Christmas At Our House

Christmas extravaganza! It’s a long one…

DSC_9714 (Large)

DSC_9717 (Large)

We start off Christmas at our house with decorating. I LOVE Christmas decorations. Every year I get something else to add to our collection. I love Christmas decorations so much we even had a Christmas wedding. It truly is “the most wonderful time of the year!” 🙂

DSC_9867 (cropped) (Large)

The kids always have their Sunday School Christmas program at church. I know they don’t seem like it in the picture, but they love it! They are always so excited to memorize their lines and have their grandparents come and watch them. It is pretty stinking cute to watch all the kids up there!

DSC_0106 (Large) DSC_0105 (Large) DSC_0104 (Large) DSC_0100 (Large) DSC_0099 (Large)

We always makes lots and lots of Christmas treats to give to family and friends. This year we didn’t bake as much. Things got busy and we ran out of time, we didn’t deliver goodies to as many as usual! The pictures above are our annual “gingerbread” houses. We ran out of time for this one too, so we did this a couple days after Christmas. We celebrate the whole month at our house! The kids love this and it has turned into a tradition at our house.

DSC_9927 (Large)

Our cookies for Santa. This was just part of our Christmas baking.

DSC_9777 (Large)

Every year I get the kids new Christmas jammies. I usually buy them in November when I am doing my other shopping and just give them to the kids to wear all season long. I figure they could usually use another pair of warm jammies anyways, so this is just an extra little tradition that we have. It is too cute for them all to wear them on Christmas morning and all match! They love their Christmas jammies!! They really get into cozy, warm jammies…they are my kids!

DSC_9936 (Large)

This year, we had a nice relaxing Christmas Eve. We made Christmas cookies, the kids were able to open their one gift from each other. It is so cute to watch them get so excited to give gifts to each other. The things they come up with are so sweet!

DSC_9948 (Large)

They were thanking each other for their gifts! Oh my heart!!!

DSC_9950 (Large)

 

After opening their one gift we went to Christmas Eve service at our church. Many years the time of our church doesn’t work out with family plans, so we were pretty excited this year we were able to go to our home church! We had a great candlelight service to remind us of the true meaning of the season. After church we finished off the night with driving around looking at Christmas lights! Of course, once we got home we had to set out Santa’s cookies and go straight to bed! Santa was coming and Mom and Dad of the house had a whole lot of wrapping to do! 🙂

The long awaited CHRISTMAS MORNING…

DSC_0020 (Large) DSC_0003 (Large)

The kids giving Dad his gift. He loved it!

DSC_0002 (Large)

I’m getting a thank you hug! They are always so sweet when you shower them with gifts! lol

DSC_9995 (Large)

One of her favorite gifts…PAINT! She has been telling everyone that her paintings aren’t very colorful lately because she is all out of paint! She only had yellow left! Poor girl…she is so deprived! 😉 It didn’t hurt her to have to wait until Christmas! I think it made her appreciate them that much more!

After Christmas morning at our house. We go to Nana’s (my mom) to spend the morning/day and have breakfast and a big lunch there.

DSC_0041 (Large)

Enjoying some pretty cool gifts at Nana’s.

Later Christmas night we went to another Christmas party!! This time, Grandma’s house (Mark’s Mom) We opened gifts and had dinner there – I know, we eat a LOT on Christmas!! 🙂 The kids were once again spoiled there too!

DSC_0091 (Large)

We have so many Christmas festivities! We also have other family parties that we went to before Christmas, work party, school parties, tumbling party, Christmas cards, baking, gifts, and cooking. It gets easy to get carried away with all the “extras” and get too busy and too wrapped up in other things that we forget to relax and enjoy the Advent season and celebrate the birth of Christ. This year, I had to remind myself over and over not to worry about the little things. Not everything will get done. Just focus on the important things. I rather enjoy my family than getting that extra baking done that I was worried about! Even the oldest of the house told us over and over “Jesus is the real reason for the season” Sometimes you need a childlike faith to remind us! 🙂

We had a pretty awesome Christmas time. I think every year gets better and better!

 

 

 

 

Perfect Fall Day for a Photo Shoot

It was such a beautiful fall day, the kids were in their church clothes and they were all happy for the moment, so I thought what a great day for a photo shoot after church.

I LOVE taking pictures of my family and Mark’s grandparents have a great yard for it, so we go any chance we get.

DSC_9447 (Large)

DSC_9451 (Large)

DSC_9453 (Large)

DSC_9454 (Large)

DSC_9459 (Large)

DSC_9455 (Large)

This was too funny! We were all having so much fun! Not all the pictures are in focus but their expressions in the “runaway baby” pictures make them PERFECT!

DSC_9472 (Large)

I think she is thinking about where she might run off to again! What a cute little stinker!

DSC_9506 (Large)

He is so sweet!

DSC_9509 (Large)

AND so goofy! Not a fan of pictures, so he always makes a joke out of it!

DSC_9429 (Large)

So beautiful!

DSC_9439 (Large)

DSC_9485 (Large)

DSC_9486 (Large)

Tried again to get a shot of all three of them. Not too bad…

 

DSC_9498 (Large)

DSC_9534 (Large)

DSC_9432 (Large)

DSC_9475 (Large)

And we got one! They are all looking and happy!

DSC_9527 (Large)

I had to get in a picture too! I wanted to make sure my kids remembered I was there! I’m usually the one behind the camera! 🙂

 

More Than Pumpkins

This past weekend we went on a family outing with my parents and my sisters. We went to a local orchard (County Line Orchard in Hobart, IN) to get pumpkins, apples, cider and all kinds of goodies. We have gone there every October for the last 7 years now! It is so fun and festive! We love Fall and what better way to celebrate?

For me, it’s more than pumpkins…

The first year we went to the apple orchard was in 2006, Mark and I had just miscarried our first baby. I was depressed. I didn’t want to do much of anything. I think this was my moms way of getting me out of the house. It was a good idea, because I actually had a little fun! The whole time, I prayed that next year we would be bringing a baby to the orchard! And we did! Although, she couldn’t see anything, because she was so cozy and safe in my belly. She was due to be born December 25, 2008.

(We don’t have pictures of 2006 and 2007. I didn’t have a picture addiction until after the first born! 🙂 )

 

P1020357 (Large)

In 2008 we had so much fun watching our oldest play in the pumpkin patch.

 

DSCN0264 (Large)

In 2009, we grew by one!

 

P1060611 (Large)

In 2010, the kids were growing!

 

P1090210 (Large)

In 2011, we grew by one again, but no one knew yet! 🙂

 

DSC_3291 (Large)

In 2012, we got to bring our youngest, only 3 months old.

 

DSC_9071 (Large)

This year, 2013, I realize how big our kids are getting! They were all old enough to walk on their own and pick up pumpkins! They had fun! Now, they love it as much as I do! They love the tradition. They know with Fall comes the apple orchard! Someday, they will know how it all got started!

P1020363 (Large)

My sisters with our oldest in 2008.

DSC_9033 (Large)

Everyone in 2013

My parents take us every year and it has been fun to see how much my little sisters have changed over the years! This is a part of their childhood too!

It wasn’t always easy to take our little kids to the orchard. It is usually packed, cold, it takes almost an hour to get there and this year it was muddy! One year, Mark asked me if we could just get pumpkins in town, he saw a bunch of them outside of the gas station, really cheap. He thought it would be so much easier to just get them there! That was the last time he asked that question! 🙂

He didn’t realize…it was more than pumpkins for me!

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28