Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Morning

Maleah was the first to wake about 7:00.  Layla followed at 7:30, Charlie at 8:00, and Ruby at 8:30.  One by one, they were amazed that Santa had come.  Layla thought she saw some tracks he left from his boot, but none of them could hear him.  It was so sweet.

I love the morning look.  Cute little faces...

We had chocolate milk, Christmas tree cinnamon rolls, and Santa's hats.  It was a bit of a stretch of the imagination, but they were digging' it.  :)

Then, they played and played and played and played!  Happy little elves, they were.

Christmas Eve 2014

Dallas and I have been going back and forth on when to establish our own family traditions.  Growing up, we both did presents after Christmas Eve service.  I can remember, so vividly, being anxious for my parents to quit talking after church so we could get home!  We would run into the house, find a spot in the living room, and they would distribute our gifts.  The anticipation alllllll day long about did me over!  Dallas's, as a child, was the same.

We discussed that the kids are still little, and really, they could go to sleep right when we get home from church.  Maybe they shouldn't have such a late night anyway with all the activity going on.  Maleah was in tears at the thought of celebrating Christmas Eve, because it wasn't Christmas.  We weren't doing it right, and Miss Rule Follower wasn't going to have it.  We had been going hard all day, so thought maybe a fresh Christmas morning start would be better.

But alas, we decided to go for it!  And, I'm so glad we did.  It was so, so special.

We got home from Dallas's parents, changed into our new and special Christmas clothes, and hopped back into the van to head to church.

How hard is it to get a nice picture of all of us?  Sigh...
After church, we went straight home.  The kids wanted to change into their jammies while I got some snacks ready.  We had popcorn with "add-ins," little smokies, fruit & dip, chips & dip, and wait for it...their very own bottle of pop!  It seemed as if all their Christmas wishes were already made.  We ate and talked, then moved into the living room where we handed each kiddo their three gifts.

They were all absolutely tickled with their presents!  I tried to not spend my whole evening behind the camera, but did get a few money shots.  Oh, the excitement of a child...

My present from Maleah was an ornament she made me in school.  She was so excited to give it, and I loved receiving such a super sweet gift.
We stayed up until 10:00 (at least), all playing together with their new toys.  We paid for that move a couple days later, but by golly, we had the most fantastic Christmas Eve!  And, they weren't up at the crack of dawn Christmas morning.  Score!

I remember being a child at Christmas.  The excitement was more than I could contain, and it all seemed so magical.  But, this Christmas, the joy I experienced as a mom at Christmas time overwhelmed me.  It was so much fun to see them experience the wonder and awe, watch him jump up and down over a Pez dispenser he "wanted his whole life," and eagerly wait for Santa.  Being a mom proves over and over to be one of life's greatest blessings, and this Christmas season showed me that once again.

Christmas with the Wessels!

Christmas Eve morning, we headed over to Grandpa Rod and Grandma Bonnie's to celebrate! We had breakfast, read the nativity story, had a visit from Santa, opened presents, found out we are going to Florida! (woop!  woop!), played games, had lunch, did coloring pages, decorated cookies, and more fun!  It was a great day!

Ruby girl looking this guy over...

The grandkids with their sunglasses on;
sunglasses they can wear to sunny FLORIDA!  
It was another fantastic year of Christmas blessings!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Traditions :: Jammies!

How cute are they?!

And just to make your heart throb a bit, look how much they have grown since last year...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Traditions :: Ornaments

Every year each child gets an ornament that has some significance with that year.  We give them on their special Christmas plate at our special Christmas meal.  Did I mention it's really special?

This year, Papa & Nana joined us for our Christmas meal.  We had ham balls, mashed potatoes, frozen real deal corn, canned peaches, and ice cream sundaes.  We were in hog heaven.  We put on the tablecloth, get out the goblets, and voila - it's quite the night!


For their ornaments this year, Maleah and Layla got Disney princesses to remember the year they went to Disney, Charlie got a deer hunting ornament to commemorate his first year deer hunting with Daddy, and Ruby got a cupcake, because, well, she likes sweets?  I don't know.  What else do you get a one year old?

It was another special Christmas night around here.  I think of all the hats I wear as "Mom," celebrator of the home might be near the top of the list.  What joy!

Good morning from Ruby!

Good morning!  

sweet pea, 
messy faced, 
curly haired, 
button nosed, 
Ruby Joy.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Traditions :: the Christmas Tree.

I love traditions.

My mom was great at celebrating birthdays, Christmas, and all the in-between.  Those days stood out.  I want the same for my family.  Part of it is making it special.  But a large part of it is that year to year, you remember what made those days special.  Things are constantly changing, but the traditions are the piece of the puzzle that remain the same.  I'll say it again: I love traditions.

Dallas and I are finding out what worked for us in the past, and what we want for our kids in the future.  It's fun establishing new traditions and implementing them into our family.

One thing we have come to love is getting a real Christmas tree.  We go the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving and hunt through the tree farm for the perfect one for us.  This year, though, it was frigid!  And windy!  So, we made a rather hasty decision.  It wasn't so whimsical, as you might imagine.  We eyed a tree, sat in the van while Dallas cut it down, talked to Santa quickly, and bee-lined it home for hot chocolate.  Romantic, eh?  Not really.

When we got home and got the tee into the house, we realized it was shorter than I.  Whoops.  Now, we don't have room for a grand tree by any means, but this was something special.  We laughed, until Layla said begrudgingly, "How will we even fit all our special ornaments on there?"  Maleah could put the star on without being hoisted at all.  Oh dear.

I left for an hour, and when I got back, my stellar husband had the problem fixed.  He put the tree on a box, arranged a nice tree skirt underneath, and all were happy as clams.  Crisis averted.

Decorating the tree is what is so precious to me.

Every year the kids get ornaments.  They each have their own box, and wow, what a big deal this is to them.  Along with those ornaments, there are handmade ornaments by the kids and others, gifts, ornaments from special places we have visited, first year ornaments, and photo ornaments.  It's not a perfectly themed tree.  But it is perfectly ours.

Maleah's first year of school ornament.  Charlie's Santa riding a red 4-wheeler.
Our trip on a train.  Our vacation in Wisconsin Dells.

Layla's firetruck.  A handmade house.  Baby's first Christmas.

And the picture in front of the tree?
Yeah, not ideal either.  But, again, us!  :)
Our little tree is cute, and we love it.

Merry Christmas!