Christmas Was Here

This post will chronicle our Christmas events. Plain and simple. I'll try to be quick, narrating as little as possible. A picture's worth a thousand words, right? I only added a few.

We had Christmas with the kids the night before we left town. Do you love their matching festive ensembles and Ivan's masculine socks? We had just returned home from gymnastics, which usually leaves enough time for dinner and a maybe a bath before bed time. Oh, and squeeze in the family Christmas.

No "candy" canes in these stockings. Those are pens. School supplies. Much better than a sugary treat, right?

A present for the boys quickly captivated everyone, except for me. I mean, it's just spinning a little round piece of plastic. How easily they are entertained. Fun times.

Hannah Montana blanket for Avery. I had found it on clearance for $3 this past summer. Score. She probably thanked me a hundred times over the next few days for that thing.

The excitement over Keith's gift is an act. A very cute act but still 100% false. "I already have a watch," he said upon opening the present. Yes, he does have a watch, but it's been broken for about 7 years. I returned both of these 2 days ago.

Those are Toy Story book lights clipped onto Ivan's waistband. He thought himself hilarious. And, gloves...from his stocking of course.

Change of setting: Houston, Texas.

We jumped right into Christmas dinner. All of us in coordinating attire, except for Keith who said navy blue is basically the same as black, hence the reason I am hiding all but his face. I have to add that after lunch I did coerce him into one of his dad's black shirts. At least it didn't have a giant Fox logo across the front. Poor Uncle Tommy sacrificed being part of the picture so we'd have a photographer. No one had thought to get out the tripod yet.

Cousins! Garrison (5), Ivan (3), Avery (4), Addyson (4), Kendall (6)

How cute are we? But, wait! Someone is missing! He was too fast for the camera.

One big happy family, incomplete without that little black and white face on my lap.

The grandparents. Pa Pa and Gu Gu. Wearing age-appropriate head accessories.

Time for the gift-opening mayhem.

Keith's favorite pastime while on the road is taking pictures of those goofy, yet certainly life-changing, church signs and sending them to his BFFs. A little game they play. This book is full of them, and it's the "collector's edition." A few good ones as I flipped through it: "Road Rage? How Would Jesus Drive?" "7 Days a Week Without God Makes One Weak" "God Answers Knee-Mail" Yes, definitely life-changing words.
147 million. That number is astonishing to me. I cannot wrap my brain around it. 147 million kids with no mom or dad. Garrison was telling me a story about "before Ethiopia," which he refers to the time before he arrived at the orphanage....and in the middle of his story, he said, "There was no Mommy." The heart-breaking part is he said it with no emotion, as if it were commonplace. While I'm about to cry recalling this story, Keith is about to cry over seeing this shirt. He's such a softy. And I love it!

The ceremonial receiving of Christmas Eve pajamas! And the mania that ensued the moment they were donned.

I know the question you're asking. Why is Avery standing behind the kid-sized punching toy while Ivan takes a swing at it? I have no clue. This is the effect of having recently gained 2 brothers.

Christmas morning...

Candy canes filled with Hershey Kisses. This was the only gift that prompted all 3 of them to jump up and run to grandparents to express their sincere gratitude. I allowed them to eat as many as they could stomach. I am awesome.

Jesus' Happy Birthday, as the boys referred to the event. Thanks to Gu Gu who didn't use any artificial food coloring with the cake. The boys were a bit disappointed that Jesus didn't "come down" for his party though.

Two peas in a pod. Two very cute peas in that pod.

I am forced to go to the Y to workout anytime we are in Texas. Yes, forced. Every time. But, they have a room of rock-climbing walls for kids 5 and up. Garrison climbed the beginner wall, then the one you see here. The goal is to ring the bell dangling from the stuffed animal at the top. Oh, he did it. Both times.

Gingerbread houses were a catastrophe for the second year in a row. And, all because we are too cheap to buy one at the before-Christmas price. Aunt Renea had purchased these last year for a quarter each. The above picture is the end result of our efforts. Nice, huh.

Ivan spent much of his time in this position, on the table, which is why he has nothing to show in the end.

The grandparents treated everyone to TCBY after the first ever big family photo shoot. Yum.

Our dear friends The Rawlings, also residents of the Houston area, came for a visit with their 3 kiddos since we were in town. We sure do miss them.

Gingerbread house assembly: Take 2. Using graham crackers, homemade cream cheese icing (which I am not recommending for the job) and dye-free edible decorations from the pantry, we let the kids take a stab at this again. Fools we are! The little house above was their example. Perhaps it was too extravagant for them. Yes, that's it. No way the kids themselves could be the problems.

I'm not sure what I've captured below. Is it a house under construction? Is it a proud child's final product? The remnants of someone's snack...someone who decided not to even attempt anything more than icing smeared across the crackers?

But, the kids still had fun. And, because I'm so awesome, I let them eat everything they created. After dinner of course. I am still a responsible parent. Awesome. But responsible.



These last few are of the girls strutting their stuff and their new fab headband/hats. The epitome of sophistication right here.

Our tree and other Christmas decor stayed up an extra week because we wanted to celebrate Christmas with Ethiopia on January 7th. We couldn't adopt many of their festivities: fasting, marching in circles with candles, no gifts. But we did dress up the kids in authentic Ethiopian attire and read some more about the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Oh, and pictures in front of the "Christmas treat," as Ivan calls it, for the last time this year.

Are these captured moments making anyone else cry?

1 comment:

  1. Awesome pictures...I'm so happy for you guys. It's awesome to see how God has grown your family in the last year. By the way, I loved Keith's 147 shirt. I have a couple of the hats, but still need a shirt (or 2).