We woke up Christmas Eve to Jonah rushing into our room to tell us Phibby left a note for him on the tree. It was the last morning Phibby would be there before flying back to The North Pole until next Thanksgiving. He was in awe! If you missed him reading the letter, you can see that here.
At some point during the day, Jonah told Dan "I hope Santa Claus remembers about Christmas being Jesus' birthday so I put a Bible Verse Card next to Phibby so he could take it back to Santa and maybe they could memorize it!" Yeah, that pretty much brought tears to our eyes. He seems to finally be getting it.
We spent the day around the house doing different things then it was time to head to the church for the two Christmas Eve Services. Unfortunately, I had not tried Jonah's clothes on him because when I put them on, the pants were about three inches too short and the tie was about four inches too short. I had to make a quick wardrobe change for him. I couldn't tuck his shirt in because his belt didn't fit anymore. Have I mentioned lately how fast this kid is growing???
For our Christmas Eve services, we offer nursery for the first service but not the second. So, I took the kiddos to the nursery before heading over to the service. Once again, taking a picture of both of them proved a little difficult.
After the first service ended, I grabbed them so we could take our yearly photo in front of the tree. Once child was a little more willing than the other.
We did manage to get a good family photo but ole' Lavon pulled a trick out of Dan's playbook and photo bombed us. A special thank you to Danno for starting that around this place.
There was still about 20 minutes before the next service started so I took both boys into the sanctuary to show them the candles. I knew Micah wouldn't be there for that part but Jonah wanted him to see the candle. Fortunately, the photo bomber above and his wife offered to watch Micah in the cry room during the second service since they attended the first. SO GRATEFUL! I took him into the service for the music because I knew he would love it. As the music ended, Dan got up to do the welcome as we began to slip out so I could hand Micah off. He started yelling, and I mean YELLING "BYE, Daddy! BYE, Daddy! BYE, Daddy! BYE-BYE!"
Faith come up to see Dan and then said "Mrs. Nicki, do you have your camera to take our picture?" So sweet! Love those kiddos!
And, of course, what is a Christmas Eve service without a picture with Graci Jan?
As we night ended and we got ready to head to our car, I looked and saw Jonah carrying Micah up the aisle. Apparently, "Micah just wouldn't listen!"
We decided, like last year, to grab pizza on the way home. Except, we didn't know that all the pizza places were already closed for Christmas Eve. So, we found the only place open and ran in for a quick bite. IHOP!
"Take picture with mommy, pease?" Except, he didn't want to move his cup. AT ALL.
And, at some point the meltdown began. He was tired. It was past his bedtime. He was hungry. Did I mention he was tired?
We quickly ate our meal then headed home for our Christmas Eve traditions. We started by changing into their super cute pajamas. Then, we put our Santa cookies out. Uncle Marty sends us a special shipment every year of cookies just for Santa. We have used the same recipe every year and Santa must really like them because he eats all of them. It is a huge blessing that Uncle Marty does this because unlike most families, we are gone for about 6 hours for Christmas Eve services so we don't have time to make cookies, reindeer food, etc.
I told Micah we needed to put cookies on the plate and he did exactly that. HA!
And, like every year, both boys have to try a few of Santa's cookies just to test that they are okay!
I asked the boys to smile for a picture. This is what I got. Jonah's new "pose" is this. I get it many times. He says it is "so cool!"
After getting Santa's snacks fully prepared, we sat down for Dan to read his new book to the boys. Micah especially loved this one!
We got the kiddos all snug in their beds then I went back into Jonah's room so we could track Santa online. We sat in the dark, under his covers watching Santa's every move.
I got busy getting stockings ready and quickly discovered they were too heavy to "Hang by the chimney with care!"
We set up the Nativity Set and put the Bible and the Devotional Bible out so we could do that early the next morning.
It was finally time for us to head to bed. Santa visited and left both boys three gifts. Micah got a trampoline, a racetrack and a kitchen.
They both had several gifts to open each and one BIG gift to open together. In years past, when a gift arrived in the mail, we let them open it and play with it that day. That way they could fully appreciate it and enjoy it AND recognize who it was from. Whether it was from Vidalia, Texas or Family. Well, this year, Dan decided he wanted them to have all of the to open on Christmas morning. So, all of the wrapped gifts (with the exception of 3-4 I broke him on) that you see are basically from friends and family who sent them here. The jury is still out on how we will handle that in the future. Dan still likes his way of Christmas morning and I still like my way of celebrating when they arrive and I get them wrapped.
Jonah's three gifts from Santa were a new keyboard (he takes piano lessons), a Hot Wheels Racetrack, a video games.
It was well after 1:00 a.m. before we got to bed. Poor Max fell asleep in Dan's arms. He was TIRED!
This is also the first time we have had gifts in a place other than around the tree. We just could not fit them there this year. They gifts this year were big in size so we had to move into the living room area. It seems odd to not see a tree in this picture.
Stay tuned for Christmas Morning!