caught her mid-sentence!

My babies don't sit well for family devotions, especially at 8pm!

This girl loves Camus. What's not to love? He's furry and soft, and is about the most patient dog that I've ever met.

Taking pictures after church, after dinner, after devotions and right before bed doesn't have a very high success rate.

And my middles are making faces at each other. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

pre-Christmas gifts

I think my favorite part of Christmas this year was our evening family devotion time. The older two girls really enjoyed reading the "Jesse Tree devotion". Most days, they were the ones reminding us to read the evening story, and they had to take turns to answer the questions. I was reminded this season that the seeds of faith are really growing. Little by little, my children are starting to understand the Gospel and the true joy of Christ's birth, life and the hope that he brings us through the cross. And that is what I was most thankful for this Christmas season.

Now if you were to ask my kids what they loved most about Christmas, they would still tell you that they loved opening gifts, of course!

There are always willing helpers when there are Christmas gifts to be opened.

New backpacks for the girls!

A box makes the best gift!

This little one was ready for bed after all of the excitement.

my favorite Christmas picture

This little gem was happily sitting in an opened box, the best of gifts for little ones. The simple joys of life and the soft light of our Christmas tree in the background truly made for a perfect picture.