Monday, December 30, 2013

It's Christmas 2013

Finally the day was here!  Isabel and Will woke us up around 7am ready to rush downstairs to see what Santa brought!

Waiting at the top of the stairs.......SO Ready to see what surprises were waiting for them

Isabel and Will both asked Santa for a Furby Boom this year and were both super excited that their request was granted!  Josh and I, however, are not sure we are loving these new toys.  They seem to talk...all. the. time!  They also sing and dance and all kinds of crazy things.  There is also an app you can use to feed, bathe, and play with the furbys.  Isabel and Will LOVE THEM and Josh and I are just thankful that we know how to put the furbys to sleep sometimes! :)

Oh, did I mention that the two furbys interact with each other?  They talk to each other and will even sing a duet if they are left close enough to each other.

After eating a quick breakfast, we all opened the rest of the presents under the tree.  I loved that Isabel and Will wanted Josh and I to open our presents from them first.  I truly want them to understand that giving is more important that simply receiving!

Josh really loves these Little Debbie tree cakes and makes sure everyone knows it.  After mentioning his love for these in a sermon, multiple families from our church (plus his mom) gave him a box so he should be good for a least until New Year's anyway!

Christmas is one of those times when I am reminded just how different our children are. Will could not be any more of a boy.  His favorite gifts involved anything superhero or sports related.  He also got a magic set that he thinks is pretty awesome!

Isabel, on the other hand, got all things girly.  She got a "real" ring that she is so proud to wear!  She also got bracelet makers, barbies, and chapter books about cheerleaders.  The only things our children agree on is their love of flashlights and arts and crafts and they both got new lights, paints, markers, and dry erase boards!

Josh and I got Isabel her first Ken doll.  Before this she has only had girl barbies but we realized that she needed a boy/husband/daddy to play with after noticing that she was using Will's Woody doll or a superhero!

After an exciting morning of opening presents, we all needed a nap and then went to see the movie Frozen which we all loved!  It was a fun Christmas!

My favorite Christmas song this year was "We Have a Savior" by Hillsong. Josh said in a sermon a few weeks ago that Christmas is really a story of Love and Rescue and I tried hard to focus on that during this season. I am so thankful that we are "no longer lost because he has come down for us." Merry Christmas! We have a SAVIOR!!

A child has been given, 
The King of our freedom
Sing for the light has come
This is Christmas

Come and adore Him
And bring gifts before Him
Joy to the world
Worship the Son
This is Christmas

Jesus, Emmanuel here with us
Tell all the world
We have a Saviour
We have a Savior
We are no longer lost
'Cause He has come down for us
We have a Saviour
We have a Savior

Sing with angels
And lift up your voices
Join in the song of hope
This is Christmas

His love will reign forever
His love will reign forever
His love will reign forever

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a fun, lazy, family day.  That afternoon a student brought over a Christmas present for our family.  It included lots of goodies but the inflatable boxing gloves were definitely a favorite for Josh and Will.

I love our Christmas Eve service at church.  It is always a special time to focus on and celebrate the birth of our savior but this year was even more special to us because Josh gave the message during the service.  He did an amazing job!  As he read part of the Christmas story from our children's Jesus Storybook Bible, I kept thinking about Gods amazing love for us and how blessed I truly am!

I love these two so much and I'm so incredibly thankful that they understand a little more each year about what Christmas is all about!

I love that my mom gets to be here to celebrate with us

So thankful that Nana gets to be here with us too!

I'm so thankful I get to be their mommy

I was so proud of how well Isabel and Will did during the service.  They sang songs and listened to their daddy (and Will only asked about 100 times when it was time to light the candles)

I love my family!

Isabel and Will quickly changed into their pajamas when we got home! Will felt like he looked just like an elf and was making us laugh so hard.  Their excitement was out of control!!

They could not believe it was finally the night for Santa to come but they were also a little sad that they had to say goodbye to our elf, Max.

They got to open one present before setting out cookies and milk for Santa and heading to bed!

Pre-Christmas Fun

The days before Christmas are always super busy but also filled with lots of fun.  This year was no exception!  First of all, we had lots of fun visitors.  Josh's mom, grandparents and cousin came to visit. We have not seen his grandparents or cousin in 2 years so we were so thankful for this time with them.

