Christmas 2019…

Steve and I talked before Christmas and we knew that this was going to be Christmas to remember – not because the gifts that we were giving – but because of the ages of our kids. They are all at such fun ages and really have such low expectations that we knew it was going to be a fun year. We keep wondering how much longer we have where kids believe in the magic and they are requesting crazy expensive gifts!

They gave us some great reactions – and it was even more fun to watch them excited for each other’s gifts.

We got this reaction from Green Bay Packers socks. Throw that “G” on anything and he would be over the moon!

Bennett is the best on Christmas because he is overly excited about everything. He asked for a lego set and we delivered. He would’ve been happy if the day ended right there.

We hid Hallie’s present under her bed and she couldn’t imagine anything being underneath her bed because they had all been hanging out in her room since the wee hours of the morning and they didn’t notice anything. That’s we call parent magic!

Bennett opened a gift and was so excited. And then we teased him and told him it was just the box and then he proceeded to tearing open the box and was excited all over again when he realized he really did get it!

The kids did homemade or regifted gifts to eachother. Briggs drew pictures for Cannon and a note that says “I love you”. Cannon thought he one the jackpot and Briggs was elated to give it!

We open gifts one at a time and I love how everyone tends to hover over the person opening gifts.

I asked for a comfy for a Christmas. Its basically an oversized hooded sweatshirt with sherpa lining. I think Steve got it for me to be funny – the jokes on him because I love it and wear it every day!!

My parents gave Hunter and Bennett matching rubberband guns. When they realized they were the same shape, they opened them together and rushed to see who could open it first.

I’ve been working with Hallie on a special idea she had for Steve. She watercolored a picture of Jesus Christ for him and she worked so hard on it. She started back in October and made several drafts before finishing this version. Steve was in tears. Hallie was in tears. She nailed it.

Cannon and I were excited for our new cotton candy machine. This has been a long time coming. I have asked for one for years and Cannon has been asking for over a year. I know I seem like a 10 year old by liking cotton candy – but I love it! And we are all excited.

We had friends stop by for just long enough to play with some new toys.

Hunter and Hallie both got long boards and as soon as the rare Christmas morning rain stopped, they were outside trying out their new rides.


And how could we not spend Christmas afternoon trying out new flavors of cotton candy?! We made bags full and took it over to Steve’s family gathering. It was gone in no time. 🙂

Christmas exceeded all of our expectations. It was good down to the very last minute (and bag of cotton candy!) I would replay this day over and over again if I could. Instead, we’ll bottle up these pictures and videos as a memory and hopefully years from now they will spark some of the emotion we felt spending Christmas together as a family in 2019.

Pre-Christmas Fun…

December comes in like a hurricane and it always takes me some time to catch up with the month after its already gone!

December was a full month and here’s some of our fun.

Hunter and Bennett stuffed and labeled our Christmas cards this year. Some years we hand letter and other years we’re short on time and they get a label!

We read Christmas books and listened to Christmas music by the light of the tree.

I’m not sure how this was even possible but we only went to the Christmas house one time before Christmas. This is usually a weekly activity in December but rain thwarted our plans to walk down with friends not once, but twice!

We had Steve’s sister for Christmas and he was so proud of his wrapping job complete with a squeaky dog toy tied to the top!

Steve’s mom hosted cousin game night – one for the elementary aged kids and one night for the junior high through married cousins. My kids always love this time with their cousins.

Briggs worked hard to write cards for his teachers.

We went to the school for cookies with Santa and the kids love their “funny face” pose.

Our neighborhood had their annual Christmas party in the front pasture of one of the houses. I’m always overwhelmed with love for all my neighbors at this event. It’s a lot of work and every one signs up to bring food – its a lot of coordination.

We participated in the nativity at the neighborhood party and it’s always my favorite 5 minutes of the night. The next best moment is right after the nativity when we do a candle lighting with 300+ people.

We hosted Christmas eve with our friends that we consider family. With 11 kids between our 2 families, a nice sit down meal can be a challenge but it turned out beautiful.

We played Christmas songs using chimes – my kids now want chimes! It was fun and they were way better than I could’ve imagined.

We acted out the nativity which is always entertaining!

Our friends said goodnight and it was just our family. We opened Christmas jammies and decorated cookies for Santa. There was laughing and excitement.

Steve read Twas the night before Christmas before we ushered everyone upstairs in hopes that they would eventually settle down and go to sleep!

And then it was quiet…

School Christmas Programs…

We’re throwing it all the way back to the week before Christmas when every kid had a program/recital/tournament!

Briggs had his first Christmas program with his preschool and his teacher does not mess around. I was a parent helper, helping the 50 (morning and afternoon class) kids switch costumes – it is not for the weak! Almost every song required a costume change and the teacher expects a quick change. I think I documented most of his holiday outfits. 🙂

And they always have the best, most realistic Santa. Briggs was really examining him.

Cannon had his kindergarten Christmas program the same day. Although there weren’t any costume changes, he was just as excited as Briggs to perform for us. And they were both excited to have Steve’s parents as special visitors.

It always about this time in the month that I start to wonder why in the world can’t we space these Christmas programs out and do some the first week of December as well!

Dear Santa…

Although our kids are getting older – this is one tradition that not even the older kids are willing to let go of. Bass Pro has mastered Santa’s workshop and they love to go and play with all the toys they have set up.

Dear Santa

Briggs asked for loooooots of gum.

Dear Santa

Cannon asked Santa for cotton candy maker – a kid after my own heart!

Dear Santa

Bennett asked for a ginormous lego set.

Dear Santa
Dear Santa

The older kids were okay with a group photo with Santa but that’s as close as they were willing to get!

Dear Santa

Briggs was so excited and enamored with the man in the red suit. Cannon was equally excited but a little more nervous. Bennett was excited but skeptical.

As Steve pointed out just a few weeks ago – we are living in our golden years and nothing makes us realize that more than Christmas time when the energy and excitement is palpable. I’m sure these are the years we will look back and remember so fondly. There is magic in the air!

Dear Santa
Dear Santa
Dear Santa

Christmas gift…

I mentioned a while back our love for experience gifts. Steve’s brother had us on the Christmas gift rotation this year and lucky for us, they came into town just after Christmas to share in the experience gift. We grabbed Thai food and then went to K1 Speed to race go-karts.

This was both competitive and entertaining – not to mention a little abusive on the body. Not only were our arms and shoulders exhausted by the end – I had bruises all up my back and my side from moving around in the cart as I took every corner at top speed.

Would I do it again? In a heart beat. Would I wear more layers so my boney back didn’t rub on the hard seat. Why yes I would! And I’ve got to figure out how to shave a second and a half off my lap so I can dethrone Steve!

Experience Gifts

Experience Gifts

Experience Gifts

Experience Gifts