|I was testing camera settings when this little Santa popped up in my shot.|
|One of a zillion Christmas card photo outtakes!|
|Finally settled on this spontaneous post-church picture exemplifying the JOY of the season!|
A few days later, Julia woke up screaming. By the time I got to her room it was too late. And suddenly I had some serious regrets about my children sleeping in bunk beds.
|In between illnesses, we were able to attend the neighborhood children's Christmas party, complete with visit from Santa!|
In addition to one very shaken daughter, our other girl's sleep was also seriously interrupted. After stripping the sheets, bathing Julia, and getting her bedded down on the floor of our room, Joci was still fighting sleep. I finally left her to figure things out on her own. She had just drifted off, and me too, when Jude bounded out of his bed and ran for the door.
|A different point of view.|
|Jack and Santa are tight!|
|... a.k.a gingerbread buttons ALL OVER my kitchen|
|Yay for being healthy enough to sing in the preschool Christmas pageant!|
We got there early, always a good idea when you're eating out with little kids. I had even packed stuff for the littles to do--notepads, pens, crayons, dolls, games. We were busy keep them entertained, reminding Julia to stay in her seat, rebuckling Joci into her highchair each time she managed to snake out, taking kids to the bathroom one at a time since they never have to go all at once ...
|Another accomplishment, Jack and Daddy made gingerbread houses with his Kindergarten class.|
|Jon came back with stories of spending an hour with 15 Kindergarteners, all a little too excited about the season!|
|Tea party with the princesses.|
|Forget the tea cups, this girl goes straight for the carton!|
|One of my favorite evenings this month, our MOPS Couples Christmas Party! |
(And since so many people have asked, that's a $4 dress from Goodwill.)
|Now there's a couple who appreciates free food and babysitting!|
My sweet husband set to work scrubbing out the van while I kept the laundry going (it hasn't stopped all week) and got the kids ready for bed. By now, just the thought of being sick gets Jude all worked up, so he slept in our room again.
|What you see: three sweet babies enjoying hot cocoa by the fire. What you don't see (a moment later): muffins smashed under children's bottoms and a baby dumping hot cocoa all over the floor and rug.|
|You may be wondering where Jude is ...|
|... cuddling with the barf bucket, of course.|
|This little sweetie! She just loved her gifts!|
|The "umbrellas" were a huge hit. We've had plenty of opportunities to use them this week too. :(|
|He was so excited! Jude's been asking for a Snackeez! for months. Darn you TV commercials that target innocent young children!|
You know, Advent didn't really turn out the way I had in mind. We never got to my adorable children's craft devotional. Even the simple paper chain countdown to Christmas that I we put together barely survived one week. We got one batch of cookies made, ONE. And we devoured them in two days because gingerbread was one of the few things the kids' tummies could handle. The fancy Christmas lights display is not going to happen, and it will probably be a while before we can drive down that road without me gagging again. And Jon's birthday dinner was a huge (and very expensive) flop.
|She finally gets her own piggy bank.|
|And if you need a last minute gift idea, this Melissa and Doug castle is excellent!|
But the good news is Christmas isn't over yet. According to the Lego Advent Calendar (which was a huge success, by the way), there's still one more door to go. There's so much I love about this season--the hope of His coming, the joy of our Savior, Christ's love that so many of us are putting in to practice this week, the peace that comes with His reign, and the rest (that intentional, satisfying pause that I can relate to so well since having babies). Tomorrow, the celebration begins. But today? Today we rest.