Sunday, January 24, 2016

Christmas 2015

With three kids and a five year age gap between the youngest and oldest, I realized this year that the magic of Christmas may not occur for all three many years, maybe not more than one. :( So this year I really tried to soak it all in. We wrapped up our schooling in the second week of December so we could take time to be together, relax, decorate, watch movies, read, and just ENJOY. We put our tree up just before Thanksgiving, and that really excited the kids! They loved hanging their ornaments and asking the story behind each one. (The stinky part was about a week after we got it up, about half the lights went out; however, apparently no one cared enough to fix it. Done is as good as perfect!)

 We went to Breakfast with Santa on an earlier Saturday. Jonah was timid at first, but came around. Hannah was ABSOLUTELY giddy! And Drew....well, he was terrified. As in, he hid under the table. When we finally coaxed him into Santa's lap after an hour, I said, "Look at his eyes. Does he look like someone you know?" He replied, "No. I don't know him. Can I get out of this man's lap now?" I whispered to him that his Papaw was one of the VERY few people who got to work for Santa and wear Santa's REAL suit. He started smiling and laughing so big.

 Mom and Dad decided to take us all on the Polar Express this year, and I'm so glad she did!All the kids (and adults!) had a BLAST! Kacie and her family got here on Thursday for the train ride, and we celebrated Christmas together over the next few days.

Santa leaned over to Drew and said, "Don't you worry about that dent in the wall." He'd been worried his gifts would be taken away because he accidentally put a LARGE hole in the sheetrock upstairs with his toy. The look on his face was priceless.
One night we went to Starry Nights and out to eat. Another night we all went to Bass Pro Shop and Build a Bear. The kids really enjoyed their cousin time!

Our Christmas Eve family celebration was moved to the Friday before Christmas this year. We really scaled back on gifts, and mom and dad weren't crazy about it. Ha!

Actual Christmas Eve was spent at our house. We ate dinner and opened gifts from each other. I believe the kids actually played outside since it was so warm. We made cookies and watched Christmas movies. It was cozy and perfect. That evening we read our Bible about Jesus' birth and watched a piece from The Bible series on the nativity story. After that we read "Twas the Night Before Christmas." The excitement was almost palpable!

Drew's bow was a gift from us. I think it's his favorite gift he's ever gotten.

Mommy and Daddy went to bed around 1am and Christmas morning came quickly! The kids were SO excited!

The gift Hannah was most excited about!

Immediately after opening gifts, Drew HAD to shoot his bow and arrow, even though it was raining. Sweet Andrew put on his boots and they headed out. Drew could not have been prouder!

That afternoon we went to Pop's and Deda's house and spent time with family, playing take away, opening gifts, and enjoying excellent food. Drew ended up playing with Mom & Dad and walked away with their gift, 5 1/2 gallons of Blue Bell ice cream only being stocked in TX at the time. The kid was STOKED, and we're eating LOTS of ice cream around here! 

That evening when we got home, Claire and Austin had arrived in town and were at our house, so we ate again, opened more gifts, and hung out. It was so great to see them! The next day we met them at their hotel pool and had lunch outside in the 74 degree weather. So unusual for this time of year, but we made the best of it and the kids LOVED the entertainment. 

Our Christmas of 2015 went down in the books without ANY sickness which is basically unheard of in the Laney family in recent years! Our favorite spiritual thing this season was reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible from creation until Jesus' birth. The kids and I really enjoyed it and could really feel the excitement to celebrate Jesus this year! This Christmas was probably my favorite one so far as a parent. It was magical and lovely, and I'm counting down until next year!

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