Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December in Review...

Wow, December.  You were wonderful.  What a lovely time we had celebrating our Lord's birth in a variety of ways.  Our boy James was in his first Christmas program as a shepherd.  Their sweet nativity costumes and songs brought such joy to us, and truly made the season sweeter.

We put our tree up right away after Thanksgiving this year, and started a new tradition with the early Christmas gift of a train for our tree!  James and Hayden both helped decorate the tree this year, but James was still my most enthusiastic helper.  He was mad when it was time to take the decorations down.  I love the feeling you have with all the Christmas decorations too buddy.

 When I got out the Nativity to set up, James was helping me arrange them.  Oh come.  Let us adore Him.

The weather was beautiful this December.  My boys in the picture below were in time out.  And who joined in?  Calvin.  The feeling of having your anger melt away in viewing an act of kindness or love by your child is such a gift.  I was no longer angry with my boys for their bad behavior, but rather moved by the connection between them and the beauty around them.  A single moment that will stick with me.  And? my hubs put in our new side gate, which is awesome.  We now have a functional, easy to use gate! yay!

 My sweet neighbor and I taking our boys to see the Christmas lights at our town hall.  We have made this a tradition now, 2 years running!  One of our last outings before her sweet baby girl was born!

Matt & I bought each other running shoes & signed up for the Gate River Run 2015!  I'm so excited to run this year, and to use my new shoes!  Thanks honey. ;-)

These boys.  I love these sweet, silly faces.  Ice cream date!

Our boys wanted lights this year, and their daddy delivered.  Oh silent night!

These boys.  Making messes - trying to clean them up all by themselves.  'sorry mom!'  The younger ones just wanting to be in James' room while he's at school.  These guys are awesome.

 We made a trip down to Keystone for the 'Walk thru Bethlehem' presentation.  My in-laws helped to create the program, and served there for over 10 years.  Matt and I have been in the program several years, but it had been 2 years since we had been down!  All the boys got to go together to see 'baby Jesus' and be with their Grandparents too!

We celebrated a late 'Thanksgiving' this year with the Proses, and they brought back a 'snowman' from Tennessee where they had been for Thanksgiving.  The boys thought it was really cold!

We were able to visit a few different light shows this year, and one was the 'Safety Town' light show.  The boys also got to see Santa there, so we wore our Christmas pjs.

 It was lovely to get home again and enjoy the fun and excitement of looking forward to Christmas.  The boys really loved the Advent calendar from my Momoo's house this year, and we read from Ann Voskamp's new Christmas Advent book for children, 'The Greatest Gift'.  They really loved the pictures, and counting down the days as we read through each story.

We had to go see our Santa here in town, and the boys got to choose a new ornament for our tree.  Matt's mom&dad gave him an ornament every year, so we are attempting to carry on that tradition.

 We welcomed baby Hattie to the neighborhood this December!!  She is just the sweetest thing.

 This Sunday morning I had three little helpers while I was getting ready.

Matt had an assisstant while he was working.  I had two pretty talented sprinkle helpers when we were decorating sugar cookies for the boys' teachers.  I am so glad we have such sweet helpers.

 One more project was crossed off our list - window seat in our kitchen!

 My Hayden; he is just the goofiest, funniest little guy.  He seems so grown up, and yet so little.  I love his smile, his dimples, sweet brown eyes, and little curls in his hair.  I just adore this guy.

 My sweet hubs also got me some new clothes from Stitch Fix!  I am continuing to be a fan of their styling service.  I would recommend it to anyone who doesn't have the time or energy to shop for themselves.  They really do a great job.  Yay for Fix #6!

We were finally in town to see Santa ride through on the fire truck this year!  I loved the lights, sirens, and seeing the boys' faces was awesome.

James became a fan of Charlie Brown this year, and I love Charlie brown's christmas.  It was really fun to enjoy that together; then we found his tree at the zoo!  I was able to catch this picture of a 'stump' with a new shoot, and it makes me think of the Jesse tree.

 This fella.  I love this age where he gives tight.grip.hugs that hang on your neck.  I love the feeling of his little hands & that he chooses to squeeze.  "I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck".

Little Calvin was responsible for this bell cookies having a bite taken out!  I couldn't help myself.

We enjoyed having my sister Christina and my parents over for Christmas Eve together.  It was so much fun to be together and enjoy watching 'A Christmas Carol' like we did when I was a kid!  My Mom made our Christmas Eve dinner and brought it up, and the boys were so excited they almost couldn't sleep.  Merry Christmas!

We were able to spend some time at Matt's Nana's house for a big Christmas dinner, and then spend the day with the Proses for another full day of Christmas celebration.  They boys all received matching outfits, so we could all take new pictures!  The boys had the best time.

We rounded out our Christmas celebrations back with the Austins to see our nieces and Aunt Darcy.  I couldn't believe how much the girls have grown, and soon, there won't be very much of a difference between them all!  Aunt Michelle also made the drive down, so we got to see almost our whole family this year.

Christmas just about but we made one more trip for New Years' Eve to meet the Webb's new little guy, Turner!  We had been waiting to meet this guy, and today was our day.  Thanks for having us Kelly!

My year ended with a sweet 'I love you' note from my James.  What a wonderful year!  Thank you Lord for all you've given us.