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Sunday, December 16, 2012

So far this season...

It's been a joyful and fun season for our household so far. Today in church as we sang several Christmas carols, I just stood in silence with tears. O Come Let Us Adore Him...we sang that one today and I was wishing my little boys were there standing beside us. We've been singing this chorus with the boys each night after our Jesse Tree story. I tell you, Christmas has never meant so much to me as it has the past 3 years. I think that is mainly because my kids are old enough now that they are starting to understand this incredible story more and more. So we are constantly talking about Jesus' arrival and why it all happened. I also think the insignificance it's had on my heart in years past, is a big reason I feel good to let go of so many of our cultural norms. Some of the choices we've made for our family are some that I never imagined for us. But honestly, I think it's the only way it would work for us. I don't think I could do any justice for Jesus if we celebrated Christmas any other way. I know others can do it well and so they do. But I just don't think I can. 2009 was the year we really settled on how we wanted to celebrate Christmas with our family. Then last year, I came across this read. It made me feel normal and solidified our decisions. The post is full of grace and much humor (in my opinion). She doesn't make it all black and white. So it's a great read if you're navigating your way through how to celebrate Christmas with your family. Maybe I just liked it because it encouraged me and the decisions we were making. Maybe you'll personally hate it. I don't know.
But without further ado, I present to you the fun we've had as we approach this blessed day!
We surprised the boys one night with a late night looksy at Christmas lights! We got them all ready for bed with Christmas jammies on, then placed in their carseat cupholders some delicious egg nog, cranked up the Christmas tunes and loaded them in. It was a fun surprise. Holden, especially, LOVES driving around to see Christmas lights.
We enjoyed a candy cane and read one of our favorite books, J is for Jesus.
We played this game that we've done in the past, recommended by a friend. This year they loved it and asked to play it over and over again. So we did. I just hid these little stars all around the room and they had to find them all. Then we read another favorite book, A Star for Jesus. And we talked about the significance of the star that pointed the men to baby Jesus,
We spent a few hours at Bass Pro's Winter Wonderland and had our picture made with Santa. We did decide to nix Santa back in 2009, but we still get our picture made with him. :)
They loved riding the reindeer carousel.
And playing with the train set, remote control cars and other toys that are out on display for the kids to enjoy. It was a very fun morning for my boys.
The boys picked out their Christmas ornaments for 2012. Holden chose swimming as he became a full fledged swimmer this summer. And Pax chose golf, his favorite sport these days and the theme of his 3rd birthday party! We really hoped to find a super hero for him since that's been a huge interest of his this year. But golf was a great 2nd choice.
We had a snow day! We did some snow crafts and the boys enjoyed these cute little snowmen donuts that daddy put together one weekend morning for breakfast. Sadly, it probably hit 70 degrees on this day. I'm just not enjoying the mild December weather over here. Give me cold and SNOW! We may just have to make a trip to the mountains to get our snow fix!
And this picture is not very Christmas related. But I've mentioned here that Jeremy has been working a ton of extra hours. Lots of weekend hours and evenings. It makes my sweet Holden a little blue. He is a daddy's boy! He's been such a good boy for me and a trooper with Jeremy's absence. But every single morning, his first question has been "Is daddy going to work today?" And pretty much every single day the answer is "yes." Though there have been a few exceptions. But once Holden hears the news, his head drops and my heart breaks a little bit. So today after naps, I thought the boys needed a visual reminder of how many work days Jeremy has left until he gets 12 full days off with us!! I'm so excited about his upcoming holiday time. But Holden doesn't quite get it and just wants him home now. So after making these chains, we ripped one off. 4 days left, boys. We can do it!

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