Sunday, December 30, 2012

Our Christmas This Year

Christmas this year was quite mellow for us.  All four of us were sick, which meant we stayed at home.  It ended up being very relaxing and enjoyable despite not feeling well.  To be honest, I realized that without all the business and rushing about, I had a heart that was filled with gratitude and reflection over the fact that God sent his son to earth for us.... and for that I am grateful.  Taking away the busyness helped infuse so much more meaning this year.

We started Christmas Eve morning with a little gingerbread house making.... each kid got to decorate one side of the house.  They made quite a lovely creation :)  Don't mind the jammies and bed head... we might have looked like this for about three days in a row due to being sick :)





For the first time since having kids we actually made it to Christmas Eve service.  It was such a cool service and very different from years past.  The drama team reenacted highlights of the story and ended at the start of Luke.  Such a cool perspective.... thinking about all that led up to Christ's birth.  Then they ended with just one song, Oh Holy Night... my absolute favorite Christmas song... packed so full of meaning.

All dressed up and on our way to church



We picked up Chinese Food on the way home (definitely a first for Christmas Eve), then sang Happy Birthday to Jesus with our kids and ate the cupcakes we had made for His birthday party.  They really got it this year, and were oh so excited to do that.  It was cool.



We let them open one gift, which almost didn't happen after a certain little boy snuck three presents into his room that morning and opened them, but a little grace was given and he got to open another one in spite.  They were quite thrilled to receive Dream Lights... something they'd been asking for since this summer.



Christmas morning we waited until 9:20 for Alayna to wake up (due to being up in her bed until nearly 10:30 from excitement and eating a cupcake at bedtime), and then eagerly dove into our presents.  It was so much fun just being at home together and having the kids really enjoy opening each gift and playing with it.  My mom and my brother came around 11:00 and we continued with the gifts. We enjoyed a yummy Christmas dinner (it was my first time ever making it), and ended the day watching A Christmas Story (which we hadn't seen in years).





Oh how I LOVE this candid picture of Ethan playing with his remote control truck.  He was so excited to receive this gift.




Spiderman!
Not sure why, but he has a recent fascination with Spiderman.  I don't blame him I guess, to be honest Spiderman is my favorite superhero too ;)

Another fun gift, an Erector set... hours of fun :)





Watching Alayna ride her new big girl bike from uncle Jerrod for the first time was probably one of my favorite parts of the day.  She was seriously precious.




The only picture of all four of us from the entire holiday, and it's not a great one :)





It was a very relaxing and enjoyable day.  I must say, Christmas through my kids eyes is so very fun.  It's such a fun holiday with little ones. Christmas through a grateful and awe-struck heart is even more amazing.  The two combined are just perfect, and that is what this year was.  Despite the illness and being at home more than we had planned on, it was a wonderfully blessed holiday.  The time at home was so good for us after a VERY busy few months leading up to December.  My heart is full.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Church Christmas Program and some good news

Both the kids were in the church Christmas program this year.  It was soooooooo cute.  Little ones are my absolute favorite to watch. You never know what you'll get.... like when Alayna fell off the risers :)  She was just fine and very quickly hopped back up and resumed her position. 



Alayna was very excited to wear her new Christmas dress.  Ethan on the other hand was not excited to wear a tie and button down shirt :)



For some reason Alayna wanted to be off on the side.  Perhaps she needed room to twirl? :)


A few pictures in front of the Christmas tree after the program....

 Ethan looks very excited doesn't he? 

The kids both came down with some nasty virus on Wednesday.  Glad we got our programs out of the way before they got sick.  Ethan only went to school one day this week.  The huge bummer part is that because they are sick now we won't be able to spend Christmas day with Matt's parents since Sid cannot be exposed to any germs.

By the way, for those of you who didn't know Sid is home now and officially in remission!!!  This is HUGE good news and such an answer to prayer.  The cancer is not gone, but the numbers have dropped and things are looking very positive right now.  When he first received his diagnosis we did not think he had much time, so the fact that he's here today and things are looking positive is just such an answer to prayer.  So, while we are bummed that we won't get to be with them on Tuesday, we are oh so grateful that he is home and healthy right now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rainboots and Jammies

My mom bought the kids some rainboots a few weeks back.  The other week when it was raining the kids were pretty excited to try them out.  They rushed outside in their jammies to try to find some puddles.   Please excuse all the bed head :)








I can't help it but photograph roses with raindrops on them.... soooo pretty.  I guess that's why they ended up in a song... "raindrops on roses"....  haha.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hiking

On Sunday evening we went for a hike in the Crafton Hills.  Matt and I used to hike in these hills all the time before having kids.  We were excited to finally hike there again.  It's a steeper hike,  but the view of Yucaipa is amazing.  The kids did way better than we expected and we were able to make it a mile into the hike,  which is great considering how steep it is. I love hiking, I'm so glad we can to it together as a family :)  Such a great Sunday activity.


The view from up there :)  Pretty great, even though it was hazy.
Someone brought these chairs up there, pretty cool.  I'd say it's one of the best views in Yucaipa :)