Late Post on Christmas

We had one of the best Christmas' ever! I know this post is late, and I considered skipping it, but it was such a blessing that I wanted to write the highlights down... Last year (2011) I felt so stressed, and life was just.... ummm.... heavy. Just a really hectic year- so many adjustments for all. I was glad to get to 2012. And 2012 proved to be a turning point for our home and family.     And it ended Purrrrrrfect! LOL! With two new additions to our family - Maxine and Sophie
Amy, my oldest daughter came up from South Carolina with the boys for a visit during Christmas! It was a blessing to have them here to celebrate our traditions together! Awesome! My only regret was not having my son-in-law David with them. :(

Add caWe made Cookies this year all together, cut them out and baked them...The following day we iced them up and decorated them... so much fun. We all got in on it!ption


Look at this face! So proud!

One of the most precious times we have with family throughout the holidays each year is lighting our advent candles. We really don't do it any specific way. We just light a candle (any color) for each week of advant, pray, do devotions that teach about the coming of Jesus into the world to bring the light... And how we are anticipating the day of His return! We talk about the darkness and how Jesus is the light, salvation, the free gift of God, etc. And on our final week of Advent this year Amy and the Boys were able to join us... be still my heart!
That advent candle holder has been with us through about 15 years of lights... it even caught on fire one year haha! Maybe I post about that one day next year.
Christmas Eve... haha, in their festive jammies. I look at these kids and realize just how blessed we truly are !These three get along so well! A match made in heaven... for real! Arielle is so helpful with her brothers, and they love her to pieces.

The one thing that stands out so much in comparison to last year is the transformation of Arielle. She is a testimony of what love can do. She's beautiful, with a beautiful heart. Wants to serve. Struggling through (in a good struggle) learning about family, relationships, and most of all what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. And she is learning fast. She's a busy girl too. Loves to be doing something all the time. A far cry from when she first came home. It's like the world has exploded with "LIFE" for her and she was happy to walk through the door opened. She is still learning and growing but aren't we all? :)

I told Brad and the kids to get a "fat" tree when they went tree shopping for the familyroom Christmas tree... and fat is what I got! WOW! it took up the familyroom! That'll teach me to leave the tree hunting up to the children. I do it every year :)

This is the night before Christmas....
 On Christmas morning we get up and the kids open some stocking gifts while we drag ourselves out of bed. Then we do a devotion. This year we did our devotion different. We usually read out of Luke, but this year we not only read the Christmas story, we acted it out. The kids had fun with it. Here is Joseph and Mary with the newborn Jesus.
After our devotion we cut the ribbon to open up Christmas :) I originally started the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony about 20+ years ago to keep my first batch of kiddies (Amy, Lauren and Bradley) from coming downstairs too early! It worked and it started a tradition. Now I get to do it with my grandbabies!
We were very organized this year as Santa placed the presents in order of each child, haha! I guess he had more time on his hands this year!
After opening presents we eat a pancake breakfast with fresh pancakes (moms recipe), real maple syrup, breakfast casserole, bacon, sausage... and other yummy things... and in addition Bradley, Melissa, and the Rebstocks came for breakfast, FUN! love love love!
Grandmom and PopPop came over soon after and also Lauren and Mike. The house was full :)

The porkchop had his first Christmas! Awwww, I remember Amy's first christmas.
Lauren and Mike
Bradley and Melissa
Grandmom, PopPop, and Micah
Porkchop aka Micah
Me and my hubby Brad Sr

It really was a blessed Christmas. I'm excited anticipating what this new year will Bring.

Maybe more additions to the family?  :) God is Good!

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