Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve, 2011

When we were in Savannah back in June, I bought Micah the cutest Christmas Eve outfit.  I never imagined it would be almost as hot on December 25 as it was on that June day.  Earlier today, I realized it would be 85 and there was no way he could wear that, I had to scramble to find something else for him to wear.  Fortunately, I had one Orient Expressed outfit that he had worn only once this season so we did a redo of that one.  And, just as a side note about the outfit, a sweet elderly gentleman from our church tonight referred to Micah as "the one you always dress like a clown!"  LOL!  I'm guessing he doesn't enjoy the smocking and jon-jons.  Makes me laugh every time I think about it.

 I attempted to get a picture of Micah and Miller after the first service but neither was all to thrilled with the idea of posing for their mom.  I took MANY shots but this was the best I ended up with.  The nursery workers told me they searched my bag for my camera so they could get some pics of the two of them together but I accidentally put it in my purse rather than the diaper bag.  
We had two services tonight.  The first was at 4 p.m. and had a nursery provided.  I went to this one and really enjoyed it all the while knowing the next one would find me with two kids.  So, in the time between the two services, I attempted a good shot of my kiddos in front of the Christmas tree in the foyer.  Typically, I'd just delete the bad ones but I feel like I deserve some sort of commendation for any good picture you see of the two of them because I have to go through MANY like these in order to get one decent picture.  Oh, and please notice how often Micah is blurry.  That is because he NEVER. SITS. STILL.  

I have 20-30 shots just like those.  Our friends in the foyer were laughing hysterically at us trying to get ONE DECENT PICTURE!  We were both sweating by the time we were done.  It was quite the chore. And then, Donna walks up and snaps this on only her second try.  Ugh!  How did she do that??  I don't think she even broke a sweat.  Love it!

 I knew Micah would not last long in the second service so I let Jonah sit with Beth and her family so I could make an easy exit.  He made it through the first set of songs and just clapped his little heart out.  It was so sweet.  Then the lights dimmed for a video and he assumed no lights meant night-night so his entire body got stiff and he (in a loud voice) said NO-NO!!  We got out of there!  We hung out in the foyer for a while until he starting yelling "DAAAA-DAAA!  DA-DA!  DA-DA!"  I guess hearing him on the speaker in the foyer made him want to see him right then.  

When we heard the last song, we walked back in and sang along.  I made sure NOT to accept a candle from all the people offering them to me.  There was no way I was taking a candle with that busy boy in my arms!!  I snapped a few pictures during the closing remarks.  As you can see from the crowds, it was a WISE decision to have two services.  They were both very full.  

Have I mentioned yet how much I ADORE these Santa diapers?  Oh, I have!  Okay then!  Lucky for you, Christmas is over tomorrow and you won't have to hear about them again.  

As most of you know, I do birthdays HUGE!  Christmas to me is always more about the meaning than the gifts.  So, usually, there aren't many gifts under our tree.  This year is QUITE different.  The packages from out of town started flowing in the last few days and then friends from here dropped gifts by to our boys and the space under our tree filled up.  Tonight, as I separated the gifts out for each child (and a few for Max!!!), I got tears in my eyes.  It means so much to me when people love my kids.  And, I don't mean just giving them a gift, I mean the genuine love that is behind so many of these gifts.  Just today, I opened the door to find big boxes from both grandmothers, friends in Vidalia and Jonah's pediatrician from Natchez.  I could hardly believe it.  Then, we came home tonight to find gifts by our front door from people here.  My boys are SO very lucky to have so many people in their lives who love them and invest in them.  I can only imagine how that will shape them over their lives.  
We had lots of invitations for dinner and Christmas Eve celebrations but we knew we would be getting home around bedtime from church so we opted to grab pizza on the way home so we could get to our Christmas Eve festivities here.  And, we had to have pizza because when Santa called Jonah last week, he requested that Jonah leave pizza out for him since he would be hungry when he got here.  

Jonah's Pops & NeNe from Jackson sent us a package last week and one of the things was this SANTA YODA hat.  HE LOVED IT!  He wanted to wear it all night long but that would mean it would be in EVERY picture so I nixed that idea and let him wear it for just half the night.  Cute it is, huh?

