Monday, December 30, 2013

The Nativity

We missed it again this year. We finally did our live nativity...a couple days before New Years. What can I say? It's alot of work and Monday nights are one of those nights that already contain a lot of work. I mean, dinner alone!

Mathew was playwright and Narrator:

Ethan was the donkey, with full bit and bridle...Dad was a good sport and led the donkey masterfully with a yet-to-be-born Jesus on his hip. We don't mean to rewrite history....we can't help it. I bet you didn't know that there was an understudy donkey along for the trip.

Ethan did double duty as a shepherd with Megan. I see he was kind enough to allow Megan the use of his boy scout walking stick.

I think Laney was the angel, but somehow I failed to photograph her....shocking!

The wise men bring their gifts.

Watching this, I realized something. If the wisemen arrived when Jesus was a couple years old, I wonder if he got to open the gifts himself? I bet he wanted to.

These are my little baby Jesuses that I made for my CTR 4 class. They were so cute, I wanted to keep one for myself!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

I think we could safely categorize Christmas into 3 categories:

The wait: consisting of methodically looking through the stocking, laying out your blanket and establishing your territory, and entertaining yourself until Mom and Dad appear....preferably without committing a crime that will result in some type of punishment. Harder than it sounds.

The Green Light: it's time to rip the paper, make a huge mess and see what's inside those presents! Who knows? You might get some dehydrated strawberry snacks!

The Chill: You know have permission to go forth and play with your new toys. You will get bonus points if Mom is able to finish an entire puzzle today. The goal is to relax, play, and not commit a crime that will result in punishment. Mom has no time for discipline. She is working on her puzzle.

Pork Barbocoa was had by all.

And thus, Christmas was tucked in with a story and a brand new night light. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

I have no idea why I don't have pictures of our new jammy tradition. 

We won't worry about it. I'm sure we can look at the Christmas Day photos if ever we have a pressing need to see the jammies from 2013. 

Yes, those things actually go through my brain. 


Everly's busy board already attached to the wall!

I love the Christmas tree all lit up and all the presents piled around it. It's so lovely....and exciting!

The stockings all in a row. Can't wait for them to start sorting them out while they wait for everyone to wake up and come downstairs in the morning.

Almost Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The trifecta

It happened again. That point where we have reached the end of our Advent road (Christmas Eve) and somehow we still have major traditions to keep traditionalizing. 

On December 23rd we were looking a packed night: 

The Minivan Express!

Mark did some fancy hole-punching a-la Polar Express.

We were loaded up and the cocoa and popcorn was distributed....Everly opted for a warmish sippy-cup cocoa, rather than suffer 2nd degree burns.

We went to do our sneaky Secret Santa drop off. Street signs and faces are not pictured.

To protect the innocent and unsuspecting.

Also I would like to take the opportunity to put in a quick vote for me always being the getaway driver. The kind that stays in the van with my feet next to the heater vent.

With all other tasks completed, we came home to our annual Shepherd's Night. Everly didn't participate...she had a full night of making sure I didn't get any sleep ahead of her. It's taxing work.

And we are now all caught up with our memory making and general hooliganism. We are ready to wake up in the morning and realize that Christmas Eve doesn't really start until the evening. So....that's always a little bit of a shock.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


We had plenty of snow this year.  It was definitely a while Christmas.

I specifically told the kids to stay of the dirt hill by the house construction around the corner. They don't know this, but I caught them redhanded when I was driving by for a quick errand. I almost yelled out the window for them to "get off that hill right now! What did I tell you?!" But, I realized that I didn't actually care. This was one of those instances when it's easier to pretend I didn't catch them and just let them get away with it.

What they don't know that I know won't hurt them...or me.

Everly was looking pretty glad she was snuggled in her seat and not out of the snowy mudhill. 

You and me both, girl.

Line em up

I really like having a family photo each year. It's so fun to see the changes in everybody and even the increase in numbers!

But, oh mercy. It's hard to do. I try to be upbeat and easy going. But invariably I find myself saying things like, "Pleeeeese....please just for one minute. Just give me one minute! Mat! Stop making that face!"

If only this was all we were after: 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A night with the Clarkes

This year we were invited to spend an evening with the Clarke family. We were all encouraged to bring our instruments and join in playing Christmas carols. Some even prepared special musical numbers.
Sister Packer, her daughter and Brother Clarke.
Mathew on trombone

Mark on guitar.
Two of the Clarke grandchildren in their fluffy dresses.
Sister Clarke signing along with a song playing on the laptop.

Brother Clarke and his son singing a funny Christmas song in harmony. Wish I had taken a video :)

Our neighborhood on the way home. The snow and freezing rain had begun and the roads were getting slick. But beautiful!