Decking Our Halls

Not long after the Thanksgiving festivities were over, we brought down the bins from the attic.  The bins...

...that mean Christ's birthday is near!

As the children have gotten older and older, this has just gotten to be more and more wonderful.

And now with Gabriel?  Well, it is just so much even more fun...which I wouldn't have thought possible.

This is the first year he's been old enough to really even notice anything out of the ordinary going on.

And, boy howdy...is he loving it!

One of my favorite quotes from him during our decorating (as he jumped up and down, literally):  "This is so much fun!!!"

He IS smiling.

Another favorite quote from G (as he helped hang up ornaments):  "Are these all MINE?!?"

And so what if we ended up with multiple ornaments on one branch:

But then G had to step a few feet away and drum a little bit, to bring himself back to center.

Yes, he has drummed on those canisters quite a bit...how can you tell?  

Before children, Jas and I had a beautiful, magazine-worthy decorated Christmas tree, decorated only in silver and gold.

No more.

Many of our ornaments are handmade by my mom (all the red and blue balls trimmed in gold sequins, and the cross-stitched ones).  I distinctly remember when we lived in AL (so I was between 3 and 6 y.o.) and she made all of these.  Several years ago she was about to throw all of them away...and I said, "No way!".  They're on our tree now.

And many of our ornaments are handmade by the children:

And then Nai Nai gives the children each an ornament every year:

As Elisabeth stepped back and looked at our tree this year, she said, "I love how our tree is decorated.  It is full of memories!"  I couldn't agree more, baby girl.

Who can spot the cute, little brown feet under the tree (rest assured...the rest of the cute, little brown body was under there also)?

And then, a few days later, it was time to try to capture our annual Kids in Front of the Christmas Tree picture.

The children decided that A needed to wear the reindeer antlers:

A decided she needed to pull E's hair:

I love how A is looking straight ahead while she pulls E's hair...kind of sly-like.

G wasn't really feeling the picture love...and after many (many) attempts....this was the best we could do this year:

We think it is hilarious how the antlers that A is wearing frame E's face.

We are reading through this book by Ann Voskamp...

...and doing the Jesse Tree ornaments that go with it.  Loving it!

I was interested in ordering this book myself, and thought my friend Amy already had it, so I texted her to see what she thought.  She sent me a message back: "Do not buy that for yourself."  Turns out she had just ordered one for us that very morning.  Love her...and so thankful for her!

And we've begun working on our December list of things we love to do together, like decorating gingerbread houses.  

Yes, I buy kits.

And yes, and this year I even bought the ones where the house is pre-assembled.  Gawww...this made it so much easier!  No going back now...

 And this was the first year that G got to participate!  With a little help from Daddy.

Gabriel took his job very seriously.

But we sometimes convinced him to loosen up...

...and have a little fun!

D has to fight perfectionist tendencies also.  The boy is going to be an engineer...mark my words.

And I got to go to a crafting event at church on Saturday morning.  This is what I made:

And I'm still so happy with the Pinteresting projects I made a couple years ago:

I really do not like making DIY crafty projects (it hurts my perfectionist tendencies), but I'm frugal enough to force myself to do it.  When we became Christians 15 years ago now, we did some major gutting of our Christmas decorations, and adding all these trimmings that point to Jesus has been wonderful.  

Now only 15 more days....but who is counting???

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