Our family hopes that you had a splendid day(s) celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. How blessed are we to celebrate Jesus's birthday?!
We continued our family traditions this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and kicked off our celebrations with our church's annual Candlelight Worship Service. There's something so magical about listening to Scripture, singing carols, and lighting candles.
Before church, we took our annual Christmas pics with the kids in their Sunday best (on Tuesday, since we went super casual in the snow-ice this past Sunday). I was so excited last year to find Brax's cute Christmas sweater and Mackie's beautiful velvet-organza dress on super duper clearance at Kohl's (think: both outfits combined were $11!). Really hoping for some sweet deals again this year....
But back to the pics....
After candlelight service we headed out to my cousin's farm for the Preston-Brawner Christmas Eve. This is a long-standing tradition and I fondly remember all of us kids heading over to grandma and grandpa's house on Main Street for festivities, gifts (a LOT), and giggles. Our crew is now much bigger, which is even more of a blessing as it's fun to watch my kids play with their (second??) cousins and not want to leave.
Of course we (finally) got home and put the kids to bed around 11:30 (hey, it's Christmas!) and of course, they woke up normal time. (this after Jackson stayed up til 1 a.m. putting together a certain someone's train set).
We were first greeted in the morning by Brax sweetly knocking on his door at 6:50 a.m. It wasn't until he snuggled with us a good half-hour and we woke Mackie up that the biggest reason he probably woke up was that he had vomited all over his sheets, pillow, and lovies. It was definitely from eating too much the night before....it seems that every time we saw him, we were digging cookies out of his mouth.
After that wake-up call, we all snuggled around the couch to open gifts as our family of four. We then headed over to my parents' house for a day of great food, more gifts and spoiling, and lounging around in our pjs PLUS this year we were able to go out with the kids for sledding and snow fun! It was the perfect way to cap off the day before (more) great food.
The kid gift highlights this year included:
* Brax: Wooden train set (was a HUGE hit), Thomas the Train (again, a HUGE hit), Jake & the Never Land Pirates toys, tool workshop/desk, pj's and clothes, cars/trucks, and books, crayons, and anything else to entertain during upcoming basketball games.
* Mackie: Sophia the First talking doll, Disney princess alarm clock, Flying Fairy (very cool - you put your hand underneath the thing to make it fly!), clothes, books and craft items, play-doh, and lots of other fun stocking stuffers.
We celebrate Christmas with the Conkling crew this coming Saturday - so now it's off to re-organize, clean, and figure out where we put everything. :)