Due to the craziness of our lives the past four months, I neglected to get Christmas Pajamas for the boys.  Just last week, I went in search of them but quickly discovered I was out of luck.  Minus a couple of pairs of Spongebob pajamas, I found nothing close to Christmas pajamas.  Then, as I was leaving Macy's, I spotted one pair that would fit Micah.  And, they happened to coordinate with what Jonah wore last year.  So, I grabbed them and hoped the 4t would still fit Jonah.  Lucky for me, they did.  And, something about the footed, zip-up pajamas made him seem like a baby all over again.  It made me smile for just a minute.  Oh, and just so you know, we had to turn the air down to 70 so they wouldn't die of heat exhaustion in these things.  Nothing says Christmas quite like seeing 85 on the bank sign.  We seriously considered turning the pool heater on in order to warm it up about 5 degrees more then letting them swim tomorrow.  If we were going to be home, we would totally do it.  It is THAT warm here.  Maybe next year I will buy Christmas swimsuits instead of pajamas.  

 Yep, another picture of the diapers.  Cracks me up!!  Huggies marketed those to people just like me.  
 I was going to leave the next picture out but kept it in because I wanted you to see what FREAKED ME OUT!  Check out what Micah's arms/shoulders/back do when you lift him by his wrists.  WHAT ON EARTH??  Something must be wrong!! His armpits totally cave in!?!?
Phibby hung around on the sofa table and watched everything tonight.  We haven't mentioned him much this year to Jonah but he has been in a different place each morning.  Jonah has had a fun time trying to find him each day.  Honestly,   I've had a difficult time reconciling the whole Santa/Elf on the Shelf/Jesus/Truth/Fantasy thing this year.  This post by Jen Hatmaker did it to me.  (and Aja)  Her mom helped me by saying "Aja, you were raised believing in Santa and you still love Jesus!"  I think we all have to come to the place where we have pure motives and intentions with what we are doing where our children are concerned.  For us, that means we choose to make Santa and the Elf a small part of our Christmas, but not the biggest.  And, when the time comes that our kids ask us questions, we will always be honest.  
We were OVER THE TOP excited last week when a big box showed up with the return address "PROBST  Vidalia, LA" on the top.  We knew it would be full of "Marty's homemade goodness!"  And it was!  Yes, it was!  This has been a bit of a difficult year for our sweet friends, the Probsts and I didn't expect that package at all.  I doubted he would bake anything this year so  I had resigned myself to the fact that Santa's cookies were going to have to come from my oven rather than Marty's.  But, much to Santa's delight, Marty's cookies graced our Santa plate for the 5th year in a row.  He even specially bagged the ones that belong to Santa.  Jonah thought that was great!!
 Then came time to put the cookies out on the plate.  MY OH MY!  You just wouldn't believe that 30-45 minutes of our lives.  Dan and I laughed HYSTERICALLY!  We thought it would be cute to pull The Learning Tower over and let Micah help Jonah.  But, the ONLY help Micah did was HELP himself to cookies.  He ate them as fast as his hands could get them in his mouth.  I had put out animal crackers for him to use since those are his favorite.  They went right in his mouth too.  DUDE ate and ate and ate!

 I don't know if you could tell in all those pictures, but most of those had Jonah holding Micah's wrist to try to keep him from grabbing cookies with both hands.  That didn't stop him.  Check out those cheeks!

 Jonah finally gave in and just ate a cookie too.  Except, he asked.  And then said thank you when we said yes.  Oh, the difference in these two boys!

 Oh, and I need to add that Micah had just scarfed down 2 whole pieces of hamburger pizza.  Yes, 2!  So, honestly, we aren't starving him!

 We finally pulled Micah away so Jonah could finish arranging the cookies and pouring the milk.  

 I guess I should have gotten Dan a red/green striped pair of footed pajamas so he could fit in with the boys.  Something about the YMCA Chaplain Tshirt doesn't quite scream CHRISTMAS!

 The boys loved the Christmas Eve tradition of reading the book I gave Dan.  I looked specifically for a book this year that Micah would enjoy.  I knew it needed to be short enough to keep him there and have something to touch/feel.  They both loved it.  And, I loved hearing their daddy remind them again about the birth of Jesus and what that means for us today.  

It looks like even Ole' Santa Max enjoyed this literary selection.  

It was another beautiful night spent worshipping the Newborn King and celebrating with the ones I love most.  Tomorrow will bring an early morning and then another chance to worship Jesus and thank him for being the greatest gift ever.  I'm so excited about spending the day with my family and some special friends all the while being grateful to God for sending his only Son...because He loves me!

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