December 2016 archive

Christmas 2016

This Christmas has been one for the memory books!  It doesn’t hurt that I love this house and decorating it (even as minimally as we did) was a lot of fun and made being home something to be treasured…

My real live wreath from a dear, dear friend!  (I've always wanted one!)

My real live wreath from a dear, dear friend! (I’ve always wanted one!)

Welcome home

Welcome home

Dining room tree

Dining room tree

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He is with us

He is with us

The entry way

The entry way

Our tree full of special ornaments from years past

Our tree full of special ornaments from years past

and it doesn’t hurt that the kids are at such fun ages, where everything is exciting and they want to be a part of everything holiday…

She LOVED these antlers

She LOVED these antlers

There was lots of nativity play and Christmas store re-enactments

There was lots of nativity play and Christmas store re-enactments

and it doesn’t hurt that I love to invest myself fully into the advent season with a slow down in our schedules so that we can really focus on Emmanuel.

I remember fondly celebrating Christmas when I was younger.  We always had our family Christmas and would invite my dad’s parents (who lived across the street – if only I TRULY knew what an incredible gift that was at the time) to join us.  Then, we’d have a Christmas celebration WITH them and the rest of that side of the family.  Then we’d usually travel to my mom’s parents and do Christmas there, which was Christmas done BIG.  While we were there, we’d usually do Christmas with my grandmother’s side and my grandpa’s side.  Christmas was always this full, loud, joyful, family-filled celebration and  I loved every minute of it!

Things feel a little smaller now and while that’s not always a bad thing, I miss the multitudes of family and piles of paper and lots of cousins and aunts and uncles and mounds of good food and Christmas treats and the excitement of all of the different places we’d go and people we’d see.

This year, we traveled to Kansas to Waco’s for Phipps family Christmas.  They just built a beautiful new house and we all got to be the first house guests – a really big treat!  They were wonderful hosts and though it was a mad-dash, quick trip, a really good time was had by all!

ALMOST all of the grandkids!  (One REALLY didn't want her picture taken - ha!)

ALMOST all of the grandkids! (One REALLY didn’t want her picture taken – ha!)

We tried again on the stairs...

We tried again on the stairs…  Pictures are hard, unless you’re Sawyer or Breckyn.  :)

Beauty

Beauty

Sweet cousins and friends

Sweet cousins and friends

These 2 had fun together, too...

These 2 had fun together, too…

Present time is always a good time!

Present time is always a good time!

She's got this present opening thing down!

She’s got this present opening thing down!

This guy likes opening presents, too!

This guy likes opening presents, too!

Her favorite gift from RaRa and PaPa

Her favorite gift from RaRa and PaPa

He LOVES his Paw Patrol sleeping bag from Goo Goo!

He LOVES his Paw Patrol sleeping bag from Goo Goo!

We made RaRa's favorite iced sugar cookies!

We made RaRa’s favorite iced sugar cookies!

Stockings!

Stockings!

Wryder sure loves his PaPa!

Wryder sure loves his PaPa!

Sawyer with the bird she picked out just for RaRa

Sawyer with the bird she picked out just for RaRa

Playing dolls with Uncle Waco

Playing dolls with Uncle Waco

Bedtime stories with PaPa

Bedtime stories with PaPa

We came home on Christmas Eve and had our family Christmas over the next two days.  Since Wrex had the week off, we spread our gift-opening out so the kids could enjoy every last little thing!

For their big gifts, we splurged a little this year and got them each (save for Sayble) metal pedal tractors.  We knew this was a gift they would love and really have fun with and could pass on to their own kids one day.

Two hours of work later...

Two hours of work later…

They were a hit!

They were a hit!

She's a good tractor pedaler!

She’s a good tractor pedaler!

Little Say wanted in on the action, of course...

Little Say wanted in on the action, of course…

Ready to get to work!

Ready to get to work!

This little cutie loved to rip paper!

This little cutie loved to rip paper!

She got her own truck, trailer and horses so she could play with brother and sister!

She got her own truck, trailer and horses so she could play with brother and sister!

Train tracks might just be his favorite gift - who knew?!

Train tracks might just be his favorite gift – who knew?!

She has had her eye on this chicken house for months!  We were so happy to get it for her!

She has had her eye on this chicken house for months! We were so happy to get it for her!

Sayble LOVED the blanket Sawyer made for her...

Sayble LOVED the blanket Sawyer made for her…

Sawyer’s other special gift this year was a Calico Critters set.  She’s talked about them for a while and I had one as a little girl that I absolutely cherished!  I wish I still had that thing…  They were on sale on Zulilly one day so I got her her very own.  Sweet girl cried because she was so happy.  It was a special mother/daughter moment that I’ll always remember…

With her Calico Critters tree house...

With her Calico Critters tree house…

Wryder and his giant combine!

Wryder and his giant combine!

We’ve had daddy home all week and get home him for three more days!  I never look forward to the Monday after our Christmas break but I’m sure we’ll survive…

2016 has been such a good year for our family.  This has been a year of the Lord’s faithfulness (which I’ll share even more of later).  In a lot of ways, I hate to see it end.  I wish I could just freeze time right this very second…our kiddos are at such fun ages…we’re all healthy and whole…we love where we live…business is good…  I’m not a fan of the unknown, but I know that whatever 2017 brings, He will be right there with us.  He IS Emmanuel…