Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmastime at our house

Okay. It's been so long since I have posted here that I almost forget how to do it. But I really do have some posts in the works! One of my New Year's Resolutions just might be that I'd like "to be more consistent with attending to the goals I've set for myself". Yeah, that sounds like a good one. And I do have several very concrete and possibly even realistic goals. Well, two, for sure. And neither of them have to do with this blog. They are mainly concerned with what time I go to bed and what time I get up each morning. But that's not what I came here to post this evening. I'm here to share some pictures of Christmas at our house!

During the week prior to Christmas, we were blessed with snow! Some may not consider it such a blessing but we rarely get much snow in our valley here in the Pacific Northwest. We generally don't venture out of the house much as it is so nothing was stopping the kids and I from enjoying our snow days.

Not sure of the purpose of this activity. It doesn't look particularly safe to me. (And for some reason I can't change the font now... that's odd.)

Mercy ate snow from the moment she shuffled outside in her snowclothes and boots. I like this picture of her. I like the way her hair curls out of her knit hat. I like that I can see the steri strip from her brother/wooden block injury peaking out up there near her forehead.

At first we received only a light dusting of snow. Maaaaybe an inch. But it just kept coming! Bob was home from work for the rest of the year so we developed a fun little snow routine:

Wake up
Have leisurely breakfast at 9am
Put snow clothes on
Play outside until lunchtime
Put snow clothes in dryer
Put snow clothes on
Play outside until it's too dark to see
Put snow clothes in dryer
Have dinner
Put kids to bed!

Daddy built a place for the kids to sled since we live no where near a suitable sledding hill that we could walk to. This is Michael sledding down a board covered in snow on a plastic garbage sack. Later we found our sled and that worked better.

I'm forgetting an integral part of our snow day routine. Hot chocolate in the Santa Mugs.

Ah! And then it was Christmas!

On Christmas Eve, we built graham cracker gingerbread houses together at home.

Look at all that Christmas candy ready to go on Michael's snowy white gingerbread house. I wish I had a picture handy of the end result. He called it "The Junk Pile".

I was thankful to have finished Josiah's stocking in time for his first Christmas. I ended up learning some new handstitching techniques to make up for what my mini sewing machine couldn't help me with. There was some eye strain involved. But I like the end result.

The big boys enjoy some reading time together on Christmas morning. Bob feels that the perfect equation for stuffing a stocking is: something to play with, something to eat and something to read immediately on Christmas morning. We gave these boys each a book about Star Wars. Because we must feed the obsession, I guess. (And yes, the plant on the shelf needs water.)

After opening these books from Gammy Carol, Michael retired to the rocking chair and could barely be disturbed to open another present. For the whole morning. Funny boy. He really likes this book in particular. Also, I think it's his way of dealing with all the chaos. Retreat! Retreat to a corner with a book! Sensory overload!

But we had places to go! We packed up and cleaned up and headed up the hill to Grandma and Grandpa's house to spend the rest of Christmas Day with Bob's family. I don't think I've ever spent the afternoon of Christmas Day sledding and beaning my brothers in law with chunks of frozen slushy snow but that's my plan from now on. If it snows like this again. My sister in law took this fun shot of Bob and the boys and I as we attempted a four pile sled down the driveway. It was a misfire from the beginning because we all fell off. I love how my sometimes too cautious boys are smiling as they smoosh off into the snow. We had fun.

To top it all off, here's an impressively decent picture of Bob's side of the family. Hooray for camera timers and tight spaces!

Christmas was a little different this year in a few ways.

There was so much snow that even our Christmas worship service on the Sunday prior to Christmas was canceled. Josiah was really sick and needed a quick trip to the doctor for help with his breathing on Christmas Eve. For various reasons, including the fact that part of my family thought it necessary to spend Christmas in the sunny climes of Cabo San Lucas, we did not spend any part of Christmas with my side of the family.

Still, it was Christmas. And on Christmas morning, when I was doing Mercy's hair, it all came into focus.

She's been learning about God who protects her when she is afraid and how he is like "a Great Big Daddy". During that quiet little moment, she understood Christmas as much as an almost three year old can when she said, "that baby Jesus, he grew up to be a big man, and then he dived on that cross so naughty people don't have to dive."

(We'll fix the dive/die confusion before she has swimming lessons.)

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!