Yes, I know it is over. Yes, I know it is a new year, but I didn't share our traditions and celebrations with you. :)
Our Christmas Eve tradition is to celebrate at Tim's parents' house after attending the Candle Light Service at church. To me, Christmas Eve service is always special and reverent.
Last year, I found at that it can also be noisy and distracting. We had two 1 year olds with us. I spent most of the service in the senior high room with two other dads (how did I get that duty and not Tim?), and our children.
This year though...
I was prepared.
- I fed lots of high carb foods to our toddlers before the service.
- I had diapers changed.
- We sat in the back near people who understood noisy children, and love my kids.
- Most of all, I prepared myself towards the less than perfect experience that this special service was going to be.
When DJ was playing peak a boo with the boys during prayer...I didn't shush them or give any dirty looks.
When they were crawling around on the floor and under the chairs...I didn't scold or reprimand them (Aunt Nana got a stern look from me ~ she instigated it!)
When Isaiah was trying to escape down the row...OK - I bolted. I rushed down the row and scolded Ashley for letting him past her.
I was nearing my breaking point.
I kept hearing other children acting out as well. I kept reminding myself that I'm not in this alone. All the while, I'm wondering..."This is such an important service to so many people. There are so many people who only attend church 2 or 3 times a year and they need to hear this service. Why don't we have a nursery open?"
Guess what? This year they did have a nursery open. I just didn't get the email. Fortunately, most people were entertained when Aiden took off running down the aisle to find his dad. Many people thought that we were brave to have our children in a church service. (Bravery is a noble attribute.) Most of all, I enjoyed our service, my kids learned to sit for a little while in the big church, and I learned that my children do not need to be perfect. God loves them and He is helping me to raise them. They were right where He wanted them to be.
Christmas Eve at Grammy and Gramps's House
Aiden started off the night with opening the first present.
See Kyra (the dog) in the background? She loves to open presents. She will steal your present if she can so she can open it. Our kids have learned that you have to keep your gifts up off the ground when she is around.
Here is Isaiah...with a little help from sister.
Yes, he has a scratch on his forehead. The kid is a walking poster for danger.
Kyra finally got her turn. She got a squeak toy!
Tyler was worried that Babi needed help so he helped with most of her gifts.
Woo hoo! Water bottles. We never have enough around here.
Ashley also got her letterman jacket from Grammy and Gramps, but it hasn't arrived yet.
When Aiden discovered that Babi was getting food and candy, he decided that he would help her unwrap her gifts. Aiden and Babi both like sweets.
Gramps got a hoof pick...
A really cool hoof pick.
I ordered one of these for Tim a few years ago. They can seriously poke an eye out, and clean horse hooves.
Gramps admitted to peeking at his gifts before Grammy wrapped them. He said this wasn't the one he was waiting for so Tyler could help him.
Ohhh...I think this is the one!
Yep. A new headstall. Apparently he has had his eye on this one. This is the one he found in the closet before it was wrapped.
Yeah! Horse treats!
When you are county people and you have horses and other large animals that you love and care for...
People buy you gifts for your animals. Especially when you have a tendency to purchase anything else you want...
See what I mean?
Ashley got a bag of horse grain. :)
Our animals are loved.
Gramps always buys Grammy jewelry. This year is was a star filled with diamonds. It is very pretty. I think she likes it!
Grammy also got a Barnes and Noble gift card.
There is something about going into a store and not having to worry about how much you're going to spend. She had so much fun shopping on her B & N card last year. Hopefully she will have just as much fun this year.
Speaking of "poke your eye out"...
look what movie was on when we were unwrapping gifts!
"He's gonna shoot his eye out!"
The boys loved the show.
Yum. Her very own box of cheese danish. She loves her cheese danish...
No, Ashley, it isn't a real bottle of champagne ~ it is sparkling cider. She enjoys a bottle of sparkling cider too!
And for the Grand Finale!....
Party Poppers ~ The Old Fashion Way!
Yep, the Grand Finale...thank you for that lovely show, Isaiah.