Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day

Christmas Day was good.  This was clearly the year when God wanted to teach me to let go of the IDEA of the perfect Christmas and embrace the wonderful real miracles that happen everyday.  We missed Gigi...and the rolls were not the same without one point when the rolls didn't look right, I looked desperately at Nena and said, "What should we do?"  She calmly said, "Butter 'em."  So that's what we did.  That was exactly the calm confident assurance I needed in that moment. Then we read the recipe and saw we were baking at the wrong we fixed that too but the rolls really never recovered.  They were not perfect, but that was okay.

One of my favorite moments on Christmas Day was when I was cooking in the kitchen and noticed how quiet it was.  I automatically assumed the boys were probably up to no good, but when I looked up, I saw them both curled up in a chair with a blanket reading on their new Kindles.  Little miracles.

Mom is doing very well post heart attack...big miracle.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Magic

On the night of the 23rd, the kids snuggled up in bed with me to watch It's a Wonderful Life.  (Cody had a get-together with some old friends.)  The kids all fell asleep so I moved them one-by-one to a pallet I made for them under the Christmas Tree. 

Annabelle woke up and went back to bed before I got the shot above.

When the kids woke up they found Buddy the elf had set up a surprise.  His sign says, "Do you wanna build a snowman?"

  I was at the hospital most of the day with Mom/Gigi, but we did go to church where Barrett and Kyle each had a line in the Christmas Poem. Then we had dinner and visited Mom one more time before going home to set out milk and cookies for Santa.

Annabelle got to choose which cookies to put out for Santa since she won the Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookie contest.

Christmas Miracle

I got a call from my mom in the morning on Christmas Eve.  She said she wasn't feeling well and she needed help.  I took her to the hospital where we found out she was having a heart attack.  They moved her to a better hospital and immediately took her into surgery where they found and fixed the problem with a stint.  They were able to get to her so quickly because the room and doctor was available since there were no scheduled operations for the holiday.  The hospital chaplain said Mom was a Christmas miracle.

It was a scary few hours, but Mom is doing well.  She sent me home to be with my family for all of the Christmas Eve activities.  Before we set out the milk and cookies, I asked Cody if he knew how to play Blue Christmas on the guitar.  He didn't, but he learned it in about 5 minutes so we could send Mom/Gigi this video to let her know we missed her:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies

On Christmas Eve Eve, I let go of my make-everything-be-perfect-and-wonderful-for-Christmas mentality and I was reminded that everything doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

We made Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies.  We used every sprinkle and cookie decoration we could find.  The colored icing bags exploded and oozed red and green icing all over. There were sprinkles bouncing off in every direction! Years from now, I know we will find sprinkles from this Christmas Eve Eve.  It was messy...messy but magical.  While we were decorating, the boys complimented and encouraged each other.  Annabelle spontaneously started singing Joy to the World and the rest of us joined in.  It's seriously one of my favorite things in the whole wide world when my family breaks out into song together.  I couldn't have choreographed it to be any more wonderful...and if I had, it wouldn't have been so real and spontaneous which is what I loved the most.  I hope this becomes a family tradition for years to come.

 Annabelle making the winning cookie

 I can't explain the safety goggles except to say THAT'S KYLE.

 She's wearing her "Kristoff" shirt...She keeps getting Kristoff the reindeer in Frozen confused with Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer...pretty cute.

Barrett working on the second place cookie

 Here's the Ugly Christmas Sweater Cookies in all their glory!

We decided to share the fun with our friends and family and have them vote on Facebook:

In addition to some Ugly Sweaters, Kyle made a Nutcraker cookie.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Baking with Nena

Kyle loves to cook so he was really excited when Nena (his great-grandmother, my grandmother) invited him over to do some Christmas baking.  I stuck around to take a few pictures before leaving them to their fun!  They made banana bread and cookies.   When I picked Kyle up he said he had an awesome time.  I told him he had the best great-grandmother in the world and he whole-heartedly agreed.   
 Kyle looks so grown-up in this picture. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gingerbread houses

Check out that messy face...a little sampling going on. 

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