Friday, December 30, 2011


Christmas morning.  We experienced the early morning wake up of Christmas morning like all parents & young children experience.  While the sun came up earlier then we wanted, it was exciting and a delight to wake up with excited children to the thrill of Christmas morning. Stockings stuffed with love. Presents -- more then we anticipated.  Our church family + grandparents are too generous.  We only bought the kids a few presents to keep Christmas simple and focused on Christ, but we could have bought none and still had plenty.  I'm grateful for God's generous gift of Christ and the generosity of His people. 
Micah Man woke up excited...about his ball.  He's still not sure what all of Christmas means.  Micah is awfully happy...about his ball.  And seeing Mommy (self-portrait)! Micah checking on Korban who is awake. Micah + Korban + Mommy spent some time together playing while Daddy got ready for church and Ivory played in the 5th wheel until we were ready for the big reveal. I love how Korban is looking at me like, "Please help me, Mommy!" Ivory enters with Pa + Grandma.

And so the fun begins:: Ivory + rubber balloon. Ivory opening her stocking. Micah was rather excited about the large lollipop in his stocking. We were so glad Grandma + Pa could join us this year.
Ivory was very excited about every little thing in her stocking.  The princess rings + stick on earrings were a big hit (thank you, Nana!) as were the wipes. Yes, I put wet wipes in their stockings.  My kids are obsessed with wet wipes and love using them for all sorts of things, which includes cleaning.  They beg for them often and were oh so excited to have their own wipes they could use whenever they wanted, for things like blowing noses repeatedly (Micah). 
Jason opening his stocking.  We decided to just fill stockings for each other.  Jason might have cheated and given me a few presents in addition.  He says it just didn't fit in my stocking.  I loved my sweethearts thoughtfulness and love poured into my stocking through the gifts he chose. Mom eating the breakfast casserole like a didn't turn out so great, I guess gluten-free + dairy-free doesn't make for the tastiest breakfast casserole...or at least I shouldn't just make up the recipe on the fly.

Kids received an entire large stocking full of bath toys.  As soon as the kids saw their bath markers, crayons, fizzies, etc. all they wanted to do was take a bath.  Why not?  It's Christmas morning and if they kids want to enjoy their bath stuff before church instead of opening presents, why not?  In church Jason sang a beautiful song and Cassied signed to it.   Can I say I just love hearing my husband sing?  Beautiful. Balcony view ... where we sit to hide how crazy my kids behave ... Kids self-portrait -- they love getting a self-portrait when the camera comes out, and yes, it keeps them quiet(er) during church. After church shots:: Ivory + Micah ... so they weren't too into getting pictures taken. But daddy is hilarious and knows how to make even the grumpiest child laugh, or at lesat smile. We didn't even attempt a family picture, just grabbed some quick pics inidividually with the kids.  
After church the kids each opened one present.  Ivory was thrilled and Micah needed encouragement. 
Grandma + Pa gave the kids a LeapPad.  Ivory immediately opened it, turned it on and got right to work.  No sweat. Pa

Micah enjoyed his tool box from Mom + Dad.  Dad enjoys it, too.
Love our family time. Princess gift from Nana--that she obviously loves. Primping princess. Fixing daddy's hair.  Yes, if I haven't mentioned it before, he's a great dad.  And yes, that might be a fake smile.  Sometimes it hurts to be in the hairdresser's chair. Present for daddy from Ivory.  Ivory picked out a blue polo for daddy from American Eagle.  She loved shopping for daddy!  She also picked out a Cars notebook + pen for Micah as well as a soft blue blanket for Micah. Crown + tutu made by mommy + the new pink + blue duffel you see in the backdrop--the one she used for her first going away trip to Grandma + Pa's house.

Christmas dinner with my family involved delicious steaks, salad, potatoes, mom's homemade rolls, sparkling grape juice and lots and lots and lots of crying/whining.
Here are the few moments when there weren't tears--oh, wait, nevermind Micah is crying in the corner.  Good times.

We still enjoyed our meal stages.  The best part was being interrupted by one of our former students, Aliya, who we hadn't seen since she left for college.  Thanks for stopping by, Aliya!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Homemade Christmas

I love homemade Christmas gifts.  We received some sweet homemade goodies and gave some. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Eve

I should probably begin this post by reminding the reader that pictures can be oh so beautifully deceiving.  While the pictures may look quaint and the children peaceful, this would not be the most accurate depiction of our Christmas Eve day.  By the time Christmas Eve came to a close we were more then a little exhausted, our patience abundantly tested, and the "not a creature was stirring not even a mouse" part completely welcomed post-bedtime for little ones.  I'm glad we spent the day as a family, but I'm not gonna lie, it would have been easier if the children acted like they felt the same way.

Our own little precious Christmas baby.  This one was pretty sweet most of the day and needed minimal attention and a few snuggles.

A moment of peace and sweetness.
Christmas Eve present.  We have a tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve--a book about the Christmas story.  So here is a quaint photo of our family tradition...perhaps the only quiet moment in the entire process.  It's better we got a picture than a video... 
Thankfully the Christmas Eve service was beautiful and the kids were *relatively* well behaved.  Though, Christina and I agree that we probably win the award for the loudest row (Michael + my three).  Once we settled the kids in bed Jason and I enjoyed a peaceful Christmas Eve together.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Annual Friend Christmas

Every year we celebrate Christmas with our pastor's family.  This year was no exception.  We had such fun and the kids were finally actually happy. MikeMike watching the chaos children + my man finally resting...for a moment. Love how Cassie poses for all our pictures...I've been too good at catching pics she doesn't love. =)  Ivory is very into opening presents this year.  We gave Bobo + MikeMike a photo book of the our family and pictures with them. Ivory + Micah both got magnetic dress up dolls.  Ivory the princess (that Micah's playing with) and Micah the policeman/firefighter/etc. My kids love Nina. We had a great time fellowshiping and eating (yum!). Mrs. Sandie + Grandma Bobo, Meme, Emily, Cassie Micah + Nina  --  MikeMike, Michael, Micah, Nina 
We had such a great time and we're so grateful for our friendship with this family.