Saturday, December 24, 2011

Sights and sounds of Christmas

What a wonderful December. I am curled up in my chair right now watching my children play with their toys. My husband is making reindeer shaped pancakes and I am still basking in the warmth of our church's beautiful candlelight service last night. We will be traveling to see family members in just a few hours, but I wanted to post some pictures of our month. I can honestly say that it is has been such a blessed one and my heart is so full with gratitude for all of our blessings.

 We spent a lot of time this month baking. In addition to the cookies in my previous post we made reindeer cupcakes, candy cane cookies, and haystacks. And we spent all day yesterday making peanut butter balls, dill pretzels, and bread for our neighbors and postman. I love it!
Bennett had her Christmas program at school. I will post video of that later, but here are a few shots of her singing and then with her sweet friends. I'm not going to lie. I cried. I even cried when I saw her name in the program. She's got a rough road ahead of her with her weepy Mom.

And the homeroom Moms in Bennett's class kind of rock. They organized a cookie making party on one day when the kids were out of school for Christmas.
Here are my kids with their best friends after the Advent service at our church. Bennett and Will with Levi, Crosby, Ridley, and Walker.
 We went to see Santa, of course. The kids were great this year and both were so happy to see him.

We spent an evening in the town of Parkville, Missouri. I can't believe that we didn't take our camera, because this is the greatest little town and it looked gorgeous at Christmas. Sigh.... I'll learn next year. Here are some shots from Union Station and the Crown Center. We spent an entire day there a few weeks ago and will definitely do it again next year. Kansas City is so wonderful at Christmas time.
We loved going out to look at lights and we had fun stopping off at Panera Bread for gingerbread men and hot chocolate. That was something new we started this year which I think will become an annual tradition. Our favorite lights this year were at Longview Lake (of course) Candy Card Lane, and the Plaza lights are a must. We hit them all and loved every second.

We also spent a lot of time at home spending time together as a family. Here are Rob and the kids watching A Charlie Brown Christmas. We try to have computer/iphone free evenings where we really watch things with the kids. They love our undivided attention.
Here are a few more shots of life around our house during the Christmas season. The first shot is of Will having his very first taste of hot chocolate.

On Christmas Eve eve we went to the candlelight service at our church. Bennett wanted to come in to "big church" to sing the carols with us. What a sweet little girl.

We looked at more lights afterwards and then it was time to come home and get ready for Santa Claus. We set out the reindeer food. Each had their own bag. I was hoping the reindeer were literate. As it turned out, they were!
Rob read the Christmas story with the kids. We started out reading out of Daddy's Bible, but they both insisted on getting their own. This was the sweetest part of the evening and one I will always cherish.

The kids set out the milk and cookies and then were jumping up and down in excitement.

This morning Bennett ran into our room. I asked her if she knew what happened last night and she started to tear up and she sniffed, "Did Santa not bring me any presents?" So sweet. We informed her that he did and then we went to get up her sleepy brother. The came down the stairs and immediately Bennett ran to the horses and Will flew to the trains. It was a wonderful morning.

Despite all of the lights, cookies, and presents the best part of our Christmas has been teaching the children the real meaning of Christmas. We have had lots of outings, but my favorite was the night we delivered angel tree presents to the homes of children who have fathers in prison. More than buying gifts, I loved watching my kids drop coins in the Salvation Army buckets on their way into the stores. I loved hearing Bennett ask to hear Christmas carols on the radio instead of Frosty. I loved it this morning when we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.

I pray each of you has a wonderful Christmas with your family. And I hope each of you know about the best Christmas gift we will ever receive.

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

 That is the ultimate gift. Delivered by the king of king who come to the earth in the most humble form imaginable. In the form of a helpless infant. Born to people of no importance. In a place where barn animals sleep. Born to save us from our sins. To give us the gifts of grace, peace, hope, and life. It is almost unthinkable in its scope and value. But I am grateful. So so grateful.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.


starnes family said...

I love Cmas in KC and love your fam!

Brittny said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! I'm an idiot. I just NOW realized Will was sitting in the box and not just holding it! I was wondering why he was holding an box that wasn't wrapped. Dumb me. I love your post and how you and Rob do Christmas. I love how you make everything so special for your family. So glad you had such a great Christmas!!

Andrea said...

Oh my gosh... candy cane cookies! I love those things. I used to make them every year, but haven't for the past several. Seeing yours, I realize how much I miss them. (I may have to fix that, even if it is after Christmas.) Thank you for the reminder. :)

Caroline Armstrong said...

well I loved catching up with your pictures on your blog! you truly do have such a way with posting! It is always funny, emotional or just fun to read! Glad to be back:)
And i am with you on the poor kids/over emotional crying mom thing;)