Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

 Our church has two Christmas Eve Services.  The first one is at 4 pm and offers childcare.  The second is at 6 and all the kiddos are in the service.  Micah went to the nursery for the first service.  Our friends, the West family (sans Miller) sat with us.  Jonah and Holder were both pretty excited to have candles.

Dan did a children's time in both services for the kids that were in the service with their parents.  Well, the kids who would come down.  Some stayed right where they were because they were scared to be up there.

 After that service, we snapped a few photos with a few friends and then some of our family until it was time for the next service.

 The next picture of Eli and Micah is such a picture of their relationship.  They are currently saying "Mine!  NO MINE!" as they argue over which one of their mom's said to say "HELLO KITTY!"  Those two boys LOVE each other but they also like to debate all sorts of things.
 The second service was full of a whole different set of kids.  It was another sweet time with little ones.  And, by sweet, I really mean hilarious.  There were some super funny moments.  LOTS OF LAUGHS!

 I had to do a comparison photo of Jonah and Meagan from last year to this year.  Photos like this remind me just how much he changes in a year.  These two are big buddies so I'm glad to have another pic from this year.

 After a year of pizza, we reverted back to a Christmas Eve meal at IHOP after the services.  We invited our friend "Misaweez" to join us this year.  The boys loved having her there.  They cling to any opportunity that gives a holiday a feel of family.  They so miss growing up away from grandparents and cousins.  So, any constants in their lives are huge to them.  And, Louise is at the top of their list.  She loves those little guys and sees them every chance she gets.
 Jonah wanted to take a picture of me with Micah.  As you can see, he did a stellar jon.  Ahem...
 But, he recovered.  That DSLR is sometimes hard for a little guy to manipulate.  It weighs a lot more than a little point and shoot.

 We are firm believers that all Christmas Eve meals should be totally healthy.  And, by healthy, I mean full of chocolate, whipped cream and cherries.

 We gave hugs to Louise then headed home to begin our Christmas Eve traditions.  (Well, after Dan went to get umbrellas because it was pouring rain!!)

 We got home and the boys had to find Phibby to tell him goodbye.  When they wake up, he will be gone for another year.  He is a fun little tradition that we didn't forget about once this Christmas season.  And, just to finish the year strong, he moved from a shelf to wrapped in a blanket in the fridge.  The boys thought that was crazy cool.  (Pun totally intended!!!)

 Micah wanted a turn with the camera.  It's obvious we have another photog in the family!!

 After a few family photos, it was time for our yearly Christmas book opening and reading.  This year's book was The Sparkle Box.  I'm excited to really use that next year as part of Christmas Season Activities.  The kids loved the book and the ideas in the book.  So, we will pull that out the day after Thanksgiving next year and start that.  We actually added two things to it for this year even though it is late in the game!

 Next, it was time to put out the milk and cookies for Santa.  This is one of the favorite things of the boys because it actually involves eating the cookies and drinking the milk.  Poor Santa doesn't get much left for him.

 My favorite new addition to our Christmas decorations is our Christmas Card tree.  I've seen people do this for cards they receive but I put all the cards we have sent since Jonah was born on this one.  There are currently 9 cards on the tree and each card represents one of the years since 2006.
 We did our next to last night of Advent activities.  The boys hung an angel on the little tree tonight as we talked about the angels who were in the Christmas story.

 Then, Jonah got the ornament for the 24th which had James 1:17 on it.  We talked about the good and perfect gifts that God gives us.  We hung that one on the tree and then we each prayed and thanked God for sending Jesus.

 Because we have two different Advent activities, they each get to take a turn pulling the slips of paper and ornaments then doing what the activity suggestion was.  It's be a fun experience this Christmas season.

 Before taking one last set of photos outside our front door, Jonah asked Dan to check Santa's progress.  He was near Cozumel, Mexico so they had to hurry to bed.

 We love our Christmas tree even though a whole section of lights died on us this year and even though this tree is only one year old.
 While Santa was delivering a few gifts, I worked on the chicken and dressing for lunch tomorrow.  There will be 11 of us here and I am a little nervous about the centerpiece of the meal not being good.    I wanted to check on the little guys before heading to bed.  I meant to take their shirts off and let them just sleep in white shirts.  But, I forgot.  And, apparently they are burning up!  When I saw them in bed, I pulled the quilt back then set the AC a few degrees cooler.  

 I kissed them goodnight and went through the rest of the house to turn off lights and get ready for bed.  While doing that, I realized I hadn't taken a picture of the boys' trees.  Jonah is so proud of his.  He loves it!  I'm going to hate taking it down.  
 The last thing I did before heading to bed was set up our Bibles and books for the Christmas story tomorrow morning.  After the kids see their 3 Santa gifts, we stop and read the Christmas story from the Bible and from a Children's Bible.  Just today, we got a package from our Pediatrician back home, our beloved "Docka Russ" and she included a book that we will read tomorrow morning too.  

 Micah's three gifts this year were a Step 2 Grill, Tinker Toys and a Bike.  He has been asking for Tinkertoys since early November.  But, today he decided the only thing he wanted from Santa was a Hello Kitty Radio with an alarm clock.  Which is the very thing we don't have.  So, it will be interesting tomorrow morning.  
 Jonah's three gifts are an Imaginext Gotham City, a Remote Control helicopter and the big K'Nex set.  
 Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

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