Saturday, December 31, 2016

December Little Things

December was busy, busy, busy but fun, fun, fun!  Hopefully the new year will bring a little bit of calmness into our lives- I know I could definitely use it!

We started the month with a visitor!  Our elf Charlie came back and brought with him a countdown to Christmas.  The kids were so glad he was back!
Eden and Parker started Little Dribblers basketball in December.  They both have great coaches and have several friends on their teams.  Eden is still a little timid but is learning a lot and loves to go to practice. 
Dr. Hu and Emma always send us a Christmas gift each year.  This year, they sent a nice pancake and waffle mix set.  It arrived on a night that I didn't know what I was making for dinner so we opened it right up and had breakfast for dinner.  The kids loved it!
The kids had Santa pics at school one day so we all decided to wear our Santa hats to school.  I sure love these three kids!
Eden wasn't sure about our picture with Santa.  One of these days, I'm going to get a tear-free photo!
We had our school wide Christmas program and all three kids did a great job!
Eden and her friend Carson
Cory and Jon surprised me and Emily with tickets to the Mercy Me Christmas concert in Dallas.  Granna kept all of the kids and we enjoyed a night out.  The concert was amazing!
We took the kids to see A Charlie Brown Christmas down at the Plaza Theater.
Lily is always making us laugh with her silliness!
Parker made this elaborate Christmas decoration in his GT class.  I knew we wouldn't be able to save it so I made sure to take a picture of it.
Lily has been begging to start piano lessons but we didn't have a piano.  One day while my mom was getting her hair cut, her hairdresser mentioned that one of her clients was wanting to give her piano away.  I called her, arranged for Cory and Jon to go pick it up, and now we have a piano for the girls to learn on! It was perfect timing and they can't wait to start lessons next month!
December was a good month but it was also one of the hardest months we have ever had.  On the night of December 10th, we got a call that changed our lives.  Heath and Brende's three year old son, Lawson, passed away in a terrible, freak accident.  Helping them through that first week and going to the funeral was one of the hardest things we have ever experienced.  I can't even begin to imagine the grief they are experiencing right now and I know the next few months are going to be really tough for them and their families.  This has definitely made us hug our kids tighter and think about how we should never take any moment we have with them for granted. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas 2017

Before bed on Christmas Eve, the kids made sure to put out their reindeer food and milk and cookies for Santa.
They woke up on Christmas morning to discover that Santa had left all three of them a new bike!
Parker has been wanting a new basketball and he was so excited that the girls gave him one!
Even Maggie got a few new toys in her stocking!
The kids all got new Bibles
and new books.
The girls used the new window markers that Aunt Emily had given them to write us a Christmas message.
After we finished opening presents, Grandma and Papa came over for Christmas breakfast and more presents.  Parker got more books and was in heaven!
The girls got some fun new toys and entertained themselves for hours playing with their new things.
I guess we were having too much fun, but I completely forgot to get a picture of the kids with Grandma and Papa.  I will definitely have to be better about that next year.

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday and finished the day feeling loved and blessed!

Christmas Pajamas

After we had finished all of our celebrating, we let the kids put on the Christmas pajamas.  Trying to find matching pajamas for a 9 year old and a 6 month old was not easy, but Granna managed to do it! They all looked so cute in their stripes this year and we only had a couple of meltdowns while we tried to take our annual pajama pictures.
The girls
The "bigs"
The "middles"
The "littles"
The boys
The Browns
The Rowlands
And the best gift we received this year- our sweet Holland!
Thanks Granna and Granstan for another wonderful Christmas!

Christmas at Granna/Granstan's

We started our Christmas celebrations with Granna on Christmas Eve Eve.  We began with cookie decorating.  The kids did a great job this year.  It's nice that they can do most of the decorating themselves now that they are older. 
After decorating cookies, the kids went around Granna's neighborhood to spread Christmas cheer to some of the widows that live nearby.  They took them some of the cookies and play several songs they had learned on the handbells.
On Christmas Eve, we went back to Granna's house to open presents and enjoy Christmas dinner.  Both Uncle Jon and Aunt MerMer had to work on Christmas this year, so we had to celebrate a day early. 
We told the kids they couldn't open any presents until they had taken family pictures, so they were excited to finally get their stockings.
Lily got a keyboard from Granna and Granstan,
Eden got a new camera,
and Parker got Legos.
It was so fun to be with Holland on her first Christmas!
The kids were exhausted by the end of the day, but were excited to head home to get ready for Santa to come!