Thursday, December 31, 2015


Christmas was special this year. It was slow and intentional. It was exactly what I hoped it would be in many ways. Christmas Eve morning we had several friends over and had a birthday party for Jesus. 

We reenacted the Christmas story several times with costumes and then had a birthday cake.

We spent most of the afternoon preparing food to Christmas music. My little ones helped me off and on. And then we headed to Immanuel Baptist Church for their Christmas Eve service. Our church doesn't have a service on Christmas Eve and Adam and I have loved that tradition.

When we got home we had our Christmas Eve dinner. The girls remembered Egg Nog from last year. I didn't even bother getting the Sparkling grape juice since they didn't like it and they just drank Egg Nog. We ate steaks with Mac 'n Cheese and Green Beans. I think Mac 'n Cheese will be a staple for special meals for a while. For dessert, I made Chocolate De-Lite  - a recipe from my mom's First Baptist Church of Clinton recipe book. It was heavenly.

After dinner, we did something new. We had our own little recital/concert. We all played Christmas songs we knew on our instruments. Caroline played 4 songs including some from last year - Away in a Manger, Silent Night, Angels We Have Heard On High, and The Twelve Days of Christmas. Lucy played 2 songs - Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Adam played a several songs but I only remember O Little Town of Bethlehem and I played Joy to the World and Oh Come all Ye Faithful. None of us played perfectly. In fact, some parts of the videos can be a little painful - you know, like where you are waiting and waiting for someone to hit the right note - haha, but I think that's what makes these little home videos endearing. So says the mom.

I have a vision, a dream or wish maybe, that in 10 years we are all singing Christmas Carols and taking turns playing together on Christmas Eve. For this year - Adam may have been humoring me but I think everyone enjoyed it =)

So here are some links to the videos.

We had such a sweet evening together. The girls spread some reindeer food. We enjoy playing the Santa Game and though the girls know it's just a game - we all enjoy playing it.

The kids got more than they could possibly want the next morning. Highlights:

Caroline got a Kaya doll, a globe, the Little House books, and a talking bird from Lucy

Lucy got a Kit doll, Frozen puzzles, a talking bird from Henry and the Twister game from Caroline.

Henry got a Little Tikes basketball goal.

All the presents were wrapped this year. So before we did any opening, Adam read the Christmas story.

And then the mad unwrapping began.

He got a snack cup in his stocking and loved it =)

Adam got a package of 3 Splatoon amiibos. They are these little figurines that get you extra points when you play video games. So we staged a photo fo him and the girls with their dolls and joked that all of them got dolls.

Lucy gave Henry this Thomas the Train ball.

He kissed it =)

We enjoyed our breakfast feast of Monkey Bread and a bacon/egg casserole. We ate on it all day.

The day was spent opening and playing with all of our gifts, calling and FaceTime-ing family, playing board games and Splatoon and just enjoying one another. It was perfect.

Here are a few pictures from after we came back from SC. 

Lucy pulled her elbow while we were in SC and turns out had Nursemaid's elbow. It was pretty sore so she wore a sling for a couple of days. 

We ate a traditional New Year's meal of collards, pork chops, black eyed peas and corn bread. I cooked a cherry cobbler for dessert. It was delicious. I also made a New Year's resolution to eat meals on our China for all holidays and birthdays.

Just some selfies with my beautiful Lucy on her half birthday =)

And Lucy with her Kit doll =)

Christmas with Family

We had such a lovely Christmas with family. I think holidays are getting less and less stressful for me each year. As a mom, it can be stressful packing and worrying about how everybody is going to get their needs met while out of town and how to make sure we get all of it done and everybody seen and will all of the children behave and say "thank you". And maybe it's because 3 kids is a lot or maybe i'm just more seasoned, but I'm letting a lot of that go and learning to relax. And "relax" doesn't mean I sit for very long, but it's more an attitude and mental rest. I'm also recognizing the special moments more and relishing them. They aren't always the ones you expect - like opening presents or eating dinner, but they are quiet conversations or watching cousins play together in a corner.

A week before Christmas we went to the Massengales to have Christmas with Adam's cousins. They live in Kentucky. There are lots of children and the kids played all afternoon while the ladies painted. 

Adam's mom renovated her kitchen this Fall and all the cabinet doors were replaced. The house was built by Adam's grandfather and those cabinet doors were original to the house. Rather than trash them, Adam's cousin found some cool projects on Pinterest. So the ladies all picked out cabinet doors and painted them. I made a SC tray, a wall decoration that says "home, est 2005" and a hat hook holder that I have yet to put up in Henry's room.

Grandma got the little boys rugs with cars. Henry loves playing with his.

We actually made it down to SC AFTER Christmas. We spent several days there and had good quality time everywhere we went. 

Lucy got a nutcracker from Nana for Christmas. It was one of her only requests. It sits out all year long. 

And watching these boys play together only gets more fun!