Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Eve

Our church didn't have a Christmas Eve service this year, so we went to church with my parents then out to dinner.
We started a tradition last year that the kids open their presents to each other on Christmas Eve. I like the idea of this because it makes their presents special and they don't get lost in the hub-bub of present opening on Christmas morning.
Elizabeth got James a walking-popper thing. My parents have one similar at their house and so Elizabeth knew that he would love it and he does. James picked out a horse for Elizabeth. I set him down in front of the shelves of stuffed animals and let him pick one out. This is the one he picked. Elizabeth loves it and has named him Pony-Pony.

Dave played guitar while we sung a few Christmas carols.
Grandma gave the kids these reindeer antlers which they decided they needed to try on.
And then Elizabeth decided Dave and I needed to try them on so she could take a picture of us. Oh, and Pony-Pony had to be in the picture too.
This picture doesn't look like, but James actually thought the antlers were pretty funny and kept trying to put them back on when they would fall off.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Baby Jesus Basket

We started a new tradition this year that I read about somewhere. We had a basket that we prepared for Baby Jesus by putting "hay" (actually strips of paper) into the basket. Several times throughout December we each put a handful of hay into the basket and talked about a gift we have either given or been given. We prepared the basket so that on Christmas morning Baby Jesus could be placed into it - the greatest gift we've ever been given.Baby Jesus in the basket under the Christmas tree. This was a neat tradition that I think we will continue. It got us and the kids a little more focused on Jesus, which is always good.

Christmas at the Farm

After our trip to Houston, we made a trip to the farm to celebrate Christmas there. The kids had just a few things to open. :)
James was VERY into opening Christmas presents this year. Me showing off my new hat and Academy gift card from Dave's parents. I'm trying to get into running, but that's for a whole other blogpost.
James showing off my new headband.
Elizabeth opening a thing to make bead necklaces.
The kids opening presents.
James riding in this little truck he got. He loved riding in it and getting pushed back and forth across the living room.
The kids were worn out from the busy weekend. James fell asleep with his new guitar.

Christmas in Houston

The weekend before Christmas we went to Houston to celebrate Christmas with Dave's dad's extended family. This is something that we have done almost every year and we always have a lot of fun.
James' first time on a real swing (instead of a baby swing). Elizabeth almost immediately started playing with her cousin Dutch. Dutch is Dave's cousin's son. Dutch and Elizabeth spent most of the evening playing with each other. It was fun to watch. Dave is one of 17 grandchildren on his dad's side and grew up very close to his cousins. It's neat to see the next generation starting to form relationships. Elizabeth and Dutch are the oldest of the 5 great-grandchildren. Dave's Grandpa has passed away and his Grandma wasn't able to be with us for Christmas, but I know that they would both love to see their great-grandkids playing together.
Every year Santa (in the form of Dave's uncle) comes to Christmas. Elizabeth is TERRIFIED of Santa, as she is with anyone in just about any kind of costume. We tried to prepare her for it and I even explained that it was Uncle Raymond dressed up as Santa. But, she still totally freaked out when he got there.
Here's a picture of how she spent most of the time that Santa was there - in her Daddy's lap in the other room.
Or in her Aunt Ali's lap. Super cute picture if only Elizabeth didn't look so pathetic.
We tried to get James to sit in Santa's lap, but he wasn't too sure. He would let me get close enough to get a family (minus one) picture with Santa.
Poppy & Grandma with Santa.
Grandma, Elizabeth, & Dave.
The 4 brothers - Uncle Bernard, Uncle Mark, Uncle Raymond aka Santa, & Poppy aka Mike.
We were able to coax Elizabeth out of the other room once Santa left and there were presents to be opened. Dave's aunts, uncles, and cousins are always very generous. The kids had lots of fun opening presents.

Christmas at Sea World

A couple of weeks ago we went to Sea World for their special Christmas shows and stuff. It was really neat. I had never been at Christmas before and we really enjoyed it. It's something we'll definitely go back to. When we walked in there was snow coming down in the entrance. Very cool. We went several friends. It was a beautiful day and we all had a great time.
Elizabeth, James, & Dave in front of the big Christmas tree. All 4 of us.
Page, James, Elizabeth, & Dave with our friends Nova, Karen, & Aidan.
We went to the Polar Express 4-D experience. It was really neat. They even had real snow come down in the theater. Elizabeth wasn't sure about watching it because she had watched Polar Express at school and been scared by some of it. I asked her to stay in there with us at least until it started. She wasn't too sure but did a good job and ended up enjoying it. The part that scared wasn't a part of the show, so that was good.
Dave and James getting ready for the movie. James enjoyed chewing on his glasses more than wearing them.
The boys and young kids went up into this massive playscape thing. They had a good time. Elizabeth didn't want to go up so she stayed down with the girls.
Our friends Jody & Zoe with James & Dave.
James watching the Shamu show. When Shamu first jumped out of the water, he said "Whoa."
James was totally worn out and feel asleep on the way home after eating some snacks.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Birthday

Earlier this month I turned 30. I have had friends that have really struggled with turning 30 and the thought of it has never really bothered me. What was interesting to me though was that the thought of not being in my 20s anymore did bother me a little bit. The 20s were a big decade for me - I graduated from college, got married, bought a house, had a daughter, moved and bought another house, and had a son. It's unlikely that any other decade will have quite so many accomplishments in it. While I look forward to seeing what God has planned for me this decade, I look back with fondness at what he did in me this past decade. I am so thankful for His faithfulness to me.
I had a very nice day. I got several nice presents from family and friends and Dave worked extra hard to take care of the kids so I could relax. My mom made me a french silk pie.
And my sweet friend, Stephanie, baked me a carrot cake to help celebrate at church that night. It was her first ever cake from scratch and it was yummy.

Wedding Reception

James was sick the day of the wedding so he spent the whole reception sitting in someone's lap - very uncharacteristic of him these days.
Elizabeth on the other hand spent almost the entire reception out on the dance floor. She had so much dancing with Kasia and anyone else who cared to join her out there.
Kasia, Dave, and Elizabeth dancing.
Elizabeth dancing with Beto.
Elizabeth dancing with her Uncle Evan.

The Wedding

For the wedding Elizabeth had her hair done by a professional. She was not at all sure about this. When she first started having it one, she looked pretty miserable. Then her Aunt Amy gave her a mirror and she perked right up and spent a good portion of the rest of the time looking at herself in the mirror.
All dressed with her hair done. Front.
Back. Elizabeth with the flower girl, Kasia, and her Aunt Amy.
Elizabeth hugging her ring bearer pillow with the bride, Kim.
Elizabeth and Kasia scattering the rose petals down the aisle. Kim decided that it would be good for both girls to scatter the petals and it worked great. They did them one at a time which made it last forever but it was very cute. They also had rose petals left when they got to the front of the church, so they wanted to keep going. We assured them they could finishing scattering them when they went back down the aisle at the end of the wedding. Elizabeth did a great job walking down the aisle. She acted like she'd been doing it her whole life.
Page, James, Elizabeth, and Dave after the wedding.
Elizabeth and Beto talking.
Aunt Amy, Elizabeth, and Uncle Evan
Elizabeth with her Daddy