Noah is hanging his lantern on the tree-
containing his gift to Christ for the coming year.
Story time: reading favorite Christmas stories.
Jared with his boys at the BEGINNING of the evening. I don't think I should post pictures from the END of the evening. :-) JK They were good boys and enjoyed the Radio Flyer Rocket Grandma just had to have for grandchildren to ride on at our house. Anthony didn't understand why he had to leave it here.
Anthony is experiencing the joy of giving. (Jared and Amanda had Noah's name).
Opening "sibling gifts". We started the tradition of having our children open their gift to each other Christmas Eve when they were very little. We wanted them to experience the joy of giving and not have their gift lost in the piles of gifts Christmas morning. Giving their gift to each other Christmas Eve allowed them to feel the joy, not have to compete with Santa, and have their gift be the first opened. (The first present is always the best because it's so exciting and has been so anticipated!) It allowed the other person to respond with true joy and delight and to be appropriately thankful.
Noah is quite the D.I. shopper. He always buys gifts for people at the DI and is very thoughtful about it. He found a new fondue set and a brand new fleece blanket for Esther and Nathan at the sale they have for employees to purchase gifts. He was very excited about the fondue set. He exclaimed, "It even has all the pieces and it only cost $2.00!" It's always heartwarming to see how thoughtful he is as he chooses gifts for others. He's a true bargain shopper that's for sure. He must have gotten that from Rachel!
We missed all those who couldn't be with us. Jon, Sarah and Emma who recently moved to California, Rachel and Brandon and family who live in Ohio, and Adam, Shannon and boys who were going to come, but we had a bad storm and the roads were terrible. We told them to stay home, although we would have loved to have them here.
It was wonderful to have Nathan and Esther here, and Jared and Amanda w/ boys. It is 5:35 AM and in about 3 hours we will be opening presents with Nathan and Esther. The line of children waiting at the top of the stairs gets shorter all the time. While I am happy for all of my children in homes of their own, with their own families, I miss them very much and tend to feel sentimental during times when they would have all been home to celebrate. (Picture the tears streaming down my face.) :-)
Jared and Amanda will be spending Christmas Day at their new home. We are excited for them. Their house is bigger than ours, so we may have family gatherings there now and then. I will have to take pictures of their new home and post them on the Blog. If the roads are good they will come visit Christmas day when they are done with their Christmas activities.
If the weather is better today, Adam may come over with the boys. Shannon has to work in the evening. I'm hoping the weather is great! We would love to see Christopher and Jacob again.
We love you all and wish you a wonderful Holiday season.