These first few photos have already shown up on the blog header or Facebook, but I just wanted to showcase them again as part of an actual post.
Sunday before Christmas - the sanctuary was decorated with poinsettias in front of the altar, in the windows... it was beautiful. There was still snow on the ground (from the Friday before) so I bundled up Mister J and Miss M in layers before we headed off to church.
The same day, in front of the Chrismon tree. For photos made with my cell phone, they turned out pretty good!
Christmas Eve after two back-to-back church services (in front of the Chrismon tree again). We went to the Children's Service, and then stayed to hear Big J sing with the choirs for the Lessons and Carols Candlelight service. Beautiful (the service and my kids!)
Picking out our Christmas Tree. Mister J loves this part of the holidays - he's always super-excited to go walk (um, run) among the trees, darting in and out, looking for the right one.
Miss M fell asleep on the way to the tree 'farm' this year. It had been quite a long day for her, and with no nap. She stayed asleep as I got her out of the mommy-van, walked around in the cold, and picked out the tree. She woke up when we were getting loaded up and ready to leave.
Our Christmas tree, after all of the lights and decorations were up, most of the gifts were wrapped, and before Santa came to visit. nb - Yes, that's a broken slat on the blinds. I've decided not to fix any more until a) the kids are old enough to stop breaking them or b) we decide it's time to buy new blinds.
The kids' Christmas tree, with Big J's favorite - blue lights. They enjoyed having a smaller tree this year. I'd originally planned to put small trees in each of their rooms, but decided this wasn't the year to put up my ceramic tree, so I didn't have a tree for each bedroom. Instead, we hung a strand of lights in each of their bedroom windows. They are the perfect amount of light for bedtime, and I love them so much that we may just leave them up!
My maternal grandmother on the day after Christmas during the big family celebration at my aunt's house. Out of respect, I won't publish her age, but I will tell you she is mother to six children. She sent her husband off to war when she had one small child and was pregnant with twins (children number two and three). Oh, and she mothered them all without the aid of all of the time-saving gadgets we have today. She was also a teacher, artist, and taxi-driver to two grandchildren. After that, she traveled the US with my grandfather - they drove to Alaska and many other far-flung (at least from our home state) parts of the country. She's really had a very rich and full life. And on this day, she got to sit back and relax in what she called "the Queen's chair" - there was only one better seat in the house, and it was mine. Right across from her.
Best job of giftwrapping a truly hard-to-wrap item. EV.ER. Big J said it looked like andupside down flower. I considered turning it over and camouflaging it among a big bunch of balloons. At least the gobs of colorful tissue paper distract you from the golf club handle sticking out of the top. (And I must say, "Thank You, Bargain-Shopping Husband!!!"
We went to visit Grandma and Grandpa R for a few days, and took some of Mister J's science experiments along (he'd received them as birthday gifts). This is the Mentos/diet soda geyser - and it was FUN!
Setting it up.... Secure geyser tube to diet soda, count our seven Mentos, pull the string/stopper to drop the Mentos into the drink and.... RUN!
We all bundled up to go outside and watch this, and even did it twice! So glad we planned ahead and picked up two bottles of soda from the grocery store. This one was so much fun that we'll definitely be buying more soda and Mentos!