Our annual gift-exchange shopping trip was fun! This is a yearly tradition that we all look forward to! The kids all put their names in a basket and then each draw a name. They are each given $10 to buy a gift for that person. Sometimes they use their own money and buy a little more. The shopping trip to buy the gifts is just as much a tradition as is the actual exchange. This year we went on a night with a winter-weather warning. We watched the roads and played it safe and ended up having a fantastic time! The stores were pretty empty! I think most people stayed home, worried that the roads were going to be bad. It was a fun evening!
We did A LOT of baking this holiday season! We enjoyed making sugar cookies SEVERAL times! The kids especially loved to ice and decorate them! We made several batches and gave them away to friends and family! Dave even got in on the cookie making! I love being in the kitchen with my family! It's one of my favorite things to do!
This is our kids' first year at First Baptist Christian School. They had a nice Christmas program. Nevin and Nolan particularly enjoyed dressing up "like business men". Our whole family enjoyed the program and the kids all did a wonderful job!
Our church did our first annual ALL-church caroling event. We had a great turn out! The adults and kids enjoyed going house to house singing carols to the shut-ins from our church. It was a blessing to see how much these (mostly) elderly folks enjoyed our visit! Afterwards, we went back to the church to have homemade cookies and hot chocolate! This is definitely something we will look forward to every year!
Our church always has an excellent children's Christmas program and this year was no exception! All of the kids did a great job! My kiddos all worked very hard on their individual part and they were so excited on the day of the program! Tucker was Joseph. (Rachel was Mary.. isn't it so stinkin' cute how little she is?! She is actually 2 months older than Tuck!)
Bryson was a shepherd boy. He had a lot of lines to memorize and he did an outstanding job!
The kids sang their little hearts out!
The teens did a great job too!
Every year for the past several years, we go to the Beef House for lunch on Christmas Eve day. This is one of my favorite traditions! This year, we invited both of our parents! I am so thankful that they made time to join us! I know it's a busy day of prepping at both of their houses since they host Christmas Day's festivities! This is also the day that the kids do their "gift exchange" with each other. It's a very special day and lots of fun memories are made!
Christmas morning is such a fun time with all the kids! I love the craziness of it! It's such fun to watch them open gifts! Our kids are so good at being thankful! We are very modest with our spending at Christmas time, so it does my heart good to see them have thankful hearts no matter what they get!
We spend Christmas Day at my parent's (for lunch) and Dave's parent's (for dinner). It is a hectic day, but we are so blessed to have so much family to spend time with! Here is a pic of my Grandpa and Grandma with our kids and my brother's kids! We didn't get a picture of them with ALL the grandkids this year. We will have to attempt that at Easter! =)
This year my sister, Susy and her kids, Megan and Michael came up for a few days after Christmas. I LOVE spending time with them! We always have a great time playing card (or dice) games and eating lots of good food! This year, the game of choice was Farkle. We played ALL afternoon and enjoyed lots of laughs!
I love decorating for Christmas! This year, we put our decorations up early and kept them up until mid-January. One of my favorite moments of the day was snuggling on the couch with my hubby and watching a movie at night. I love the glow of the Christmas lights and there's something just so relaxing about that calmness after a hectic day!
We have had several snow days this year! I can honestly say that I have enjoyed all the extra time that the kids have been home. I feel like life slowed waaaay down and we were able to have some quality family time together! All throughout the day, on and off, we just stood watching the beautiful snow covered outdoors.
We played a lot of games, mostly Farkle and Yahtzee. We set up a table with a big puzzle and worked on it too. We were also able to enjoy some lazy days, staying in our pajamas all day!
During the coldest of the days (around January 8th, I believe), we decided to do an experiment that we saw online. The temperature was around -36 with the wind-chill factor. So we ventured out to the back deck for a few minutes and threw a boiling pot of water into the air. It instantly turned to "dust". That was pretty cool to see! The kids thought it was fun! We rushed back inside afterwards...WOW! It was a crazy kind of cold that I don't ever remember experiencing in my whole life!
The boys love to play "Sink or Float". They got all set up in the bathroom and would be good to go for a solid hour or so, seeing if different objects would sink or float. This was always one of Ashton's favorites when he was a little guy! Now, these 4 were begging to do it on those long, cold days that we were trapped in the house! Free entertainment! =)
New Years Eve was pretty low-key for us. Ashton spent the night at his friend, Austin's house. We went to church for a game night and then returned back home around 10:30. The kids played Wii games together and we all just hung out until midnight. It was a nice way to bring in the New Year. =)