We put up our tree and the kids got to put all the decorations up this year. Usually in the past I let them put them on and then later I re-arrange a few so they're not on top of each other, but this year they did a great job, and had so much fun doing it.
December 12th was the Middle School/High School Concert. We enjoyed going and seeing the older kids perform traditional and more contemporary Christmas music. I think my favorite was the hand-chimes. It doesn't seem very common to hear those anymore.
December 16th was the Elementary Concert. It was the first time we've actually attended, but since we have a first grader now we wouldn't miss it. Miriam was definitely in her element and loved every moment. Before the concert started she got to hang out with her friends for a bit. Here's a photo of Miriam with Maggie (left) and Lizi (middle)...two of her best friends.The next day I had the privilege of helping with Miriam's class Christmas Party. Zach also got to be involved which was a lot of fun. We played Christmas Bingo with M&M's, made our own Reindeer, and had an ornament hunt around the room. We finished our party with green tree shaped cookies and red kool-aid. We had a lot of fun.
We went to a friends house for dinner one night and they let us borrow Home Alone 1 and 2. The kids had a lot of fun cuddling on the couch watching a new Christmas favorite.
December 20th - Velence Orphanage Trip - The youth from church and students at school were collecting blankets and toys to deliver to an orphanage about 40 minutes outside of town with about 94 kids. The couple in charge arranged to have a verse stitched into each blanket for the children. Romans 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. It was a special thing to be part of. Most of the kids at the orphanage are between 6-20 years of age. This is an orphanage that the high-schoolers have visited several times so many of them had relationships with children already. Miriam found the little girl that received her present and another student translated for her as she tried to talk to her. She had bought her a bead set and she was able to work with the girl on starting a necklace. Miriam is so social it is not difficult for her to try and talk to people she doesn't know. Here are some pictures of the day. We got home from the Orphanage Trip around 1ish, found three packages from grandparents at the school and then got ready for the Christmas Program for the church later that night. It was raining a bit, so that's why there are little white dots, but here is our family photo after the service.
The kids really liked the candlelite part singing Silent Night.I had to take a picture of this because Miriam said it looked like chocolate:) That's my girl!
On Monday we made a family favorite - Orange Cookies. The kids got to wear their aprons and they were watching the test cookie as the oven worked it's magic and the kids cleaned the beaters.
On the 23rd we celebrated Christmas Adam (day before Christmas Eve) with our Campus Crusade family. It was a nice night of food, singing and hanging out with some friends. I felt like after this night Christmas morning was just around the corner....getting excited.
A special pudding treat we enjoy, for breakfast Christmas Eve.
They got to open one present - which was their new PJ's....
Setting out Christmas cookies and milk for Santa...Miriam made us promise that we wouldn't eat the cookies. We didn't. In the morning she came down and quickly checked the plate and said "He must be real, he's really real"!
We were so blessed by having packages arrive before Christmas. Our tree was beautiful and we had a great time opening presents.Aaron saved a special treat for Miriam for her Christmas breakfast - Froot Loops. She was so excited, this is one of her favorite cereals. Here are two of the things they received. Most of our fun was recorded on video so I don't have as many pics of opening presents.
We are started a tradition this year of making a birthday cake for Jesus to help us refocus and remember what the holiday is really about. We talked about what we could bring Jesus as our gift to Him this year.
On Christmas Day 'The Tale of Despereaux' was released. We considered going on Christmas Day and thought it was nice to be home and move at our own pace. We went on the 26th and had the mall to ourselves. The only things open at the mall were the McDonald's and the movie theatre. Zach has been seeing previews for this movie for quite a while and really wanted to see it. It was a good movie.
This has become one of Zach's favorite movies, and if you see him ask him to do his wall-e and eva impression. It's something you'll remember!
Another favorite is Kung-Fu Panda. On Sunday the kids had Ramen noodles for dinner and I gave them their 'kid' chopsticks to use. They didn't miss a bite.
We have been looking for an electric griddle for a while now because we like when Aaron makes french toast for us. Here is Zach 'helping' Aaron with his first batch on the new griddle.
On Monday we got our Christmas package from Grandma Martha and we got some cool stuff. Zach got a football guys set in of course 'Ohio State Buckeyes'. It is so much fun!
Miriam got more clothes for her American Girl doll named 'Miriam'. We had fun getting her dressed up and changing her clothes.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!