Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Eve/Day

God truly blesses us every year. This year was the first year Parker has understood what Christmas is all about. Not only do they talk about it at school but we also read books at home about the birth of Jesus. We also did Advent as a family for the first time. My goal was to take the emphasis of Santa and the commercialized aspect of Christmas and back to the real reason we celebrate. We also took the time Christmas morning to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. The video won't upload.
Although their elf Trophy did visit again, we did not focus on his watching and reporting to Santa but rather teaching Trophy to make god choices. Trophy left this letter when he arrived in November:
Dear Parker and Austin…
well well well…two of my favorite little children!
First off, I have to tell you that I think you are both very special. I know that you are filled with love for each other, your parents, but most importantly, you are filled with love for Jesus, and I know that He lives in your hearts. He lives in mine too, so that makes us all especially special!
I had to let you know something important. You know that whole naughty and nice list that you hear everyone talking about? Well…truth is, that’s not really true. I don’t have a naughty and nice list. Because I know Jesus, I also know a lot about grace and getting what we don’t deserve. I know you know all about that! Like when you make the wrong choice and when you choose to sin, Jesus gives you grace and loves you still! And sometimes I know that your parents even give you grace too…like when you deserve to be disciplined, but they give you another chance!
I know that kids are not perfect. I know that you guys are not perfect. But I know that Jesus loves you all the time, and I do too. So you don’t need to worry about being on my naughty or nice list. If you believe that I will come to your house on Christmas Eve and leave you some special surprises, then I will come!! That’s all you need…is to believe!
To help you remember about grace and about getting love even when you don’t deserve it, I wanted to send you a very special treat for this Christmas season. Since it is almost December, the month that we celebrate Jesus coming to earth to be our Rescuer, I thought you might enjoy a little visit from a very special friend of mine.
This is Trophy the Elf…
He is a dear friend of mine, but he tends to be a bit naughty. I have explained grace to him many many times, when he chooses to sin and be a stinker. I have told him that that is why Jesus had to come…to rescue him, because he has sin in his heart. He is beginning to learn, but I thought that if he stayed with you for the Christmas season, then you might be able to teach him some more about the way Jesus loves us even when we sin. I love Trophy so much I want him to understand and believe Jesus and know that his heart can make good choices too because Jesus loves him so very much!!
One important thing about Trophy…he is an elf, and elves are not exactly the same as humans. Trophy stays still all during the day, but he comes alive at night. He flys back to the North Pole every night and likes to get into trouble while you are asleep so you will have to watch him carefully!
When I told Trophy he was coming to stay with you again, he jumped up and down in excitement!!
Have fun!! I’ll be back to pick up Trophy on Christmas Eve when I come drop off some surprises for you!!
I love you guys so much!
Our tree this year!

We started a new tradition last year. Todd's parents come in on Christmas Eve and stay the night at my parents. We do Christmas with them Christmas Eve and have brunch Christmas Day with them and my parents. It's such a joyous time to be able to spend the holidays together.
Gaga playing Parker's new Cat in The Hat game with him.

Eating Nana's pretty Christmas cookies!

Excited to see what they got!

Matching aprons to help Mommy and Daddy cook!

Snowsuits from Denise and Lance

Dressed in their Santa jammies ready to be tucked in for the night!

Putting out reindeer food

Cookies are left for Santa. We forgot the milk! Hope he didn't get thirsty!

Christmas morning: Discovering what Santa left for them...a train table and grill!

Loves his Choochoo table! Doesn't ever want to leave it!

Ready to pass out presents since he can now read his and Austin's name!

One of Parker's favorite gifts is his daily devotional book!

Christmas afternoon we always get together with my mom's side of the family. Parker and Austin love playing with their boy cousin Liam! They were all partners in crime!!

Missing Audriella :(

The soccer goal from Denise and Lance is assembled and ready for practice!!

Christmas at Mom and Dad's

Each year we take the time as a family to spend time together and have our Christmas. I am truly blessed to have a family that enjoys this time together. We need to cherish these times rather then take them for granite. We are not guaranteed another day.
The cousins always enjoy being together especially Parker. He gets over excited and goes crazy!!
This year we all went in and got mom and dad bikes. They are cruiser bikes and perfect for them!! I hope they enjoy them and when the grandkids are over they can all go on a bike ride!