Once again, we had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior.
Jon, Emily & Blake arrived Friday afternoon. It was so fun having them here with us for Christmas.
Christmas Eve...We continued our tradition of our family advent calendar for December (the activities vary from year to year but some remain the same) and opening our Christmas Eve Box. And once again, I had cones & frosting in the box for making Christmas trees, or a Santa hat.
Auntie Em & I (Meg) did one too.
#babyB decided to "eat?" most of his.
We even played a math game with Auntie Em.
Later that evening we went to our Christmas Eve Gathering at The Bridge.
It was a great way to remember what Christmas is all about - THE greatest gift ever given.
The girls even sang "Joy to the World" with a children's choir.
Christmas morning...we were up early. But it's fun with kids. They are so excited. We opened gifts from our immediate family, while the Hight's slept in. Lily & Ella used their own money, from their piggy banks, and went shopping, with Daddy, for sibling presents. They did a great job picking out thoughtful gifts for each of their siblings. Here is Benny opening one of his gifts.
We enjoyed a leisurely brunch, while the babies napped. Yes, we're still in our jammies!
Lily requested monkey bread. Ella requested scones. Jake requested chocolate chip scones. We enjoyed some of our family favorites. After brunch, we Skyped with family and opened gifts from them.
It was a beautiful day so we decided to walk to the park and burn off some energy (i.e. all that sugar).
These two are only 3 months apart...and lots of pounds, like 5+ pounds.
We had an early Christmas dinner. Skyped with more family & opened more gifts. And then used Ella's new tea set for a tea party ("tea" and peppernuts) before bed.
We have had THE BEST babysitter for years! Initially, our girls had her as a teacher for 2-3 year old Sunday School. She started babysitting for us when we were a family of four. Unfortunately, I can't remember if Katelyn was in high school or college, either way, it's been a while. Our kids love her, we love her, and she is a sweet friend of mine. She's spent many nights here with me and the kids when Jake was out of town for work. This is such a help & blessing to me.
We had to say goodbye (or see ya later) to Katelyn this past weekend. She just graduated from UNCW and is off to Oregon for an internship. Tears were shed.
Friday night, was the last night Katelyn babysat for us. The girls did the chalkboard for her.
Katelyn made each of the kids these cute doggie pillows. So sweet.
Our family loves Miss Katelyn. We will miss her so much, but we are so proud of her and all of her accomplishments. Katelyn, may God continue to guide you as you move to Oregon and begin your internship. Whenever you're back in Wilmington, we want to see you!
We are praying Psalm 16:11 for you, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7
The first year...It's incredible to go from a completely dependent infant to an almost-walking and I-want-to-feed-myself toddler. The first year is hard. It's exhausting. The days (and the nights) can be, i mean seem, long at times. But boy did the year go quickly! Now when I think back to the first year with Lily, Ella and #babyB, I realize how quickly it does go and to try to enjoy each moment (the good, the bad & the ugly moments, ALL of them!). Monday #babyS turned ONE. She is smiley and sweet. She giggles and babbles. She loves to feed herself, especially loves meat! She is walking more than crawling. She is such a joy!
About to dig in to the chocolate cupcake with Nutella frosting.