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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Celebration

Christmas was a very full and fun one this year. My parents and Christopher and Hannah all enjoyed portions of Christmas Eve and Christmas day with us. Thinking back a year ago to last Christmas when I was in the midst of determining that my pregnancy was ectopic, I am so thankful to be here with my family, healthy and capable of cooking, hosting, shopping, wrapping, going to our Christmas Eve service without the worry of death...well, as long as you don't count the potential for being burned out of the sanctuary with the candles that everyone was holding. This may sound melodramatic but it is completely true!

Hanging his stocking just so.
Gifts wrapped, thanks, in part to my brother and Hannah. We still went to bed after midnight!
Stockings hung and filled.
After reading Luke 2, the kids ran down to see the horde. Yes, I felt a bit like the dwarves in The Hobbit once I saw all of it wrapped and under the tree.
Much of it was from various generous sweet family members. You made some children very very happy!

Corwin investigating the remains of Santa's snacking. Corwin helpfully finished it off.
Acting out the nativity events. 
Mary is a bit particular when it comes to the gifts, and Joseph seems to be really taken with the gold :)

I thought this was a great pic with his beard shirt.
Thank you Grandmama for the wonderful fairy dress! Rhianwen designed it and sent the drawing to Grandmama who then sewed it for her. 
Happy birthday dear Jesus!
We had fun delivering some hot fresh sticky buns to a few of our neighbors too. We also graced them with a Christmas carol. 

This year I have been struck by Christ being Emmanuel, God with us. I think of how I feel when I am faced with the challenge of being with people who have sin in their life, and how I either want to avoid it, or, if I can't avoid it, I get grumpy about having to figure out how to interact and live out love to them. It is tiring and takes much effort. Then I think how Christ willingly came down to each of us, who have so much sin, to love and save us...me. He wasn't grumpy, He didn't avoid it, He simply came and dwelt in it and does the same here and now with me. Despite my sin, God dwells within me, being and working and doing in me a work of sanctification. I am so so very thankful for this!

Alden opening his real bow and arrows. He's loving target practice. The arrows are rubber tipped.
Whenever anyone asked Corwin what he was getting for Christmas, he insisted he was getting a skateboard. So we decided not to disappoint him.
Giving Hannah and Christopher their gift. It's been so fun to have them here. 
Sock monkey popper for mom and dad.
This gift was actually so funny b/c I randomly came across it on Ebay and thought it would be a fun thing for mom and dad. I figured they could put it in the toy stash at their place for when the grandkids came if they didn't decide to have fun with it themselves. Well, then I opened the gift from my Aunt Sue, and she had gotten us the very same thing! Totally crazy.

And, yes, Pip got a little sumfing too. He was pretty possessive of it for the day.
Trying out his skateboard and ramp (that Wally made). 

The next day we left for Conway to see my Grandpa and his new wife, Jamie. We hadn't seen him in more than a year, so we were overdue for a visit! We also got to see Uncle Skipper, which was a treat. 

The kids enjoyed showing him their planes from Aunt Natalie and Uncle Robeson from Christmas, telling knock knock jokes, and singing their Cantata Christmas song. 
We really enjoyed meeting Jamie. She is so very sweet and lovely. Grandpa made a good choice :)
On the way home we saw a hot air balloon! Wally chased it down back country roads for a better view. 
2015 here we come!

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