Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pondering Christmas

This weekend we kicked Christmas in to full force. We celebrated with my side of the family, devoured our annual hockey puffs, and tried to keep the kids from turning the happiness into an all out war! The cousins love each other so, but when crammed in a small room, with new presents to be played with, and sugar consumed.....things are bound to not go so perfectly. We had to break up a few brawls, there were screamers, and tears, and all out Christmas joy.

But we were able to pause from the tears for a brief moment while papa read the Story of Jesus' birth, the whole reason we celebrate this special day in the first place.

Bennett managed to sneak a present and rip it open while everyone patiently waited and listened to Papa. And Cole yelled, "What did you get?!?" Have I ever mentioned that we are constantly working on patience in our house?

I was actually surprised by Cole, he was kind of patient, and kind of listened. And when asked what the story of Christmas was about, he responded with "Jesus"! That's my sweet boy.

I wish that I had taken more pictures, but it seems to get harder and harder each year with more and more kids. And sadly those are about all the pictures I have to document such a wonderful time with family. My sister was able to get a group shot, and shockingly everyone but the the two babies were looking and "smiling" for the camera.

It simply would not be Christmas without my two adorable Grandma's and their Christmas sweaters that they have faithfully worn every year since we have been little.  I still can't believe this time next year we will have another little boy added to the bunch, and possibly crawling around at that!

The boys and I have also been celebrating this season by spending a lot of time in the kitchen. We have made lots of cookies and treats. Cole asks what we are going to make first thing each morning. Sometimes I have to make something lame up, like OATMEAL! Or a SMOOTHIE! And sometimes that satisfies Cole's inner chef...and then sometimes he responds with " about we make cupcakes, with frosting, with sprinkles, with candles....."

But this is why, I have to be sneaky and limit the sugar that makes it into their tummies. I usually will let them have a couple bites or a couple licks of batter, depending on what we are making,

And this is why.....

And that grin is the result of this.

It used to have frosting and sprinkles on it.....

And that is also why, I have separate cookies for the boys and ones that I am actually taking somewhere. Unless you don't mind a little slick spit with your cookie.....

Kyle surprised the boys the other night by bringing home a gingerbread house kit. It was such a hit that every day after Cole would ask me what daddy was going to bring home for them.

They did such a good job, and actually only ate one piece of candy while decorating. I think that is a record. We also had a good laugh because just a few days earlier Kyle had seen one of his friend's little girl who had decorated the same kind of house. Only hers looked like the exact replica of the box, every candy perfectly placed, frosting immaculately iced, and ready to be photographed. 

So we couldn't resist.

I think that might be the front door hanging sideways where the windows should be. Not bad for their second attempt ever of making gingerbread houses.  I thought it was beautiful, and apparently so did Cole. I found Bennett the next day with a chair shoved up next to the console table, helping himself to whatever he could pull off....

Bennett. Only you.

In an attempt to avoid some sugar spike, I happened to find some star ornaments on sale 4/$1.00 at the craft store. Cole has been asking to get glitter every time we stock up on craft supplies. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to use some. 

And then I remembered why I had put off using glitter for so long.....

Glitter for days.

He always has a way of adding his own flare to craft time. Cole of course listened to directions and loved being able to make his ornament all his own.

He even double fisted it with the glitter shakers.

I know I have said it before, but it has been so much fun watching the delight in their faces as they learn about this special season. The joy as they anticipate new activities and new traditions. And the excitement of why we celebrate Christmas. 

This year I get to count many many blessings. Yes, it has been hard and trying and even discouraging at times. But the joy, the joy overtakes and trumps it all. I would not be who I am today without my family and without my two precious boys. Oh how I pray they will be able to find the true meaning of Christmas and tuck it close in their heart some day. But until that day, we will continue to experience life the way God intended. To remember the birth of His son, to think upon the miracle of the season, and the hope that it brings with it. 

I cannot thank Jesus enough for His many blessings. I cannot help but ponder about Mary as she carried the weight of the world in her belly. As she kissed the King's sweet cheeks and snuggled him close. What joy must have filled her heart as she watched the Redeemer learn to crawl and take his first steps. How many times did she call out to God asking Him if she was messing up, if she had what it took to raise the king of all kings, the bridge of sin, the glorious one.What a beautiful story of a great plan God had all laid out. A story of trust, love, miracles, and sin shattering glory.

Yes, this season is a sweet one, especially as I carry my own baby in my belly. It  brings on a whole new perspective of the reality of Jesus' birth. 

May you all experience the truth and joy that comes with Christmas this year. Merry early Christmas from all of us!

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