Monday, January 16

2011 wrap up

Time to finish up 2011 :)

Christmas was such a great SEASON this year. We really tried to focus on the entire season rather than just the day. We wanted to teach our kids humility, modesty and the importance of giving, as well as obviously the real reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus' birth. So we started off the season with our advent, which I wrote about a few posts ago. It included simple and fun things that we did every day (movie night, dress up for dinner, etc) mixed up with some service/giving type activities too (treating the person behind us at the ice cream shop, buying a gift card for a stranger, etc). We wanted to take all the presents out of Christmas, to make the entire month memorable and special, each day in it's own way. We decided early on that the kids would get three gifts, no more than Baby Jesus got for His own birthday and they could ask Santa for three things also, although they weren't promised all three from Santa. One of the three from us would be a handmade item and the other two would be gifts to inspire creativity and sharing. It kept our budget low and shopping time minimal, really allowing us a lot of time to spend together DOING things and CELEBRATING. 

Hubby works a lot, especially during holidays, so this year I had to decide to just go for it and do the things that we wanted our kids to experience, with or without him. We missed him a lot this season, but did manage to save some very special times for just Daddy too. I had to be kinda brave a few times and brave some crowds that I would normally have avoided with just the kids and I, but it was worth it to see their faces and excitement and then hear them tell Daddy all about our adventures when he was home.

Advent day one was to take the kids to the town's Christmas parade. I far Underestimated this task. Lol. It was packed and I had to walk a LONG way by myself with the kids pleading "how much longer" and "my legs are tired" every couple minutes. But we had a lot of fun, met up with some friends and made a great memory. :)

Another night was to write down all the participating addresses for the town's Christmas light contest and go check them out. This took us two nights because there were so many! Some were just 'eh' and some were so awesome. This one house had Santa visiting!! What a lucky surprise ;)

We took the kids to the Mission Inn to check out the lights, visit Santa and say hello to his reindeer. The lights were pretty and Santa was so kind, but we will probably not brave THOSE crowds again ;)

We decided at the last minute to have our annual Christmas party! It ended up being very small, just the "old faithfuls" as we call them...the people who always manage to show up with bells and whistles to celebrate anything we have going on. Thanks to everyone who went out of their way to join us, we all had a lot of fun...and the Rainbow Brite Snuggie made its way back! Hopefully we see it again next year ;)

We saved Gingerbread houses to do with Daddy! So fun...the kids did them for over an hour!!!

Baby thoroughly enjoyed eating more than his fill of candy and marshmallows. ;)

Love the tongue...haha

Coloring by the little tree together

My friend Kati and I hosted our second annual Christmas morning party for all the kiddos. We had breakfast food, a book exchange and a surprise visit from SANTA!! SO exciting!

A little dinosaur play with Daddy

A matching beanie set I made for Kati's new baby nephew and niece.

Sprinkling the reindeer food on Christmas Eve

Setting out cookies, milk, carrots and drawings...making sure everything is just right

Thankful for the gift of the season

"Santa Clause, Keep this picture. I love Santa Clause."

Santa's magic key, because we don't have a fireplace

Santa came!! He brought the kids books, dinosaurs, hot wheels, a kite, some balls, nail polish, an art set and yes, a pet rat.

Hello Sally. ;)

Daughter was thrilled!! This was really all she wanted! It took some time, but Sally is growing on me.

Finished gingerbread houses

Son's. he said there was a hurricane, hence all the snow piles.

Daughter's, with a marshmallow snowman out front. :)

And I think that's a wrap for this Christmas season. We got everything cleaned up and out the day after Christmas while Daddy was at work. I am blaming nesting.

Thank you Jesus for coming to save us. We are so blessed, and thank you for teaching us how important it is to BE the blessing to others this year.


  1. how awesome is this?! Great pictures. great backtrack post. I LOVE your Christmas tree! I wish ours were so pretty. The kids look so happy! And even without hubby home... you so rocked it. I seriously need your mad skills woman!

  2. what a great Christmas season :) and the rat will grow on you. My brother had a pet rat that was seriously like a dog lol. We loved that little thing!!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...