Merry Christmas everyone! I'm sad that I'm so far behind with posting, because I never got to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. It just doesn't have the same ring to it now. (But...New Year's resolution!) We had an amazing Christmas this year. We celebrated on Christmas eve with my family as per usual, and on Christmas we went to church early in the morning, came home to open our gifts real quick, and headed off again to the in-laws' to do Christmas with that side of the family. It was amazing to be able to eat after having to abstain on Thanksgiving.
We started out the season by telling the kids not to expect lots of presents to make sure they're not disappointed when they get a couple things. We actually gave each child 3-4 presents each (which was more than I thought we would end up with) and we bought a tee-pee was for all of them together. I think we hit the right balance this year, without overdoing it or disappointing them either, and the kids all got exactly what they wanted and nothing more. They were all really, really happy with their gifts, which made me feel so good. It takes time and lots of diligence to figure out what each child would want! And lots of organization.
It was nice that Bogdan's mom just gave me money for each of them and told me to buy them something, and since we do Secret Santa with my family, my parents pulled Mila's name and also gave me money to buy her what I thought she would like. It worked out really well because she wouldn't receive all kinds of random gifts that she wouldn't really enjoy. My biggest pet peeve at Christmas is getting a bunch of plastic, bulky, random things that don't get used and all that money is wasted in the end. I hate clutter, and I would rather buy less things but more quality items that will get used on a regular basis.
Ben 10, Mila 7, Olivia 5--all excited to open the presents!
Yup, Starbucks was open Christmas day. Had to get myself my favorite treat.
Mila was so cute and gave everyone in the family a joke that she made up, so we went around and opened our jokes first.
Mila got a BlaBla fox last year, and Olivia got a ballet bunny this year. It looks like Naomi is next!
Olivia's dream came true and she got ballet slippers and a leotard and the promised of lessons in January!
I swear Naomi's sweater did not look that enormous on her when I put it on in the morning! The sleeves on her dress made it stick out even further so she actually looks like a bodybuilder in these pictures. Oy.
Ben got stars for his ceiling now that his room is painted. Now he'll be just like the girls.
Naomi was spoiled the most this year (doesn't the baby always?). She was the cutest opening all her gifts, like she understood what she had to do. :)
Ben gets a Wimpy Kid book every year, and Mila loooved her fashion sketch set (thank you, Costco, $10!).
It was all about Naomi.
If only we were in Australia and didn't need to wear sweaters...
The look on Mila's face was pretty priceless when she opened her bunny couple. She wasn't sure why they looked so weird, but after the initial shock they grew on her, and now she loves them. Ha ha!
Handmade gifts from our little school kids are the best.
What a cute little snowman sitting by the tree.
I'm kind of going to brag and say that I wasn't even exhausted on Christmas, had all the presents wrapped on time and some even way early (what?!?), and actually enjoyed my day--all with four kids in my life. That's more than I could say for last year, and last year I had only three. So yeah, I got to sit back and enjoy the scene in front of me many times throughout the festivities, and soak in these kids at this age in this point in time. It was pretty magical.
Thank you, Lord, for coming down to earth and so humbly putting into motion the events that led to the salvation of the world. Your love for us was made visible that night, and our hearts rejoice as we celebrate your birth.