Here are the VERY excited kiddos in their Christmas Eve jammies! We started out our Christmas Evening opening jammies. I think the matching ones out there are soooooo cute and I'm tempted every year to get them, but then I break down and go for the ones I know the kids will love instead.
Then we sat down to read the Christmas story together.
This is a book I found on my Mom's coffee table today. I looked inside because I recognized it and noticed it had my Gramma's handwriting. She died when I was 8 but made many wonderful memories before then. She loved the Lord dearly and left that unmistakable legacy. Anyway, she wrote in the book that it was a gift for my brother and sister, given the year before I was born, and we read it many times growing up.
I hope you're having a wonderful Christmas Eve with your family tonight!
Here's the happy guy Saturday night before it fell out. He was working on getting it out as it would come completely forward, but still needed to loosen up a bit going back. We tried to pull it out but he was nervous, so we quit. Then he was so sad about it! We asked him why he was crying and he said because he wouldn't have any money to buy his cousins Christmas presents!
Then this morning at 5 AM he comes in and whispers, "Daddy! My tooth fell out!!" He insists he didn't do it, but it was neatly placed on his headboard bookshelf, so he must have just taken care of it all in his sleep! So tonight I guess we'll be trading a tooth for some cash... and he says tomorrow we have to go to the store so he can buy presents for two of the youngest cousins we'll see this week for Christmas!
He also got this huge chocolate bar form his Sunday School teachers and wants to share a chunk of it with each of his cousins we'll see this week. He has a very giving heart when it comes to things like that that I know is pleasing to God!
And this has not a thing to do with Jacob, but Mattie and I spent the day on the couch together yesterday. We were supposed to do her dedication, but she threw up right after she got all ready for church. I've never watched Little Einsteins so much in my life! She wanted to be sure to have her baby to take care of.
This is one of our favorite Christmas books. It's written by Joyce Dunbar and illustrated by Gary Blythe. The story is a "This is the house that Jack Built" kind of story. But what makes it my favorite is the illustrating. The pictures are very realistic, unlike a lot of other Christmas literature we have. I don't know if this one below is realistic because it's left to our imaginations in scripture, but I imagine it's close.
This is my favorite picture in the entire book. Jacob saw this and immediately said, "Wow. That's why they were scared!" Now that you've noticed the beautiful glory of the angel, look in the bottom left corner and notice the shepherds... in the dead of night creating shadows as if it was noon... running. Wow!
And then I consider if this is something like the angel's appearance, how Moses felt when God appeared in His full glory.
Robert took this the morning before and I didn't download it at the same time, but I think this one shows the size of the moon better than the other one even though it's a gray day. This was at about 7:30 in the morning the morning before the 100% full moon. Interestingly enough, look at it's placement in relation to the mountains... it demonstrates the rotation differences in just one day. The mountain that has two peaks close together is at the far left of the above picture. In the photo below it's almost directly beneath the moon.
God is amazing in how He planned it all, isn't He??
I know most of you won't be coming over during this season, so I thought I'd have you over virtually! I love the Christmas season, and really love to decorate for it! I have a lot of great family memories that surround Christmas, so I think it's a way to help me feel like I'm with them.
I will say, my decorations aren't those you'd see in any Southern Living magazine (except the first one). I think those are beautiful, but that's not my house. I'm attached to what I have, random as it is!
Come on in!
This is actually my Southern Living at Home door vase. I try to keep it full with season things. This is the only thing I actually keep up with at my house. The red berries were a dollar last year and the holly leaves are off our bush in the front yard. So this year it was free! It's not totally symmetrical, but I got really tired of poking my hands with those holly leaves, so I gave up.
Here's my nativity scene the kids play with. My mom got it for the kids last year from Plow and Hearth, but I've seen it here too. Both kids play with it, and Mattie was singing "Rock a Bye, Baby" to Jesus today!
