Leading up to Christmas this year, the girls and I did an advent calendar with an amazing e-book called Truth in the Tinsel. Cori and I did parts of it last year, but this year we did it every day! It was such a fun experience and something Cori really looked forward to doing everyday! The girl would wake up every morning and run out of her room asking to do her ornament for the day! I loved that! In the midst of all our scripture reading and ornament making, I didn’t take a single picture. I think picture taking is going to be on my list of things to focus on in the new year! Here are a few pictures, post Christmas..
So proud of her tree with all her hand made ornaments!!
Christmas this year was so special! Three is really the perfect age to grasp a little bit of what Christmas is all about. Cori learned a lot of the Christmas story and could easily tell you that we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus’ birthday. She also walked around all month singing, “Hosanna.. Hosanna.. Hosanna in the highest!” Bless my heart!
Explaining Santa was a different story! I really wanted Cori to know the true story of St. Nicholas and tie that into how Christmas is all about giving, just like how God gave us his son, Jesus. The difficult part in that is that everywhere we went, people felt the need to approach my children and ask them if they had been good this year and if Santa was coming. I guess I never really thought about it before, but the thought that my children would think that they had to be “good” to get gifts from Santa just didn’t sit well with me. The gift of Jesus was given to everyone, goodness doesn’t have anything to do with it! And, I’d rather not bribe my children with Santa! Someone in Publix actually asked Cori if she was getting coal or gifts in her stocking this year. Who says that to a three-year-old?! I was a little unnerved by that question!! Cori was also a little scared of Santa this year so every time someone asked her about Santa she got a little upset and would remind me how she didn’t want Santa at her house. .. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to rob my children of the joy Santa can bring, I just want to balance it with Jesus. Santa did come to our house. He left a stocking for both girls outside our front door. Cori was adamant that he not come inside! … Anyway, off my soap box now about Santa. I’m sure I’ll have more to say next year!
Christmas Eve started out with Gingerbread Houses. I love that tradition! We are hoping it will be something fun that our kids look forward to doing every Christmas Eve morning. The girls had a GREAT time with it this year! They ate TONS of candy!! Cori actually worked really hard creating her house. I was impressed! Finley worked really hard at eating everything in front of her! It was a precious sight!
Getting ready to build!
Daddy and CB working hard on her foundation!
The beginnings of Cori’s
caught, red handed!
More sprinkles please!
Funny thing is that we posted this final picture on Facebook to see who won the Gingerbread making contest. From left to right it’s: Finley, Mommy, Cori, Daddy. Finley got lots of votes for eating her entire house!! But, I think Cori ended up winning for an overload of creativity!! What a FUN tradition this is!!
For Christmas Eve dinner Dave made steaks and homemade mashed potatoes. He is totally the chef in our family!! He is just so good at it! It was delicious and I am excited about steaks becoming part of our annual Christmas tradition!
Before bed, we took some sweet pictures of the girls in front of the Christmas tree in their matching PJ’s. We even got a family photo in there too! We haven’t taken many of those since we moved to Birmingham.
We put cookies, carrots, and eggnog outside on the front porch with the girls stockings before heading off to bed.
When the girls woke up and headed out to the front room on Christmas morning, here is what they saw…
Dave worked VERY hard on making the girls a kitchen this year. (DIY post on this coming soon!) Cori very much requested a pink kitchen so that is what they got! Not from Santa, but from their very hard working mommy and daddy! We also got them each a bike. They were so very excited and got right to work on getting aprons and helmets on!
In the midst of everything they got, I think their favorite were the sleeping bags my mom got them. I couldn’t get Finley out of it all morning and Cori has actually been sleeping in hers on top of her bed every night since! Obsessed much?!
Yaya also got them another stroller so they could stop fighting over the one we have. Now they can both push strollers around and it’s been great! Finley decided SHE wanted to ride in the new stroller though. Fits perfectly! Ha!
Our girls were so blessed with gifts this year. It is so apparent that they are loved by their family. Thank you so much to all who gave them something. Each gift was special it it’s own way and much appreciated!! You all helped to make our first Christmas away special this year!
Dave and I were intentional about exchanging gifts this year. The last couple of years we have decided to do other things or get something we needed, but this year Dave said we needed to bring our creativity back. I made him a box of dates, one for each month of the entire year. I am pretty excited to know that I have a set date, already paid for (most of them!), to go on with my handsome hubby each month – for 12 months straight!! Wahoo! And, Dave made me a special little box of scripture cards, one for each day. I absolutely love it!! He just knows me so well and I love that about him. He also got me a bunch of other little treats too, but this was my favorite! I am excited to use these verses as memory verses each day and to bring me encouragement when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed. I truly have a wonderful husband!
After all the gifts were opened we sat down to Christmas morning breakfast. Dave made homemade French Toast, which was delicious and will surely become another tradition in our home. Then, we baked Birthday cupcakes for Jesus. Cori wanted to die the icing blue because that’s the color boys like, so she says.
Dave headed off to work at 3 and the girls and I visited with some new friends for Christmas dinner. I was so grateful for my friend Mollie who invited us over to join her family for Christmas dinner. It was perfect and a great ending to a joyous holiday.
When I got home that evening and put the kids in bed, I sat down on the computer and wrote the following blog, which I thought I’d share here. So thankful for the birth of Christ and my precious family!
December 25, 2012
This is the first Christmas that Dave and I have been away from our family, but yet it was our first Christmas with just our own little family. Truly, it was a great Christmas. We started a few family traditions all our own like gingerbread house decorating, steak & homemade mashed potatoes, and homemade French toast. We spent the 24th and 25th just hanging around our house and enjoying one another’s company.
At church on Sunday our Pastor talked about the song Silent Night and creating a “moments” in our life where God just shows up. That song has been playing in my head ever since. It just gave me such a warm feeling about Christmas this year and being intentional with my family. I feel like there were a lot of God moments as we taught our children about the true meaning of Christmas and family. I am so grateful for that. I am so grateful for a husband who wants to do that with me.
I think as I reflect back on Christmas this year, my husband is who I am most thankful for. Of course I am thankful for my Lord and Savior – the whole reason this holiday even exists! It was He who gave me my sweet husband in the first place! To Him be the glory! … God created Dave so perfectly for me. He gets me even when I don’t always get myself. I am so thankful for the way he loves me and our children. He is thoughtful and always puts us first. He reminds me of who I am in Christ – I am most grateful for that.
As this Christmas ends and we begin a new year, I am praying for many “Silent Nights” where I can just sit and see the splendor of the Lord in my life; the great works he has done and will do. “For there is born to you, this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord!” Luke 2:11
Merry Christmas everyone!