Thursday, January 7, 2016

christmas break, part 3

the first gifts that are opened on christmas morning are our gifts to Jesus. we give the kids $100 and the World Vision catalog and let them buy gifts for others that have needs that we can help meet. this is the best way we know how to teach them to love and give Jesus tangibly.
you might remember that we didn't open gifts last christmas. we opened them the day after. i loved it and would continue it that way. but i knew that pat and the kids would do it gladly if they had to, but they'd all prefer a more traditional christmas morning ;-)

because we spent a lot less this year, i was open to trying it "the old way." i prepared my heart, and it was a great day. i desire for it to be a day where i feel close to Jesus, but i think i realized, it's just not going to be. i have PLENTY of days where He's so close and precious to me. but a day where we focus on STUFF is not going to be a day that feels very holy. it WAS a day full of happiness and love and excitement. and that's ok, i guess ;-) i'm glad we can give that to our kids. it's not going to be my favorite day of the year. but it IS theirs...and i enjoyed making that happen!
i think one of the most precious parts of the day is when the kids give their gifts to each other. we budget less for our gifts to them so that we can give them a little money to buy gifts for each other. and then they can add whatever amount of money they want to. it's really interesting to see how that plays out for each of them. bailey bought this hat for levi - isn't it awesome??!!
joshua (FINALLY!) got an ipod (actually pat's old phone) and was facetiming with his closest friend (that lives in richmond) that afternoon. he was so happy.
pat's parents came over that night and the kids had worked for HOURS on a show. it really was amazing. instruments. outfit changes.
and choreography!!
it was a GOOD day.

the day after christmas was AWESOME. ;-) i went for a long run, and then we took ALL the christmas decorations down! the tree was on the curb and all the boxes put away by the end of the day. plus we worked more on the basement. now THAT'S my kind of day!! i LOVE the feeling of my house after all the christmas decorations are put away - it feels so clean and fresh!

the next day, we threw a party for our kids. we had realized that they had watched us throw a couple parties that month...had helped clean the house and prepare for it...and watched us entertain and enjoy and do white elephant gift exchanges with tons of laughter...while they were tucked away watching a movie. we wanted to do that FOR THEM.

so we got some fun food for appetizers...
played a new game together...
ate a yummy dinner...
and then did a white elephant gift exchange. we gave them each $5 to get a gift - they could make it funny or not.
sawyer thought his was SO funny!! he was CRYING laughing as lincoln opened it (it was eyeshadow!)
then we played this silly game where you listen to instructions and draw a picture on a plate on your should have been silly, but this crew is SUPER competitive! good grief!
it was a fun, fun night. i hope they always remember that. pat and i loved doing it for them!!

a couple nights later, we took them all ice-skating. half of them loved it, half of them hated it. we weren't surprised. pat and i watched with hot tea in our hands. it was still a fun night.

i no longer get bothered by things like this. i'm close enough to it never happening anymore, and i know i will miss it.
it was a RAINY as we drove out of town on new years eve, the BLUE sky was SO nice to see!!
we headed to richmond for new years eve. we stayed with the fogarty's...this was just our 2 family's kids for dinner :-)
then the adults went out to dinner and rang in the new year together. i love these ladies so much!!
and we now have some of our kids staying up til midnight with us...

they were sleeping on the floor (as is typical on a "non-school" night) and were super close. it was the last night of break. (it's joshua and sawyer in case you can't tell.)
and christmas break was over. just like that.

it was a GOOD 2 weeks. full of sweet memories and lots of time together. we were ALL sad it was ending...even me, which is saying a lot!! :-)


Barbara Cassada said...

Granddad and I LOVED the precious Christmas performance that our wonderful grandkids put on!!!

Barbara Cassada said...
This comment has been removed by the author.