It seems like a long time ago since Christmas, but I still wanted to share our Christmas highlights. We had a late start Christmas morning since my kids both decided to sleep in until 9AM. Isn't that just sick and wrong? :o) Before we started opening gifts we put the finishing touches our Jesse Tree and Waiting Tree. We let the kids put the ornaments on these trees during the month, but Michael and I put on the last ornaments on Christmas Day. I'm putting the last stone on the Jesse Tree in this picture. We read the bible passage that went with the hand-painted stone.
Michael putting the "star" on the Waiting Tree my sis made me. Both trees are used to show how the prophecies in the Old Testament, starting at creation, all point to Jesus being the Messiah. These are my two absolutely favorite Christmas decorations of all time. My kids love it, too!
Back-tracking a little, we always let the kids open their gifts from their Aunt Abby and Uncle Nathan on Christmas Eve. They look forward to it every year. The had sooo much fun with this floor piano!
Josiah learned the truth about Santa this year. I was wondering if he would be upset, but not so. In fact, the first thing out of his mouth was "So do this mean I can sneak out of bed and eat Santa's cookies and the reindeer's carrot?" Yep!
Family picture taken just before we opened our stockings. What can I say, we are a VERY patriotic family!
I was so excited to receive the new English Standard Version Bible from Michael. I've been doing a lot of research on different biblical translations, and this is supposed to be a direct translation from the Hebrew and Greek to English. No paraphrasing. This is the new bible translation for the next generation. Christians are wanting accuracy and that is what this bible delivers. It is a wonderful study bible and I'm loving it!
Josiah found this really nice survival/camping tool for Michael at our local Christian book store. It is different as it has a hammer and small ax on the end as well as several saw blades and the typical multi-tool blades.
Last year when we were yard saling, I found this brand new, still in the box, Cinderella collectible snow globe. She wanted it so badly. I didn't have the $10 they were asking. As we were leaving, the lady said she would sell it to us for $5. I distracted Hailey and discretely paid for it and put it away for Christmas. Hailey remembered it as soon as she opened it. I wish I would have videoed it. She was so excited!
I was blessed with a really nice bonus from my boss and I was able to get Michael a simple, yet nice, used left-handed bow with some good accessories. When I went to pick it up, the owner of the shop (a former soldier) told me that he and the other former soldiers who work for him all got together and paid to have the bow restrung and gave Michael some nice arrows with practice tips. They just wanted to bless another soldier. How nice is that?
I was able to purchase the entire Jonathan Park Adventure Series for half-off the normal price through Vision Forum. They are an awesome adventure series based on Creation. My kids love them! They don't know that I got the entire series. I'm going to be giving them a new set of adventures on every holiday or birthday, so they will really listen to each cd set over and over, getting them memorized before they get the next set. I'm doing the same thing with the "Torchlighter" dvd series based on past Christian martyrs. Giving them one at a time. I got a great deal on that series from Voice of the Martyrs.
After letting the kids play with their toys for awhile, we packed up the car and headed over the hill to my mom's house where my aunt and uncle and their families were having Christmas. Since my grandma died, it seemed fitting to all be together this year. We had a wonderful time opening gifts, eating, playing board games and eating some more.
Just before my Grandma died she had ordered these cute little Santa bags for each of the great grandchildren. She always used some cute container to put money in every year. These showed up on my mom's door step 3 days after Grandma died. Mom put $5 in each bag for the grandkids with a card explaining that it was from GG Mary. It was such a precious way of including her in the celebration.
Mom and Larry gave Hailey this beautiful necklace holder. She loved it. I thought she looked so cute with her little bloomers I made for her a couple years ago.
The next day we traveled down the Gorge to spend some time with Michael's family. We had so much fun with our youngest niece, Layla. At first she was shy but it didn't take too long before she was on my lap and I was feeding her oranges. I know the way to a child's heart, LOL!
Here is Layla in the cute outfit we got her. The next day my MIL took us all to see"War Horse" at the theater, which we LOVED (Hailey stayed with her Auntie April during the show). Then I left to visit my Grandpa and his wife Regina, then stayed the night with my sis before her tonsil surgery the next day. Mostly spent the rest of the week helping take care of my sis and her family while she recovered.
I spent last week, easing into my schedule again. We start back up with homeschooling today. Praying it all goes well. We will focus on thank you cards (which will count for writing, spelling and phonics) this week, plus add in math.
Hope you are all having a wonderful New Year!