Our Christmas, in pictures (okay, and a lot of words, too).

(Lost most of my pictures when I switched from WP to blogger. Slowly working on putting them back, but it's a massive undertaking so please forgive the broken image links!)

It was a weird Christmas.  Not much family around, we mostly did our own thing.  We never left our city.  Our Christmas Eve was quiet, save for the sound of Christmas music playing softly and our daughter screaming, "I see lights, mommy!" and our son, "Are we going home yet?"

We took the kids out to see Christmas lights throughout the city on the "Minivan Express," with hot chocolate in hand.

After we got home, we set out a couple of cookies for Santa, along with a glass of milk and the funniest note ever that I transcribed for Ben.  Can you tell we had a stomach bug this last week?  Ben picked out a toy to leave for Santa to take to a child in need.  It was a proud moment as he happily grabbed his guitar, put it next to the cookies and declared that he wanted to give his guitar to a child in need (he LOVES his guitar).

Once the kids were all settled in for the night (save for Landon; this is a frustrating post just waiting to be written - our baby doesn't sleep anymore), Tim and I rushed around all elf-like and got the house cleaned and the playroom re-organized.  Christmas was so magical for me as a child; I get so excited to recreate this for my children, although striking a balance between the magic of Santa and the miracle of Jesus is something I'm still grappling with.  Each year I tweak our Christmas a little more, striving for the perfect balance that I'm not sure if I'll ever really find.

The washer and dryer were a cheap Craigslist find that Ben got for his birthday last week and completed their little "house" of a playroom.

Tim put together Adalyn's new cradle from my parents so I finished off a little doll corner for her.

We used an old bedside table and some pegboard to make Ben a little toolbench for Christmas, so we set this up on Christmas Eve, too.

Christmas morning was hilarious as our kids, who normally wake before the sun, slept in.  My stomach was jumping with excitement by the time they finally strolled downstairs at 7:20 or so.  Santa's present was discovered, and to my chagrin Ben could care less about the lego board Santa brought.  Adalyn loved her Baby Stella, though, so at least we scored one win.  Landon was too young for Santa (or maybe mama decided he has so many hand-me-down toys that he's already drowning in them).  ;)

We skyped with my mom, who didn't come to Kansas for Christmas this year, while the kids opened their gifts from my parents.

Oh my hilarious.

Exploring his science kit.

A family Christmas breakfast was a fun new tradition that I'd love to do every year.

 I know, I know.  You're jealous of my style.  I can't help it.  I almost didn't post it because I didn't want to make people crazy with jealousy, but I thought, gosh, if I can just help one person be more stylish, it's worth posting.  You're welcome.

This is as non-blurry as it gets these days with our little squirmer.

Landon does this hilarious new thing where he turns his head from side-to-side if you talk or sing to him; sort of like a dog does.  But don't ever tell him I told you that.

Later that day, we were set to host Christmas dinner for my grandad, aunt, uncle and cousin.  I was in the middle of getting some things cooked and had run downstairs to change out a load of laundry when I noticed how cock-eyed our dryer had gotten.  I nudged my hip into it to straighten it out and suddenly, water began to douse the entire laundry room, shooting straight up into the air, hitting the ceiling and splashing all over the floor.  It made a loud hissing noise as I screamed for Tim over and over.  He came running and quickly discovered I'd broken the water pipe.  It was bad news.  We had to shut off the water to our whole house as there was no way to isolate this one pipe.  It was Christmas day; there was no way we could get (or afford, if we could) a plumber out.

Hilarity ensued as we devised a way to "fix" it enough to fill up jars of water to wash our hands, clean and finish cooking with, but I had to call our family to ask if they minded if they wouldn't be able to flush the toilet while here.  Awesome.

The rest of the day was a blur as the men (along with our amazing neighbors) tried to temporarily fix the pipe enough to turn the water to the house on again (they were able to) and I scrambled to finish cooking for everyone since we had a few hours of distraction dealing with the pipe situation.  Everyone came over and in the end, it was a great time.  We don't have running water in our house this morning (the "temporary" fix was, indeed, temporary), but I'm already able to laugh about it despite a DISASTER of a laundry room that is covered in sopping wet clothes that are sure to mildew any minute now.  It'll be fun times cleaning that all up.

Look at that scowl he's giving me! Sass!

My daughter is all girly-girl now.  A tea set and a whole baby doll set-up.  I've been waiting for this day forever.

It was, despite the lack of some of our family and the pipe disaster, a perfect Christmas.  Thank you, Lord, for your incredible sacrifice in sending your only Son for us.  The wonder and awe of it all was not lost on me this year.  We did an advent with our kids each day that involved reading from their Jesus Storybook Bible (best children's Bible ever!).  We used this plan.  It was as great for me as it was for them.

We finished off our evening last night reading of Jesus' birth and singing Him happy birthday.  :)

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." -Luke 2:10-11


  1. I'm so glad it turned out well! Memorable, fun, and heartfelt. Great Christmas!

  2. What a great story. So glad it was "perfect" for y'all!

  3. That is a pretty memorable Christmas. Those end up being the best ones! :-) The pictures are all adorable! How you guys have a Happy New Year!