Monday, December 21, 2009

Tis the season...Parte Dos

The season for Santa sightings...
This sighting was at the mall. The line wasn't that bad so we went for it. Yes we were sandwiched between kids dressed to the nines and parents who paid a fortune for the mall photographer to snap their shot. We didn't care that our kids looked like rag-a-muffins and that I got annoying looks for taking my own picture. (Nice outfit Eeds, seriously pink and blue..?)
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This year we went on a cruise to the North Pole to see Santa.
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This is Santa reading the names of the kids on the good list. Maya was sweating it because her name was towards the end of the list.
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Who let these crazies on the boat!
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We went with our "BFF's" the Sampsons.
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Speaking of crazies...do see Amy looking like a crazy stalker in between Mike and Aidan?...
Clearly she wanted to get in the picture ;)
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We had a great time and the cold only made it better.

The season of letters to Santa...
This is Eden's letter...
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This is Maya's letter...
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The season of gift giving...
About four years ago I was trying to find a more meaningful way for my primary kids  to serve at Christmas time. (I was the  president of the kids organization in my congregation) So I found a local women's shelter to serve. As a congregation we adopt several families, we provide them their gifts and then I take the kids with me to deliver them. While we are there, we play with the children and sometimes do light cleaning.
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It is a WHOLE lot of work but SO worth it. This is only some of the loot that we took. There were over a hundred gifts donated! I should have taken a picture before they were put into bags. It took me about ten hours to sort through them all. During those long hours, I had moments that I truly was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in my church. I felt so humbled to be an instrument in the Lord's hand.
This year I took the young women that I work with to drop off the gifts and hang out with the kids at the shelter.
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More gift giving...
Every year we try to do the 12 days of Christmas for someone.  This year we are doing a piece of the nativity each night. We are doing it with some other friends so we only go every other night. The girls love ditching and running...
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A few years ago we started a gift giving tradition with those BFF's mentioned above.
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Aric and I go to great lengths to find something ridiculous...This year we found a picture book for Aidan and Jack called "When Mommy Gets Angry". It made for some good laughs.
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I know this is getting long...just hang on people. I only have  two more left to share...
The season of Gingerbread House Making...
I have no idea what Eden is doing to me in this picture...
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Here is Little Missy sneaking candy while I frost...
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Ignore the mess in the background...focus on the cute kids.
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Ta da!
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Now last but not least...
The season of family Christmas picture taking...
Making sure the self timer is working...
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I had to fix Eden's skirt...dang I wasn't fast enough! And thanks Maya for showing off my booty...
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YAY! This time I made it. It only took six shots...
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I love Christmas, I love everything about it. I really, really do. It amazes me what we can pack into four weeks. Even though it gets crazy busy, I wouldn't have it any other way. In only ten short days, I will have to take the tree down and all of this festiveness will be gone...gone until next year. When I look back on the past month I will not be sad, I will be happy that we lived it up and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.
Happy Christmas!
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9 comments:

the wrath of khandrea said...

i love maya's letter. little does she realize how much we parents DO use santa to make our kids obey. after all, he's always watching...

love the family pic!

Ilene said...

I remember that Christmas Cruise... Except I called it the Cruise To Hades.

Glad at least you guys had fun!

just the five of us said...

Merry Christmas Jessica!! I loved your card. I haven't even gotton mine even written yet. We wanted our pictures with Cardinal football jersey's we'll see....3 days until christmas!

♥Shally said...

You always have the most fun!

And that gingerbread house? Wow. Mine always is a mess since the kids eat all the candy before we even get it on! :)

Natalie said...

will you please do my christmas post? thank you.
i loved your christmas photo:). you are beautiful jessica.

Also your yw mention made me sad. i just got released from Yw last week after 3 1/2 years. i love my girls. yours are lucky ducks:).

merry christmas to you!!!

Natalie said...

did my comment seem strange? poor flow. i'll work on it and do better next time:).

Lauren in GA said...

Those acts of service you wrote about are so, so fabulous. That Christmas activity you did with the Primary is beyond amazing.

Love your Christmas picture~ and you know I can't not comment on the booty shot.

Ohhhhhh...that gingerbread house is fabulous!

calibosmom said...

Merry Christmas friend! Have a wonderful day tomorrow!!!

Rochelleht said...

Popped over from Jessica R's blog and I have to say I really really enjoyed reading your account of your adoption last year. WOW! What a stress, but I could totally see the Lord's hand in it all. Thanks for sharing your testimony and your experiences. We adopted as well and I know about the sacred moments that you can't share with the world, but that confirm to you that God is directing it all. The greatest things in life are often the most difficult. Anyway, Thanks again for all those wonderful posts. Your family is darling!!!!!