Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Four Christmases

Okay. So, I haven't abandoned my blog. At first, my blog break was unintentional. I tend to feel a little drained in the month of January after our hectic holiday schedule, so I just wasn't in the blogging mood. In addition to getting to bed earlier at night, I reflected on the 2013 year and ways to improve as a Christian, wife, mother, employee, and friend. During my hiatus, I realized that the church that we attend was participating in 21 days of prayer. During this time, people usually choose to do some sort of fast. I've heard of social media fasts in the past, and although I didn't fast from social media altogether, I did decide to "fast" from blogging. Since I usually use my free time to blog after the littles have gone to bed, I thought it would be a good time for reflection.

And, here we are at the end of January, and I haven't even blogged about our Christmas. We had a fun and busy Christmas.

The first of our Christmas celebrations started on Christmas Eve Day at Chris's grandmother's house, otherwise known as Grandmama's. Will you take a look at all the presents? The littles are always in "hog heaven" at Grandmama's.


As usual, Chloe was our little elf that helped pass out presents. In this photo, she looks like a sneaky little elf that wants to steal the presents. Ha!



And then, the present opening madness began.



Nana opening her present from the fam.



It was a personalized necklace with the names, "Nana," "Evan," and "Chloe" engraved on it.

Afterwards, we took a few photos.

All the Grands



A Family Photo with Nana, Granddaddy, and Aunt Sara



That evening we set out Christmas cookies (made at Nana's house) and milk for Santa.



And, we spread our Reindeer Food (made at our Christmas Cookie Decorating Party) on the lawn for Santa's reindeer. I love how the glitter stuck to the raisins



We read our last Christmas book. (More on that, later)

The littles went to bed and Santa made a stop at our house;)


I'll be honest. The following morning, Chris and I were beat. We made the littles lay in bed with us so we could get a few more minutes of sleep. Needless to say, we didn't sleep much longer.

Then, the fun of Christmas morning began.

During the Christmas holidays, I had several discussions with Chloe about the true meaning of Christmas and the reason that she receives gifts at Christmas. Most of all, I tried to stress that "it is better to give than to receive." So when Chloe approached me about buying a gift for Evan, I couldn't deny her. She even offered to spend her own money.

Oh, it pulled at my heart strings to watch them give each other the gifts that they had chosen that morning. Evan was literally in the middle of opening one of his own gifts when he realized that Chloe was about to open her gift from him and immediately got up to watch her. I can't express in words how meaningful this gift exchange was, but maybe you can see it in these photos.

Evan got Chloe a Hello Kitty necklace. He picked it out on his guys-day-out with Daddy. He may not understand why it is better to give than receive, but he certainly feels it.


Chloe picked out a Spider Man action figure for Evan. The look on her face said it all.



They may not always act like it, but they really do love each other.

A little while later, Aunt Sara came by to watch the littles play on their new Christmas gift! It was a joint Christmas gift from Nana, Granddaddy, Aunt Sara, and Grandmama. The littles must have been really good this year...or maybe, they're just a little spoiled;)


 

Later that day, Lola, Jerry, Uncle Jose, and Uncle Rob came over for Christmas lunch. They tend to be more private, so I only got a few photos.

Gifts from Lola

   
Chloe and Evan got BB guns for Christmas...from their Daddy. I am not taking responsibility for anything that may happen with the guns. That being said, I was pretty impressed with Chloe's shots. She showcased some of her BB gun skills for the family.



Yes! She hit her target.



Chloe, Evan, and Lola


The day after Christmas, we made our way to Aunt Dana and Uncle Tommy's house. 

We loved seeing the family. Also, the littles loved spending time with Cousin Jack...


 ... and eating ice cream!



But most of all, they loved running around. (This was the best picture that I managed to get during the excitement.)



Chloe and Evan were our little elves at this Christmas celebration, too.



The final Christmas celebration was at home of my second family. Heather and I have been friends since we were in grade school and I've been a part of her family for just as long. They were sweet enough to include us in their family celebration on the Sunday after Christmas.



Chloe and Carly- Heather and I hope that these two build a lifelong friendship just like we did.


It was such a memorable Christmas, spending time with our loved ones. I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Christmas! Merry Christmas (in January)!!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Baking Christmas Cookies with Nana

We had a lot planned for the week that that the littles were sick, including a visit to Nana and Granddaddy's for the weekend, where they would continue their annual baking tradition. It got moved to the following weekend, but unfortunately, the following weekend, Aunt Sara was sick:(

This annual tradition of making Christmas cookies with Nana and Aunt Sara started when Chloe was 2 years old, basically old enough to hold a rolling pin. And when Evan was old enough to hold a rolling pin, he was initiated into the annual tradition.
 
Since I wasn't there, I'll let the pictures tell the story...


It looks like they had a lot of fun! Nana was probably a lot more patient than I would have been going through that process;) The littles are so blessed. I know that they will look back at these times and these memories with fondness.

Speaking of memories...Have any of you ever had a picnic by a creek? Nana and Granddaddy shared these sweet pictures of a picnic that they had with the littles by the creek on their property. How cool is that?!


Thank you, Nana and Granddaddy, for spoiling the littles. Also, thank you, Nana, for the great birthday meal that you cooked for me that weekend. We love you two!