Christmas 2014

We had a wonderful and blessed Christmas...full of Jesus and family and love.  

We spent Christmas Eve - as we always do - with my extended family on my dad's side.  It was Aunt Marty's turn to host, so we all descended on her house.

Aunt Marty lives in my Mema and Papa's old house...I've spent the vast majority
of the Christmas Eves in my life right here in this family room.

Good thing G was there to help Susu open her present...what would she have done without him?

He loved the "Might Sheen (Machine)" he received.  

He got this bull dozer on Christmas Eve from Aunt Marty, and received a Scooper from Dr. Kathy a few days earlier.  They both know the way to this lil guy's heart!

Sissy didn't understand all the Christmas goings-on, but she sure was cute and squishy:

The older children surprised us by having breakfast ready when we got up on Christmas morning.  So sweet!

Do my children know me or what?  Daniel bought me a wonderfully warm and soft blanket....

...and a tea/coffee mug.  It says "Home is where the Mom is"...which he explained to me later meant that that is where I always am...literally - at home.  (love it!)

Elisabeth also bought me a warm and wonderful blanket:

And Noah bought me a mug that I love:

Lily Kay (whose money always burns a hole in her pocket) didn't have any cash to buy presents...but she gave me a homemade certificate for a Backrub and a Neckrub and a Footrub.  LOVE!

And Jas gave me two pair of the biggest, warmest socks I have ever seen.  They are fabulous!  He bought them at TSC.  Of course.  All good things come from TSC, I've discovered.

The children were so cute with their presents for each other.  They all re-homed their own belongings to their siblings...things they knew the sibling likes/wants.

Noah gave LK this RC mudbogging truck of his that he knew she loved.

In fact, the children's stocking were already full starting about a week before Christmas, from stuffing each others.  I kept joking with them that I would just return the stuff we bought to go in their stockings!  (I didn't return the stuff, though...because I really wanted them to have what we bought:  "Adventures in Odyssey" CDs (we don't have a DVD player in the Silver Bullet, so when we're in there and not listening to Matt Papa (our current fave), we're listening to AOD episodes....love them!   And...we bought them some biographies from YWAM...we all love reading through these together, although the children make fun of me when I invariably end up crying!)

Jas received from his mom several homesteading books he's been coveting.  And we gave him a pair of deerskin gloves and this cheese-making kit (for when Chelsea delivers again and we sure enough have milk coming out our ears):

Cheese happens to be Jason's favorite food in the world.

The children always love the part of Christmas morning when they open their ornaments from NaiNai.  She does the best job picking out ornaments that reflect what they are currently "into"...I don't know how she thinks of these and finds them!

G LOVES his snare drum ornament that NaiNai sent!

Sissy had fun opening her own ornament...

It was a precious "First Christmas" ornament!

We give the children three presents each.  One of their presents is a game...a game we can all play together.  

Noah got "Ticket to Ride - Asia"  (Daniel received the original Ticket to Ride last year, and we have LOVED playing it!)

Elisabeth received Clue.  
Lily Kay received Q-bitz.
Daniel received Forbidden Island.

Elisabeth is on the yearbook staff with our homeschool group this year, and so that she will STOP appropriating my DSLR....she received her own little digital camera (point-and-shoot):

She was pleasantly surprised.

Since Sissy-girl needs not one thing in the world, we added to her library....

...diversifying our reading material.

LaoLao and Papa came over late morning and had lunch with us.

Yes, this was the best picture I got of all 8 of them.

Abigail got caught up in all the merriment.

Gabriel wanted to share some Christmas love with his little Sissy Girl:

Gabriel was thrilled to find this tent in the family room...and to discover it was for him!

And then we had G leave the room, and come back in with his eyes closed to find his second present:

He kind of likes this present.

He is very serious when he is playing.

But when he is done, he will let a smile rip:

Gabriel's first concert:

I had a stroke of genius on Christmas Eve and suggested to Jas that the presents that we'd bought for N, D and LK that we thought we still needed to put together later that evening after everyone was in bed?  We should really let those three put them together themselves on Christmas morning!  I reasoned that they love building stuff so much, that it would really be like two presents in one: getting to build it themselves, and THEN, getting to ride it after they'd built it!

They were thrilled to see what the presents were, and then were thrilled to learn they got to build them themselves....at first....

Noah when he first started working on his "green machine"
....but after a while, when it seemed like slow-going, it wasn't so much fun anymore.

He doesn't look as enthused as he did at first.

But they persevered...

LK got a Powerwing

...and built their new "mobiles" (that is what they call them collectively)....

D got a FlashRider 360
...and then started riding them.

D's mobile really does do 360s, it is uh-mazing.  And the handle on the
lower right makes spark fly...as seen above on the left wheel.

And riding them.

And riding them some more.

Catching some air.

This is probably about the last year we'll be able to buy "riding toys" for our kiddos.  We probably own about everything there is now...and our carport is proof.  But we love encouraging the kids to get outside and be active, and get some of the crazies energy out.

E isn't into riding toys like these three (she got a purse and coat)...but loves a chance to hop on there every now and then...and the children are kind enough to let her borrow.

They're kind enough to let daddy and mama borrow too!

Before GAPS we weren't under the weight limits for these mobiles...

...but now we are, and we love them as much as the children!

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