Monday, December 30, 2013

Advent Season and How We Celebrated

Christmas seemed to come and go this year. The most wonderful time of the year flew by and it makes me so sad in a way but we did enjoy it and maybe even a little more so this year than in years past.

Usually, we are SO busy in the Advent season that we don't have time to stop long enough to really take in the sights, sounds, and wonder of everything around us...much less have the time to ponder over the Christmas story each night leading up to Christmas Day.

This year was different though. Since I had my reconstruction just a few weeks ago, I had no choice but to take it easy this holiday season. I couldn't run around like a crazy mom. I couldn't volunteer at the school at every turn. I couldn't bake like years past because of Chloe's awful allergies. I couldn't be all pinterest-y crafty because my energy level just didn't allow for it whatsoever. I HAD TO REST and not do much of anything. And what a blessing it turned out to be!!!

Each day, we were able to focus on ONE thing for the kids to do as they opened their Advent calendar door whether that be watch a Christmas movie together, ride around looking at lights in our PJ's, or playing a board game in front of the Christmas tree. Every night we did out Advent readings together and the kids really learned quite a bit of detail about Isaiah and the prophecy of the coming Messiah, how God was silent for 400 years, how Advent is actually a season a waiting and that symbolizes the people waiting on the Messiah to come, and then finally Jesus being born and the details surrounding it.

We also did get into the fun of Christmas with our Elf on the Shelf - Ernie. He has been with us for 4 years now. Ernie is a family member and got into lots of mischief this year...but didn't make as many messes as last year. He is learning. Ha!

Chloe and Brody made this "welcome back" sign for Ernie

steering the pirate ship with Brody's American boy doll, Charles

Ernie added a self portrait to my wall of portraits

bath time

roasting mini marshmallows in the fire place

in the Nativity this morning and brought this awesome book with him. It's Santa telling the Christmas story and is refreshing to see it from Santa's point of view.

Ernie got into the kids candy bag...and then we had no choice but to throw that junk out!!!

My parents came to visit and help out while I was in the hospital so before I went in for surgery, we gave them their Christmas gift... tickets to the Radio City Rockettes! It was such a fun evening. We walked around the Opryland Hotel for a while before the show and enjoyed those sights first. My dad had his picture made with Mrs. Claus. If you know him, this doesn't surprise you at all :) And Chloe talked to Santa. Brody passed on that - he still isn't a fan of sitting on Santa's lap.

Looking in awe at the big tree at Opryland

My dad (Op-Op) and Mrs Claus

And then Christmas morning came! Gifts galore, fun to be had, rest and time together just the 4 of us. It was nice. We even broke away from the typical Christmas meal and just went to Waffle House for a late lunch/early dinner. Everyone loved it and there were no leftovers to waste. And shockingly, there were several other small families there having their Christmas meals too!

Santa gifts for Brody

Santa gifts for Chloe

Goodbye letter from Ernie - our elf on the shelf

Thanks for the milk and cookies!

going through her stocking and shocked that Santa knows her
 food allergies and brought candy she can eat

pure joy on seeing her Santa loot

thanking each other for the gifts they gave one another

her Rebel pink Nerf gun. It's payback time now

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