Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy Holidays!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  We had so much fun over Christmas break.  Our kids had two full weeks off and enjoyed every minute of it.  We had snow and presents and basketball tournaments and time at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  So much fun:)  Of course the highlight was Christmas day.  Because we had 10:00 am church, mom and dad actually woke the kids up this year!  This has never happened before and will likely never happen again:).  The kids came upstairs to discover that Santa is helping us out with our vacation that we've been planning for the last eight months!  Yay!  Our entire family (except Elli :( who doesn't travel well) will be going on a family cruise over spring break.  All the kids have also been pitching in and earning money to help.  We'll be going on a six-night Western Caribbean cruise with ports of call in Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Costa Maya.  So exciting!!!

After seeing what Santa brought we got ready and went to a beautiful church meeting with some amazing and inspiring musical numbers and beautiful talks as well.  When we came home the kids opened presents they had purchased for each other.  This was such a fun experience as a parent.  All of the kids seemed more excited to give their presents than to receive.  It was awesome.  We drew names out of a hat early in December and each child gave presents to three other kids.  Most of the pictures below are from this part of the day.  

I love Christmas!

As they do every year, our dear laundry fairies brought us jammies for Christmas Eve.  So comfy!  I wore mine for about 48 hours straight:).  You would think laundry fairies would be wary of giving us more things for them to wash, right ;)

Somehow these six ended up in a tangled mass after the pictures...

 Too cool in her new sunglasses and soft blanket:

Elli loves musical toys.  The kids are all so attentive to her needs.

Sophi got Xander some bongos:

This was one of Taylor's top requests: a Baby Groot dashboard bobble head:)

Some perfume and mascara from Parker.  Can't believe how fast they grow up!

Excited to open a present from Cali:

Graci is always needing more art supplies:

Anything Moana was at the top of Sophi's list:

Sophi could hardly contain herself as Cali began to open the huge present that Sophi had wrapped herself, only to discover...

 ...that Sophi had fooled Cali by putting a tiny iPhone case in such a large package.  She's probably the first person to ever pull that trick!

I love watching Sophi use those talented toes of hers:

Lexi is pretty much the most joyful person on the entire planet.  Her exuberance completely lights up a room:

 Sometimes Conner and Jessica find it a bit challenging to get along, so Christi and I were happy when Jesi drew Conner's name.  She got him a Marauder's Map case for his phone:

 Taylor and Parker got matching backpacks:

Taylor got Xander some clip-on heelies.

Parker got a guitar book from Jessica:

Sophi and Conner were both super excited about the magnetic building kit that Conner got for Soph!

Bop it!  The best game for kids who are visually impaired!

A Gryffindor shirt.  So many Harry Potter fans in our home!

Jesi was pretty excited about her new curling wand:

Conner got Graci a Moana snow globe:

Love these two together!  Is it any wonder they are sometimes mistaken for twins?

Conner and Lexi both enjoy Bop It! toys.  They are quite amazing with them.  In the video, I love Conner's response when he loses, but feels like he actually did it right.

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year for so many reasons.  I'm so grateful the world in general celebrates Christ's birth together and that so many people serve each other in so many different ways.  Acting out the nativity on Christmas Eve is one of our favorite traditions.  I also love how His spirit seems to permeate everything during this season.  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that 2017 is a wonderful year!


PS:  Here's our Christmas Card for 2016: