For the first time in several years, we actually had a WHITE Christmas! Christmas just isn’t quite the same outside when everything is brown.
Rebekah and Noah did some ‘jumping’ pictures one day with Anna as their photographer
All through the upstairs bedrooms there were paper signs taped to the doors like these:
To keep peeking people from seeing their surprises 😀
The boys’ room was clean…until they decided they wanted to rearrange and ‘decorate’ it again! I think this was the 3rd time they decided to rearrange and decorate 😀 It doesn’t seem to bother Noah too much though while he wraps someone’s gift 😉
Since the main ironing board is downstairs, and I didn’t want to run up and down the steps all the time or risk having my family see what I was making, we set up the little ironing board with the teeny iron (the plate is a little bigger than the palm of your hand!) and ironed on the stairway 😀 Leah, Susannah and Cassia used the ironing board at times, too, but sometimes we’d have to say, “Don’t look over here when you come up the steps!”
Leah was working on some little outfits for some friend’s of ours, the Kemerly’s 😀 They turned out SO adorable!
When we could, we’d spend time in the same room working together 🙂 Anna came to visit us while she knitted some handwarmers.
Cassia was either kicked out of her room by Susannah, or wanted some company, so she brought her sewing into our room as well 🙂 She made some striped shirts for the boys, which meant cutting out and sewing the strips together first to make the fabric for the shirts.
On Christmas Eve, Cassia went into the living room and took some pretty neat pictures. I just love seeing the tree all lit up! One of my favorite Christmas memories is of sitting on the couch with Daddy, Mommy and Leah (it must have been before the rest of my siblings came along 😉 ). We’d sit there and squint at the lights and just talk. I’m not sure about what, but it was cozy and it was great.
Christmas Day…all the stockings are stuffed and the younger ones were (okay, we all were!) excited to ‘open’ them!
Cassia, Susannah, Anna and Leah…waiting to open presents and passing the time by taking pictures…of themselves 😉
Remember the striped material Cassia was working on? These are the finished shirts 😀 Unfortunately we didn’t realize until we were through most of Christmas Day that we had our camera on the wrong setting, so lots of these turned out a little grainy.
I love this picture of Anna 😀
Watch out! Both boys got bows and arrows (foam tipped of course!) for Christmas 😀 They also got their very own real handsaws and have been having a blast cutting up Daddy’s firewood into smaller pieces.
Creative gift tags…Cassia loves the emergency services and Rebekah loves cows, so Bekah put that it was to the emergency star symbol and from the cow.
Susannah was talking entirely too much, so we took care of that by duct taping her mouth 😀 Okay…we’re kidding, she put it on there herself.
One of our favorite pictures…Susannah, Cassia and Anna opened their stockings together, and it was fun to see this picture afterwards how everyone is looking at what the other person got to see how they liked it while they were opening their own stocking.
We tried getting all of our ‘open mouthed’ surprise moments together 😀 I was very happy when I opened this gift from Leah…it was a jumper just like an old one that I loved and wore out.
Cassia had asked for a folder with printouts to keep track of her money. The funny thing is the look on mine and Susannah’s faces, and how excited Cassia looks over a red folder 😀
…I gave her an art print she’d been wanting by Diana Downing. I didn’t want her to have any clue what it was, so I wrapped it in a towel to protect it, then wrapped it in a beehive box lid.
Susannah made Leah a really cute tote bag, and as you can tell, Leah liked it 😀
This was a funny little story. Charissa has been wanting me to make her a Bible cover ever since last Christmas, so she kept asking and asking and hoping she’d get it this Christmas. She kept asking me on Christmas morning which presents were from me because she was so sure I’d give it to her. I had another gift for her, plus an extra small gift besides the Bible cover, so I hid the Bible cover box under the couch and told her that the other two were the only gifts from me that were under the tree. Note the words, ‘under the tree’ 😉 A couple of rounds of gifts later (we all take turns opening our gifts) I pulled it out from under the couch and gave it to her…I love the look on her face 😀
Anna was excited over a purse we made for her…
It was brown and turquoise…her favorite color combination.
Sorry about the grainy pictures 😛 We had a joke that we must like butter and cream cheese a lot, because lots of gifts were wrapped up in those boxes 😀 Leah actually was so desperate for boxes that she raided the fridge and emptied out several cream cheese and butter boxes so she’d have enough to wrap her presents in.
I love this picture, too 😀 Daddy just opened a gift card to Texas Roadhouse from Susannah.
Charissa got some toys to help with her breath control for her flute playing. This one was a little alligator that you blew through to make his eyeballs pop out of and hover over his head.
Daddy got quite creative with the wrapping paper…this one was wrapped in an old chicken feed bag 😀 It’s so cute, too!
Noah and Isaiah also got a real drill to share which they were thrilled about. Daddy said that he gave them hammers and taught them how to drive nails and they pretty much used up every extra nail he had for them, so now they can use up his screws 😀
A pretty jumper Leah made for Mommy
The purse I made for Leah 🙂 That was fun to do (and a little hair-pulling-hard at times) but the end result was well worth it!
Leah made the boys matching denim John Deere tractor shirts
Susannah made Charissa a new dress…’bungee dresses’ Charissa calls them 😀
Another favorite…Cassia really wanted a Chick-Fil-A gift card, so several of us went together to get her a good one 😉 We wanted to wrap it up so that she wouldn’t know right away what it was, so I took an old book, cut out a gift card sized spot in the back pages and taped it in. She was confused at first, because she had only asked for two books and already opened both books she wanted. Then she opened it up more and practically screamed 😀
I doctored up the book to make it especially for her 😉
…and I wrote a new ‘preface’ in the front of the book.
The gift card 😉
Yet another favorite. She has a ‘this is the best Christmas ever’ look on her face 😀
We gave lots of MudLove this year for Christmas 😀 Susannah is showing off a couple of her old ones with her new ones 😀
I made the boys some new aprons for Christmas because they only had one tractor apron that was much too small. That’s our wonderful uncle in the background 😀 He and our aunt got to come over for the end of our gift giving and had Christmas dinner with us.
This was a gift that we girls all went together to make for Mommy. Leah had the idea, I painted the chalkboard, we all pitched in to pay for it and Anna painted the letters. We had Daddy help us hang it up while Mommy was getting ready for the day, but she was done before we were, so whenever she came to that end of the house we’d suddenly scatter and wait until she went back to her room or somewhere on the other side of the house 😀
She liked it a lot and it almost made her cry…which means that the gift was a success 😉
The last gift was for Charissa. She got an old book with a clue in it that took her on a treasure hunt through the house…
…until she finally got to the last clue which was in mine and Leah’s room. She looked down into the box and saw….
Chloe the guinea pig!!!
She was so ecstatic that she almost cried (and I did too) and she gave Mommy a REALLY big hug 😀 She’s been wanting a guinea pig for some time and was trying to save for one, so this was a dream come true for her 😀 I got to be in on the surprise and picked it up the Saturday before Christmas, then Leah and I got to keep it in our room until she found it on Christmas Day.
She is definitely not lacking in attention…everyone loves her!
After all the gift-giving, it was time for some yummy food 😀 We like to have a 50/50 ratio of dessert to ‘real food’…can you tell?! 😀 We made coconut creme, chocolate creme, banana creme, pumpkin, key lime and apple pie.
Somebody got this really pretty picture of the pies with the bokeh lights in the background.
Marshmallow Apple Salad, Gourmet Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Cheesy Broccoli, Scalloped Corn, Caesar Salad and Ham with Cranberry Sauce made up our ‘real food’.
The Christmas dinner table
And Chloe again…what better way to end Christmas Day?!
But actually, this is the best way to end 🙂 As you probably have gathered from previous posts and previous years, I absolutely love this season! Not just the decorations, the traditions and the excitement of giving and receiving gifts, but also how Christmas shouts God’s love for us! This year was especially special in that way…it was like every Christmas carol I heard was opened up to me in a new way and over and over the love of Jesus just spilled out, poured over and filled me up with joy.
“He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His love and righteousness and wonders of His love, and wonders of His love!”
He makes the nations prove…the nations can’t do or prove anything against Him 🙂
And another little special thing that we realized last year was that even though we know Jesus was not born in December (probably more like September), He would have entered Mary’s womb during the darkest month of the year…December. The Light of the World came to us in the darkest time…and He still loves to come and shine in our darkness 🙂 How neat is that?!
May the bright and glorious light of the Gospel, of Jesus’ love flood the whole world in this coming year!
“The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:3
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