We did several activities to count down to Christmas. We did a daily advent which began with creation and followed each day with the lineage leading up to Jesus’ birth. Also, the kids got to pick a piece of candy out of their stocking each day before Christmas. I also wrapped Christmas books(from library and our own collection). The kids chose one book per night and we read that book before bed.
Donna/Nana/Chris’ Mom, Chris, myself and the kids at church on the day of Arianna’s performance.
This is my wild girl! One broken arm and riding a bike. The cast has not slowed her down a bit. Many times we have told her she better be careful or she will have two broken arms. She is adjusting really well to the cast. It is amazing how well she has learned to draw and color with her left hand. What a trooper!!
We kept hearing all of this rave about Monkey Bread. I have never had it nor did I have any clue what it was. So we decided to give it a try. We had a blast making it and even more we enjoyed eating it!
We spent a lot of time during the month of December talking about the birth of Jesus. My kids know that Santa Claus is actually Mom and Dad. We try to emphasize that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birthday instead of focusing so much on Santa and receiving gifts. This is tricky since my kids get so many gifts from our families (I am guilty about it too:). Above they are playing with a nativity set that they received.
Arianna went with the Childrens’ chorus to sing at a local nursing home. I was so proud of my typically shy girl. She was looking the patients in the eyes and smiling at them. We discussed how the best gift she can give them is her smile. I was surprised at how comfortable she seemed. I guess she has had a bit of experience lately with this sort of environment since we visit my Dad frequently. We look forward to visiting a nursing home again soon!!
This is Ryan posing in front of our way too full tree! Most of those gifts are our children’s gifts. Not like we didn’t already have too many toys! The kids packed up 2 bins of toys to give to needy children before Christmas. I hope our children realize how blessed they are to have so much. It is very important to me to try to help them to be grateful for what they have and not to be spoiled brats.
Ryan and Ari posing in front of our holly tree.
We went to Disney on Ice with a large group of homeschoolers. We spent the evening with Arianna’s best friend Alana and Ryan’s best friend Aaron.
Yaya’s Grandbabies at bath time (except for sweet baby Katelyn)
Arianna enjoyed helping dip pretzels for a tasty treat! She loves to cook!
Ari and Ryan posing in front of the tree on Christmas Eve. If you notice, Ari’s cast is now pink. She had it changed 3 days before Christmas. She was very disappointed (as was I) that she had to get another full arm cast. We had been told that she would only get a half arm cast. She should get her cast off January 19th. We cannot wait!!
I thought it was so sweet, Arianna wanted to sing her chorus song before we opened presents with my family. I missed the picture of her singing but I got a picture of Papa doing ballet during the interlude of the song:) After Arianna’s solo performance with her backup dancer, the three kids (Ari, Ryan and Layla) sang several Christmas songs. I have video but no pictures of this. It was very cute!
Arianna and Ryan picked out gifts for each other. This is a picture of Arianna thanking Ryan for his gift.
Here is what Santa Claus left. Again my kids know that it is us but we still carry on my family’s tradition of setting out a special gift and stockings. Ryan got a blue bike and Arianna got a new doll house. Also the pups got some special treats that Arianna picked out (see 5 stockings to right of doll house). Our rule is that it has to at least be past midnight before you can get up to see what “Santa” left. This year is the latest I have opened gifts in many, many years. The kids didn’t wake up until 7:30am. In years past, we are usually up soon after midnight. This is also a tradition from my childhood.
Arianna got a dress up bridal gown. She was so cute. Papa told her she was way too young to get married.
Our pups love gifts as much as we do. They also loved their stockings. They enjoy opening gifts especially if it smells yummy!
Arianna was very excited about Christmas! She said her favorite present was her dollhouse.
Ryan loved his bike!
Chris has been wanting to learn to play the guitar. I got him a guitar for Christmas.
These are my 2 favorite gifts. Chris gave me a new camera…a Nikon D60. I LOVE it! Also below Chris’ Mom got me a Cricut!
We had a great holiday but are enjoying getting our house back in order and beginning school. Maybe I can actually get caught up on my blog and not have to post 1000 pics in one post. I still have mine and Ryan’s birthday to go but then should be almost caught up.