Monday, April 13, 2015

December happenings

December is always a busy month full of lots of fun activities so I thought I'd just post a bunch of randomness to capture some of it all on the blog.

 I had saved the Golden Dragon lego set that came with Benjamin's golden ninja in hopes that some random afternoon he could build it with Daddy.  When I brought it out a few months after getting the minifigure, to say he was excited was an understatement :-)

 Benjamin was upset that both Peter and I were distracted with chores and Ethan and then Jonah didn't want to play with him either.  So he snuck downstairs and drew this picture of him crying since no one wanted to play with him.  HA!  After laughing sweetly at him and telling him that pouting wasn't a good choice in our family, we played with him of course :-)

 this sweet little guy kept growing and loves to play 'airplane' with Daddy

 the boys and I turned our front door into a snowman.  They both love crafts!

 we also added festive snowflakes to our sliding doors!

 Benjamin made this snowman (complete with ginormous nose) all on his own.  He was SO proud.

 we spent one morning decorating sugar cookies with our friends!

 best buddies!

 I'm pretty sure sugar is his love language

 they whipped through the cookies in no time at all

 one afternoon while the boys were napping, I had some stuff on my mind so I decided to 'channel that energy' and made these little drawings to put on the bedroom doors for Christmas this year.  The boys are obsessed with How the Grinch stole Christmas and they were SOOO excited to see these when they woke up.  Fun :-)

 the most adorable cowboy I know!

 we headed to Storybook Land one evening and it was a fun time as always

 sweet JoJo and Daddy

 brothers make the best of friends

 they loved pointing out all the stories they knew as we walked through it all

 getting a better view of the awesome train tables

 he wanted his picture with roadrunner and the coyote

 taking a break to enjoy a show

 his little giggle is so wonderful and contagious!

 decorating the gingerbread houses with the kit I found for 25 cents :-)

 oh least it looks delicious if its not beautiful! :-)

 Jonah Caleb got to be a sheep in our church's Christmas program

 looking so sweet during practice time

 I just adore these two

 Away in a Manger!

 Ben and Micah sang Hark the Herald Angels Sing as a duet together, they did so great!

 little Ethan watched his brothers and dreamed of being a sheep someday :-)

 love these precious friends and their singing voices

 notice Jonah laying down on the steps.  Apparently his brothers song was a little too long and he had to lay down and take a rest.  Ha ha, he is such a character that one!

love that Auntie Amanda and Nana could watch our little boys sing about Jesus' birth!

Random acts of kindness

As my boys get older, I love the excitement that builds with Christmas time.  Its fun to watch them understand the joy of giving and receiving presents.  And its the greatest feeling that they are learning to truly celebrate the birth of our Savior!  One of the other qualities I hope to build in them is compassion and thoughtfulness for others.  So we decided to try to find lots of little ways to think of others in December to remind us that there is so much joy in helping and serving and gifting others!

We made a December countdown calendar to keep track of how many days were left until Christmas and tried to think of something kind to do for each day.  Though we probably missed a few, the boys really enjoyed thinking of thoughtful ideas.

The countdown was made with a muffin tin, construction paper numbers that Ben wrote and cut out, attached with little bits of magnet strips.  Inside each muffin tin was 4 m&m's (2 for each boy each day when they took a new number off to count down!)  The boys loved it and it was super easy and cute.

Some of the acts of kindness that the boys enjoyed were coloring a Christmas note for our maillady and giving her a coffee gift card.  Making Christmas cookies for the coworkers at Daddy's work.  And hanging candy canes on the door handles of random cars at the Walmart parking lot.  As a parent its so easy to get caught up in giving my boys everything they will ever need and want and its good to remind them that Jesus has given us so much and there is so much joy in giving to others.  Hopefully we can make some version of this a tradition year after year.

Decorating our tree

The evening after we went to find our Christmas tree, we spent the rest of the day setting it up and decorating it all.  It makes our house so cozy and cheerful when its all done and we look forward to it every year.  The boys are a pretty good amount of help (most of the time!) and get so excited about it all.  Every year we get the boys a new ornament of their own so they'll have a little collection to take to their own homes when they're grown.  We try to find something that reminds us of their personality at that age or something they enjoyed at that age.  And each year they get to hang their own special ornaments on the tree.  My parents gave us so many ornaments growing up so this is a fun tradition I like to carry on with my boys.  It really is wonderful to hang the ornaments for each of my boys and count the blessings of the years we've had with each of them.

Once the tree was all completed, we gave the boys a bath and then settled in with some popcorn and hot chocolate to watch The Polar Express.  With the festive lights from the trees and my 3 boys all cuddled on the couch together, life was sweet.  Love this time of year :-)

Christmas Tree 2014

One of the reasons why we tend to stick around our own home at Thanksgiving is the opportunity it gives us to go and pick out our Christmas tree the next day.  We have a cute little farm about 20 minutes from our house where we have gone for the past 6ish years so we continued in that tradition.

Of course, it decided to rain, but then again, we are in Oregon :-)  So we persevered and had a great time regardless.  The boys love the tractor ride, the sticks and mud and love watching the train set afterward while warming up with cookies and cocoa.

Each year I think an artificial tree would be a better and cheaper idea, but we always have such a good time finding our tree that I know its worth the memories for my boys and for my sweet hubby.  Thanks for encouraging us to do it Peter and for chopping down the tree for our family year after year!

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