I guess I'm not so great at this whole blogging thing...I totally forgot to recap Christmas day!
It was a wonderfully relaxing, no pressure, kick back day! I was expecting Emily to wake us up at a ridiculously early hour but instead it was Allie who couldn't sleep! He had been up since 5:00 a.m.! He was super sweet and made everyone breakfast...we were not as kind when he tried to wake us up to eat it! All Ryan and I could think of was "Hey, wait a minute, Emily is still sleeping!" We were up and fully moving into gift mood by 7:45, which I think is a Christmas morning sleep in record...for everyone except Allie!
Somehow I was sitting in the line of wrapping paper fire during the gift unwrapping! We always set out a box or designate a spot for all the wrapping paper to be thrown, to try and make clean up a little easier. Well, basically every piece zoomed past my face making me jump through the whole process! It was so fun though! Everyone was so generous and the gifts were all wonderful! I don't want to mention any names and forget anyone but please know we appreciated everything we were given very much!
I will mention that Allie surprised me with a Circuit! It's a personal die cutting machine, for those of you who don't scrapbook and it's amazing! I have wanted one for a couple years now but have been putting it off "Until after China". If you can't tell that has been a recurring phrase around here for all large or unnecessary purchases. So to get such a fun "toy" was so cool! I've had a couple chances to play with it in the last few days and lets just say I'm addicted! I really need to get in some serious kindergarten cut and paste time "before China"! And to all my family, you may just be getting monogrammed card sets for gifts for awhile!
The rest of the day was wonderfully mellow! Our friend Priscilla came over and my mom made a simple ham dinner with roasted potatoes, green bean casserole, roles and deviled eggs. Thanks mom, it was sooooo nice not to cook! We spent the afternoon relaxing and the rest of the evening playing silly board games... we love Apples to Apples! Poor Priscilla had never played games with Allie before...it's quit an experience!
We do have a few traditions that remind us of the true reason we are celebrating. One of my favorites is our Christmas Bucket. It's the type of bucket people usually fill with goodies and give as a gift. Several years ago (I'm guessing 2002 but if any of you were at Mc Donald's that day and remember, please let me know) I filled it with small Christmas reminders of Christ for a ladies devotional group. It was meant to be a way to teach your children to see Christ in the holiday. Each item has a tag on it and we pass the bucket in a circle with each person removing an item and reading it's tag before it is passed to the next person. Here's the list of items in the bucket and what their tags say:
A Christmas Tree: Remains evergreen, reminding us of our everlasting hope in Christ. Like an arrow it points heavenward reminding us to look to God at Christmas and all year through.A Star: God had promised a savior for the world and the star was a sign that He had fulfilled his promise.
A Candle: A reminder that Christ is the light of the world. He was sent to take out the darkness and bring light into our lives.
A Wreath: Reminds us that like a circle God’s love for us has no beginning and no end.
A Holly Leaf: Its pointed leaves remind us of the crown of thorns Christ wore. The red berries remind us that Christ shed his blood for our sin.
A Gift: The wise men brought gifts to baby Jesus and we should be giving ourselves as gifts to God with the same spirit of love they had. Christ was God’s ultimate gift to us.
A Candy Cane: The colors of the candy cane remind us of the blood Christ shed so that our sins could be made clean and white.
An Angel: They revealed God’s plan to Mary and Joseph. Then they sang and rejoiced over Christ’s birth. They announced His birth to the shepherd and we should be announcing Him to the world also.
It's a simple way to put the focus on Christ through the holiday and we finish by reading Luke chapter 2 and praying. Then the kids are allowed to open their pajamas and hopefully fall asleep quickly.
We haven't had a visit from Santa since Emily was four but Allie and I put all the gifts out after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve, so that they are a big surprise in the morning. Well, this year Emily tried to wait me out and have a sneak peak. She succeeded too!
After the gifts were all in place, I thought I would blog a little to decompress and then go to bed. I thought I heard something down the hall a couple times but never saw anything....I should have known! As soon as I was in our room with the door shut, I heard something again and there she was tip toeing back to her room! Apparently there was a creature stirring in the Lansford house! This is probably why she didn't wake us up at 5:30 on Christmas morning like she has in years past!
It really was a nice day! There were a few moments were Pop was missed beyond measure and KayLi was prayed for and longed for greatly! But all in all it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated. My heart was broken for my grieving family days before Christmas but on the day itself God's mercy was strongly felt!
A brief note about the photo above. We have a chalk board that hangs in our kitchen. I write scripture or quotes on it and use it to encourage memorization. I usually change it every couple weeks or so. I love this silly chalk board! I love decorating it, I love putting thought into what will be written on it next, I love that my family sees God's word in our home! My family on the other hand loves to, lets just say, tweak what is on the chalk board. It has become a huge game around here and I've actually started taking before and after pictures of it. But lets keep that our little secret so that we don't encourage their vandalism! The photo above is the before picture of the chalk board for Christmas week. I hope you all had a very peace filled Christmas!!!