i love christmas time (who doesn't?)! so this month, in addition to everyday life, we tried to add in some fun christmas things to celebrate the season. prepare for picture overload (that's what happens when you don't blog the whole month of december! yikes!).
one of my favorite things we do in december is the christmas book advent. and this year i actually had them all wrapped on december 1st, rather than frantically realizing every night when it was time to unwrap the book, that it still had to be wrapped (that was more how last year went : ).
on december 1st we headed downtown for the annual parade of lights. it was a perfect night (which brought out a crazy number of people)! dave and i didn't have the best view, but the kids could see everything from atop our shoulders and they loved it! they loved the balloons, marching bands, animals and especially santa (and it brought me back to the year that i was in the parade as a cheerleader and held a string of a frosty the snowman balloon). the kids also scored a light up sword and wand and the only picture i took of the whole night was them dueling in the back seat on the way home. oh well.
these 2 are always sneaking my phone
emma loves to sit on her windowsill to get her shoes on
i love the heart on the bum of her tights!
logan got to have his friend morgan over one day and they had a great time pulling everything out of his bedroom (including clothes from his drawers) and putting them in their "tent" under the table.
logan "comforting" emma...most likely because of something he did
my friend anna gave logan a santa pez dispenser and it was a huge hit. logan was so excited to share his candy with others.
emma loves to climb into baskets, containers, bowls...whatever she can find!
logan and emma helped themselves to some chocolate covered oreos one morning while i was still lying in bed. breakfast of champions!
logan enjoying a tent he made
each night after we read our christmas book we placed it under the tree. i loved finding the kids randomly reading books by the tree throughout the month.
paper plate snowman
logan loved using his very own scissors
we started elf on the shelf this year. it wasn't the magic deterrent of naughty behavior i was hoping for (maybe next year when logan's a little older), but the kids did enjoying discovering marty the elf each day. emma was especially thrilled whenever she saw him (she is sitting on my lap as i type this and when i scrolled down and she saw marty in the picture she started squealing and pointing at him!). as a side note in the picture, another one of my favorite things during december is getting christmas cards! i get so excited everyday when the mail comes to see whose card might have arrived. i'm sad that i'm back to bills and junk mail for another year.
logan loves to play hide-and-seek. i love to see the hiding spots he comes up with
on december 15th my mom turned 65! i can't believe it (she's still a babe). my sisters flew in for the weekend (we missed my brother, who was in europe for work) and we had a great time just being together. we hung out and talked (a todd family favorite), helped my mom make christmas goodies, shopped for new bedroom bedding (whoa) and went out to dinner. i loved talking about her and sharing with her the things we love about her. 3 (of many things) i love about my mom: 1. she loves being a mother! and she always has. you can't hear her talk about motherhood (even when she had a young family) without knowing that she loved it and it has brought her such joy. she doesn't sugarcoat it and pretend that it has always been easy, she'll admit to frustrating and hard times (which i appreciate), but her love of being a mother is so apparent. 2. she loves the gospel! as we talked our last night together she said, "i want you girls to know that i love the gospel and it has brought me so much joy in my life! i love living the gospel!" i loved hearing those words, even though i didn't necessarily have to hear them because i already knew from the way she lives of her testimony of and love for the gospel. 3. she is generous with praise. she is constantly telling me how proud she is of the kind of mother i am and the way dave and i are raising our kids and teaching them the gospel. it was a wonderful weekend together!
logan has gotten so good at puzzles. i love seeing how he is growing and developing. and i love that when he finished the puzzle he asked me to take a picture of him with it! that's my boy!
logan got to go on a special daddy date with dave to have lunch at his work. emma was not happy to be left behind and threw herself on the floor, crying.
luckily lunch at chick-fil-a and some christmas shopping cheered her up (it's so nice when they are young enough that you can shop for them even when they're with you)
i wanted a picture of us all dressed up for church the sunday before christmas. but because of meetings we were never all home (and dressed) at the same time. so i brought the camera to church and this is the best we could get.
when we got home i tried to get a couple of the kids together
this is how they felt about it
on christmas eve a lutheran church by our house did a live nativity and we decided to check it out with our friends the smiths. afterward the kids got to pet some of the animals which they loved (especially emma).
that last attempt at a silly face like her brother was preceded by these 2 (someone's been having a rough time)
just hanging out and chatting on the phone (i think he was "talking" to gammy or pappy)
as i looked at all these pictures i realized how often the kids were in their pajamas. let's just say we've spent a lot of december hanging out at home due to sickness (which is actually going to get its' own post...yes, sickness is going to. i'm sure you can't wait).