Will reading a new book with Grandma Smith

Nana brought lots of yummy cookies that needed icing and sprinkles. Isabel and Will were very willing to take care of the decorating!

Isabel was even promoted from sprinkles to icing!!

They did a great job!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Opryland or Bust

One of my favorite things to do during this time of year is go to the Opryland Hotel!  Last year we were all passing around the flu and feeling absolutely terrible so we did not make it and I was so disappointed.  This year I was determined to make it happen.  Well, our December calendar filled up ridiculously fast and I was starting to get concerned that we wouldn't be able to fit it in.  We realized that last Saturday was basically our only free day so we made the decision to go even though we knew it would be "a little crowded."  Oh my.  We had no idea! (We actually learned later from an Opryland employee that it was the busiest night of the year and the hotel was completely booked).  I don't even want to relive the trauma of getting there and the insane traffic by describing it so I'll just say that it took us almost 2 hours from the time we left our house until we were in the hotel. It should have taken 30 min.

Fortunately we were able to shake off the terrible drive and ended up having such a great time! Isabel and Will didn't remember much about going before so they were completely amazed at everything they saw.  The only other traumatic situation hiccup was when I realized I didn't have a memory card in my camera.......AFTER I had already taken multiple pictures.  Fortunately I did notice before taking too many pictures so Josh and I took these on our cell phones:

It was freezing (literally) outside but it was worth it to see the lights!

The Nativity was beautiful

Because Josh was sick of hearing me whine about not having my camera loves me and understands my obsession with pictures, he was willing to buy a memory card when we found a best buy "vending machine" that sold them.  So maybe we did pay a little more for it than if we had bought it in a store but it's worth it....right? :)

My sweet girl....she is getting too big

my little man.....with the perfect Christmas shirt for him

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Another year of Gingerbread Houses

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the gingerbread house night at our church.  It is definitely a favorite for Josh, Isabel and Will too!  It is a fun night with our friends at church and community and it is always fun to eat pizza and candy and decorate gingerbread houses!  This was the first year that Isabel declared that she did not want ANY help!  She was determined to decorate her house on her own without any input.  It is weird how this proof of her growing up can cause me relief and sadness at the same time.  Of course it is easier to only help one child with their house but at the same time I really miss my baby girl!!  Anyway......

Starting off a fun night with pizza

she's ready to decorate

serious concentration

Will being silly with his buddy, Lincoln

Isabel and her friend, Lillie

My beautiful girl so proud of her final product

Another successful gingerbread night with these two cuties

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

1st Snow Day

We have not had "real" snow (aka more than some flurries or light dusting) in almost 3 years.  Since my kids really don't remember anything about the past snows, they have really wanted to see some snow.  Today they finally got their wish!!  We woke up to this....

This may not seem like a lot to anyone living up north, but to us it counts as real snow!  I decided today that I love how we do "snow days" in the south.  Of course the day always begins as a surprise because everyone knows that it never snows when the weatherman says it will but always snows if there is only a small chance.  So the snow day begins by waking up to a snow covered yard and a notification that of course school is cancelled.  Instead of rushing around, we get to enjoy a lazy morning and then start putting on layers so we can go outside.  Because they are finally old enough to really enjoy the snow, we actually ended up playing for almost an hour before deciding we were too cold and wet to stay out any longer.  The best part of snow days in the south is that just a few hours after playing in the snow, most of the snow on the street has melted so everyone gets to go out and enjoy their day!!  Today we got to eat lunch out with Josh and do a little Christmas shopping!!

So stinkin' excited!  Somehow Isabel must have known it was a snow day because she was up crazy early.  Usually we pull her out of the bed crying at 7:45 am to get ready for school but today she was in my face saying "IT SNOWED!" over and over at 6:45 am!!

This little guy loved everything about the snow too!  The last time it really snowed he was too little to really enjoy it so he made up for it today!  He walked around singing "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" and "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" while he played!

Isabel usually does not like to be cold but today she stayed out even longer than Will (of course she also managed to stay a lot dryer than Will who fell in the snow multiple times)

The snow was really too fluffy to make a snowman but there were plenty of snowballs made and thrown!

My favorite picture from the day!! Can you tell how excited he is about throwing his snowball at his daddy? (who had just dumped all of the snow he scraped off of his car onto Will)

We are hoping for another Snow Day soon!!