I love Christmas! I enjoy advent, and the waiting & anticipating, and surprise planning, and sneaky-wrapping, and all that comes with the prep-work. But I LOVE Christmas! The big show. I love the family time, and the laughter, and the letting loose after weeks of well, hard-work, and the food, and the family time, and the laughter, and the music, and silliness, and even whiney kids all hopped up on too much chocolate and sugar, and even POP! Yes, Christmas means the older kids get soda. Wooohoooo!
I love that at our house Christmas lasts a full 12 days...and sometimes longer. Seriously. It's just that good. And by the time that first day of school rolls back around, it's darn hard to crawl out of bed. But being back in some sort of routine is good for us too. Sort of. Okay, yes it's good.
Anyways, since I've really slacked at telling you all about our 12 days of Christmas I thought I'd summarize with a few pics and thoughts.
Of course there are birthdays to celebrate. (Jesus...obviously.)
But then we've got a few here too.
Like Lucy... (okay, she's before Christmas, but I need to give her equal time)
And Sam, who turned 11 on the 28th. (that's 3 11-year-olds in the house now)
And me. 29 on the 29th! (my lucky year) Of course no cake or pictures. But Emma did make brownies, and I got the best birthday party EVER. Even my kids would agree.
Oh, and January 6th...baby Grace turned NINE! Oh my. Not baby Grace anymore.
Yes that's an ice-cream cake...cause by this time of year, I'm over birthday-cake-baking.
Next week (the 16th) my oldest pair, Alice and Emma will turn 12. And then we've got a break from birthdays until February 11...when we clebrate the gifts of John and Mary. Whew!
Okay...so moving on. As if Christ isn't enough reason to celebrate.
We also spent a few days hanging out with cousins over the Christmas break. Moms and dads visiting, and laughing, and eating, and story-telling (occasionally sitting in on a random card game or tiny tea-party, or joining in an impromtu karaoke show in the "quiet" room. Ha!) All the while kids doing what kids do best...playing hard...making memories with cousins...playing hide-n-seek, and games, and Nerf wars, and dance/karaoke parties, and even a sleep-over. (That was on my birthday!) Yes, we had 23 people sleeping under this roof for my birthday...only 3 adults and the other 20 ranging from ages 1-14. It was totally AWESOME!!! And, I should mention, that when I woke up the next morning to a quiet house, and sipped my coffee in the sitting room, no one ever would have guessed there were that many people sleeping in! I felt so incredibly blessed in those moments. For our family, immediate & extended, and for our home, and for all the goodness God brings into our lives. My heart was full. (and luckily so was my fridge!) They all woke up hungry, and I was tickled to death welcome them all around the table.
My niece and her long-time beau got engaged for Christmas! More celebrating! They live in Knoxville, TN. Although he is a native Canadian..."french Canadian!" my kids are quick to tell everyone. They spent Christmas with his family in Montreal, and then joined us after the first of the year for a couple days to visit, and what else? celebrate! More card-games, and laughter, and family times, and of course good food! We could listen to J.F. talk all night with his french accent...we're simple that way. I think he could be telling us that we have bad breath, and stinky feet and it would still sound beautiful. The kids love asking him to translate everything into french. Pretty sure he was ready to hit the road after a couple days...though they've visited before, and they've managed to stay together. Our family is a test for relationships that way...he still seems anxious to get married, and wants kids. We think he's a keeper! Conratulations Jenna!
Anne was a treasure this Christmas...at that stage where real joy comes in the paper and boxes. And most of her time at parties was spent doing just that. Running through the paper and squealing with delight. (or mooching for treats at the food table...she was on a 12 day sugar buzz I'm sure!) I tried desperately to pin her down for photos...I stink at that...here's what I got...
Yep. Dear Santa...next year I'd love a camera that doesn't have a 9 minute delay...I'm just sayin'
I'll try to be good.
Can't be good all the time...not with this around...
Merry Kiss-mas! (I mean...Merry Christmas everyone!)