Saturday, February 1, 2014

Update December Part II

 You can see Part I Here!
This post will be long on photo's, so I'll TRY to be short on words. If you don't care to read, feel free to just scroll to the cute kids and take a peek at how mature they are all getting!

My awesome family took me out to dinner for my 50th. They brought me back home and presented me with this awesome camera! WOWSERS!!! I've been checking out SLR cameras for about 100 years! Well maybe just 5. So I was so surprised when I got this :) I think it was my SIL's idea... Thanks David!

 I'm still learning how to use it. I don't have a lot of time to just sit down and explore things. And I prefer to shoot outside. So I'm very excited to see warmer weather and the coming of spring...
  This is another reason I'm ready to see spring... it snowed twice in December before Christmas. But no snow on Christmas day. Most of the time I do like the snow though, especially when there is a warm up right after. We get to play in the snow in warmer temps. and we don't freeze!
I don't remember when this photo was taken in December but apparently grandson L was over!

 This year we really had an issue with our Christmas tree.

 I will forever remember this tree... We want the kids to have that typical "finding the perfect tree" childhood memories. So we decided to allow the kids help pick out the tree again this year. And it was really a cute tree, until...

We had it in the stand, straight... not kidding. Decorated it, and it was such a nice tree. The next morning we woke up and it was practically on it's side. It slide in the stand and would not go back in straight. We got it back in, after we were forced to take all the decorations off because they were falling and breaking. It felt as though somebody cast a spell on it! We fought with this tree for like 4 days. During the battle we lost some old ornaments that the older kids made when they were little. :(

We ended up hacking 2 feet off the bottom and putting it on a table. Not sure I ever want a live tree again...

Truly a Christmas tree we will all remember FOR SURE!
The ironic thing is, we had 2 other artificial trees up already, why did we need a 3rd tree?!

 I decided to take the hyper boys to the Adventure Aquarium a couple days before Christmas as they were driving us all insane. We saw Scuba Santa among the sharks and rays... And E made a new friend :)
 Wish we had written our letters and brought them with us to mail to Scuba Santa! Boy oh Boy we had no idea Santa even goes to the bottom of the ocean to deliver presents to the fish...
That's Philadelphia in the background. I love this spot, but it was COLD this windy December day :)

 We also took a trip into the city to have some breakfast at the Reading Market
and to see the Macy's Dicken's Village.

 The boys saw Santa after the village... Santa looks a little run down here. I think he needs some rest! Too much scuba diving!

 The day was so pleasant this sunny afternoon that we decided to take a horse and carriage ride. Contrast this to the above snow photos... they were about a week apart...

My Favorite Photo of the day... Riding by Independence Square.

Every year we do Advent Devotions. We aren't always consistent but if we get it in a couple times a week we are happy. We pray and light candles as a symbol of the Light of the World coming into the darkness and giving light. And we learn that although Light will overcome darkness, darkness will never overcome Light. The computer joined us this year as the kids watched a quick clip each night to learn more about the birth of Jesus and his soon return. L joined us this evening!

Our yearly Christmas Eve photo shoot!

Our newly shortened Christmas tree... the night before Christmas.

 Each Christmas morning, for many many years, we have a ribbon cutting ceremony. I know I have mentioned this in my old blog. But since we have a new blog I want to mention it again. When my oldest 3 were little, I was concerned they would go downstairs before we got up. So I strung up ribbons across the steps to stop them (they were little). And it worked! Thus, a tradition was born... I'm sure we have done this for maybe 25 years. We did skip a few before E came home...

 Before the ribbons can be cut we pause and give God all the glory for the Gift of his Son. Then we read from Luke and pray... then we cut....
 And after about 15 minutes of ripping... it's over lol!

A tradition that warms my heart every year. And when these kids grow too old for it all, I pray that they will remember it fondly and want to hand it down to the next generation.. We had the blessing of sharing it with grandson L a few times... And even T, our step-grand-daughter! Last year we had baby M too :)

I think AL got more excited about these headphones from her big sister Lauren then any other gift... Smile is ear to ear! Or maybe she's just happy about Christmas in general. We all love it when everyone comes over...

She also got that bright pink hoodie she has on... More gift post's in Part III!

 Family came in shifts this year.  We usually have breakfast with everyone but not this year. Mom and Jim were the first shift.
 Along with my daughter Lauren and Mike (who is another hairy man! lol)
Amy and David happened to seen them before they left... So the kids got to see Aunt Lauren and Uncle Mike...
Part III coming soon....

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