We have had much fun and family time this Christmas season. I've been so busy I haven't had time to post, so I turned the bunches of photos into collages.
I had so hoped to be able to find ways to spend time with the big kids and the little kids. Our first opportunity came a couple of days before school was out for JT, E, and me.
Josie-Tatum ran in our school's annual Jingle Bell Jog Fun Run. Caleb ran with her to help her keep up the momentum, and we all were there to cheer for her. The night before we made posters, and Josie-Tatum said, "I'm so glad you are my mom." Music to my ears. She also placed fourth out of 100 girls in first grade. One of her best friends was first.
Preparing for the holiday, I asked the boys to rake the pine straw in the yard. I must admit there was a little pouting with that request. They turned it into a game, though, as usual. They decided to see how high they could pile the straw. The girls were fascinated, as were the Stretch children who came over for dinner that night. We had fun with the adults and my big kids all bowling on the Wii!
We had the pleasure of watching the children perform in a Christmas play. Don't you love to hear children singing Christmas carols, to see their excitement before the program begins? If only we would all be so excited about sharing the good news. I think I saw the most precious camel and angel ever!
One night we all had fun just watching Ellie bowl on the Wii. You have to see the faces to appreciate how bowling became a spectator sport.
As has become our tradition, we spent the day before Christmas Eve baking cookies, some of which will be left for Santa. The big kids had asked as often as the little kids when we are going to make the cookies. Last year, I invited friends to join us and my boys were upset with me. I didn't make that mistake again. ;) If my boys wanted our cookie baking to me a "family-only" time, then I would certainly make sure it was. (I just don't have all of the awesome photos that Joli took last year when her kids were with us.)
As has become Ellie's tradition, she ended up covered in flour, having as much fun rolling out flour as she did cutting cookies. And, as has happened the last three years, since adding Brandon to our family, before the day was over, he made sure everyone had flour on their face. I was so thankful for the time with all five of my treasured blessings.
On Christmas Eve, I had already spent two days cooking in anticpation of our annual Family Christmas Eve Dinner at our house. It never ceases to amaze me how willingly my children will clean and help cook on Christmas Eve. The spirit in the house was ever so sweet all day long.
God's love has poured down on us this year as it has every year. I pray that you have had time to reflect on His goodness, and that we will all remember Him in the year to come!