I have always loved nativity scenes. If I remember right, my mom said I used to play with ours for hours when I was little. When my grandmother died, all I requested was her nativity scene. When we went through her house, they realized it was stolen when she was robbed 3 weeks before she died! I'm still sad I don't have it.
Here are some Christmas dishes I have with some more holly from a different bush in our yard. My mom has Christmas dishes as well, and I guess that's one reason I love them. My aunt got these for me a few years ago for Christmas! The kids and I use them for hot chocolate, and we've been using them for dinner during this season too. One of my favorite things is to eat at a beautifully set table. Actually, it hasn't happened much in, ohhh, about 6 1/2 years! I'll have to get back to it now that the kids are a bit more civilized.
This is our table centerpiece... more free holly and a random red candle. It's usually surrounded by school or other childlike clutter, but I like one square foot of grown up prettiness on the table!
My mom has done this for a few years in her dining room, and I decided to try it in the kitchen this year. I love looking out my windows (I have three like this all next to each other) to look out front and seeing these happy ornaments hanging!
These are some happy blocks I got on a great clearance last year at Mast General Store because the letters were falling off. I got four sets, one for me, my two sisters and my sister in law. I like this country/ farm house style of decorating, but it's not really my house style so I can't do more of it.
This isn't as much Christmas as winter, but I painted it a few years ago... well now 8 or 10 I guess! I love, love, LOVE to paint ceramics, but just don't have the time in my life due to a certain little girl who lives here. I absolutely cannot fathom having the time to do one square inch of this right now. But I miss it!
And this is one of my total favorites. I love snowmen, and my brother-in-law, Peter, hand made this for me after Robert and I got married. The hat can be lifted up to reveal a hole for a candle. I keep him out until spring. :)
Here are our stockings on our bare mantle. I need to put something on it! (Some more holly, I guess!) My mom bought the kids' stockings from Pottery Barn. Jacob's we bought after we knew he loved trains. And Mattie's we bought her first year, not having any idea she'd end up being a little ballerina. I love them, but they are huge... definitely something to think about before you purchase! I fill them up with socks and undies if need be. Robert's is from Duluth Trading Company (a really cool catalog that sells unique things for tradesmen). His name is written on the metal tag that's shining so brightly! And my stocking was handmade by my grandmother when I was little. You can see it has definitely seen better days! One year it had Jolly Ranchers that melted and then stained it... then washing it made the colors all bleed! But it's still here. I need to watch for a new one on sale after Christmas I guess.
And our tree... it's a very family friendly tree! It has hand made ornaments and colored lights this year at the kids' request. Jacob wants "a colorful tree, not a dull white one!" Jacob set up his Thomas track around it too and created a snow scene. Of course, the train ends up off the track 15 times a day behind the presents, but he's determined, I guess, because it's still there!
After we got married a made a tree skirt that I got tired of very quickly. And last year I wanted a new one but didn't like to commercial ones for all sorts of reasons. Then I was in WalMart and noticed this beautiful brocade round tablecloth... for nine bucks nonetheless! :) I was a happy camper!
So there are my favorite things this season. Thanks for coming!
We didn't send Christmas pictures or letters at the beginning of our marriage because there wasn't much to report! Then when it was Jacob's first Christmas, we were broke if I remember right, so postage and photos weren't on the list. But I thought it would be fun to share the cards we've done since then!
And for 2008... you'll just have to wait!! I'll post it after people have had a chance to receive them in the mail first. But I will say, it's cute!
I've spent all day trying to keep these heads away from the window and focused on school!
The third head is Tyler, a little guy who will staying with us three days a week. Today was his first day. He was delightful and the kids all seemed to have a great time! Tyler loves to read and loves Thomas, so you can't really go wrong with that in this house!
All of a sudden we had enough to go play!
Happy girl! (At least this time she has snow clothes on... She escaped barefoot more than once today - and had no inclination to come back in!)
Mattie and Tyler wrestling.
Tyler loved the snow!
Jacob's proud of his first snowball!
"What a treat to have snow in the fall!" Jacob said!