Christmas 2012

i enjoy all the preparation and anticipation for christmas
i am always sad when its over
this year was no different

we had a quiet and relaxing christmas... just the way i like it
we've established some traditions with the kids that they look forward to each year

on christmas eve morning, we make lefse

 after lefse is made and the kitchen is cleaned up, we eat a late lunch/early dinner and get ready for church

i try to get a picture of the crazies all dressed up in front of the tree {which died early this year...boo!} before we head off to church

 candlelight service at church {my favorite}

 then we come home and the kids open any gifts they've received that are not from us

 then the kiddos put on a movie and snuggle in somewhere to camp out in the bonus room

this year after they went to sleep, i got busy creating a scavenger hunt for the next day
instead of putting names on the gifts, i numbered them
i created clues that went with each number
some numbers had significance {their age, landon's football jersey #, etc} and some were random so those clues were more like math problems
i loved doing the scavenger hunt for the gifts and the kids loved it too

 christmas morning, waiting to check out stockings and see if santa arrived

they're off.....

 the only thing on her list was bars and beam for her AG doll mckenna

 the one thing on his wish list was skylander giants

this girl had NOTHING on her list... she was pretty excited about what santa brought

lance had to go to work early, so he missed out on stockings and santa
we had breakfast and the kids waited patiently for lance to come home to open gifts
i was thankful they had time to enjoy their gifts from santa and look through their stockings

 once lance arrived home, around noon, the kiddos got busy on their scavenger hunt and opened their gifts
one of the things i loved most about the scavenger hunt was that it took time for them to find each gift under the tree and open it
i felt like it helped to prolong our christmas morning

 after gifts were opened and a quick clean up around the house, everyone snuggled in for some quiet time {movies and naps}.
a little later in the afternoon, one of lance's business partners and his family came for dinner and dessert.
it was super casual and a nice way to end our christmas night.
we all went to bed with full tummies and full hearts.


Advent: Day 25

celebrate the birth of our savior

open gifts
have a birthday cake {ice cream cake this year!} in honor of Jesus' birthday
Merry Christmas!

Bible Verses:
 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed[f] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, andyou shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took placeto fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife,  but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men[g] from the east came to Jerusalem,  saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;  and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.  And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.  Andbeing warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”  And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt  and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”  Matthew 1:18-2:15

Advent: Day 24

Lego Advent Calendar:

Bible Verses:
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[c]
 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.  And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.  And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:1-20
1. make lefse

 every year on christmas eve, we make lefse. 
i do the prep work the day before and then my kiddos basically take over on christmas eve.

 i mix the potatoes up with the flour and from there morgan does all the rolling.

 landon and mauryn show up to turn them every so often
otherwise morgan runs the lefse show

 2. candlelight service at church
i love christmas eve candlelight service. 
its my favorite
oh holy night by candlelight... tears every year.

3. open gifts by the upstairs tree
any gifts the kids receive that aren't from lance and i we put under our bonus room tree
we let the kids open them on christmas eve

 4. camp out in the bonus room
 once the gifts are open, the kiddos find a comfy spot and settle in for the night
and a short night of sleep

 i love their late into the night talks
the excitement as they wait for christmas morning
its one of my favorite christmas moments


Insta Joys: December Catch Up

december has flown by.
the days have been going by so quickly but some of the weeks have felt slow.
here we are on christmas eve
its hard to believe
i will be a little sad tomorrow when the day ends
i love this time of the year

i have been busy with our advent activities and trying to stay on top of posting about them but i haven't done an iPhone photo dump for a few weeks

here's a little glimpse at our december
 landon, mauryn, and i started off the month with a visit to the zoo
its the only free admission day all year at the zoo
the animals are given special treats and santa comes to visit
it was overcast but not too cold and most of the animals were out
it was so fun!

 mauryn whispering her wish to santa and letting him know she had been good this past year

as i was watching landon on santa's lap, i kept wondering if this will be the last year. the last year he'll want to visit santa. the last year he'll still believe.  it made my heart a little sad.  

 we went to visit our local living nativity.  it was a warm night. the kids really didn't even need coats, hats, or mittens.  even thought it was warm, this little lady wanted to be sure she got some hot chocolate!

 this is my favorite kids christmas cd
i never tire of the songs on it

 3 kids for dental check ups = 30 minutes of quiet in the waiting room
is it wrong that i look forward to my kids dental check up every six months?
30 minutes of uninterrupted quiet and reading mid day
its pretty great
its also great when all 3 kids are in the no cavity club!

 its that time of the year again... time for a new planner
i loved my erin condren planner so much i ordered a new one this year
i adore her planners and love the new changes from last year
this baby keeps me sane and organized all year long!

 i was tired of our mismatched stockings on the mantle
so i begged  asked andrea really nicely if she would consider making stockings for my little family
she was kind and gracious enough to say yes!
i love them

 we woke up to a skiff of snow 
from my kids reactions you would have thought we had a foot of snow!
the two littles got bundled up and headed out the door
mauryn was cruising up and down the sidewalk on her pink power wheel bike

 the first thing landon did was eat snow {eew! even though i know i did it as a kid too}
the second thing he did was make a snowball and throw it at me :o)

 this guy got all cozy on the couch next to me while i was riding the spin bike

 december was a HARD month for school
no one was very motivated
everyone was looking forward to christmas break and counting down the days
school had to be done
we made it through... barely!
we are all so ready for christmas break

 our fourth annual free hot chocolate stand
we have had a mild start to winter so it was the nicest day we've ever had for our stand
we had our biggest turn out... yeah!
 after closing up shop we drove across the street to walmart to give hot chocolate to the bell ringers
we always borrow carafes from our church for our stand so we delivered hot chocolate to some pastors and office staff who were around when we returned

 i introdcued mauryn to skeeball
she wasn't super impressed
she much rather play whack a mole

 our annual trip to the ice skating rink over advent
it always takes a bit for the kids to get the feel for the ice again
it is one of their very favorite things to do each december

 there is just nothing better than freshly washed sheets on a bed
even though i had made the bed, those clean sheets were calling my name
i unmade the bed and crawled in for a little afternoon nap
it was perfect

 this little dude loves to help in the kitchen
he makes sure he is always wearing his kitchen robe {his apron}
he is awesome at peeling carrots and potatoes
he can even make a few things himself
i love that he loves to cook and bake
his wife is going to thank me one day :o)

 every night we get some type of performance
this night, mauryn was reading us a story she had "written"
i love her imagination 

 i noticed my snowman had a new accessory the other day
mauryn decided to decorate him/her up
i like the added touch of the pink hat

the last day of school before break and these two were sleeping in
i did not want to wake them up
but we did need to get school work done so we could start break
they were so sweet snuggled up together
i just hope they choose to sleep in a day or two over break :o)

are you ready for christmas?
has your december been crazy?